August 14, 2022

Home(sick) For the Holidays

2021 Gift Guide
By Krista Weaver | Nov. 20, 2021

Gifts for the snowbird, our fine-weathered friends, who leave us for sunnier shores. We know deep down they're longing for home.

Gray Malin Framed Northern Michigan Prints

From Van's Beach to Northport Point to Mackinaw Island, part-time northern Michigan resident and full-time escapism photographer Gray Malin spent August 2020 taking dizzyingly colorful beach aerials of some of NoMi's most beloved beaches, waterfronts, and marinas. His unique perspective (hard to lack while leaning, untethered, from the side of a helicopter) gives his images a very "Slim Aarons on Lake Como" vibe. They'll be wondering if you gave them a photo of 1960s Capri or the Torch Lake Sandbar (pictured). Currently, available exclusively online at Prints start at $249 plus framing.

Beach Sand Glass Ornament
Made from Michigan beach sand, these 3” handpainted ornaments are a beautiful (and affordable) way to let your faraway snowbird have a little bit of northern Michigan love and color on their winter escape. Limited supplies of two designs mean your gift is not only supporting local artists but is an authentic one-of-a-kind art piece made by real human hands — not mass-produced overseas and currently stuck on some freighter out in the ocean somewhere. Choose from "Floral," with its riot of primary colors, or "Blue Wave" inspired by the waters of Lake Michigan. $29 each. Available online at or in-store at Life and Whim, Suttons Bay. Order by Dec. 10 for holiday arrival.

Todd Reed: 50 Years Seeing Michigan Through a Lens 
Ludington native Todd Reed, considered by many to be one of the best landscape and outdoor photographers in the country, showcases Michigan's four seasons and some of his most vivid personal and professional memories during five decades of photography. At 400 pages, this large-format hardcover includes 67 never-before-seen images plus many of his best sellers over the years. Usually, $120 but, during November, you can snag a signed copy for $100. If you want to go all-in, a starting price of $1100 gets you not only the signed book but a 24" framed print, a commemorative Yeti tumbler, and a camera-shaped double-sided ornament featuring two of Todd's iconic images.

Lake Michigan Candle
Gift them the invigorating smell of clean, soothing Big Lake air in their winter Pied de Terre. This Lake Michigan soy candle is a blend of orange blossom with subtle hints of musk and ozone essential oils. What does "ozone" smell like, you ask? Fair question. Some describe it as sweet and aromatic, a "clean" smell, or "like an electrical spark." Perfect for something they'll set on fire. The 4-ounce travel tin is made in Michigan by Dirty Girl Farm and available at Rooted in Mancelona for just $7.49.  

Virtual Shopping Spree

If choosing your own Michigan-themed gift is too much pressure, why not set up your snowbird with their very own virtual shopping spree so they can pick out their own Great Lakes goods? Many local retailers started offering this service back in 2020 and found it was a big hit. Traverse City's My Secret Stash's extensive line of Michigan-made and themed products includes:

Locally made honey, jams, and BBQ sauces
Pint glasses
Coasters (shown here)
Tees & hoodies, including Up North Pride wear
A whole host of home, travel, bath, and body items

Even the pickiest recipients will find something they love — just set their budget and virtually set them loose. Schedule online with Karen, and she'll give your special person a personal shopping tour of the whole store for no charge. Gift cards start at $10.

Wine Tote Bag

Because, why not? Especially when your May to October friends may be unable to find their favorite Michigan wines when they're gone for the winter. This buttery tote ($186) is handcrafted in Northern Michigan with top grain American leather by the artisans at Leelanau Trading Company. If wine's not their thing (pshaw!), the LTC also makes gorgeous purses, backpacks, and weekender totes available at retailers across Benzie, Leelanau, and Grand Traverse counties. Visit for stores in your area. Prices vary. 


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