Last-minute gift guide: Michigan edition

Michigan-made giftsForget the mass-produced presents sold at the mall. Finish off your shopping list with gifts that celebrate our state! We’ve created a guide with a Michigan twist—all are about Michigan or made here. Most items are available online or at shops around the state.


For the foodies:

Dr. John’s sugar-free herbal candies were created by Dr. John Bruinsma, a dentist in Grand Rapids. His Cavity-Fighting Herbal Lollipop uses Xylitol instead of sugar or artificial sweeteners and has been featured on Good Morning America.

For over 30 years, American Spoon in Petoskey has worked with local Michigan farmers to produce the finest fruit preserves possible. They also feature salsas, BBQ sauces and, one of our favorites, a toast-topper called Maple Syrup Cream.

Chocolate is always a hit and Sanders Candy in Clinton Township makes the best chocolate candies. One taste of their Dark Chocolate Cherry Cordials and your gift recipient will be thanking you and licking their fingers!

Using their Great-Grandmother’s recipe, the guys at McClure’s Pickles jar deliciously spicy pickles just outside of Detroit. On top of pickles, their Bloody Mary Mix makes a tasty morning treat. Or give a jar of their bottled brine to your favorite gardener for turning homegrown cucumbers into easy homemade pickles.

Michigan is also home to a variety of beverage producers. Gold-medal winning Valentine Distilling creates small-batch vodkas, gins and whiskeys. If you’re looking for Michigan wine or thinking of surprising a loved one with a vineyard tour, check out Michigan Wines for more information. And if beer is your gift of choice, Michigan Breweries is a great resource to find local craft brews and beer merchandise.


For the movie buff:

DVDs of movies set in or about Michigan make great gifts. The following are just a few favorites.

Escanaba in Da Moonlight starring Jeff Daniels is set in the U.P. and is a perfect choice for the hunter with a sense of humor on your list.

The Polar Express starring Tom Hanks is set in Grand Rapids and is a sweet choice for families and children of all ages. 

Somewhere in Time starring Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour was filmed on location at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. This cult-classic movie is perfect for the romantic in your life.

This year’s Love and Honor is set in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti and is based on a true story about a Vietnam vet returning home to win back his girl.


For bookworms young and old:

All of these titles are either about Michigan or written by local writers. For more suggestions, browse the Library of Michigan’s 2013 List of Notable Books by Michigan authors.

M is for Mitten: A Michigan Alphabet Book by Annie Appleford (ages 6-up)

Imogene’s Antlers by David Small (ages 3-7)

Go Blue! Football’s Michigan’s Greatest Football Stories by Steve Kornacki and Lloyd Carr

The Nick Adams Stories by Ernst Hemingway

The Chocoholic Mystery Series by JoAnna Carl


For everyone else:

Know someone who recently moved and is missing Michigan? Mitten Crate is a fun way to send them locally made goods. You can either purchase a single crate or get them a monthly delivery of specialty products ($35/month).


Photo credit: jayneandd

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  1. I love thes ideas.My dentist office told me about the Dr. Johns sugar free candy. I’ll have to try it. I love American Spoon in Traverse City. And a great author from Detroit, Mitch Albom, recently published a wonderful novel called “The First Phone Call From Heaven”.

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