Hassle-Free Holiday: Local Gifts

Every year, my boyfriend's family gives gifts Christmas Grab Bag-style—and this is the first time I’m participating. The yearly tradition can get pretty cutthroat, so I've been nervous from the moment I signed on. I knew I needed to come up with an original array of selections, or risk being shunned and booed.

Enter Green Aisle Grocery, a.k.a. the store that saved Christmas.

One look at the adorable array of fresh spices, locally-jarred jams, exciting chocolate bars and rum-spiked syrup  and I knew exactly what my grab bag would feature. I  even took the opportunity to cackle in my boyfriend’s face: “I’m going to have the best. Grab bag. Ever.”

So, if you’ve got yourself all in a tizzy over what to buy your loved ones for the holiday season, look no further than your local producers.

Green Aisle’s Andrew Erace also handed me the store’s list of holiday gift boxes, which includes the “Booze Box,” “Baked Box,” and “Bath Box.” You can also customize a box to fit your recipient’s taste.

More locally produced holiday ideas after the jump.

Healthy Bites is offering create-your-own gift baskets this year. They provide the basket/bucket, raffia-filler, cellophane and ribbon. All you have to do is fill it with your favorite goods.

Metropolitan Bakery has a variety of gifts available, including a Bread of the Month program and popcorn sampler gift box.

Panache Food has Harvest Box gift certificates, allowing your family or friends to order a box of locally grown and organic produce.