Wilmette, Community

Hometown Gift Guide 2023: 21 unique gifts under $100 you can find locally to conquer your holiday list

When the weather outside is frightful, or even when it isn’t, it can be a pain going here, there and everywhere to knock out your holiday shopping list.

The good news is you don’t have to.

Online shopping may fulfill specific needs, but local shops give you the opportunity to find original gifts that cannot be found elsewhere.

We went on our annual gift-hunt to give you just a taste of what’s out there for your last-minute shopping needs if you shop local. Enjoy.

Jump To: Kenilworth | Winnetka | Northfield | Glencoe | Highland Park


Pickleball paddles: Wilmette Bicycle and Sport Shop, 605 Green Bay Road, Wilmette

Looking for the hottest thing? Look no further. The sport of pickleball has exploded nationwide, and North Shorers have jumped on the trend. Wilmette Sport Shop carries a handful of paddles ranging from $60 to $120 as well as pickleballs for $3.50 apiece.

Pizza stone by Emile Henry: Backyard Barbecue Store, 535 Green Bay Road, Wilmette

The weather outside is frightful but the grill is always delightful. So goes the mantra of the Backyard Barbecue Store, where you can find all of your grilling needs, including this $70 pizza stone that works on the grilltop or even in the oven.

Terry cloth robe and cotton pajamas: Chantilly Lace, 1177 Wilmette Ave., Wilmette

‘Tis the cozy season, and Chantilly Lace is stocked with comfortable bedroom wear and more, such as a terry cloth robe ($68) or patterned classic cotton pajamas ($68). Recently moved into Village Center, Chantilly Lace specializes in bra and swimsuit fittings and appointments and gift cards are popular requests.

Wine and sweets: The Bottle Shop, 1148 Central Ave., Wilmette

The Bottle Shop recently celebrated its 18th anniversary and you can help celebrate with a gift pack including local treats from Chia Leah (dark chocolate bark: $11.99) and The Queen’s Caramels (dark chocolate: $15) and a discounted bottle of wine (Marques de Caceres-brut: $12.50).

Panettone: Convito Cafe and Market, 1515 Sheridan Road #5, Wilmette

You would be hard-pressed to find a selection of panetonne, the Italian holiday bread, outside of Convito’s. Each holiday season, Convito’s market is brimming with vibrantly packaged panettone ($28-$60), whether original or infused with flavors such as wine, pistachio and cherry.

Record Store Day specials: Hip Cat Records and Music Videos, 3540 Lake Ave., Wilmette

Pay no mind to the lack of online footprint of Hip Cat Records. The shop in West Wilmette is an experience. And this holiday season, the record store has special releases from November’s Record Store Day, such as live albums from Little Feat ($49.98), The Doors ($39.98) and Grateful Dead (six-disc, full live set, $128.98), among many others.


Decorative trees: Ceceil’s Flowers, 521 Park Drive, Kenilworth

Lucky for you, Ceciel Coolegem-Fosco decided her pop-up flower shop in Kenilworth could be more. In her fourth year, Ceceil’s continues to specialize in fresh, never refrigerated flowers and also offers gifts for the home, such as a variety of decorative trees: ceramic ($10-$25), wooden ($5-$20), felt-top ($35), and wire/bottle brush, to name a few.


Ice skates: Winnetka Thrift Shop, 992 Green Bay Road, Winnetka

Get in the spirit of giving and receiving at the Winnetka Thrift Shop. The legacy Winnetka nonprofit sells second-hand items with proceeds going to the North Shore Counseling Center. It is an overlooked spot to find equipment for ice sports, such as ice skates, which start as low as $15.

“Who is The City For?”: Book Stall, 811 Elm St., Winnetka

A beloved local shop regardless of season, The Book Stall will help shorten any shopping list. For that architecture and/or history lover in your life is “Who is The City For?: Architecture, Equity, and the Public Realm in Chicago” ($29) by subject experts Blair Kamin and Lee Bey, which examines equity throughout Chicago’s development. Bey’s work “Southern Exposure,” which centers architecture on Chicago’s South Side, is also available ($30).

