The Indiana Insider Blog

Lots of opportunities to “give local” this season

I love the whole process of gift-giving.  Not the madness and the comparison shopping, but the creative energy that goes into selecting a gift that the receiver will enjoy.  The Indiana Artisans is a great place to start your holiday shopping.  But I have some other Indiana hometown favorites to recommend:

Leave your family a little calling card from Santa in the form of milk chocolate coins bearing the likeness of the jolly fellow himself.  Order yours from Fort Wayne’s DeBrand Fine Chocolates.

Don’t settle for ordinary, 99-cents for a box candy canes in the stockings this year.  Get hand-pulled, generously sized candy canes, available in peppermint and cinnamon, from the Martinsville Candy Kitchen.

Enjoy the fruits of holiday giving all year long when you put an Original Whirley Pop popcorn popper, made by Wabash Valley Farms in Monon, Indiana, under the tree.  When my husband bought one for us a few years ago, I rolled my eyes.  Now it’s my favorite gift to give other families. Popcorn from the Whirley Pop makes family movie night special — and delicious! Order yours from Wabash Valley Farms’ site,

If you’re looking for a small thank-you gift for your carpool buddy or the kids’ teachers, you can’t go wrong with the famous Old Fashioned Butter Caramels from Abbott’s Candy in Hagerstown, Indiana.

Not every locally made Hoosier gift is food-related.  Here are a few ideas that won’t add to your waistline:

Fort Wayne-based Vera Bradley Designs has beautiful gifts priced from $5 paper products to more pricey purses, laptop bags and luggage. Choose from the company’s signature quilted florals to the chic microfiber in neutral colors.

Toe-tapping fun is the specialty of For Bare Feet, the Nashville-based maker of every theme of sock imaginable. I think someone on my list is getting the “emoticon” socks, sold For Bare Feet’s online store Sox to Go. For an in-person experience, visit one of the company’s two shops in Nashville.

And if you have a REALLY big holiday budget, consider purchasing an Indiana-manufactured car. Choose from the Toyota Sienna (Princeton), Chevrolet Silverado (Fort Wayne), Honda Civic (Greensburg) and the Subaru Outback (Lafayette), to name just a few.

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Written by : Amy moved to Indiana for college in 1988 (Go Bulldogs!) and has never left. Married with three children, she's always on the lookout for fun and affordable things to do in Indiana. Elsewhere on the web, you can find Amy at The Fourth Frog Blog and All Things Aging. Amy receives compensation from the Indiana Office of Tourism Development for blogging. For more information, see our FTC Disclosure page.