Are you stumped when it comes to gifting local goods? Or maybe you would like to spend more of your holiday dollars in your local community? I humbly submit for your consideration, a list of some locally focused options, for the localista on your shopping list.
One Holly Aiken handbag
On my “wish” list this year (actually, a carry over from last year’s list) is one of the iconic Holly Aiken handbags. Maybe the one of the “bird” totes… or perhaps the Paspartou mini messenger? While I make up my mind, you can shop online or in store this First Friday in Raleigh, for a handbag designed and assembled locally.
Two tickets to a show
Support local theater and thrill the theater fan on your gift list with tickets to a show. Know someone who might enjoy “A Trailer Park Christmas” tale? I do. Perhaps ballet is more appealing? Tis “The Nutcracker” season, after all.
Three bottles of wine (or mead)
A bottle of red. A bottle of white. A bottle of bubbly, to start the new year right. Find your local wine (or mead) shop and let them help you select just the right trio for the season. Be sure to share with the lucky gift recipient just where you purchased those bottles and how helpful the store was. Then you’ll be giving the gift of a potential new customer to the wine shop too.
Four-pack of Farmhand Foods sausages
You’ve stalked the sausage wagon but did you know their sausage can be found in local retail locations too? Pick up a four-pack and put together a lovely brunch strata for your friends or family, made with pasture-raised, quality local meat.
Five local cookbooks
One of our local chefs/cookbook authors made the NY Times list of Notable Cookbooks of 2011, and you can stop in A Southern Season on December 10th to meet her in person. I know the cookbook-aholic on your list would love a personally signed copy of “Cooking in the Moment”. I also own, and would recommend all of the following: “Southern Pies” by Nancie McDermott, Sara Foster’s (of Foster’s Market in Chapel Hill & Durham) “Southern Kitchen”, “The New Southern-Latino Table” from Sandra Gutierrez, and for the farmer’s market fan, a must have, “The New Southern Garden Cookbook” from Sheri Castle.
Six-pack of local brews
Create a local six-pack, off the shelf of your local beer shop. We are lucky to have a growing and thriving local craft beer scene in the Triangle and it’s becoming easier to find a local brew in bottle (or can) most anywhere you shop for beer these days. Put together a six-pack of your favorite bottle (or can), one from each brewer, and give your beer buddy a taste of local flavor.
Seven sparkly ornaments to adorn your tree, your friends, or yourself
Tis high Craft fair season for the next couple of weeks. This weekend alone you can visit at least three, including Boylan Heights Art Walk. Go to one. Go to all. But do go, and buy some precious, hand-crafted bits or baubles from local crafters and artists.
Eight slices of pie
No time to bake a special dessert for the holiday party this year? Let Scratch in Durham, or PieBird in Raleigh, or Sugarland in Chapel Hill lend a helping hand. They’ll be happy to take your order and your party guests will relish the treat!
Nine song downloads (or CDs) from local musicians
Don’t you love the Triangle music scene? Give a gift that supports local musicians. Go to a show and buy a CD if you like the artist. Find new favorites at the Trekky Records website, or pick up the latest from Chatham County Line, or how about the whole Superchunk package!
Ten hours volunteering in your community
One of the *best* gifts ever, ever, ever is to give back to your community. Local non-profit organizations, like Activate Good, make finding a perfect volunteer opportunity simple. Find ten hours this year to give back.
Eleven Monuts for your office mates…
… and one for yourself. Did you know that the donut trike, Monuts, caters? Pre-order a pickup for a dozen Monuts Donuts and delight the office with your thoughtfulness.
Twelve jars of local jam
You’ve heard of a CSA, and a jelly/jam of the month club, right? What would happen if you combined the two? You’d get This and That Jam’s “JSA”, Jam Supporting Agriculture. Purchase a 12-month gift subscription for your jam lovin’ family to enjoy the whole year long.
There are dozens more gifts I could list, and you could likely share a few dozen more with me. Please feel free to leave a shout out for you local favorite in the comments. Thanks for keeping it local, this season, and all year round.