The sense of gratitude, appreciation and wonder that make the holidays meaningful are expressed, in part, through the act of giving. The people who receive your gifts appreciate the thought and care you use to select them. That's where we come in, curating local and regional items and experiences that are sure to spark joy.
Gifts $25 and under
Sweet & savory scents
What do you get when a top-notch local baker and candlemaker (Honey & Rye and Jane Candle Co.) join forces? Scents so authentic you'd swear there were croissants or party scones baking nearby.
$25 each; honeyandrye.square.site.
Michelle Hamilton was a nurse for 21 years and has expanded her view of healing practices to include time outdoors. Her Dandelion Naturals soaps use ingredients from nature and will wow your senses.
$9 each; dandelionnaturals.com.
The dogs and the bees
Playful pups will love these toys, and you'll be happy knowing that part of the proceeds from sales go toward saving bees. Local entrepreneurs Jim Schifman and his wife Melissa Rappaport Schifman have made their business their cause.
$20 most items; projecthivepetcompany.com.
If you've spotted the I Like You booth at the Minnesota State Fair or shopped at the Minneapolis and St. Paul locations, you know this retailer is all about affordable, locally made products. We especially love these pint-size tees.
Say cheers to the wine lover in your life with Madison Marti Designs' hand-painted glass and silicone bottle stoppers that nod to Minnesota's natural icons: monarchs, agate gemstones, loons, Lady's Slipper flowers and walleye are all represented.
$6 each; themustachecat.com.
A Superior stone
Sourcing agates from Lake Superior in all of their red- and orange-hued glory, Minnestona rocks out an elegant line of jewelry.
Cute teethers and clip beads from MN Baby are BPA free and made with food-grade silicone in a variety of designs.
Vintage postcards are cleverly repurposed into notepads showcasing a range of Minnesota landmarks, from the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory to the Hastings High Bridge.
Edgy Minneapolis jewelry designer Larissa Loden goes all in on Minnesota with these gold-plated and brass earrings, a must-have for State Fair fans and butter lovers.
$36 each, larissaloden.com.
Beloved birch in a 3-D carving speaks to the collective Minnesota soul. Local makers at Knit and Nailed offer other equally "up north" designs in an array of sizes.
Amethyst dangling earrings with a unique edge may rock that special someone's world almost as hard as Prince could. Luxe but playful, they're sold at Rosedale's Six for Good, a woman-owned store that donates portions of proceeds to select nonprofits.
A sweet pinch pot planter by local ceramist Jennica Kruse adds cheer to any space that needs a boost.
Maker Meg Smith named her business after her grandma, Cosette, who used to let young Meg rifle through her jewelry box and admire the baubles. Her pieces capture a sense of midcentury glamour. Proceeds go to end domestic abuse.
Dog at daybreak
Wake up to a sweet hand-painted dog figure adorning your mug — a great way to paws and give thanks for the day.
Worker B sources honey and beeswax directly from beekeepers and continues to create a buzz. We especially heart the reliable — and often multipurpose — artisanal skin-care line. Shown: the traveler/sampler gift pack.
$30; Mall of America, local co-ops and worker-b.com.
Downed and up
Troy Sorensen of Soren Woods takes downed wood from his property in Faribault, Minn., and turns it into gorgeous bowls.
$15 small, $45 medium; minnesotamakers.net.
Join the Vikings
Kubb, pronounced "koob," is thought to have been played by Vikings when they wanted to show off their strategic skills. Now local company Yard Games has translated it for your backyard. Appropriate for all ages.
Art can live anywhere in your home, including on your tables. These hand-painted ceramic coasters feature original artwork by Gina Gaetz.
Set of four, $50; curiosityhomedecor.com.
Connecting the dots
Dominoes are even more fun when they come in several colors, including sparkly silver and gold sets, from Minneapolis-based NewStreetCo. Each tile is handmade and produced with renewable bio-based materials.
Resting and relaxing
Alma Apothecary, Margo Roberts' seasonal, small batch, handcrafted plant-based line, is always evolving. Mix and match to create your custom bath kit; items also sold separately.
$52 for the set; almaprovisions.com.
As evidenced by fashionistas wearing these pieces around town, the Victor cowl by 1004 Designs works over a shirt, sweater or jacket. These hand-crocheted beauties are versatile and great for layering.
St. Croix Valley area potter Alana Cuellar is changing the way we think about pottery one candle holder at a time. Her artful vessels are beautiful with or without a tea light.
$45 to $60; almaprovisions.com.
Gifts over $100
Made in Minnesota, Clay Coyote's game-changing handmade flameware can be used on gas, electric and glass stoves. When paired with a complementing stoneware tagine lid, it becomes a slow-cooking piece of art.
Nordic-inspired felted wool totes by Hejlöv come in a delightful range of colors and are built to last. Change them up with practical or decorative accessories, including sunglass cases or multicolored bobs.
Kimberly Jurek-Valanzasca co-owns The Fitting Room in Minneapolis, which spotlights local designers and the slow-fashion movement. She creates her own pieces, too; Jurek's distinct bohemian flair shows in these alpaca and sari silk handwoven scarves.
Ahead of the game
Protect the head and ears all in one stylish swoop. Strey Designs makes bomber/aviator hats out of its northeast Minneapolis studio. Available in a variety of fabrics, including corduroy.
Having your back
If you're looking for a backpack that's one-of-a-kind, durable and modern, Amber M. Jensen has your back. The textile artist's vibrant line of multi-textured hand-woven wool and waxed canvas bags are anything but boring.
Kramp your style
Kevin Kramp's wildly luxe knitwear using Italian yarns just got an upgrade. The Twin Cities designer is now sourcing production from a couture outfit in Italy, making complex designs more available while maintaining quality.
Hat $195, scarf $425; kevinkramp.com.