Christmas Shopping…I’m here to help(nervous laughter)

3 12 2010

Merry Christmas to all and to all…good shopping.

In an attempt to spread good will towards all men(and women) I wanted to offer some shopping help for the Christmas season, I know what your thinking…what the heck does he know about shopping…actually nothing but it doesn’t really matter here.  We all get caught up in the buzz of finding the perfect gift for our loved ones.  Society has ground into our brains that we should start power shopping the day after we have consumed way too much turkey to get the best bargains.  That is where I come, you’re welcome.

Why bust your tail and fight the crowds?  Ok so you wanted that 60″ plasma TV for $100, I bet is was gone by the time you got there.  My thoughts this Christmas have turned to home.  Lets give from our home, no I am not giving our TV or coffee table to my mother or anything like that, but why not give gifts made at home, either literally or figureatively…Michigan made products or locally owned stores?  Why not?  Lets do it.  Here are a few of my favorites that I would like to share with you all.

Nothing says “I love you” like a hand crafted cutting board (yup shameless plug, but hey, they really are nice, I made the boards I could never find and found others like them too).  Made in Michigan by Scars & Scrapes Custom Woodworking from the finest Michigan hardwoods like hard maple, cherry and walnut.  These boards and not only beautiful but also durable, easily passing down for generations(ok I made that part up but not sure how you would destroy one of these except by fire and really, who burns in the kitchen?).  These beauties can be found at and come in 3 sizes.  For custom sizes or other requests the contact is

You know how mom’s, wives and daughters love their  handbags right?  How about a custom made purse for Christmas?  These beauties from Darlings Designs (Jenny’s Mom) are all handmade in beautiful Oscoda while overlooking VanEttan Lake, this may be where some of the inspiration comes from.  They are offered in a variety of styles and I am sure there is a fabric design for what ever style  you are looking for.  Also, don’t forget Fido(cat or dog) for Christmas, what furry critter doesn’t want a new pet mat?  Our big sweeties have 4 of them spread around our bed (in a feeble attempt to keep them off our bed).  The come in a variety of sizes and colors made of the finest fleece and cushioned for comfort.  You can find all this and more a

Sailors in the family?  How about outfitting them with a new Dieball Sailing belt?  These stylish webbed belts are constructed of the sturdy webbing with a stylish Dieball Sailing logo adorning it with pizzaz.  You will look dapper in your sailing shorts or sitting in church in your favorite Kahki’s, a true fashion statement.

Still more sailors?  How about outfitting them with Atlantis Weather Gear?  Our local distributor is sailor owned Award & Sports ( right here in Mid Michigan.  Many styles, sizes and colors, when only the best will do think Atlantis Weather Gear and Award and Sports.  Here Chris will not only mesmerize you with heroic stories of sailing adventures but also offers a great discount to the local sportsman.  Along with the gear Award & Sports also offers a full array of custom gifts that SCREAM  I LOVE YOU and guaranteed to not find anywhere else.  Bring in cherished photo and walk out with a memory that will live on forever.  Tiles, puzzles, cutting boards, shirts, coasters and more…whatever your heart desires.

How about a book for the up and coming world conqueror in your family?  Locally born and raised author Curt Harding ( has published a great children’s book.  It is a complete read about settling difference, friendship and God.  If you act quickly you may be able to secure a signed copy for Christmas.  If you missed the review of this book, page down on this blog and see for yourself, Sydney’s review, it is quite impressive.

Food and wine make great gifts too.  Yummy for the tummy and many local icon’s and vineyards abound in Michigan.  Some of my favorites?  Ok if you want to know.  I love great brats and found them in Alpena at Nowicki’s Sausage Shoppe ( they are incredible and a variety of flavors, my favorite is the reuben brat, seriously.  Need some bread with that?  How about Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor (  When I am not making my own bread this place rocks!  This place is the inspiration behind my own baking of bread and the awesome reuben I know make, try me sometime, I should cater, any takers?  With the bread and the brat we must wash it down with some wine, right?  You can find many Michigan wines right here,  locally owned and operated Princing’s Pharmacy, 333 S. Michigan Ave. Saginaw, MI.  Delicious reds and whites are great as well as full service liquor and beer for the Christmas celebration.  Princing’s also offers a full gift shop within, tell them Leroy sent you…ok maybe not a good idea.  If you want to go worldly at least keep it locally owned with a great booze emporium, Cork and Ale (  Jeff has been serving up the finest for decades(I don’t really know how long but I was a young man when he opened).  His staff know libations and is always willing to suggest the right bottle.  Jenny’s favorite is the blue bottle, ask for it.

Photos and art make nice choices.  Especially quality with a personal touch.  That is why we choose to use Maggie at Cavalier Studios ( in Oscoda.  She is a master with the camera and the critters.  Ask for the pirate hat and dred locks for Skippy when you have a portrait done, priceless.

As you can see, Michigan abounds with personal high quality gifts.  This wasn’t even scratching the surface just a few of my favorites.  as Paula says “from my home to yers” think twangy southern full of butter accent when you read that part, she talks funny.

I hope this helps you enjoy the Christmas season.  Remember to buy locally, buy often, buy Michigan.  And for the sake off all creation remember what the real reason for the season is and lets put Christ back in Christmas!




One response

3 12 2010

I have the prototype of the cutting board and it really is very nice and has lasted for a number of years, although hasn’t been generations yet. He can also make different shapes as I also have a apple shaped cutting board that is too pretty to use and decorates the kitchen.

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