Holiday cheer is nearly here — and southern Minnesota has oodles of options for kickstarting your shopping.
Locally owned gift shops, clothing stores, art supply retailers, toy vendors and antique outlets have prepped their stocks and are ready to help those on the hunt for personal presents that will add to the seasonal magic.
Among them is Jenna Odegard, proprietor of Hazelkin & Co. in Mankato’s Old Town and Bumbelou (featuring items for babies and kids up to age 12, with locations in Mankato and New Ulm).
“I love Christmas,” proclaimed Odegard—and she has the goods to back up her claim.
Hazelkin & Co., a gift and lifestyle boutique in which Joanna Gaines herself would be perfectly comfortable, is loaded with creative and unique gifts for practically everyone on your list.
If your family annually pops an ornament into everyone’s stocking, Odegard has your number.
“Typically I choose whatever ornaments speak to me,” said Odegard, and she does mean “whatever.”
Consider these cute-as-can-be, “gotta have ‘em” ornament options: stick of butter, bucket of popcorn, can of beer, martini, cup of cocoa, stack of books and cuckoo clocks.
“We carry a really wide variety of ornaments because my own family gives everyone a new ornament each year and my personal Christmas tree theme is eclectic,” said Odegard.
“They range from the kitschy and fun to vintage to classic, simple Christmas type,” she continued. “I’ve found a lot of young people like the cuckoo clock ornaments because they’re reminiscent of clocks their grandparents had.”
Hard-to-shop-for guys don’t present as great a challenge at Hazelkin; Odegard makes it easier with a selection of socks, grooming kits, vinyl stickers (for water bottles, computers or cars), Pendleton-brand items (hats, gloves and scarves) and playing cards that can double as conversation starters.
“The playing cards are quirky, especially the ‘survival’ cards,” said Odegard. “Every single card has a tip for how to survive if you’re stuck in the wilderness—and they’re waterproof, so they might really help if you ever were in a bind.
“They make a great little gift or stocking-stuffer.”
With 12 different candle brands—almost all of them soy-based—you can surely find a scent to suit every nose. Two women-owned lines (Outsiders Supply and LINNEA Candles) deliver long-burning products and appealing scents.
North Mankatoan Laura Smith is behind Outsiders Supply, and Odegard is a fan of her Cedar Vanilla candle, though other Northwoods-inspired favorites are Oak Moss, Cabin Kitchen and Evergreen.
“I can’t get enough of anything with cedar in it, and the LINNEA Persian Lime is a year-round collection favorite and their Noel scent hits a perfect seasonal tone,” Odegard endorsed.
Of course Hazelkin also has everything to make a home cozy for holiday gatherings, like pillows, throws, garlands, stars, Christmas signs—and Nativity scenes.
“Our Nativity scenes range from a micro miniature with figures about two inches tall—that’s everyone’s favorite, for some reason—to the largest one that’s all wood, in white and gray tones, and made in Germany,” said Odegard.
“I tend to pick ones that are more minimalist, and they’re really beautiful and easy to place throughout your home.”
A whimsical gift Odegard recommends is a nightlight version of a vintage ceramic Christmas tree.
“I haven’t met a person yet who isn’t absolutely in love with them,” said Odegard.
More interested in sharing experiences than material goods? Odegard has your back.
She recommends buying “100 Cookies: The Baking Book for Every Kitchen” by Minnesota author Sarah Kieffer and then pairing it with a cute dish towel set or oven mitt and rolling pin.
“Send the message you want to spend time making some recipes with the recipient,” Odegard suggested.
“Building relationships is at the core of our store, because we really buy gifts for the people we love, care about and want to be with.”
To that end, Hazelkin preserves your precious time by dressing up your purchases in bags with tissue and a bow—or you can pay $5 for their premium wrapping service to really impress.
Said Odegard, “We’re all about helping you find something special for the important people in your life.”
Hazelkin & Co., 415 N. Riverfront Drive, Mankato; Hazelkin.com, 507-720-6009.
Here are more great places nearby to help you wrap up your shopping ahead of Santa’s sleigh. Note that it’s not an all-inclusive list, but we thought we’d give some suggestions to get you started.
Finally A Gift Store, 18 2nd St. NE, Faribault, finallyagiftstore.com, 507-334-0433. Bath and beauty, baby gifts and apparel, games, decor, books, stationery, guy gifts, pet products, etc.
Fashions on Central, 325 Central Ave., Faribault, 507-334-9242. Bags, booties, flannels, skirts, shoes, belts, jeans, jewelry.
Faribault Woolen Mill Factory Store, 1500 NW Second Ave., Faribault, 507-412-5534. Bed blankets, throw blankets, baby blankets, pillow cases, scarves, caps, mittens, wine bags, beverage sleeves.
The Music Mart, 550 Wilson Ave NW, Faribault, 507-409-9900. Band and orchestra instruments, music accessories, printed music.
HeArt of Henderson, 501 Main St., Henderson, 507-248-3830. Gift shop featuring hand-crafted, Minnesota-made items, seasonal decor and more.
The Black Door Boutique, 529 Main St., Henderson, 507-479-3350. Clothing (sizes to 3X), soaps, lotions, candles, home decor, drink and dip mixes, pillows.
