Christmas is around the corner and I have begun to think about what I am going to buy for each of my kids. The older my kids get the more purposeful I have become in buying my kids presents. We have a billion toys already laying around our house. I want to make sure the gifts I do give them help them to be creative, use their imagination, encourage them to learn while having fun, or I want to gift them with something out side the ordinary Christmas gift.
I also want to begin to mindfully shop local. If I want my awesome rural town of Albert Lea to rock then I need to be committed to shop at home as often as I can. I want to share with you some of the ideas I came up with for shopping locally in my home town.
Jodie Distad is amazing, talented, a gifted rider, and she is also amazingly patient with the students she gives riding lessons to. She is equally as patient with the horses she interacts with on a daily basis. Every time I have taken Maddie out to her farm for lessons, Jodie has been amazing. My horse loving girl would love nothing more for Christmas than the gift of riding lessons!
Creative Craft and Art ideas:
Kelly Gau Studios
You can either create your own lovely or you can purchase an already created lovely! When you spend time with kelly you are purchasing art that continues to speak life into someones life.
Simply Charming Ceramics
Nothing says love than a painted creation you create yourself. Pick from sculptures, dishes, or many other options! Renee is amazingly patient and teaches classes of all ages.
Albert Lea Art Center
Support local artists by stopping in and purchasing one of a kind masterpieces by folks from our own community!
ComfortBug by Heidi
Perfect kids for the kids in your life! Beautiful, handcrafted, one of a kind backpacks, aprons, and so much more!
Forever Flowers by Lynne
Unique, one of a kind, and reasonably priced adorable children’s clothing and accessories!
An amazing artist and local for over twenty years. Gilbert has comics, collectibles, and I have also heard great reviews of his tattoos and piercings.
Marion Ross Art Center
Plays, Opera’s, and other wonderful shows makes the Marion Ross Art Center a great gift idea!
The Interchange Wine & Bistro
Great local art hanging on the walls, books written by local author, and other local products for sale. One of a kind masterpieces for sale. Great food, drink, and atmosphere. One of my favorite places in town.
Jewelry Stores Bringing sparkles to our lives
Fisher’s Fine Jewelers
For the Sporty people in your lives
Tiger City Sports
Sporting goods store that has been around Albert Lea possibly longer than I have been alive! I saved up my hard earned money in fifth grade and bought myself my first Albert Lea Tiger jacket! I was the coolest kid in class!
Bikes, ice skates, disc golf, and so much more. New or used they have you covered!
Relaxation and Hair professionals
Allure Salon & Spa
Studio 22 Salon
For the Adventurer in your life
Minnesota State Parks!
Albert Lea is blessed to have Myre-Big Island State Park outside of town. I spent time out there with my parents growing up and now I do the same with my kids. Purchasing a State Park gift card also gives the gift of camping! Annual vehicle permit is only $25 for a year of memories spent out in nature! These are truly a gift that keeps on giving all year long.
Rock Gym and Boathouse
Albert Lea has a rock gym in the old Brookside school. They have stamp cards available for purchase that allow you to rock climb, ski, snow shoe, and take many other adventures.
Not only does Holly’s studio teach music lessons they also teach dance! Music lessons and dance lessons are a gift that teaches more than the lesson at hand!
Marshal Street Music & Legacy Recording Studios
Music lessons, instruments, and more.
We have personally worked with several of these photographers and each one brings their own unique flare and ideas to your photo sessions.
Emily Bohonek Photography
Ryan Heath Photography and Art
Jessica Phelps Photography
Amanda Carlson Photography
Bragen Rights Photgraphy
Holly Karsjens Photography
Human friend and furry friend supplies
Fleet Farm Supply
This store has been around forever. I always loved going in the store with my dad and walking through their isles of toys, clothes, farm supplies, and of course the candy! Supplies for you and your furry friends!
For the furry friends in your life
Ranch & Pet Supply
Gift Cards to Favorite Eaters are always a fantastic idea
B & B Cafe
Wedgewood Cove Golf Course
Trumbles Family Resturant
Kitchen and great coffee
Joe has done a great job of bringing great kitchen wares to Albert Lea. As a culinary inventor I love having such a store in Albert Lea. He has special ordered products for me several times! Great service and great products. He also has specialty coffee and now is featuring Annie B’s Caramel!
Celebrations Party and Gifts
Addies Floral and Gifts
The Color Wheel
Along with all these great stores to choose from, we are looking forward to walking around downtown and enjoying Albert Lea’s, Holiday Bazaar on Broadway! December 8th from 4-7pm. Stores up and down Broadway will be open later for the festivities! We’ll get to ride a horse drawn trolley and browse through many local vendor booths with their amazing creations and products! I hope to see you there!!
I was delighted and pleasantly surprised at all the different gift ideas I was able to come up with for possible gifts for the people in my life. The tough job now is to decide which gift fits perfectly with each person on my list. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from The Russell’s!
thanks for the shoutout Robin! 🙂 i LOVE Albert Lea for this very reason.. what a GREAT list!
I totally agree with you, Kelly! I was excited at all the possibilities! We do indeed live in a great community!
Your generosity in featuring so many wonderful local businesses is really appreciated. Thx so much! — tami
You’re welcome Tami! I look forward to working with each business individually as well! I believe we have a wonderful caring community! I am excited to work to promote our awesome small town with a big heart!
Thank you so much for the shout out!! It is always exciting for me to be out shopping or on errands and run in to a “little” wearing one of my creations. Hope to see you soon.
Also, great job on some fantastic findings for little businesses that are mostly ran by a heartfelt love of what they do.
Lynne, you are very welcome! I was honored to do it! Growing up my mom made our barbie clothes and doll clothes. We had the best dressed dolls on the block! I want to be able to pass that same awesome feeling to someone else! I look forward to working with more businesses around town!
I didn’t even know about some of these places! I can’t wait to check them out 🙂
What a fantastic list! Stadheim has a store in Mason City as well and I once was given a ring by my parents from them! They provide great customer service!!
Thank you! It was a blast putting the list together!