MICHIGAN—Finding the perfect gift to stick under the Christmas tree can be a challenge.
We get it.
That’s why we’re kicking off the holiday season with a series of gift guides designed to spark inspiration and delight in just about every Michigander on your shopping list. These aren’t just any big box store suggestions. They’re all unique products made right here in the Mitten. And by supporting the locally owned businesses that sell them, they’re all gifts that’ll keep on giving.
This is the first in a series of holiday shopping guides from The ‘Gander. Click here to find the others as they become available—including six whole guides dedicated entirely to products made in some of our favorite Michigan cities, like Traverse City, Muskegon, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Flint, Saginaw, Lansing and Detroit.
‘Taste of Michigan’ Candles (by True North Candle Co.)
Every candle at this West Michigan candle company is hand poured and contains only three main ingredients: Soy wax, cotton braids and premium essential oils. That means they burn clean, and they’re eco-friendly, too. The “Taste of Michigan” collection features some of the most iconic scents in the Mitten—like Tulip Time, Traverse City Cherry and Michigan Apple Orchard.
Prices vary. Find a list of retailers here.
Michigan Earrings ($23 from 321SimpleCreations on Etsy)
These adorable, handmade, sterling silver earrings are great for anyone who wants a little something special to remember the Mitten. And of course, they’re made right here in Michigan.
Cherry Wood Serving Bowl ($82.50 from Holland Bowl Mill)
This cherry wood serving bowl was featured in the 2013 New York Times Holiday Gift Guide, and nearly a decade later, it’s still a wonderful gift for those who like to host. The best part: It was made and stained by hand at one of the last commercial wooden bowl mills in the country.
Mackinac Island Fudge ($29.95 from Ryba’s Fudge Shops)
It’s not so easy to get over to Mackinac Island during the winter months, but you can always bring the fudge to you with an order from one of the oldest fudge shops on the island. Ryba’s has been perfecting its fudge-making craft for four generations, and the result is a deliciously creamy and luscious fudge that any family—Michigander or not—will be sure to enjoy.
Ceramic Growler ($85 from Grayling Ceramics)
It’s no secret: Michiganders love their craft beer. And with so many breweries offering steep discounts on to-go drinks in refillable growlers, this is certainly a gift that’ll keep on giving. Ditch the boring, glass jug and pick up something with style—and keep your frosty brew ice cold, too.
Classic ABC Blocks ($42 from Uncle Goose)
Give your kid a break from the iPad, and hook them up with a classic toy from your childhood. These iconic ABC blocks from Uncle Goose are hand-manufactured in Grand Rapids—and believe it or not, they’re the only company in the country that still makes them all by hand.
Waxed Canvas Shop Apron ($130 from Tenden)
This study, canvas apron—complete with a leather neck, cotton webbing ties and two pockets—is handmade in Michigan, and it’s reportedly a bestseller among those who like to work with their hands. Pick one up for the chef in the family, and grab another for your next woodworking project. It’s available in four colors: charcoal, rust, olive and a festive, holiday red.
Revel Slippers ($80 from Chaco)
Chaco is a pretty big brand—but it’s based right here in Michigan, and it just happens to make some of the coziest slippers and house shoes on the market. You may never wear shoes again.
Waxed Cotton Cap ($47.99 from Stormy Kromer)
This Upper Peninsula brand has a bounty of handmade hats—some functional, others designed more just to keep cozy in the winter. This particular hat is a bit of both. When the chilly morning gives way to a sunny afternoon, simply pull up the ear band and you’ll stay comfortable all day long.
Editor’s Note: The prices for each item featured in this guide were checked for accuracy on Nov. 29. With constantly rotating sales, they’re always subject to change.