If you're looking for a special gift, how about something local?
This holiday season, our news staff went out and tracked down some local gift ideas — jewelry, art, beverages, food, games and clothing. It's amazing what can be found in our own backyard.
These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. We hope readers will offer their own suggestions on our Facebook page.
Personalized wooden gifts
From a Chaska home basement, creations are born.
Established three years ago, Matthew Schrack works with local wood and his own two hands, making personalized gifts for people across the country.
Some of Schrack's best-selling items are cribbage boards and decorative snowmen. He also makes trays engraved with the family name, food tray's featuring your pet's name, and Minnesota-themed coasters (all of which are customizable, or people can request something entirely original).
People can pick up items in Chaska, request a door drop or have them shipped to their home.
Got a giftee with a sweet tooth? Local chocolate and gifts company Abdallah Candies is your best friend.
The family-owned company has been around the Twin Cities for over a hundred years and has locations in both Burnsville and Apple Valley.
With over 200 varieties of chocolates and candies, visitors can pick and pack their own box or grab one of the pre-made holiday selections. (P.S.: Peppermint Patties are 40% off through December.)
Both stores are open for browsing from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m-4 p.m. Saturday, or order online at abdallahcandies.com.
Shop jewelry creations
Mainstream Boutique in Savage is full of unique jewelry and clothing items to make your holiday season sparkle.
The beaded, stackable bracelets by Erimish offer a chance to make your own color creation for a loved one this year. Each bracelet sells for $8. They are also available for purchase in a bundle of four for $28 or 6 for $38.
The shop also carries jewelry creations from Mainstream Boutique's exclusive brand — Mac and Me.
Want to check out what's in-store from the comfort of your home?
Join the ladies of Mainstream Boutique each week on Facebook @MainstreamBoutiqueSavageMn for a live try-on video of what's new in the shop.
Kathy Johnson, a wardrobe style at Mainstream Boutique in Savage, said the try-on videos usually air at 7 p.m. on Thursday, but also happen on some Tuesdays during the busy holiday season.
Mainstream Boutique in Savage is open seven days a week at 14025 State Highway 13. The shop is open weekdays from 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays from noon-4 p.m. To place and order and arrange for curbside pick-up, call 952-440-4020.
304 ounces of Minnesota beer
The Beer Dabbler has been bringing the best beers in Minnesota to winter and summer festivals for years. During the pandemic, it has produced sampler packs to-go.
This holiday season, the Holiday Crowler Crate is a fresh twist. This time, each box contains 12 crowlers that will be filled just before packaging and kept cold. That's 304 ounces of limited and seasonal brews per box.
Among the Minnesota breweries featured are Montgomery Brewing, Barrel Theory, Drastic Measures and Portage Brewing.
Pre-order the crowlers at surdyks.com.
Holiday gift baskets
Although the Advent calendars from Mousse Sparkling Wine Co. in Jordan sold out within one day, you can still purchase a bubbly-focused gift basket. Each $59 champagne bucket includes two champagne flutes, a bottle of champagne and a bottle stopper.
Owner Josie Boyles says if you choose to shop in-store there are a variety of other merchandise and gift packages for the wine-lover in your life.
You can visit Mousse's downtown winery location, 115 First St. E, Jordan, on Thursday and Friday from 2-5 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and Sunday from 12-3 p.m. Though walk-ins are welcome, you can visit moussewinery.org/curbside-ordering to place an order ahead of time.
'Not Forgotten' infinity shawl
This polyester infinity shawl from the Hoċokata Ti Cultural Center gift shop, which costs $21.50 and can be worn as a scarf or face mask, was inspired by Maxine “Ioyan Mani” Noel, a reputable Native artist from Canada.
Noel’s “Not Forgotten Collection” is a series which brings awareness to missing and murdered Indigenous women. The proceeds support the Native Women’s Association of Canada. The infinity shawl is part of that collection.
