Hi, friends! I am so excited to finally share my holiday gift guide! Gift giving is my love language, and I kid you not when I say I have been working on this holiday gift guide since last year. When I launched my website at the end of 2019, I knew I wanted to write a gift guide featuring small/local businesses, and I have been adding and updating the list throughout 2020.
In this gift guide, I curated specific products that are already put together as a gift set or would make great stocking stuffers. I have gifted or purchased some of these items for myself previously, and I truly believe any of these would make your gift recipient very happy. While some of these products are holiday specials, many are available year round or return every year. I hope this post gives you some ideas and inspires you to shop local this holiday season!
If you have a beer lover in your life, the Beer Advent Calendar from The Glass Jug is a no-brainer! This is technically an advent calendar, but you can purchase a Christmas beer on top of it to count it as a Christmas gift if you would like. I gifted this to Alex last year and am doing so again this year because he loved it (enough to get it for himself if I were not getting it for him haha). When you pre-order, you enter the gift recipient’s email address, and they receive daily emails about the beer of the day–how fun?! This set is currently sold out (it sells out every year!), but you can purchase a custom box from The Glass Jug (through 11/30) and build your own. Alternatively, you can create your own or gift your favorite local beers.
My introduction to Big Spoon Roasters was at Durham Farmer’s Market, but you would be happy to know that they ship throughout the country! They offer variety packs of their nut butters as well as several gift sets that include products from other small businesses like Girl Meets Dirt, Escazu, Videri, Big Picture Farm, and Bright Black candles. Y’all, they even have peanut butter for your doggies. Here are some of the gift sets: Chocolate + PB Dipping Kit Gift Box l Mini PB&J Sampler Gift Box l I Love Durham Gift Box l Chai Lovers Gift Bundle l Wag Butter Best Friends 2-Pack.
You know by now that Boxcarr is one of my favorite North Carolina creameries. Pictured above is last year’s Holiday Cheese Box. This year, they are offering two different options–Truffle Holiday Collection and Awesome Holiday Collection. They will both have ~5 lbs of cheese of different variety. I may or may not be getting one for myself?! Boxcarr always has some cheese sampler sets too, which would make great holiday gifts as well. Don’t forget Boxcarr ships so you can gift their cheeses (including the holiday cheese box) to your friends and family outside of the Triangle area!
I am including this in my gift guide because I want it! As a cheese and charcuterie lover, I know this will be such a welcomed gift for anyone who enjoys or wants to try making a cheese board! It contains everything you would need really from the salami to cheese to accoutrements to an actual board and a knife! I love that the gift recipient will be able to keep the board and the knife for a long time and think of you every time they use them. They also have a salami sampler, which would yield quite a few charcuterie boards. If you are looking for smaller items, Old North Meats inside Durham Food Hall carries a couple of varieties of San Giuseppe Salami. If you’re in GSO area, they have a Deli/Market, which has been on my list ever since I found out about them last year.
I don’t know about you but I am stocking up on candles to prepare for the cold winter ahead and spending lots of days inside with not a lot of daylight! Burning a candle, while I am either working at my desk or reading in the living room, brings me so much joy. I encourage you to purchase from many of the small, local candlemakers instead of Bath & Body Works. Pictured above is a candle from Hummingbird Candle Company, which has locations in Fayetteville and Asheville. They also offer candle making experiences, which I am hoping to do in the near future! I have enjoyed burning my Maha’s Candle (you can purchase from Jeddha’s; I got mine in the Durham Box). Bright Black Candles has a Discovery Set of mini candles, so your gift recipient can choose their favorite!
COFFEE BEANS (+ SUBSCRIPTIONS!)
As a daily coffee drinker, I would welcome all coffee gifts, but especially coffee beans since we’re always in need of more! (I guess that’s what happens when you keep making and drinking coffee haha.) If you are looking to gift bags of coffee beans, I have ordered from and loved Caballo Rojo, Counter Culture, Joe Van Gogh, and Little Waves. On my list to try are Black & White Roasters and Bean Traders coffee beans. Almost all of them offer coffee bean subscriptions, and isn’t that genius?! Pictured above is the Black & White Roasters which offer a few different subscription plans (one or two bags; you can choose 2 week or 4 week delivery frequency).
COOKBOOKS BY NC CHEFS
Y’all know I love supporting local restaurants by eating! In 2021, I want to cook more and so I can learn to enjoy the process of cooking. With that said, many local restauranteurs in our state have written cookbooks which you can purchase, which I think will be equally enjoyed by novice cooks like myself as well as more experience and adventurous ones! I listed below a few cookbooks written by NC locals. I’ve eaten from all of these places and loved them, so I have no doubt their cookbooks will be phenomenal.
Authentic Homemade Pasta by Carmella Alvaro from Melina’s Pasta (I have this cookbook and I can’t wait to try making gnocchi) l Saltbox Seafood Joint Cookbook (simply the best seafood restaurant; his cookbook has the recipe for the Hush Honeys, y’all!!!) l Biscuit Head Cookbook ( a must stop for me every time I am in Asheville). l Sweet Potatoes, one of my favorites in Winston-Salem, has published a couple of different cookbooks.
FUN CHOCOLATE BARS
I had been eyeing Elevated Chocolates‘ chocolate bars forever, and I finally got my hands on a few recently. Pictured here are Unicorn KushyWushy (isn’t that straight up unicorn energy?!) and Berry Necessities (because it was necessary). I also got Orange You Glad, which is not pictured here since I had already gifted it! You can order their chocolate bars online for local pickup, and they are currently working on shipping logistics. You can find their chocolate bars at pop-up markets and Medicine Mama’s Farmacy. Currently closed and scheduled to reopen December 1st, Black Mountain Chocolate is another NC chocolate I love. My favorite of theirs is the Crystallized Ginger one. These chocolate bars are so fun and would make a great stocking stuffer or small gifts for coworkers or little kiddos.
HILARIOUS (AND CUTE!) HOLIDAY CARDS
If you are looking for the cutest, locally made Holiday Cards to accompany these local gifts, may I suggest these from Lindsay’s Paperworks? You bet I ordered these as soon as I saw them on her Instagram. She also added cute and quirky holiday gift tags! I had ordered the most appropriate quarantine postcards from her earlier this year, and I have enjoyed seeing her creative artwork. She also does custom designs. You can order her creations on her Etsy shop or via Instagram DM.
That’s it, folks! Happy Holidays and Happy Gift Giving!