Happy holidays, and welcome to this year’s installment of the Wisconsin Gazette Gift Guide!
It’s always tough to figure out what new, exciting gifts to get your friends and relatives, especially when you’re trying to avoid big retailers and aim for something unique. So our editorial staff sat down and looked over what’s really out there, putting together this package of stories out of what we found. Inside, you can find everything from national subscription boxes and the hottest toys from yesteryear that are making a comeback to the best stores you can find in local malls and shopping districts.
We’ve also looked outside of our own circle for recommendations. Throughout this guide, you’ll be able to “unwrap” gift recommendations from local experts, collected by freelancer Kerrie Kennedy. She contacted seven local businesses and organizations, each of which offered their insight into what you should look for this holiday season.
Like something you see? You might be in more luck than you think: This year’s Gift Guide is being launched simultaneously with the WiG Shop, our brand-new online store offering deals and discounts to our loyal readers. We’ve already got deals from restaurants and vendors like Rodizio Grill, Ward’s House of Prime, Discovery World, and Elements Massage up now, and you can find additional items mentioned in this guide or featured as advertisers in the days to come. It’s the perfect way for you to support both local businesses you love and the journalism we’re pursuing, while saving money at the same time. To see what’s currently on display, go to wigshop.kostizi.com.
ASK THE EXPERTS: The best gifts this holiday season
“Unwrap” gift recommendations from local experts.
Madison’s malls offer quirks and character
A community’s shopping destinations reveal a lot about a community’s character. Madison, the state’s second-largest city and the home to Wisconsin’s largest university, boasts stores that pack a lot of variety into a little bit of real estate.
Holiday cards with an artful edge
Associated Press writer
Seasonal greeting cards have long been an artistic niche that inspires a wide range of illustrators and designers.
Besides today’s ubiquitous family photo cards, contemporary designs often take advantage of advances in drafting and production — holography, music embeds, digital photography and laser-cutting among them.
Give the gift that lasts forever: A great experience
Buying presents for people is hard. So stop doing it — and get them something they’ll like even better.
Many months of merry: the wide range of subscription gifts
Associated Press writer
Suffering from a pre-holiday “what to give” headache? The prescription may be a subscription.
The Force is strong. Star Wars: The Force Awakens has awakened a new enthusiasm for Star Wars toys for children and adults, according to ToyInsider.com, which reviews and recommends toys. The site has published holiday toy reviews and lists, including top tech and STEM toys.
Gifts to bark or purr about
Millions of Americans wouldn’t consider celebrating the holidays without including their pets. In fact, pet lovers go all-out.
Shop local at Milwaukee’s top retail districts
Having trouble finding that perfect gift this year? Braving Black Friday or adventuring on Amazon.com are not the only options. Milwaukee’s diverse shopping districts offer a variety of opportunity and options for every sort of gift recipient — from the fashionista to the quirky uncle and everything in between.
Classic toys ‘baby boom’ing
Many baby boomers visiting toy stores this holiday season will be buying familiar toys for girls and boys. Some toys, like the Duncan YoYo, never fell out of favor as stocking stuffers. Other toys get updated year after year to remain relevant, like the Easy-Bake Oven — which now has both a dedicated heating element that retired the un-green incandescent bulb and gender-neutral packaging.