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Local holiday gift guide

Santa's elves live here

We've heard much about supply chain issues over the past year or two as the world reckons with the Covid-19 pandemic. Rather than stress about whether that mass-produced item you panic-

ordered on Amazon will make it here on time, we here at the Pine Knot News suggest you take a look (in person or online) at your own backyard.

Buying locally is, after all, a win in so many ways. Gifts are often made (or grown) right here in Carlton County. Gifts or gift certificates from local businesses and services are a treat for that special person and they help support the local economy. The environmental impact of ordering online is significant, while purchasing a gift already available here takes minimal travel time, and sometimes local businesses will even deliver. Just ask.

If you are shipping those gifts to faraway places, keep in mind that Cloquet Pack & Mail Plus can help your packages get where they need to be in time for Christmas. They encourage you to ship your packages between Dec. 13 and 17 to

ensure your gift arrives in time. Need to print out your Christmas letter? They offer photocopying services too.

There are only two weeks until Christmas, so let's get shopping.

Farm fresh

Searching for the perfect gift for someone who values supporting local farms and businesses? Or the person on your list who loves top-quality produce? The Northern Harvest Farm Holiday Gift Box features locally grown, organic produce from Northern Harvest Farm, along with local maple syrup from Holly & Korie Osvold, pure vanilla extract from Sweet Land Farm, and a handmade card from local artist Carrie Schaefer for $70. Visit https://csa.farmigo.com/store/northernharvestfarm or call Rick at 218-384-9779.

Wild Fern's soaps are handcrafted in Mahtowa using the traditional cold process method, which allows the nutrient value of the ingredients to remain undamaged. At the same time, this method retains in the soap the naturally formed moisturizing glycerin - unlike most commercial soaps. Wild Fern soaps contain 11 different moisturizing oils. Since they are hand-cut, bar sizes vary slightly, weighing between 3 1/2 and 4 ounces. All soaps are labeled with a complete list of ingredients. They also carry handcrafted wooden soap dishes. See wildfernsoaps.com or call 218-464-2502.

Sweet Land Farm has included all of its bestsellers in this handmade gift box for $39, making it a unique way to pamper that special person in your life, or to pamper yourself! The box includes handmade soap, pure vanilla extract, lotion bar, lip balm and a handmade card. Everything you need for a unique and handmade gift. Find this gift box, and all gift options at http://www.sweetlandmn.com.

Want to make sure your friend or family member gets enough veggies and support those local farmers even more? Buy them a membership to a local CSA (community supported agriculture), which gives the farmer up-front money to grow food and the member a season of fresh vegetables and more. Go to minnesotagrown.com and search for CSA by city or zip code.

Have some fun

Are you looking for a way to scare up some fun this holiday season? Look no further than All Hallows' Eve. This locally made board game takes 2-4 players back to the leaf-strewn streets of Halloween to play as either the Chaperone in charge of getting the Trick-or-Treaters through the night or as one of three Monsters inhabiting the world. For more information or to treat yourself to a copy, contact Darrell Davey at [email protected] or by joining the Facebook group, "The World of All Hallows' Eve." Supplies are limited.

Ski passes make fun a little more affordable for the skiers among us. Gift a day pass or season pass to Mont du Lac, Spirit Mountain, Giants Ridge or Lutsen Mountains for alpine and Nordic skiing, snowboarding and tubing opprtunities.

Buy season tickets to the County Seat Theater and give someone a treat they'll enjoy again every time there's a new show.

Buy a season pass to one of the many area golf courses: The Rugged Spruce Golf Club in Mahtowa, Moose Lake Golf Club in Sturgeon Lake, Pine Hill Golf Club in Carlton, Big Lake Golf Resort, Cloquet Country Club, Proctor Golf Course in Proctor, Grand View Golf Links on Midway Road in Duluth, or The Retreat Golf Course in Floodwood.

Wearable stuff

Bearaboo sweatshirts feature original designs by Emma. They are super comfy and wash really well. Sweatshirts are $45.

Other Bearaboo merchandise includes beanies, T-shirts, travel mugs and pottery mugs, as well as gift certificates.

Carmen's Bar and Restaurant offers an assortment of branded merchandise such as ball caps and T-shirts. (They also offer beer and wine classes.)

Buskala's Jewelry has been a fixture in Cloquet since 1881. It's a true-blue, old-fashioned jewelry store located right on Cloquet Avenue, run by a jeweler who learned the trade at his father's feet but who also feels comfortable using a laser to weld tiny pieces of jewelry. During their annual Christmas sale, their newly expanded selection of jewelry and gifts is all 25 percent off storewide. Stop in and visit with John and Joanne while you search for something that will be cherished forever.

Arts, crafts

There are many local artists, photographers and other makers hoping to share and sell their creations to people who appreciate what they do.

Although some of the season's biggest arts and crafts fairs have come and gone, including the Holiday Expo at Churchill last Saturday, the shopping isn't over yet. Keep a close eye on your church newsletter, because church bazaars are a great place to find something unique.

Head to the annual Country Store at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 515 Skyline Boulevard in Cloquet. Find fine handwork, quilts, plated cookies, pickles, jams, jellies, candies, gift jars and more 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 11.

Magnolia Café's Holiday Market – Gift certificates are available, and you can also shop an assortment of locally made items by area artists and makers.

Rocks are art, too. Find an incredibly wide assortment of polished rocks and jewelry made from those rocks at The Rock Place in West End Cloquet. They sell gift certificates too, perfect for the rockhound in your life.

