Midwest Living Holiday Gift Guide 2022

Midwest Living 2022 Midwest-Made Holiday Gift Guide

What can we say? Our Midwest Living gift guide ticks all the beautifully wrapped boxes: Small businesses. One-of-a-kind goods. Hand-picked by real people. Loved by you and yours.

'Tis a Gift to Be Local

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  • Fort Wayne, Indiana
    Hedgehog Gear

    I would happily take anything in Vera Bradley's new Hedgehog Wild collection. It's so cute! Roly-poly hedgehogs and pretty flowers adorn more than 25 products, like quilted bags and pouches, an umbrella, slippers, and these 100 percent cotton poplin pajamas. I'm assured they're prickle-free. - Amy Lynch, MWL Writer

  • Fargo, North Dakota
    Pecan Sticky Rolls

    Give someone the gift of not baking on Christmas morning. I'm a sucker for pecan rolls, and these, from Nichole's Fine Pastry, are a steal for the quality—laced with spices, pebbled with nuts and shipped fresh to warm in the oven. - Allison Vancura, Digital Editor

  • St. Paul
    Clay Earrings

    Superlight polymer clay earrings are everywhere now, but the ones from designer Bao Yang stand out. Her work is intricate and eclectic, and the selection changes often. - Stacy Brooks, MWL Writer

  • Union, Missouri

    Rhum is French for rum, and Nobletons Distillery crafts several. My vote goes to Duckett Rhum 103. With notes of smoke and cherry, it's rum through-and-through but drinks like a bourbon, ideal for a Christmas sipper or in an Old-Fashioned. Almost all rum is made with molasses, but Nobletons uses fresh-pressed sugarcane juice, in the old French agricole style—hence the name. - T.J. Olwig, MWL Writer

  • Sioux Falls, South Dakota
    Vinyl Bird Stickers

    Kiley Busko's watercolor birds are so vivid and evocative, they practically lift off the page—or the water bottle or laptop. (Not into stickers? She sells lovely postcards too.) - Alicia Underlee Nelson, MWL Writer

  • Milwaukee
    Vintage Cameras

    Cool people doing cool things: Kori and Adam Fuerst became known in the photo world for refurbishing vintage cameras—mostly Polaroids. Their team of young techs and artists fixes the guts to guarantee functionality and applies throwback designs, like this Polaroid 600 Malibu Barbie model. The packaging is top-notch too. - Kevin J. Miyazaki, MWL Photographer

  • Detroit
    Fanny Packs

    My friend Prasana, who is Indian American, tipped me off to Diop, a company that makes trendy apparel and accessories with Ankara textiles from West Africa. Cofounder Mapate Diop's mom is from Nigeria, and he says the brand reflects the unique identities of second-generation Americans—born in one country, forever influenced by another. - Erin Keefer, Assistant Art Director

  • Amana, Iowa
    Throw Blankets

    Amana Woolen Mill has been around since 1857, and though it has wool in its name, the all-season cotton blankets win my vote. They're soft, hold up to washing beautifully, and come in an array of bright or muted patterns. - Diane Penningroth, Copy Editor

  • Duluth, Minnesota
    Wood Mosaics

    I'm obsessed with Anna and Nathanael Bailey's modern wall hangings. Their graphic large-scale pieces top my personal wish list, but the Heritage Round monogram is ideal for gifting. Available in three colors, measuring 6, 15 or 23 inches. - Julia Sayers Gokhale, Travel Editor

  • Chicago
    Midwest Gift Boxes

    Each year, thousands of food brands launch, but only a handful survive. Here Here Market aims to change that by showcasing Midwest makers in gift boxes and subscriptions. Their roster includes tiny start-ups, established labels and celeb chefs like Stephanie Izard. The company is BIPOC- and LGBTQ-owned, and I love their commitment to featuring diverse entrepreneurs and international flavors. - Hannah Agran, Executive Editor

  • Marion, Iowa
    Wooden Boards and Spoons

    Kory Helgens started Spring Run Design after a huge storm knocked down 63 trees on his family farm. His gorgeous boards are satin-smooth, and the spoons are lighter than air. - Joanna Linberg, Contributing Home Editor

Midwest Proud

Do we wear our heart(land) on our sleeves? You betcha.

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Editor's Picks

Kylee Krizmanic, Editor in Chief, shares what's on her nice list.

Western Hats


My daughter swiped one of my favorite hats for our family photo this year—maybe I'll let her keep it and treat myself to a new one from Hatman Jack's. This Kansas biz has been around for four decades. (And in fact, a hatmaker occupied the same storefront in the 1920s.) Owner Jack Kellogg is an amazing craftsman, but I appreciate that the store sells more affordable ready-made brands too (like the Sadie, pictured, for $89).

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Western Hats, Hatman Jacks
Odds Trays


I love the name and mod simplicity of these nesting bentwood trays from Blu Dot. I keep a set on my nightstand for all those odds (and the ends, too).

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Odds Trays on Nightstand, Blu Dot
Cribbage Board


My daughter's track coach introduced the girls to cribbage this year. Now we're hooked, so I'm asking for this board, paired with arty playing cards, from Sanborn Canoe Company.

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Cribbage Board, Sanborn Canoe Company
Base Vase


What a clever idea— this slim tube is sized to slip into any taper candlestick to create a custom bud vase.

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Base Vase
Canvas Bag


Both my husband and I wear clothing from The Normal Brand, a great source for quality basics, designed and made in the Midwest. Now I have my eye on this sturdy, classic, waxed canvas backpack.

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Canvas Bag, The Normal Brand

Experience Gifts

Stumped for ideas? Consider a gift card or IOU for one of these cool experiences.

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  • Minneapolis and St. Paul
    Cocktail Classes

    My fiancé and I plan to toast each other with a behind-the-bar tutorial from the expert mixologists at Parlour. (They make the best Old-Fashioneds.) - Jess Hoffert, Projects Editor

  • Green Bay, Wisconsin
    Stadium Tours

    My son and I went to a Packers game this fall. I would love to go back and visit the Hall of Fame, do a stadium tour, or dine at 1919 Kitchen and Tap inside Lambeau Field—gift cards are available! - Gary Thompson, Senior Staff Writer

  • Columbus, Ohio, and Indianapolis
    Candle Workshops

    My girlfriends and I loved Penn and Beech Candle Company. My custom English Ivy, Elderflower and Olive Blossom blend smells like a spring arboretum. And they served drinks! - Ruby Pierce, Senior Graphic Designer

  • St. Louis
    Canoe Trips

    I want to go on a Big Muddy Adventures trip so badly—especially a Full Moon Float or the Rivertime Supper Club. See the Mississippi from a Voyageur-style canoe and eat a chef-prepped dinner on an island? What's not to love? - Amanda Doyle, MWL Writer

  • Three Oaks, Michigan
    Dinner Reservations

    I'm all about cool pop-up dinners. One on my bucket list: chef Abra Berens' popular veggie-forward feasts at Granor Farm. - Joie Probst, Assistant Digital Editor

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