Due to COVID-19, the gift shop’s hours have been reduced to Wednesday-Friday from 10-4 p.m., and Monday and Tuesday by appointment only. Health and safety protocols are followed as face masks must be worn while in the building, according to the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.
Kaleidoscope of local art
These gifts checks all the boxes:
- Beautiful craftwork.
- Supports local artists.
- Prices starting in the single digits.
The Arts Consortium of Carver County features the work of 35 artists throughout the region at its gift shop in the Chaska Community Center.
Visitors are “truly amazed,” according to Cindy Anderson, ACCC president, whose whimsical glass gnome ornaments are among the items available for sale in the shop.
Jewelry, wood carvings, holiday decorations, paintings, even locally made guitars can be found, with prices ranging from $6 to hundreds of dollars.
Shoppers enjoy the ability to do their Christmas gift shopping while social distancing, Anderson said.
There’s something for everyone, Anderson said, and “we’re always adding more.”
The gift shop is located at the Chaska Community Center, 1661 Park Ridge Drive. Hours (through Dec. 23) are 11 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. More info at https://artsofcarvercounty.org.
Custom bag toss boards
A set of custom designed bag toss boards from Gamefeller hits all the hallmarks of a great gift: practical, fun and heartfelt.
Gamefeller owner Matt Dolan works with clients to design custom bag toss boards that also serve as conversation starters, family collages or tributes to lost loved ones. All boards are made with a cabinet-grade maple top and feature a built in scorecard.
Custom boards take 2-3 weeks to finish and cost $399 per set. Plain boards cost $289 per set and are built from scratch and ready to pick up in about a week.
Visit gamefeller.com for more information or to submit a request.
Glewwe's Castle Brewery
Glewwe’s Castle Brewery has making homemade root beer and other sodas since 1995. Mark and Laurel Glewwe run the operation right out of their home in Spring Lake Township, just south of Prior Lake.
Their beverages, which include cream and ginger sodas, have been sold at farmers markets in Prior Lake, Eagan and New Prague. A small to-go bottle costs $2. A four pack is $7, and a case, 24 bottles, is $38.
In 2008, Twin Cities Metropolitan Magazine ranked Glewwe Castle Brewery’s product "the most flavorful" in a review of Minnesota-made root beers. More information can be found at glewwe-castle.com.
Give your green-thumbed friend or family member a one-of-a-kind, hand-painted flower pot from Uptown Annie’s, an online shop by local artist Annika Warfield.
Inspired by nature, people and of course, plants, Warfield uses paint markers to free-hand her designs on terracotta pots and then seals each with an acrylic spray to ensure they’ll last through any weather. The pots cost between $12 and $20 depending on their size.
While based in Savage, Warfield can be found hosting pop-up shops and attending art events throughout the Twin Cities area such as the Pleasant Street Art Walk. Her next endeavor is making her way into local store fronts, but shoppers can choose a unique gift for themselves or a loved one from the comfort of home this holiday season by visiting uptownannieshop.com.
Warfield also makes apparel, stickers and prints featuring her minimalistic designs, including some seasonal prints to help make your home feel a bit more festive.
A portion of proceeds from every sale at Uptown Annie’s is donated to Minneapolis nonprofit Simpson Housing Services which houses, supports and advocates for homeless individuals.
Send love through flowers
The global pandemic is keeping many friends and families apart this holiday season so why not send a bouquet of flowers to show you're thinking about them this year?
Shakopee Florist, 409 1st Ave. E., is offering up some holiday-themed bouquets this year. Complete with roses, hydrangeas, pine cones and greenery, these floral arrangements could also double as a table centerpiece.
Owner Shanoah LaPatka said curbside pick-up and delivery options are preferred. The full-service floral shop delivers all over the southwest metro region. Hours are 9-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. The shop is closed on Sundays. Many Christmas arrangements range in price from $20 to $75.
Visit shakopeeflorist.com for more information and to explore arrangements.