The Non-Basic Holiday Gift Guide

There are some people in your life you can give a sweater to every year to their delight, but there are others that have us scratching our heads during gifting season, especially this year. This guide is for them (and let’s face it for you too). As we enter crunch time for getting in holiday gift orders, here are some special gifts on our radar from friends around the neighborhood. Shop small. Shop local.

The Reimagined Bag – Defy Bags

Pictured: Recon Horween Leather Messenger and Bucktown Backpack

Handcrafted in Chicago, Defy focuses on slow manufacturing – mindfully designing and crafting every last detail for a bag made to last. From dopp kits to weekend bags, Defy has the perfect gift for the socially conscious consumer in your life. Our creative director loves using their dopp kit to hold his sketching supplies.

Stand-out Spirits – Few Spirits

Not local? Have them shipped.

Virtual hosts still deserve a little something, give them a gift that stands out from the rest. FEW Spirits are crafted in Evanston, IL, truly hand-crafted and small-batched. For extra points, add in locally produced bitters or garnishes for a cocktail set.

Handcrafted Fashion – STATE Optical Co.

Pictured: Peterson and Wabansia

Even in winter, sunglasses make a chic and memorable gift. No tricky sizes to navigate and you can never have too many. Choose STATE Optical Co. sunglasses for a pair of shades that look great but also have a story to tell.

Memorable Flowers and Then Some – Asrai Garden

Pictured: Holiday Arrangement and Studio Herron Blanket

A shop that’s part florist, part apothecary, part magic, really. Elizabeth Cronin’s expertly curated stores offer impossibly cool gift ideas around every nook and cranny. And if you’re having trouble coming up with the perfect gift idea, try out their Virtual Personal Shopping.

Feel Good by Doing Good – Chicago Beyond

Not the old “Human Fund” trick, but for the person who has everything, why not find a compelling cause to support on their behalf. Visit Chicago Beyond to find local organizations truly making a difference in Chicago.