There’s nothing like holiday shopping to bring out my inner treasure-hunter. And by treasure I mean the kinds of gifts that remind me of our community. It’s a little like shopping on vacations: I always look for things that either represent an area or were made in an area – particularly arts and crafts, consumables, wearables, historic memorabilia and anything outdoors-related. For holiday gift-giving I enjoy the same in Springfield.

I’m not alone. Jackie Bailey says she hears that often at Homegrown Food, the small store she co-owns with husband Rob. And it’s picking up. One customer recently bought several local food products to share with family over the holidays in Kansas City.

“I think people are very proud about what we’ve got going on here,” Jackie says. It’s not just food products, she adds. That pride includes artisan wares. “I can’t keep Reborn (Co.) candles on the shelves,” she says.

Shopping local is an opportunity to share our community with others and it helps support the local economy. Win-win! Ready to shop? Check out these suggestions to get you started.

 

Springfield-themed tops at Five Pound Apparel in Springfield, Missouri.

It’s no secret I’m a tourist center fan-girl – I make my family stop in every new location we visit. If you haven’t popped into the Route 66 Springfield Visitor Center on St. Louis Street, you’re missing out. Decked out in old-timey Route 66 décor, it’s one of the most charming centers I’ve seen – and I’ve seen dozens. More practically, it’s a great place to find Springfield and Route 66-related gift items and souvenirs and wearables by way of T-shirts and hats.

Another place to buy kitschy Springfield T’s is Five Pound Apparel, a locally owned shop with locations downtown and in Farmers Park. You’ll also find sweatshirts and even baby-wear. Ask about Springfield-centric jewelry or wooden wall plaques.

And for Springfield Cardinals fans, find wearables at the Cardinals store at Hammons Field or Rally House on Glenstone Avenue. (These suggestions can be found online, too, as can many products in this roundup.)

 

A small sampling of gift-worthy food and beverages made in Springfield, Missouri.

You’ll have no trouble adding a taste of Springfield to your holiday gift basket, one of my favorite ways to give - and to receive!

Bass Pro Shops® Outdoor World® carries its own Uncle Buck’s brand of foods in the gift area of Springfield’s Granddaddy store. Or check out local shops that carry local food or drinks by smaller operations. I found local Julia’s Java coffee, Grove Salsa and more at Chabom Teas + Spices on Commercial Street.

Quench someone’s thirst Springfield-style with local craft beer found at breweries and retail shops, or give the gift of another kind of brew from your favorite local coffee roaster.

Homegrown Food on Pickwick offers a variety of products, including local treats such as Askinosie Chocolate, Granolove granola, Date Lady products and newly added Dear Caramel. Bailey says she was looking for a caramel product when she discovered the local sweet that’s been available at farmers markets.

“The presentation is just adorable,” she says. “I love it because it’s delicious.”

 

Tree ornaments from Springfield Hot Glass Studio in Springfield, Missouri.

I’m particularly drawn to creative works by local artisans and it’s my favorite way to remember a place when I travel. The same holds true for Springfield and I’ve given away many local art pieces for birthdays and holidays.

We are so rich in creative talent you won’t suffer from lack of selection. A personal art stroll along two downtown blocks turned up multiple gift ideas, from handcrafted paper items to colorful glass pieces, ceramics, wood, paintings and more – and that was just two blocks!

The holiday season is a wonderful time to shop small local businesses because you never know what you’ll find. A quick visit to Ms. Gilmore’s Vintage Suitcase and Tea Room on C-Street introduced me to Launderette Numbered Style jewelry – interesting pieces that feature military safety pins. I bought two.

This time of year you’ll also find plenty of local handmade products at holiday art and craft events. (Check Springfield CVB’s calendar!)

 

Books on local history can be found The History Museum on the Square in Springfield, Missouri.

Old things and interesting – dare I say quirky – history intrigues me. Finding gift ideas for history-loving friends and family can be a little tricky though. A couple of places I’ve stumbled across include the History Museum on the Square gift shop (small but good selection of local history books) and the gift shop at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield.

Consider framing an old photograph! You can order historic Springfield photos online from the History Museum or visit 417 Photo Works, a new business where I discovered some old Springfield photo prints for sale.

 

Crafted pieces from native wood at Fresh Gallery in downtown Springfield, Missouri.

Springfield sits in the heart of beautiful natural spaces and incredible recreational opportunities. Bass Pro Shops makes gift-hunting easy for outdoor-lovers but don’t stop with practical gear. I’ve also picked up little Bass Pro-themed goodies, such as camp mugs, for family and friends.

Another idea for your avid recreationalist: Framed images by local artists and photographers representing the natural areas we love. For a practical gift, try a book that highlights Ozarks trails and parks. Or bring the outdoors inside with a gift of beauty, such as crafted pieces from native wood I found at Fresh Gallery downtown.

Feeling inspired? No matter your taste, there are plenty of shop-local opportunities throughout the holidays. But don’t stop there - Springfield is worth sharing any time of year.