Street Smart Chicago

Give It Good: Twelve Ways to Shop Local (For the Twelve Days of Christmas)

Holidays Add comments

By Alexandra Delaney

Sugar plum fairies aren’t the only things that will be dancing in your head this holiday season. Whether your preference is sweet, sour, gummy or chocolate, this retro-inspired candy store has something that will make your taste buds dance with delight. Choose from twenty-one colors of M&Ms or pick chewy candy from Chicago’s first licorice bar. For holiday hostess gifts, pick up a tray of gourmet truffles and fudge. Add a twist to your favorite Bears fan’s stocking with blue-and-orange Bear Down Gummi Bears or surprise a friend with giant pecan turtles. 520 North Michigan, (312)527-1010; 3425 North Southport, (773)472-7800; 835 North Michigan, (312)867-5500.

BeMo Hats
Handmade hats are a personalized way to fight off the winter chill this season. The hand-crafted hats can be customized; adding a favorite animal, color or flower to the hat is a fun gift idea. Materials span from recycled leather to feathers and vintage pins to bows and felt flowers. The hats are sold at various Chicago locations and can be customized (and shipped in time for the holiday season) online.

Frankie’s on the Park
Stumped on what to get your girls and teenagers? Frankie’s is the one-stop-shop for everything a young fashionista wants. The collections offer plaid button-down shirts, varsity sweaters and vegan leather jackets that are sure to please the hard-to-shop-for teen. Stylish, sparkly and classic, this store has everything from basic and bejeweled tank tops to fur vests and chiffon cardigans.  Also check out the totes, gloves and fun holiday gift sets—the hot cocoa packet and chocolate dipping station look delectable! 2322 North Clark, (773)248-0400.

Goose Island Christmas Ale
The seasonal brown ale is back, as usual with a slightly different recipe for a special taste this year. It’s the perfect gift idea to warm up the holidays and making “spirits” bright. Though the local brand is now part of the international AB InBev corporation, last year sales of the Christmas ale benefited the Greater Chicago Food Depository, which provides the less fortunate with food and a hot Christmas meal.

Green Goddess Boutique 
Delicate dresses, soft sparkles and a cozy atmosphere are what make this store a holiday haven. The selection includes accessories, beauty products, clothing, furniture and decorative pieces for the home. Not to mention jewelry and shoes. The colors are warm and inviting, and the textures of the clothing are a pretty sight to take in. Sheer blouses, silky tops and decorative dresses are in-store and in season. 1009 West Armitage, (773)281-5600.

For unique gifts, this store is a great find. Stationary, greeting cards, books and holiday cards are staples in the shop. It also sells flowers in its floral shop, ornate and delicate jewelry as well as scarves and pretty dresses that are simple yet elegant for the holidays. 1902 West Montrose. (773)769-2227.

Le Dress
Created by two sisters-in-law, the boutique is the dress store to find a perfect dress for every occasion. Whether you’re looking for a classic dress appropriate for having Christmas dinner with your boyfriend’s family or a party dress that celebrates the new year in style, this store has the right dress—and accessories to match. 1741 West Division, (773)697-9899.

Material Possessions
As a luxury home store, Material Possessions has great holiday gifts waiting to be wrapped and delivered to the ones you love. Crocodile-textured glassware, glass candleholders and pewter picture frames are just a few of the fun home gifts the store sells. Candles, throws and accent pillows are great gifts to help you stay warm in the winter. 704 North Wabash, (312)280-4885.

Skinnie Piggy Sweet Boutique
Your sweet tooth will thank you for stopping at this unique bakery. With more than fifteen cupcakes on the cupcake menu, Skinnie Piggy has a hog-sized selection of treats. Other items on the menu include cheesecakes, pies, brownies and Rice Krispies treats in addition to a candy section with gummies, chocolates, and chocolate-covered delights. 1214 West Taylor, (312)496-3366; 940 West Madison, (312)221-9138.

Spark Living 
Experience haute holidays with stylish serving utensils, adorable aprons and pretty placemats. With clever host gifts like bark cheese knives and eco-friendly birch blankets, you are sure to make the guest list next year too. Spark Living offers a collection of ornaments and silver servers—like salad servers, a fruit bowl and wishbone ice tongs—that make for perfect party gear. Sparrow salt-and-pepper shakers and golden berry glasses are cute touches to add to the table.  (773)687-9658.

The local artisan studio specializes in handcrafting candles with each fragrance hand-blended for a unique, artistic experience. The Seasons of Enchantment candle comes in a vintage amber brown glass cup and has a range of scents, including amber laurel and currant briar. The holiday collection emits scents of pine and fresh forests. The candles are sold at a selection of stores in the city (available on the website) and online at (312)733-0173

Timeless Toys
This independent toy store in Lincoln Square offers educational and wooden toys as well as games for the whole family to enjoy. Some games revolve around cute critters, like Feed the Woozle and colorful puppets. Soft and snuggly stuffed animals line shelves upon shelves in the store. Railroad-track villages and car-racing tracks are another big hit, as are bikes, instruments and children’s books. Other puzzles, like Rush Hour and building blocks, keep kids’ minds sharp over a long holiday vacation. 4749 North Lincoln, (773)334-4445.

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