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Answering all those burning questions you didn’t know you had about home ownership.

5 Local Holiday Gift Ideas, 2023 Edition

Picture of Jessica Dabkowski

Jessica Dabkowski

Helping you with all things homeownership!

Since I became a small business owner, I’ve realized how difficult it is to start and maintain your own business. I love to get the word out on how you can shop small, keep your dollars local and support a small business owner. Last year, I wrote a similar post. It was well-received, so I’m here with version 2.0 of 5 local holiday gift ideas for 2023.

NOTE: I stand by ALL of my recommendations from last year, which you can find here. Special shoutouts to Still Point Massage, The More You Glow, BYOC Co. and E.G. Nick’s who all generously donated goods or services to the Smith Elementary Auction event last year so the kids could get some much needed additions. #itsforthekids

As with last year, I’ll be focusing on different types of businesses you might find near you, with specific examples of ones near me. When I was putting together this article, I accidentally themed it around my stomach. You’re welcome!

Joey from Friends wearing maternity pants says nah nah! These are my thanksgiving pants while yanking at elastic
Maybe don’t put those away just yet.

The Butcher

Visiting an actual butcher shop is coming back into fashion. Why? Because everyone prefers a curated collection of the best over a smorgasbord of mediocrity.

Doc from Back to the Future tells Marty "just say no"
Just say “no” to mediocrity.

Upon reflection, here are some of the reasons I like the idea of visiting an actual butcher shop:

  • I am confident that the meat I walk out with is what I actually ordered.
  • I can direct questions to a live person who will have a knowledgeable response.
  • I can develop a relationship where the butcher can recommend a selection or cut to try out.
  • I keep my dollars local. Most of these independent butchers are small businesses.
  • I limit my plastic waste walking out with the meat wrapped in old-school butcher paper.

Let us be clear here. When I say “I” in the above statements, I really mean The Mathematician can do all these things.

A gift certificate to a local butcher shop or perhaps an offering of charcuterie meats would be a phenomenal add to your holiday gift-giving!

Locally: Plymouth Prime Meats opened shop a few years ago. We finally ventured inside recently while walking by, and we were kinda blown away. I’m not really one to get excited over raw meat, but everything in the display case made me want to eat.

The Mathematician just ordered the tenderloin for our Christmas Eve Beef Wellington. He declared the prices a little higher than Costco for the same cut, but he was glad to support a local business and be able to easily pre-order exactly what he wanted. We sampled the fresh kielbasa over Thanksgiving, and it was delicious. Check out these pictures from our visit.

Bulk Foods

Back in the day before plastic packaging, bulk foods were the norm. I have some faint memories of my mom buying bulk food at the grocery store when I was little. As plastic became so cheap and people didn’t want to deal it, bulk food seems to have fallen out of fashion. Well, they are (hopefully) making a come back.

For my Michigan readers, I found this cool blog post calling out a bunch of self-serve bulk food shops all around Michigan! I think this option is one of the local holiday gift ideas that goes outside the box.

Locally: MI-Fillosophy opened up in Plymouth, MI earlier this year, based on a vision by the owner to bring fresh, often organic food products without the waste. Unlike most “bring your own container” stores, MI-Fillosophy focuses on actual food products. Think spices, rice, pasta, oatmeal, semi-sweet chocolate chips – your traditional bulk food selections.

My first purchase here was a refill on my dried oregano. I’m not sure what I expected, but I was not prepared for the delightfully aromatic organic oregano at almost 60% less than I would have paid at Kroger. I also love that I determine the volume I buy. Some spices we just don’t use up in a timely fashion, and we end up tossing them. (I’m looking at you, Ginger Spice.)

The five spice girls waving at the camera in front of the London bridge
Any excuse for a Spice Girls reference.

The Candlestick Maker

Next up on our local holiday gift ideas: the candlestick maker. Most towns have that quirky little shop full of curated small-business goodies! You know the one – where the shop owner has sought out funny little (or huge) mugs, cards, onesies and matched them along side beautiful leather wallets, handmade scarves and hand-poured candles.

A fun gift or gift card may be just the ticket for that hard-to-shop-for person in your life! If you don’t know this shop in your area, go on the hunt. Pretty much every town has one!

Locally: Bohemian Home in downtown Plymouth is the inspiration for this suggestion. Without fail, I will laugh out loud at least once while I browse their goods. Boho also features their own line of candles with delightful smells inspired by Michigan. You can see from the pictures why I laugh whenever I get to the mug section.

The Kitchen Store

For the foodie in your life, how about finding that locally-owned kitchen store? These stores are full of carefully selected kitchen utensils, gadgets and useful tools to make your recipient’s life so much better. Often times, you don’t even realize a gadget exists to solve your problem. Did you know there’s a gismo called a “mushroom brush”? Well, now you do. If you don’t know what to purchase, there’s always the good ‘ole gift card!

Locally: East Elm Kitchen Co. opened November 4 by a “new business owner determined to share with this community my love for all things food, fellowship, and hospitality.” I am excited for this new addition to local small business because I definitely have a few foodies in my life who like to cook. In addition to opening the shop, the owner also restored this beautiful old building which gives it that vibe of old brick charm.

I don’t have any pictures for this one, but you can find them on Instagram.

The Coffee or Tea Aficionados

Our final slot goes to your local purveyor of fine coffee or tea. Now, I know I had your local coffee shop on last year’s list. However, most coffee shops feature a beverage that everyone can love. Whether it’s a hot dark roast, an iced frothy latte or a caffeine-free bubbly lemonade concoction, you’re likely to score a win. Similarly, a tea shop is a great way to sample new varieties or find the coolest tea gadgets.

Locally: I love the tea from Fraser Tea Co. in Livonia. As I veer further away from afternoon caffeine and sugar-loaded sodas, I’ve started to look to tea for something that doesn’t taste like, well, water. This is the only pick on my list where there is not an actual store you can shop in. However, you can order your items online and select “free pickup” to pick up your order outside their warehouse in Livonia. It’s quick and easy.

Mug with hello gorgeous quote on top of round teal Fraser Tea tin is a local holiday gift idea
I like a mug which compliments you.

Fraser Tea features both bagged and loose teas – all of which are organic and carefully selected by the Fraser family. You can try out a “sampler” box of various types of tea (e.g. rooibos, herbal, green) or you can select a few varieties of tea in a wooden tea organizer box. When in doubt, they also offer gift cards. I’m currently loving the immuniTEA, the Rainbow Rooibos and the Chamomile Fields.

Honorable local mention: Espresso Elevado in Plymouth was suggested to me by multiple friends. Opened in 2011, this shop is an artisan coffee roaster and brew bar. The barista will hand-pour your brew, and I promise it will be worth the wait. They also feature some cool coffee gadgets for purchase as well.

I hope these local holiday gift ideas help you out as we get into the season of giving! As always, I’m here to help with all things homeownership so let me know how I can help.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Alisha

    Great article! The butcher gift certificate is a great idea. I can think of a few on my list to gift that to.

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