Browse the Encore! Gallery at the Encore! Performing Arts Center, featuring art for sale by a variety of local artists.

The Pine Knot News gallery is featuring photos by Dan Malkovich and Will Stenberg. Stop by the office at 122 Avenue C and order a print.

Cloquet-based Adam Swanson is a painter and muralist whose offerings include affordable prints to fit your holiday budget, ranging from $40 to $65 for enhanced matte paper or $175 to $225 for stretched canvas. Choose any print at http://www.adamswanson.com as either a print on paper or canvas. To order, email [email protected] with title and size.

Home decor

Check out the Yah! Sure! Minnesota tea towel and Swedish dishcloth. This hand-printed tea towel is made of 100-percent cotton and features a loop for hanging. Swedish dishcloths are super-absorbent and can hold up to 20 times their weight in liquid. Both feature illustrations by Cloquet's Carrie Schaefer. It's eco-friendly and makes a great gift! http://www.schaeferdesign.org.

In addition to all the services you'd expect to find at a florist, Skutevik's Floral has an assortment of gift items including artwork from local artists. CrystalsMNCreations handcrafts adorable and whimsical gnomes for a variety of occasions and Dälarnia Woodworks repurposes reclaimed wood and turns it into Scandinavian designs that are fused with Americana and Southwestern styles.

Bergquist Imports offers a taste of Scandinavia right here in Cloquet, with everything from T-shirts, hats and socks from the old country to the kitchenware and recipe books you need to recreate your grandma's famous treats. Books, slippers, wooden clogs. Mugs and other dishes to remind people of faraway places. For those who don't need a gift that will hang around, there are jams and jellies, chocolates, specialty candies and more. Stop in at Bergquist: you never know what you will discover.

Woodfire Candle Company is an artisan, woman-owned and -operated candle studio located in the heart of Esko. After starting one candle at a time in a Duluth kitchen, Woodfire is now a team of eight, hand-pouring candles and home fragrance in a dedicated studio in Carlton County.

Woodfire candles are simple and intentional in design. They use only 100-percent soy wax, farmed in the U.S. Fragrances are phthalate-free and we don't add anything fancy or frilly. But there is sound. All candles are made with wooden wicks that crackle softly as they burn, like tiny little bonfires.

Grab a package of coffee or tea and a mug too from Gordy's Warming House, where they're also running their annual gift certificate special: Buy $100, get $25 free.

Surprise them with something totally unexpected. Call Tom at Cloquet Flooring - there may still be time to install your new floor before Santa arrives.

Good eats

Gift certificates to a favorite local bar and grill, restaurant or coffee house are sure to be appreciated.

We encourage you to support the establishments who've supported the Pine Knot News with their advertising dollars over the past three years.

In Carlton, the Magnolia Café, 3rd Base Bar and the Streetcar Kitchen & Pub are all great options.

Wrenshall has Bricks Pub & Grub and The Brickyard Restaurant.

When in Esko, Mike's Café & Pizzeria hits the spot.

In Cloquet, Common Ground Coffee Bar & Deli, Gordy's Warming House, Bearaboo Coffee, Carmen's Bar and Restaurant, Perkins, Southgate Family Pizzeria, Hong Kong Restaurant, Dairy Queen Grill & Chill and the River Inn Bar & Grill are all good options.

Famous as the only bar and restaurant in Wisconsin that you can get to only from Minnesota is the Wabegon Bar & Grill.

Or give the gift of groceries. B&B Market and Carlton Meat & Grocery offer gift certificates for someone who'd rather stay home and share the love around the kitchen table.

Homemade goodies are also greatly appreciated during the holiday season. Make memories and gifts while you concoct homemade jams and jellies, fudge, Christmas cookies and more.

Stays away

There are several charming bed and breakfast options such as the Oldenburg House located near the Munger Trail and Jay Cooke State Park in Carlton or the Historic Scott House, built on the shore of Lac La Belle in 1869. Originally an inn for stagecoach travelers and also a trading post and general store on the Military Road, the first road to connect St. Paul, Minnesota to Superior, Wisconsin.

The Northeastern Hotel on Cloquet's Dunlap Island is steeped in history and one of the few buildings to survive the Cloquet Fire of 1918.


A subscription to the Pine Knot News really is a gift that keeps on giving. It lands in the mailbox every week, there to inform and entertain, packed with stories that are unique, local and useful. Senior subscriptions are only $48 a year. The Pine Knot is the only locally owned, independent newspaper in Carlton County and was deemed the "most outstanding weekly newspaper" by its peers at the 2021 Minnesota newspaper convention. Call 218-878-9332, stop by the office (where we also sell mugs and T-shirts) or subscribe online at pineknotnews.com. You can also clip and send the form on this page.


Lights of Love - for those who have too much stuff! Recognize those who've had an impact on your life. For a $7 donation you can light a white light in memory of those no longer with us, a red light in appreciation of those who are living or a blue light in honor or remembrance of our military through the Community Memorial Hospital Volunteer Services Organization. The names of all honorees will be published in the Dec. 24 Pine Knot News. Donations must be received by Wednesday, Dec. 15. Contact Deanna Johnson at 218-879-4641 ext. 7142.

At the end of the day, Christmas is not really about the gifts, but about giving. Time is one of the best gifts to others. Take them to the movies, sit and visit, take a walk, go fishing, play cards, go grocery shopping and make a meal together. Put down the phones and enjoy their company. Happy holidays, everyone.

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