There are less than 20 days left until Christmas on the Gulf Coast! Although I recommend focusing the experiences and memories over holidays, there are a few people I cannot leave out on my Christmas gift list. I actually love finding the perfect gifts for my friends and loved ones. It is part of the reason I shop so early in order to get the best deals for the right gift.
I took some time over this weekend to enjoy Small Business Saturday and found some great products. There are so many creative and unique items along the Mississippi Gulf Coast! Here is my list of my favorites that you can use for anyone on your list.
Let us be real. Men are the hardest to shop for each year. Especially when you draw your brother-in-law for your family’s gift exchange. Here are some masculine and useful gifts.
Gnaughty Gnat at Marina Soap Cottage – I know Mississippi men like to hunt, fish, camp, and other myriads of outdoor activities. Some of us even enjoy joining them in these endeavors. Gnaughty Gnat is an all natural vanilla based insect repellent. It works pretty well, and does not smell like a chemical plant.
Biloxi Beard Oil is sold across the gulf coast. Check out their website to see all of the vendors around. If your man has a beard he can use beard oil to hydrate his skin and soften the hair of his beard. There is a range of scents and other beard care products to choose from.
Chandeleur Brewing Company Lure Key chain. I admit, this is a little kitschy. However, it is a useful and funky little key chain. It would make the perfect stocking stuffer or dangle on the bow of a wrapped gift. Why not buy a growler too while you are there?
Buying for my female friends and relatives is usually as easy making a trip to T.J. Maxx or Marshalls. However, even after three years of doing this, a lot of things are beginning to look repetitive. (I can only give so many funny mugs and face masks.)
Blackberry Sage candle at Ocean Springs Mercantile- I visited the mercantile on Government Street twice last week. Mostly because they have such cute stuff and the staff was incredibly friendly. I felt like I was being greeted by long lost friends! My by far favorite item was soy Blackberry Sage Candle. My second trip was actually to purchase it. It is sweet and spicy at the fantastic price tag of less than 15 dollars. I can see many of my friends loving the scent or the others available there.
Restrung Jewelry at Hillyer House or Etsy are so beautiful. They are made of guitar strings from an artist in New Orleans. She has a range of styles in rings, necklaces, and bracelets. The materials are sourced carefully or recycled.
Oyster Tote Bag from Coastal City Goods is a very good regional gift. Historically speaking, the City of Biloxi was built on the seafood industry. Oysters in particular were very popular. This tote bag has a pleasant color scheme and who doesn’t need another tote bag?
For the Kids
I usually stick with books for all my nieces and nephews. However, I think there are some other cute toys around. The crocheted dolls and stuffed animals on Etsy always tempt me to buy for presents. Here are a few options close by.
Handmade Fishing Pole at Everything Kayak and Bicycle have adorable wooden fishing poles. They are made local by veterans and are great little toys for the budding angler.
Mississippi Aquarium Tickets are a great experience to share. The new aquarium in Gulfport is set to open April 30th! Tickets and annual memberships are already on sale. The tickets can go along with some cute sea creature plushies!
An Alphabet by Walter Anderson is a coloring book of the alphabet created by the famous Ocean Springs artist. The letters have a unique Mississippi theme to them like ‘o for opossum’ and ‘p for persimmon.’
Here are my recommended gifts if you want a real crowd pleaser. My good friend Leah recommends to use local products to make custom gift boxes or baskets. Most of these vendors set up at local farmers markets and festivals. All of them have websites or Facebook pages for quick contact.
Coffee Butter by Cafe Rubia is a product I have not come across until I visited the Florence Gardens Farmer’s Market last Sunday. She has jars of coffee whipped into a butter. Anyone can add warm or cold milk to make delicious and creamy coffee flavored drinks. She told me it is from her Brazilian mother’s home recipe. I bought a jar right then and there!
Miss B. Whipped Honey is another Florence Gardens find. She has local honey in jars as well as her own whipped honey recipe. Whipped honey is a smooth consistency, and spreads perfectly on toast. She has plain, cinnamon, lemon, and a limited edition pumpkin spice flavor. Bonus: She is currently selling tea and mug gifts sets with her honey!
Beautiful Personalized Tumblers from Sweet Southern Craft. The owner has been a dear friend for a long time! (Seriously, back to our Girl Scout days.) She has been launching brands of personalized products such as shirts, cups, and ornaments. She has a variety of styles and colors so check out her page for further order details.
Scuba Steve Shirts has been a stable on the Gulf Coast since 2009. The newest designs are adorable! I love the long sleeve with the Christmas tree on top. You can easily purchase adult sizes directly off of the website. Contact the company to inquire about child sizes too!
Okay, so some of you may want to know that you can a variety of locally themed books at the Biloxi Visitors Center and Southern Bound Book Shop. Amazon also carries a selection as well available for Prime 2-day shipping. Here are some favorites I own or seen in my Local History Department.
The Button Jar by Grady H. Howell is not only a family friend, but an interesting historian. His memoir captures life growing upon the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It is about the size of a children’s book and full of local nostalgia.
Adriatic Allure by Jane Golden is a fiction novel set in Croatia written by an author from the coast. I have had the pleasure to meet Mrs. Golden personally and enjoyed talking to her about how her travels inspired her. Her novels are also available for download on many reading devices.
Gumbo Love by Lucy Buffett has released a recent cookbook and hospitality book. She comes from a notable family being our beloved Jimmy Buffet’s sister. Lucy owns a famous restaurant called Lulu’s in Destin and Gulf Shores. It has some great Gulf Coast food instructions like how to make a roux.
Mississippi Gulf Coast by Timothy Isbell is a beautiful coffee table book full of impressive local pictures.
Remember, it is alright to pick other ways to celebrate Christmas like experiences, stocking stuffers, and dirty Santa gift exchanges. It is about enjoying the holidays, and I hope this list can make things a little easier for your holiday to-do list.
What local gift do you hope Santa brings you this year?
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission is you click through and make a purchase.