What does “going home” for the holidays mean to you? For some of us, this means visiting family, near or far. Some of us stay put in our own homes and host a big spread for family and friends; while some of us prefer a more low-key celebration of flannel pajamas, hot chocolate, and time to relax. As we settle into the most festive time of year — gifts, gatherings and going home will be in the plans for many people. Whether you’re actually “going home” or not, one way to strengthen our home community and incorporate a piece of home to our loved ones is to shop local. This is a great way to find unique offerings as gifts, make an impression at the dining table with ingredients sourced from local farms, and you can do this while supporting a local entrepreneur’s family and dream as well.
Part of the beauty of shopping local for gifts is the unique items you will come across that make such thoughtful and personal gifts. It’s hard to find something “perfectly suited” for someone dear to us in a mainstream department store when it’s a dime-a-dozen type of find. Local boutiques, for example, typically carry items you won’t find elsewhere so easily and often offer one-of-a-kind and custom made items. The joy of gift giving can be even more joyful when the recipient knows you were truly thinking of them — their personality and personal taste, when you selected their gift.
Local farms and farmer’s markets are always a great way to bring a little down-home flavor to your table for the holidays, and you can often find great gift items as well. From highly nutritious and delicious meats, eggs, fruits, veggies, and herbs from your farming neighbors to homemade jams, salsas, baked goods, and wines from vendors at your local farmer’s market — you really can’t go wrong with a variety of fresh choices to please the palate.
Here’s a few gift suggestions if you’re local to Hardin County and the surrounding area:
● A pack of Brisket Burgers from Living Water Ranch for the grilling enthusiast
● Jalapeno Syrup from Goodin’s Garden for those who love a little spice in their life
● Bourbon Balls from Jams by Beej for those who prefer their desserts a little boozy (and yes, you do get bonus points for the bourbon!)
There are so many lovely ways to incorporate hometown offerings into your holidays, whether you are at home, close to home, or far away. You may choose to bring a dish to your potluck dinner with local ingredients or gift a small handmade ornament or gift card to your favorite local store as a stocking stuffer. It’s about the subtle nuances that trigger warm feelings of familiarity and comfort. Why not share the things you love the most with the people you love the most?
If you’re still scratching your chin, we’d like to just insert a little reminder that our store Raja Goods located at Magnolia Mall is officially open! We offer a lovely assortment of items that will make great gifts.
We have items for foodies such as stain resistant aprons, local honey, artisanal salts and sugars, and even bbq sauce! The wellness enthusiasts in your life would love our aromatherapy options and herbal teas. For the more eclectic gift recipients, we have unique items such as hand blown glass centerpieces, suncatchers, local art, and a lovely assortment of crystals.
This year, come “Home for the Holidays” and find great options available near you for your gifting and holiday foods. Both you and your guests will be absolutely delighted at what you find and it could be the beginning of a new holiday tradition!