PLUS, Tell us something good about 2020, would ya?
By Katie Johnston
Hey there, and welcome to Tuesday.
The holidays will be a bit different this year, and many of us will be celebrating without the people and traditions that usually mark the season.
The good news: Gift-giving is a tradition that can easily overcome the distance between us and our loved ones. And it’s a great way to support your favorite local makers and small businesses.
Read on for 30 of our favorite local gift ideas for 2020, and check out our website for a more extensive list (like 51 recommendations and counting). 🎁
Okay, okay folks. It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for: The unveiling of our ultimate 2020 Orlando Gift Guide. How excited are you? Honestly, I hope you’re as jazzed about it as I am: We’re feeling pretty proud of our selections, and more so than that, feeling pretty proud to live in Orlando. Making this gift guide reaffirmed what we already knew to be true: The City Beautiful is indeed the City Creative too.
Without further ado, let’s get to it, starting with everyone’s most favorite topic: food.
For all the foodies who know staying home is no reason not to eat well
🍊 Give the gift that keeps on giving: Support local farmers and sign up for a CSA box and have your produce delivered straight to your home. Now that’s what we call farm-to-table.
🍳 Help your friends level up in the kitchen: Try a cooking session with local husband-wife duo behind Butcher and Baker.
For the Orlandoan who wears their city pride on their sleeve
📸 Get that special someone a gift that’s worth more than a thousand words: A Steven Madow print of their favorite Orlando landmark. And be sure to use code PULPTOWN for 15% off.
🕯️ Give the gift of some City Beautiful snark when you purchase a Swan City original poster, the Christmas in Orlando limited edition candle or a "Procrastination" tee.
For the artists, makers and creatives in all of us
💐 Give the gift of a virtual floral design workshop courtesy of InBloom Florist.
🥣 Support local maker Alyssa Makes Something by purchasing one of her many hand-lettered or wood-burned gift ideas. (Hopefully one day soon, she can bring back her awesome workshops.)
For the person whose woes are only cured through some retail therapy
😻 Have you seen the new Hellcats store? All we can say is meeeee-wow! The aesthetic is dark and moody but boy, is it equal parts oh-so-delightful.
👖 The House on Lang is new on the fashion scene here in Orlando, but we’re loving its selection of vintage tees, leather jackets, and fun fringe.
👗 The coordinating pants suits from Wynn Styles, a local Black-owned boutique, has us wanting to twin with our bestie.
For the bibliophile in your life
📚 Buy a book from a local author. Start with an Orlando-themed read and get your hands on Nathan Holic’s “Bright Light, Medium-Sized City”.
📚 If you haven’t been to Bynx, the new coffee shop/record store/bookstore in Thornton Park, don’t walk, run. It boasts rare, one-of-a-kind books and records that will have you in your giftee’s good graces forever.
For the folx in need of some rest and relaxation
☀️ Our 10-year-old buddy Michael P. launched his own bath-bomb-making company this year called Sunshine State Minerals. And personally, we're big fans of the Sunshine State Box.
🌸 Relax and reset with this gift box from Janet’s Dry Humor. The floral company partnered with Wool & Indigo — a Black-owned business specializing in sustainable decor, candles, and soap — to pair its dried flowers with W&I’s sustainable goods.
For the winos and beer aficionados
For the outdoorsy types
⛸ Our friend Dorsa at WOW Rolling combined two of our favorite things and made it a business: thrifting and skating. Shop her online store for second-hand skate and cool vintage finds.
☀️ Give the gift of the great outdoors, starting with the Florida State Parks Passport, which doubles as a guide to the “real” Florida and an annual membership to all state parks. Or opt for annual passes to the Central Florida Zoo and Wild Florida’s drive-through safari.
For the pet-lovers among us
🐶 The Orlando Dog Mom Club is selling puppy-personalized jewelry now.
🎄 Our friend Maggie over at Do Tell Stationery and Designs makes the best pet-adorned keychains and ornaments.
For all the green thumbs out there
💐 Consider purchasing a holiday subscription package from Black-owned florist Bloom In Glory, which includes a seasonal flower delivery for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, making your life so much easier.
🌱 So many plant shops, so little time: Buy a succulent friend from our pals over at Bros with Hoes, a pointy guy from Ouch. Plants that hurt, a planter from Hello Happy Plants or lose yourself in the plant haven that is The Heavy.
