Stocking stuffers from the Mitten State
Since the early 1800s, families have hung stockings from the mantel 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 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 nightlights, as well as personalized custom pieces, are also available online.
Pampering never felt so good as with Bizzy Fizz bath and body products, handmade in Macomb. 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 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 also are available. Shop online or at finer retail outlets around the state including Detroit Mercantile Co. and Food Dance in Kalamazoo.
Never be left without an opener for your favorite craft beer or soda. The Michigan-shaped bottle openers (both Upper or Lower Peninsula shapes) from Kalamazoo-based Michigan Bottle Opener are so thin they fit in your wallet. Find them online or at Essence on Main in Clarkston and NorthGoods in Petoskey.
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. The 5.5-by-8.5 cards come in a packet of five with envelopes. Shop online or stop into one of the three locations in southeast Michigan.
“Good Night Michigan” is a mini-book by Adam Gamble, with illustrations by Anne Rosen. It features notable locales throughout the state, including Sleeping Bear Dunes, Tahquamenon Falls, Detroit, St. Joseph and many others. Find it at bookstores around the state, as well as the gift shop at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids.
Keep the kids warm and stylish with a cap from Dearborn-based Carhartt. The girls pink Trapper Hat and boys duck yellow Bubba Hat are sherpa lined and have a hook-and-loop chin strap closure.
Rebuild a tradition with handmade wooden blocks from Uncle Goose in Grand Rapids. You’ll find nostalgic gifts to entertain kids and parents alike, from classic alphabet blocks in dozens of languages to nursery rhyme blocks, as well as pull wagons to canvas bags. Find them at dozens of locations across the state.
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 (dogbakeryonline.com) just down the road for a four-pack of mitten-shaped Iced Cherry Chews for your pooch’s snacking enjoyment.
Keep your cat entertained with a catnip toy from Lake Orion-based Fat 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 or Pets ‘n Things in Saline.
Handcrafted kitchen utensils from Loon Hardwoods in Dorr make the perfect gift for the chef on your list. Select from a cheese slicer, 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 or Old Town General Store in Lansing.
A Michigan-shaped cookie cutter makes for lots of family fun throughout the winter months. Find both the upper and lower peninsulas at stores around the state, including Heart of Michigan in Howell or The Zany Kitchen in Cheboygan or online at puremichiganstore.org.
Of course, a subscription to Michigan BLUE Magazine also makes a fine Christmas gift!
Reprinted from the winter 2015 issue of Michigan BLUE Magazine.