Since the early 1800s, families have hung stockings from the mantle on Christmas Eve, in anticipation of a visit from St. Nicholas. As you plan for this year’s holiday season, look to the Mitten State for unique and inexpensive stocking stuffers for everyone in the family.
Dress up any outfit with a handcrafted Michigan-shaped glass piece of jewelry from Ferndale-based Glass Action, found at Little Luxuries on Mackinac Island or Posey in Royal Oak. A series of celebrity-inspired glass nightlights, like Wizard of Oz and Madonna, are also available—as are personalized custom pieces.
Pampering never felt so good as with Bizzy Fizz bath and body products, handmade in a Macomb lab. Choose from body scrubs, oils, lotions and lip balms in a variety of shapes, textures, colors and fragrances. Find a selection of options at Celtic Sisters in New Buffalo, Art-Is-In Market at Partridge Creek Mall in Clinton Township and the Made in Michigan store at Boyne Mountain Resort, Boyne Falls.
Grocer’s Daughter in Empire creates mouth-watering chocolates including truffles, caramels, bonbons, bark, bars and puddles. Vegan and gluten free options are also available. Shop online or at finer retail outlets around the state including Detroit Merchantile Co., Charlie’s Natural Foods in Frankfort and Food Dance in Kalamazoo.
Never be left without an opener for your favorite craft beer or soda. The Michigan shaped bottle openers from Kalamazoo-based Mi Bottle Opener are so thin they fit in your wallet, and are available in either the Upper Peninsula or the Lower Peninsula. Find them online or at Essence on Main in Clarkston, NorthGoods in Petoskey and Sticks & Stones in downtown Kalamazoo.
Pick up a tin of Beard Balm made with ingredients like beeswax, lanolin, grapeseed oil and eucalyptus oil to help men keep a full beer smooth and fragrant. Developed in Detroit’s revitalized Corktown District, these products are available at Rail & Anchor in Royal Oak or Taylor & Colt in Birmingham, as well as online.
Start a new trend in 2016 by sending handwritten notes on the stylish monogrammed cards from Detroit-based Shinola. These 5.5×8.5 flat cards come in a packet of five, with envelopes, and are letter pressed with wood type letters on the front. Journals and 12-month planners also make great gifts. Stop into one of their three locations in southeast Michigan—the Factory Headquarters in Detroit, the Midtown Detroit neighborhood and the newest store in downtown Ann Arbor.
Good Night Michigan is a mini book by Adam Gamble, with illustrations by Anne Rosen. It features many notable locales throughout the state including the Sleeping Bear Dunes, Tahquamenon Falls, Detroit, St. Joseph and many other cities. Find it at bookstores around the state, as well as the gift shop at Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids.
Keep the kids warm with a cap from Dearborn-based Carhartt. The girls pink “Trapper Hat” and boys duck yellow “Bubba Hat” are each 100 percent Sherpa lining a hook-and-loop chin strap closure, the kids will be warm and stylish.
Rebuild a tradition with handmade wooden blocks from Uncle Goose in Grand Rapids. Everything from classic alphabet blocks (in dozens of languages) to nursery rhymes and pull wagons to canvas bags, you’ll find these nostalgic gifts that will entertain kids and parents alike. Find them at Nature Connection in downtown Kalamazoo, Little Treasures in Bellaire and Mackerel Sky in East Lansing.
FOR THE FOUR-LEGGED KIDS
Dress up your dog’s appearance with a colorful Michigan Paw Bandana from Pup North. Shop online or stop by My Secret Stash or Suhm-Thing in downtown Traverse City. Then, pop into the D.O.G. Bakery just down the road for a four-pack of mitten-shaped Iced Cherry Chews for your pooch’s snacking enjoyment.
Keep your cat entertained for hours with one of the catnip toys from Lake Orion-based Fay Pyewacket. The best parts of organic catnip, minus fillers, are stuffed into natural cotton sacks reinforced for hours of kitty play. Pick up these toys at The Pet Beastro in Madison Heights, Pets ‘n Things in Saline or The Pet Emporium in Ann Arbor. Loose catnip is also available from the online store.
FOR THE FOODIE
Handcrafted kitchen utensils from Loon Hardwoods in Dorr make the perfect gift for the chef on your list. Select from a cheese slider, strainer, spatula, recipe box or utensil holder all made from maple and finished with Tung oil for a beautiful luster. Look for items at Calico Cat in Grand Haven, Old Town General Store in Lansing and The Christmas Tree in Benton Harbor.
A Michigan shaped cookie cutter means plenty of family fun throughout the cold winter months. It’s good not only for cookies, but can be used for crafts and holiday decorations as well. Find both the Upper and Lower Peninsulas at stores around the state, including The Front Porch in Suttons Bay, Heart of Michigan in Howell, The Zany Kitchen in Cheboygan or online at PureMichiganStore.org.
Reprinted from the Winter 2015-2016 issue of Michigan BLUE Magazine.