The Christmas shopping season is upon us!  

COVID-19 is upon us, too.  So instead of heading to the stores, my plan is to do my Christmas shopping 100% online this year.  However, I absolutely refuse to order anything from Amazon.  I’d also prefer to stay away from big stores.  I’d rather invest in businesses right here in Toledo, run by my neighbors.  This way their businesses can stay open into 2021, and I’ll find more memorable, unique gifts for the people on my list.  

It’s a win for everyone!  

(Trust me, the big stores don’t miss my business anyway.)  


Handmade Toledo

Handmade Toledo is an eclectic collection of all things that are made in Toledo!  I love wandering through here.  When I have hard-to-shop-for friends, I can usually find something for them here.  (It really helps to go into the store, vowing that I will not leave without a gift for that person . . . and then I’ll leave with a bit more than that!)

Given COVID’s realities, they have an online store, so take advantage and order away!  

Gathering Volumes

Is Gathering Volumes the Toledo area’s only independent bookstore?  (If there are others, let me know in the comments section!)  At any rate, I’d hate for our only source of books to come from Barnes & Noble or Amazon.  So support Gathering Volumes in Perrysburg!  It’s a charming store to visit.  If they don’t have what you’re looking for in stock, they’re happy to order it for you, and they deliver within the Toledo area!  (Not sure if they’ll still be able to deliver for the Christmas rush, but that was a marvelous bonus for us during the Spring quarantine.)  

Plus, end of a visit to Gathering Volumes with a stop at the Hershey Ice Cream shop next door!  

Rachel Royer Designs

I’m a sucker for hand-lettering and florals and Rachel Royer does these so well.  Not only that, but in the last year or two, she’s gotten really into painting on saws and records.  I never thought I’d have either hanging on my walls, but sooner or later I will! 

While she is located in Michigan, she is just over the border.  Given the awesomeness of her offerings, it’s very, very worth including her creations here!

If anyone doesn’t know what to get me for Christmas, ANYTHING from her store would be just fine with me.  🙂  


If you’re looking to score some Toledo or Ohio swag, look no further!  Jupmode has a dizzying amount of options.  Before I leave this city for good, I WILL get myself a “You Will Do Better in Toledo” pint glass . . . unless someone gets it for me for Christmas!   

Just Toledo

Admittedly, Just Toledo isn’t meant to be a “gift shop”.  It’s a better place to get necessities like soap, shampoo, dish soap, laundry detergent, etc.  However, they make and sell these household products with gentler chemicals than store brands AND they’re a zero-waste store, as they collect used bottles when they drop off new ones.  (Yes, “drop off”, as they only deliver.  There is no store to visit.)  

While I love their dish soap, deodorant, shampoo, and conditioner, those aren’t very great presents to give someone for Christmas.  However, they do make some lovely lotion and body butter.  They may be sold in small amounts, but they go a long way!  For all those who go to Bath & Body Works for those random Christmas lotions to gift people, try Just Toledo instead! 

This also keep your money here in Toledo AND you buying more ecologically-friendly lotions.  (And that’s better for both you and the planet!)  

Furthermore, all their products smell amazing, thanks to essential oils!

Humbly Bumbly Bee

Looking for some super cute, super soft stuffed animals for a small person in your life?  Some colorful prints to brighten up a baby’s bedroom?  The Humbly Bumbly Bee has the sweetest stuffed animals and colorful prints.  Even better, they’re made right here in NW Ohio–not halfway across the world!

Create Perrysburg

Do you have some artsy or crafty kids on your Christmas list?  Check out Create Perrysburg, and they sell curated art kids for all kinds of levels and interests!  Want an experience rather than just supplies?  They also offer classes and workshops throughout the year.  Sign your little artist up for a workshop, a class, or give them a gift certificate if you don’t know what exactly fits in their schedule.  

They also have classes and workshops for adults.  I can’t wait for virtual learning to be over so I can spend some time at Create Perrysburg!  

Personalize It! Toledo

If you need something personalized, Personalize It! is the place to go!  They personalize a variety of ornaments, and they’re licensed to make masks for many schools in the Toledo area.  Go get one for your students in the hope that they might be able to use them again–in school–in March or earlier!  But don’t wait, as small businesses to need to wrap up Christmas orders earlier than larger stores, and personalized items need even more time to get it done.  Still, it’s a present that is 100% meant for the receiver!

So don’t wait too long!



Let’s face it–we’ve all got too many things.  What a lot of us might appreciate more are experiences.  Get your loved ones gift cards or memberships to some of these places, and–God willing–we might be able to get out and do some of these things in 2021!  

Clara J’s Tearoom

Imagination Station

The Toledo Zoo

The Toledo Symphony

The Toledo Ballet

The Toledo Opera

The Toledo Repertoire Theater

The arts are hurting this year, and gift cards to future performances are a shot in the arm that many arts organizations desperately need.  Furthermore, the promise of a night at the theater is one that many of us are hanging on to, as well!  A gift card to an arts organization is like giving the gift of hope–the hope that sometime next year life might look a bit more normal!


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Featured image by Mel Poole on Unsplash.

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