By Amy Rea

Want to support the locally made market this holiday season? There are plenty of options.

Of course I have to mention my own book, Backroads & Byways of Minnesota, available at several local book shops. I know someone who gave a copy of one of my books to a family member paired with a gift certificate from the Minnesota Bed and Breakfast Association. There’s the perfect gift for the hard-to-buy-for person, especially if they deserve a getaway.

Books are always a great gift, and this year there’s been a bumper crop of excellent choices from local writers and publishers. For anyone who appreciates historic architecture of days gone by, check out the Minnesota Historical Society Press’s Once There Were Castles. The bird lovers in your life would appreciate receiving Birds in Our Backyard or Twelve Owls, published by the Minnesota Historical Society and University of Minnesota Presses respectively, both with lavish illustrations to entertain both the young and the more mature reader. Check out the state’s lunch offerings, particularly in the form of sandwiches (and really, you’d be surprised how diverse and comprehensive the selection can be around Minnesota) by reading through Minnesota Lunch by the Heavy Table’s James Norton.

Speaking of food, there are so many choices locally. You can’t go wrong with a gift of locally produced honey and organic maple syrup from Mora’s Sapsucker Farms. The filled bottles are a pretty gift all by themselves.

Or take a visit to Minneapolis’ Local D’Lish, home to locally grown produce, dairy and meat products, as well as sweets, breads, pastas, condiments and gifts. Across the river, The Golden Fig has a drool-worthy selection of foods and spices, with an especially strong sweets section.

How about some lovely Minnesota calendars, with various themes available like the North Shore, Minnesota Barns, and Minnesota recipes, available from Minnesota’s Own Calendars?

Is there a handbag-obsessed person on your gift list? Look no further than Post-, your source for locally designed and constructed handbags that are gorgeous.

Don’t forget about those well-loved pets. Keep dogs safe from winter’s chill with a gift from Duluth-based Dog Booties. If your pet of choice is feline, check out Purrrniture (note: purchases are “Catisfaction Guaranteed”).

What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Sunday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.

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