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.) 


Fawnly Prints

Marie from FawnlyPrints is the reason behind my current obsession with hand lettering and watercolor florals.  I first came across her and her store at the Ft. Wayne Farmer’s Market.  Leafing through her prints at the farmer’s market, I thought, “Wow–this woman GETS me!”  I wanted to buy everything she sold!  (However, the peso to dollar exchange rate held me back.)  

Every year, I come back for a bit more.  Every year, she branches out a bit, creating more beautiful prints for me to buy!  Seriously, check out her shop.  It’ wonderful.  

Simply Socks Yarn Co.

This one is for the knitter in your life.  (And if your knitter is like me, and has to supervise their virtual-learning students constantly, they may be knitting more than usual this winter.)  More yarn is never a bad idea.  Or gift cards.

Hopscotch House

OK, Hopscotch House isn’t open yet.  It will is a store for kids, full of toys.  Their instagram feed makes it look like it will be a wonderland!  So you won’t be shopping there this Christmas, but keep it in mind for birthdays!  (Or check out Fancy & Staple, their mothership.)  

Fancy & Staple

If you (or the person you’re gifting) is into quirky homegoods, Fancy & Staple is for you!  So, if I’m on your Christmas list and you’re stuck, there’s all kinds of fun things in here!  (Hint:  airplants and airplant hangers!)  They’re on a mission to stock their store with local, small, businesses.  That’s a mission I support! 

The Find

Located in downtown Ft. Wayne, The Find curates a collection of boutique women’s clothing, accessories, household goods, and some children’s items.  They lean toward cozy, clean, simple, and quality products.  The clothing prices may be expensive, but the brands they stock are made in the USA with quality materials.  Step away from fast fashion, and shop The Find instead!

Knitting Off Broadway

All things knitting!  They may not be open for in-person shopping, but you can make an appointment by emailing  Or, just order off their website!  

The Honey Plant

Plants make the best presents!  Even if you’ve got someone on your list who routinely kills plants, the Plant People at The Honey Plant can find one that even those people can’t kill.  And since we’re all spending more time at home this year, what cleans the air, makes home feel more homey, and adds some wonderful touches of hygge?  Plants, of course!  They are enforcing a maximum of people in their store these days, so order online (or wander the shelves at Hyde Brothers Books or the Indiana-Mexican Bakery if you have to wait).  

Lee Morgan Designs

If you’re looking to personalize something (ornaments, tumblers, mugs, makeup  bags, etc, Lee Morgan can do it!  All small businesses need you to plan ahead, and this is even more true for personalized items!  But personalization makes for a one-of-a-kind, memorable gift.


First & Wilkerson

First & Wilkerson designed fantastic Ft. Wayne/Indiana/Midwest-themed T-shirts, sweatshirts, and accessories.   They print, they embroider, and they are happy to design something specifically for your needs (if you have that need).  I’ve never been into Christmas-themes apparel, but their new Fort Wreath Raglan is awfully tempting!

Change Your Fate

CYF creates inspiring designs for T-shirts, sweatshirts, and hats.  They have one print, “No One Does It Alone In This World” that needs a place on my wall!  I LOVE their Tacos, Paz, y Libertad T-shirt collaboration with El Mercado.  If I need another sweatshirt, their Bee Original will be my next one!  (Sure wish it was a hoodie, though.) I love their work—it’s edgy and uplifting!

I’ll be checking in to see if they restock the “Dreams Aren’t Illegal” collection.  So beautiful, so true!


Let’s face it–we’ve all got too much stuff.  Sometimes what we really want more for Christmas are experiences, and gift cards are a great way to give family and friends those experiences.  Furthermore, given the way things are this year, giving a gift card to an orchestra concert or a theater production not only gives hope to the people who will be sitting in the seats, that we may be able to watch stage shows in 2021, but it also gives a much-needed shot in the arm to those organizations that produce shows, so they CAN make some memorable performances in 2021!  

Fort Wayne Philharmonic

Fort Wayne Civic Theater

Fort Wayne Ballet

First Presbyterian Theater

Science Central

Ft. Wayne Children’s Zoo

Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory


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Featured image and pinned image by Kari Shea on Unsplash.