For the friend who's always looking for ways to level up
📸 Could your friend use a new headshot? Are they launching a brand? Hire a local photographer like Chris Glenn, Arlene LaBoy, David Lawrence, or Kartsie Photography to get the job done. Take it a step further and sign 'em up for styled photo sessions at Wall Crawl or The Heavy.
💻 Sign them up for a class with General Assembly. They’ll be learning code, programming and UX design in no time.
For the cultured among us
🎭 Support local arts and grab tickets to an upcoming show. Check out Dr. Phillips Center’s Frontyard Festival, Opera Orlando’s upcoming presentation of “Die Fledermaus”, Mad Cow Theatre’s Holiday on Church Street event, or a Dickens-inspired walkthrough performance by Orlando Fringe.
Looking for something more whimsical?
📺 For "Schitts Creek" references and other quirky gifts, shop That Cute Lil Gift Shop.
Wanna shop in one stop?
🎁 Can’t decide? Get a hodgepodge of gifts when you buy a curated box of local goods like these from Good Crowd Shop Co.
Last but not least…
🎁 Wrap it all up by visiting Paper Goat Post. They’re offering discounted gift wrapping for any products purchased locally from one of our many small businesses! Talk about a win-win!
Didn’t see a gift or small business you sent our way? Think we missed a must-shop store in any of the above categories? Reply to this email and be sure to check out the extended version of this list on our website later today — we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
You can help make more work like it possible by becoming a Pulptown+ member today. We gave an advance sneak peek of the gift guide to members last week — your support of $8/month comes with fun members-only games like I Spy, ideas for how to spend your weekend, and first looks at stories that amplify our community's myriad voices.
🥘 Learn to put a spin on classic holiday sides for your upcoming Holiday Soirées with this class in College Park (College Park)
🚸 Join national thought leaders in mapping children’s safest path through the pandemic (Online)
🎨 Head to Quantum Leap Winery to take a peek at its latest series of bottles painted by local artists (Mills 50 )
🏆 Join Orlando's favorite nerd nonprofit, Hero Spark for a fun virtual trivia night with epic nostalgia Qs from the 80s to today, and feel good while you're at it for supporting a good cause (Online)
🎄 Drive a little north to cut down your own Christmas tree through Dec. 13 (Eustis)
🍹 Take a holiday cocktail tour of Sanford through Dec. 31 (Sanford)
🙌 Join us for a discussion on how to start and sustain a successful corporate social responsibility program. (Online)
🎅 Watch "The Santa Clause" on the big screen at Lake Eola Park (Lake Eola Park)
🎄 Join in for a holiday musical theatre performance interlaced with dramatic readings, engaging poetry and heartfelt storytelling (College Park)
🎄 Tackle Your Christmas Gift List at Darling Authority's Holiday Sip + Shop (Longwood)
🔆 Let's make gorgeous accent pieces for your home and office. (College Park)
🎻 Rock into the holiday season at the 8th annual free Violectric Holiday Show (Downtown Orlando)
🎄 Join the Central Florida Community Choir for their annual holiday concert, Holiday Fantasia, featuring holiday classics and traditional Christmas hymns. (Winter Park)
🎄 Get in the Christmas spirit with jazzy holiday music and other fun at Season of Sparkle (College Park)
(🎨: Pulptown illustration)
Since it’s the season of giving, we want to look at the good things 2020 gave us. No doubt, it’s easy to point out the assortment of bad and challenging things that happened this year. But surely there was some good too, and we want to hear about it.
Maybe you took a cool trip pre-pandemic; maybe you adopted a pet! Perhaps you got really good at making sourdough bread or struck up a correspondence with a virtual pen pal. Heck, if you started making your bed every morning or successfully taught your grandma how to use Zoom, those are definitely things worth celebrating; whether it’s big things, little things, or even just good habits, we want to hear about ‘em and share them right here with our Pulptown community to end this year on an uplifting note.
So, what’s your good 2020 story? Hit reply to tell us and we might just feature your answer later this month. ✨
Thanks for reading to the bottom — we'll see you back here tomorrow.
– ✌️ Katie at Pulptown
PS Don’t forget to check out our 15 Minutes in Pulptown podcast where we highlight 5 hot topics, 5 local accounts to follow, and 5 events to "attend" every week. It goes live every Monday at 7 a.m. on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Cast, and all the places where you might normally listen to your favorite podcast.