The Top 10 Gifts Your Friends Actually Want.


If gift-giving brings you joy, but you don’t want to clutter your loved ones’ homes with unnecessary objects, check out this guide for our favorite -- useful, but still fun to give -- gift ideas.

In general, sticking to locally-made, sustainable products is a good rule of thumb for ethical shopping. Buying from thrift stores, vintage shops, and directly from local makers and artists is also a great way to support your community and the planet!

Not sure where to find local makers & artists? Check out your Facebook events page or community calendars for local makers markets and pop-ups near you, then keep your eye out for these 10 practical and earth-friendly items!

christmas market.jpeg

1. Coffee.

 Share your favorite coffee beans with your friends and family. Stop by your favorite local coffee roasters and buy a couple bags of beans for your favorite people! Make it extra-special with a vintage or handmade mug. 


2. Tea.

 Buy a nice smelling tea in bulk from the co-op and put it in pretty vintage tins that you can find in any antique store. If you’re local, check out our favorite spots: Selby & Fairview in St. Paul or the Minnehaha Mile in South Minneapolis!

Christmas tea - sustainable gift ideas

3. Cloth napkins (or Towels!)

 Elevate your loved one’s dinner table and help them save the planet with a set of beautiful cloth napkins, tied with a bow. If you’ve got a sewing machine, pick up some pretty vintage fabric at a thrift store and DIY! If you’re more hands off, here are a few of our favorites. 

cloth napkins.jpeg

4. Dry goods.

 Artisan pantry goods are always a good idea: olive oils, vinegars, mustards, honey, even pretty dried pastas! They’ll get used up, enjoyed with some good conversation, and bottles can be reused or recycled afterwards – checking off all of our boxes for more moments, fewer mementos!

dry goods - Christmas ideas

5. Soaps.

You can find beautiful, naturally-derived bars of soap at pretty much any craft or farmer’s market. With no packaging necessary, it’s also an earth-friendly option. If your friend is a traveler, keep your eye out for shampoo bars too – these are life-changing for us carry-on types!

homemade soap - Christmas gift ideas

6. Spices.

 Wisconsin-based Penzey’s does beautiful gift boxes for the holidays, or choose your favorite spice and pair it with a handwritten recipe card – like Smoked Paprika + your grandmother’s chicken paprikash recipe!

christmas gift ideas - spices

7. Beauty products.

 Keep it minimal – one nice lipstick or perfume will make a statement and not clutter your bestie’s purse or bathroom cabinet, but will let them know that you’re thinking of them! We love Elixery, a Minneapolis-based vegan cosmetic house, for their glamorous gold lipstick tubes that will look oh-so-pretty peeking out of a stocking. 

Elixery Christmas Gift ideas - Beauty Products

8. Candles.

Maybe a day will come when one has too many candles, but not today. Pair a pretty candle in a reusable container (like these Ranger Station ones that turn into beautiful cocktail glasses afterwards) with a vintage match box for three gifts in one!  

Christmas Gift Ideas

9. Libations.

Wrap a bottle of wine or bourbon in our reusable tanuki wraps for a quick and easy hostess gift. Or go the extra mile and give someone all the ingredients for their favorite drink: a couple limes, a bottle of locally-made organic gin, and some pretty glass bottles of ginger beer will be the perfect addition to their bar cart.

Tattersall Cabin Cocktails - Christmas Gifts 2017

10. Plants.

Useful Gift Ideas 2017

Give your friends the gift of better air quality and a happier home! More plants in our home can lower stress level, increase productivity and improve our overall well-being, so what could be a better way to show someone you care? Lots of local artisans are into plants right now too, so look for pretty ceramic pots and hanging planters that you can add some green to. 


Written By Natasha Brownlee.