What Gives? Tracy's Guide to Gift-Giving for the Simple Good and Tasty Shopper: Part Two

In the second installment of this gift guide – written while the beginnings of our first major snowfall are floating to the pavement – I thought it would be good to offer you some shopping alternatives that don’t necessarily separate you from your bunny slippers. Or your cup of hot Northwoods cocoa (see yesterday’s post).

I found some local Minnesota gifts that would be simple, good and tasty to give; they're all available online, and they all meet my shopping criteria, which I outlined in yesterday's post:

- Local, as much as possible.
- Handcrafted, also as much as possible.
- Beautiful and thoughtful. Naturally.
- Easy to buy. This is a big one because there are lots of great products out there but sometimes the process of buying them is frustrating. I recommend joyful and happy! I don’t recommend frustrating.
- Available. As in, now.

So with this list to guide me, here are the top 10 (+ 1) goodies that I found  – and not so secretly want for myself! Hint, hint. (Hey, apparently I’m not the only one. I recently read that as many as 82 percent of women buy something for themselves while gift-shopping.) It was tough to be decisive since there’s such a depth of goodness available.

1. A gift certificate for a Bright Green Clean service from Ecomama Clean. Great for the day after the party.

2. Trés touchable Plush Comice Pears from Whimsy Wire & Wool (photo, right). Made from recycled wool sweaters and cute as pie. Or maybe pear crisp.

3. Opal the Owl Woodland Coasters from Angel Ellie. An owl wearing a pink apron? Owl-dorable! (Warning: These seem to sell out quickly so if you don't snag one before they're all gone, either check around for other cute stuff on AngelEllie's shop or contact her about ordering.

4. Funky felt Eggflat Tabletop Display (photo, left) from Olive and Myrtle. I can see using this for all kinds of things: earring sorter, Easter egg holder, as well as the clever base for a natural tablescape.

5. Hand-screen-printed Red Coneflower Dish Towel from Sarah Kusa Design Goods. This lovely modern design is made with water-based inks and natural fibers. Plus, I love the idea that she’s got a “Slightly Imperfect” section in her Etsy store.

6. Revolution Organics Body Balm from Nature of Beauty. Fight dishpan hands and winter static-y hair all in one fell swoop.

7. Do It Green Magazine from Twin Cities Green. These are available all over town, but I loved the Green Gifts Online shop and the free shipping offer going on now.

8. The Simple Good and Tasty Local Food Lover card (photo, right). It’s undeniably local, easy to procure, and a joy to keep in your wallet. Plus, it’s a gift that gives a whole year long!

9. A CSA share.

10. A membership at your favorite co-op.

11. How about one of those nifty “IOU” gifts containing a trip to the Farmer’s Market, brunch made with your findings, and time spent enjoying fresh local food with someone you love? After all, isn’t that what the holidays are all about?

Tracy Morgan is a Twin Cities foodie and the owner of Segnavia Creative, a marketing services consulting company located in St. Paul, MN.