Christmas Gift # 11: Shop, buy, and gift local

I am taking a break from baking today to give ya’ll some last minute gift ideas.

I was pleased to see some “Shop Local” publicity  along with all the Black Friday hype last month.

There was also a recent article published at Forbes  regarding shopping local, i.e. small businesses.

So as Christmas Eve nears, please consider shopping local or shopping “small”  for your last minute gifts (or save these ideas for next year!).

  • For the adventurous spirit that loves to travel and explore local haunts, give a set of Rather travel guides (formerly Eat.Shop.Explore guides).   These guides are all about eating local and shopping local.  We love these books and they have been invaluable on our trips to Austin, Boston, Chicago, and Kansas City.
  • I have talked about Edible local magazines before.   There is now a book—Edible:  A Celebration of Local Foods.  This would make a great gift and would highlight all things local.
  • Find a local winery and buy your holiday wine there.  Check out this locator.
  • I use Made in Oklahoma (MIO) quite a bit not only for gift ideas, but also for travel ideas for short trips.   Check and see if there is a comparable site for your state.
  • Agritourism is another great gift idea to explore.   Find your own local site for agritourism and see if there is a farm adventure you can give (bed and breakfast, winery tours, etc.)
  • Check out Culinate’s Local 50 for other foodie ideas in your area.
  • Is there a local fiber artist in your area that produces his/her own fiber?   Seek out those local artists that grow their own wool or even cotton or flax.
  • Find a local restaurant that focuses on serving local and buy a gift certificate.

Here are some of my specific local favorites that I turn to when I need a great gift for a fellow foodie:

  • Lovera’s Italian Market—Yea!  They have mail order on-line ordering!  (Does anyone even know what “mail order” means today?)  You must order some caciocavera! (See my posts about this great little place and about this great artisan cheese.)
  • Ladonna’s Fancy Foods—Ladonna has the most awesome gourmet food club and cheese club.   If anyone needs a gift idea for me, please, please, please sign me up for one or both of these!  Yea!   They have mail order web ordering, too!
  • Ferrell Family Bread—You may not be lucky enough to have this small artisan bakery close to you, but I bet you have a local baker you could patronize.
  • Topeca Coffee—Again, you may not have this great local, sustainable roaster, but check out your area and see what you can find.
  • Marshall Brewing Company—If you ever can partake of an Atlas IPA,  an Old Pavilion Pilsner, a Sundown Wheat, or one of their great seasonal beers, don’t miss the opportunity.   Again, if you can’t buy a bottle of Marshall for your favorite beer connoisseur, seek out your own local micro-brewery.
  • Glacier Confection—Another great local gem.   They also have on-line ordering.
  • Oklahoma Food Cooperative—For a small membership fee, you can shop for nearly anything—baked goods, holiday foods, meat, art, jewelry, clothing.   You order online and then the products are delivered to a central location for pick-up.

If you still aren’t inspired, go to your local farmers market website and search through the vendors.   (Or, maybe you are lucky and your local FM is still up and running!  If so, make sure you visit this Christmas Eve Saturday for last minute gifts and stocking stuffers.)   Most FM sites will link to their member vendor’s sites (or at least provide contact information) and you can contact them directly.    Why not give some local honey, cheeses, wines, soaps, or crafts?

Finally, the best local gift might be a CSA share!  Go to Local Harvest to check out this gift idea.

Still out of ideas, go to Seed Savers and order seeds for the ultimate local gift, the gift of home grown food.

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6 comments to Christmas Gift # 11: Shop, buy, and gift local

  • What an awesome post. We’re so trying to get rid of the Christmas-buy, buy, buy madness in our house. Thanks so much for stopping by and your kind comment. 🙂

  • I just might have to buy the Edible book for myself, really great ideas. I buy a lot of Made in Montana stuff to send as gifts…gotta support the local economy!

  • Very timely and such a good reminder… funny enough, I was dashing home this afternoon from the mall when it occured to me that I had forgotten to buy one important gift on my list… I decided to get it around the corner to support the local shops — so important to keep them in mind! Cheers Eliot.

    • Eliot

      I had lunch with a friend yesterday in a trendy part of the city and we decided to go shopping. I had forgotten how many unique local shops we had and I WISH I had remembered them before I finished up shopping. (In fact, I think I might have to make my own guide for Tulsa and post it here soon.) However, I did buy a few things to stow away for next year’s presents.

      Thanks everyone who stopped by today. I hope with all the hustle and bustle that you all have a restful, relaxing, and restorative holiday with family and friends!

  • Liz

    Excellent ideas! I need to be more organized and order some of the seeds from Seed Savers for my garden next year 🙂 Merry Christmas!

  • Ann

    GREAT post! This was the first year I’ve heard of the shop local movement around Black Friday – I think it’s brilliant! Honey bunny and I love to eat at some local places – our home town has amazing local BBQ joints!