Susi fingerless gloves: Selleria Venata, 986 Green Bay Road, Winnetka

The new Winnetka shop carries original and high-end Italian goods, specializing in imported leather. The Susi fingerless gloves from Neirami are made with wool and alpaca fur for $58. Longer versions of the fingerless gloves are $70.

Tala-la-la-la Holiday Gift Box: Tala Coffee, 93 Green Bay Road, Winnetka

Looking for a jolt of holiday spirit? Tala Coffee Roasters’ seasonal blend, Tala-la-la-la, might do the trick. Carrying flavors like chocolate truffles, holiday jam and roasted chestnuts, the coffee packs a holiday punch. You can pick up a bag starting at $19 at Tala’s new Winnetka cafe or grab a holiday gift box with the coffee and a seasonal mug for $29.

Poinsettias: Hlavacek Florist, 746 Green Bay Road, Winnetka

A vibrant and fresh sign of the season, poinsettias give any holiday scene a boost, and Hlavacek’s is sure to have the right one for you, whether big, small, short, tall, white or red from under $10 and up to $125.


Homemade spice mixes, Hofherr Meat Co., 300 N. Happ Road, Northfield

Butcher shop and market Hofherr Meat Co. helps you prepare a meal from start to finish, offering its own prepared spice mixes ($7.99), perfect for stocking stuffers, according to Arielle Hofherr. The shop also has housemade jerky (regular, teriyaki, maple jalapeno) that run between $4-$6 a pack.


Bumpas: The Wild Child, 657 Vernon Ave., Glencoe

How about a hug — all the time? A Bumpas is a weighted companion that can hang snugly around a child’s shoulders like a backpack. The comfy embrace fits right in during the winter months, or any time really. Wild Child, which also has a Wilmette location, has plenty of original toys and gifts for the child on your list.

One Stop Trev Shop, 640 Vernon Ave., Glencoe

The One Stop Trev Shop is an enterprise from New Trier High School that offers employment and learning opportunities for members of its post-high school transition program. Among the Trevians swag is a variety of drinkware — like Yeti mugs ($40) and tumblers ($45) — to support NTHS on the go.

Custom cookies: Sweet Buddha, 660 Vernon Ave. #3, Glencoe

This speciality shop is sure to have something for you, and that’s because they’ll do as you ask! Sarah Miller’s Glencoe business is known for its personalized cookies and cakes for any occasion. You can also pop in the store and grab a quick candy fix from Sweet Buddha’s candy wall (boxes between $8-$16).

Personalized charm necklace: 312 Tudor, 312 Tudor Court, Glencoe

The subtle yet elegant necklaces sell for $68 and come with a letter charm of your choice at 312 Tudor. Additional charms are $24.


Minis by Nora Fleming: Harper and Ash, 668 Central St., Highland Park

Minis allow you to customize your presentation in a flash. The decorations easily pop in and out of platters to keep you ready for any occasion, from Christmas to Hanukkah to the big game. Each Mini costs around $15 at Harper and Ash, while platters run between $26-$60.

Hanukkah chew toys: Pets4Life, 661 Central Ave., Highland Park

The all-in-one pet outpost just opened in Highland Park, and while Pets4Life offers medical services, grooming and boarding, the front of the house carries unique pet-care and -enrichment items, such as Hanukkah-themed chew toys ($12-$20) that have been flying off the shelves. The store even puts together customized pet-goodies baskets for the holidays.

Assortment tray: Goodies, 652 Central Ave., Highland Park

Have you been really good this year? If so, you may have earned an indulgent holiday assortment from this Highland Park shop. The assortment trays — Goodies most popular buy — are offered in four sizes, starting at $65, and offer toffee, chocolate pretzels, almond and Oreo bark, chocolate-covered cherries, and more.

Christmas tree teapot: Madame ZuZu’s Teahouse/Emporium, 1876 1st St., Highland Park

Madame ZuZu’s is original in a lot of ways, but its notoriety as a teahouse truly sets it apparent. The shop in downtown Highland Park has an locally unrivaled selection of teas and also sells teawares, such as diffusers and teapots, with the Christmas tree teapot ($60) as a seasonal standout.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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