Missouri Tourism News Bureau
JEFFERSON CITY -From chocolate treats and the ever-popular holiday ham to personalized glass creations and woven clothing, you can customize your holiday shopping list in Missouri.
In every corner of the Show-Me State, you find a great selection of gifts for every person on your shopping list.
For Karen Hudson of Hermann, there's no stress to holiday shopping because you can't go wrong with a Missouri-made gift.
"It's more interesting and more personal. I think the care that goes into it is what appeals to me," Hudson says. "Someone puts in their time and effort and joy ... that makes it more interesting. And when you match the gift to a specific person, it makes it special."
Over the years, Hudson has developed some preferences, and uses them to create her own gift baskets.
"Adam Puchta is my favorite Missouri winery," says Hudson. "I love their signature port. I give beer, too; Charleville is one of my very favorites. And I give out Stone Hill's grape juice with vintage juice glasses and handmade napkins or dish towels for my friends who don't drink."
Of course, not everyone has the gift for creating beautiful hand-made items. But venues for finding them are thick in the Show-Me State.
You simply can't go wrong with the gone-viral-on-YouTube "Missouri is Awesome" T-shirt from Five Pound Apparel in Springfield. (You can opt for the warmer hoodie or the adorable baby onesie, if you prefer.)
Missouri was named the Best Trails State in 2013. So, for your favorite outdoors-person, pair a great book like Hiking Missouri with locally-made boot socks, gloves or mittens from Whirlwind Ranch Alpacas in Lebanon. Be warned, you may not be able to resist snatching up a toy alpaca while you're there.
Speaking of wearable art, a shawl or scarf from the Nancy Lee Kaufman Gallery in Hannibal is sure to make yours the favorite gift of all, ever. Meticulously hand-woven, each item is guaranteed to take your breath away.
Treat yourself to a holiday trip to Jamesport and check off lots of entries on your gift list at the same time. An intricate Amish quilt or quillow is sure to please. Pick up an exquisite hand-woven Amish basket to use to make your own thank-you gift basket for your Christmas party hostess. You can fill it with jams, jellies, spices and baked goods from Jamesport's unique shops.
Or, as Hudson noted, "people seem to like meat - especially bacon" and Missouri is blessed with wonderful sources for that as well. Look for brats and bacon at Hermann Wurst Haus and ham, sausage and ribs from Burgers' Smoke House in California.
For the person on your list who has absolutely everything, go for something unique. Springfield Hot Glass lets you choose hand-made glass art that runs from snowmen with personality to fabulous lighting fixtures and everything in between.
When it comes to anything from office gifts to Secret Santa surprises to a little treat for a special neighbor, you can't beat sweets. Check out the all-natural, hand-dipped chocolate truffles, sea-salt caramels and other delights at Kakao Chocolate in St. Louis. Don't miss the 100-year-old Dutch tradition of fresh cream and nut-filled chocolate bonbons from Chocolaterie Stam in Kansas City. And don't pass up the white chocolate-coated salted popcorn from Bankhead Chocolates in Bowling Green.
If you can't decide between meat and sweet, there's good news: you don't have to. Just pick up some chocolate-covered bacon at J. Noto Italian Bakery & Confections in St. Charles.
If your shopping list includes a four-legged friend, check out Mississippi Mutts in Gape Girardeau. This pet-service shop offers special treats, made in-house, just for dogs. Time your visit just right to treat Fido to fresh-from-the-oven goodness.
"The easy thing is to give a gift card," Hudson says. "I think many people appreciate a hand-made gift."
And that's why a Missouri-made Christmas is awesome.