If your idea of holiday shopping is buying what a robot thinks you want, you’re missing out. Call us old-fashioned, but we think there’s something irresistible about strolling through cute downtown districts and their locally owned stores in search of unique treasures for everyone on your list. So, we tracked down a few ideas to help you get started.
1. Antique walnut desk, circa 1800s. $1,795. Similar pieces also in stock. Available at Roscoe Woodstock Antique Mall, 890 Lake Ave., Woodstock.
2. 14k rose gold jewelry by Bellarri. Earrings $6,075. Pendant $5,570. Chain $1,195. Bracelet $10,650. Ring $3,250. Ring with princess-cut gemstones $3,000. Available at M.J. Miller & Co., 123 W. Main St., Barrington.
3. Tervis 318 plastic tumbler with motivational messages, including “Be amazing today. But first, coffee.” Cup $19.98. Available at Graham’s 318 Coffeehouse, 318 S. Third St., Geneva.
4. Geometric dishware by Now Designs. Includes plates, bowls, dip bowls. $2.99-$13.99. Available at Kitchen Outfitters, 64 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake.
5. Trophy Whiskey and American Gold Whiskey, locally crafted. Trophy $40 or $72; American Gold $27-$42. Available at Rush Creek Distillery Tasting Room, 1501 W. Diggins St., Harvard.
6. Handcrafted wooden Christmas ornaments and music boxes by Ginger Cottages. $16.50-$95. Available at Norton’s U.S.A., 400 S. Lageshulte St., Barrington.
7. Luxe Indulgences Hand and Body Creme by Laura Mercier. Comes in Creme Brulee, Tarte Au Citron, Ambre Vanille and Almond Coconut Milk (pictured). $36. Available at Arch, 214 E. State St., Rockford. Also at 1359 N. Wells St., Chicago, and in Madison, Wis.
8. Flower-patterned padded Ester bra and Ester Rio brief by Marie Jo L’Aventure. Bra $140, brief $65. Available at La Bellissima, 10 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake.
9. Wines produced locally by Acquaviva Winery and Acquaviva cork trivets made by a local artisan. Wine wraps $23-$32; trivets vary by size. Available at Acquaviva Winery, 47W614 Illinois Route 38, Maple Park.
10. Ronnie Rocket and Polly’s Pony Adventure toys by WOW, ideal for children age 1-5. No batteries necessary. $35. Available at Marvin’s Toy Store, 64 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake.
11. Necklace handcrafted by artist Ken West. $34. Available at Material Things Artisan Market, 103 E. Van Buren St., Woodstock.
12. Local craft beer gift basket with growler, two glasses, gift card to fill the growler, and two coasters. $25. Available at Crystal Lake Brewing taproom, 150 N. Main St., Crystal Lake.
13. Cozy Little Sherpa lined socks by Snoozies. $14.95. Available at Out of the Box, 71 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake.
14. Summer sausage, Bier Stix and Ream’s own Jerky Dip, all homemade in Elburn. Sausage $6.93, Bier Stix $5.28, dip $6.99. Available at Ream’s Meat Market, 250 S. Main St., Elburn.
15. Cozy throw blankets by Kennebunk Luxe and Bedford Collections. $120-$400. Available at Yours & Meyn, 33 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake.
16. Winter gloves, ideal for skiing. Men’s Alpine Pro gloves by Hestra $145. Women’s Alpine Pro mittens by Hestra $130. Junior C-Zone gloves by Hestra $84.99. Available at Viking Ski Shop, 131 W. Northwest Highway, Barrington.
17. Beauty products by Cashmere Bath Co., made by hand from natural ingredients. Bath bombs $9.99, lotion $3.99, gift pack $10.99. Available at Julia & Friends at Home, 22049 N. Pepper Road, No. 6, Lake Barrington.
18. Apple cinnamon pancake mix and Wisconsin-made, all-natural maple syrup by Maple Hollow. Pancake mix $6.95 and up; Maple syrup $5.95 and up. Available at The Bramble Patch, 102 Fifth Ave., New Glarus, Wis.
19. Artisinal cheese and meat gift baskets by Shullsburg Creamery. Prices vary by assortment. Pictured: Deer Camp $64, and Longhorn Tin $16.50. Available at Shullsburg Creamery, 210 Water St., Shullsburg, Wis., or shullsburgcheesestore.com.
20. Single-ticket gifts or subscription packages to a local arts and entertainment venue.
► Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Elgin: $30-$75 single tickets; $168-$420 subscription.
► Metropolis Performing Arts Center, Arlington Heights: Prices vary by show; $75-$95 for three-show Broadway Series subscription.
► Prairie Center for the Arts, Schaumburg: Average $10-$46 single tickets; gift certificates can be applied to single or multiple shows.
► Raue Center for the Arts, Crystal Lake: Tickets vary by show/seat; $50-$2,000 for RaueNOW subscription.
► Woodstock Opera House, Woodstock: Single tickets vary by show; $91-$123 season packages.