Tatge Jewelry, 625 Second St., Kenyon, tatgejewelry.com, 507-789-6522. Jewelry (necklaces, bracelets, earrings), watches, engagement rings, anniversary bands, clocks (cuckoo, mantel, grandfather, floor, table-top).
The 207 Curiosities Gift Shop, 207 S. Main St., Le Sueur, 763-639-9539. Art, decor, jewelry, alien masks, meat pendants, alien seeds, curiosities.
Wise Furniture Company, 106 Ferry St., Le Sueur, wise-furnitureco.com, 507-665-2238. Kitchen and laundry appliances, bedding, flooring, lamps, rugs, clocks, mirrors, TVs, furniture.
Quilting by the Hearth, 208 Main St. South, Lonsdale, quiltingbythehearth.com, 507-744-4284. Quilting supplies, fabric, how-to books, appliqués, kits, patterns, classes.
Audre’s Attic, 102 Main St. North, Lonsdale, 612-790-9355. Antiques, collectibles, furniture, Mason jars, glassware, books, toys.
Lakota Made LLC, 606 N. Riverfront Drive, Mankato, lakotamade.com. Indigenous-made, locally and sustainably harvested plant medicinals (salves, balms, tinctures), eco-friendly personal care products (soaps, shampoos, body bars, lotions, War Paint makeup), teas, elderberry-infused honey, t-shirts, dish- soap bars.
JJ’s Beauty Supply and Services, 1219 1/2 Caledonia St., jjsbeautysupplyandservices.com, 507-573-2201. Hair care (wigs, relaxers, color, perms, extensions, accessories, shampoo, conditioner, bonding products), shaving products, body and essential oils, jewelry, sewing supplies, lash products, infrared sauna, tanning bed.
The Music Mart, 1014 N. Riverfront Drive, Mankato, themusicmart.biz, 507-345-1399. Band and orchestra instruments, music accessories, printed music.
J. Longs, 1640 Madison Ave., Mankato, jlongs.com, 507-345-8885. Casual, active and business attire for men and women, lifestyle products, footwear, Alo and Lululemon products.
Bumbelou, 5 N. Minnesota St., New Ulm (Mankato location also), Bumbelou.com, 507-594-9072. Baby and children’s clothing, toys, books, accessories, gifts, blankets, arts and crafts.
Domeier’s German Store, 1020 S. Minnesota St., New Ulm, 507-354-4231. German food, steins, clocks, books, music, Christmas decorations, apparel, hats.
George’s City Meat Market, 430 N. Third St., Nicollet, georgescitymeats.com, 507-232-3502. Summer sausage, snack stix, jerky, brats and wieners, and more.
Schmidt’s Meat Market, 319 Pine St., Nicollet, schmidtsmeatmarket.com, 507-232-3438. Summer sausage, flavored brats, smoked products (bacon, bologna, wieners, sausage), snack sticks, jerky, fresh pork/beef cuts, gift boxes.
MN Soulstice Boutique, 425 Division St. South, Northfield, mnsoulsticeboutique.com, 507-366-1386. Men’s, women’s and children’s clothing (80% of brands are Companies with a Cause), accessories, home decor.
Petalina, 313 Division St. South, Northfield, petalinagifts.com, 507-663-0565. Scandinavian gifts, cards, fine jewelry, men’s cologne, Coolibar and Pendleton clothing, books, bags, wallets, puzzles, games, candles, gloves, Scandinavian sweaters.
Lilly & Rose Boutique, 211 N. Cedar Ave., Owatonna, lillyandroseboutique.com, 507-413-6444. Women’s clothing, jewelry, hats, accessories.
Urban Loft, 303 N. Cedar Ave. Owatonna, urbanloft.org, 507-382-5486. Women’s and men’s clothing, candles, oils, food, florals, games, jewelry, scarves, mittens, purses, wallets, stationery.
Contents Gift & Home, 304 S. Minnesota Ave., St. Peter, contentshome.com, 507-934-8616. Books, cards, candies, frames, candles, gourmet foods, jewelry, bath and body items.
Her Happy Place, 217 S Minnesota Ave, St Peter, herhappyplaceshop.com, 507-931-0008. Women’s clothing, accessories, shoes, decor and more.
Nutter Clothing Company, 320 S. Minnesota Ave., St. Peter, 507-931-4340. Menswear (casual, business, sportswear), footwear, Saints gear, accessories.
Stones Throw Gallery & Jewelry, 420 N. Minnesota Ave., St. Peter, stonesthrowgallery.org, 507-934- 5655. Hand-crafted jewelry, photography, art glass, fiber, leather, paintings, pottery and wood products, most from local or regional artists.
The Speckled Hen, 123 State St. North, Waseca, 507-461-0371. Home and seasonal decor, jackets, shackets, candles, socks, bags, vests, sweaters, signs, kitchenware, jewelry.
Homestead, 917 State St. North, Waseca, 507-327-7492. Home and seasonal decor, repurposed furniture, vintage items, pillows, vases, florals, textiles, acrylic paint, Mason Cash mixing bowls.