Giving gifts with a local touch is a unique way to recognize the holiday spirit, whether you're giving to an out-of-towner or a fellow townie. It means you thought about it a little bit, and veered off the beaten path (i.e. Crossgates Mall Road).
Need some help?
If you have access to a local co-op, making a gift basket of specialty items is a fun present for anyone. Throw in some New York wine and cheese, and it's extra special! (Honest Weight in Albany has fantastic cheeses, and the Little Falls Community Co-Op sells beautiful Amish baskets, meaning a one-stop shop!)
Finger Lakes Wine (Seneca Lake, NY)
Amazing Real Live Food Company cheese
(available at Honest Weight)
The people around you, like friends and co-workers, often practice hobbies that may serve your purpose. Look for baked goods, crafts, maple syrup, or natural toiletry products (Homemade soaps are especially nice for the lady on your list.)
Hay Maple Syrup, Cobleskill, NY
Hand-made natural soaps (lotions, lip balms) by P. Maniscalco,
(highly recommended by me)
Or at the very least, shop at a small business. There are plenty of local chocolatiers, florists, jewelry makers, tea and coffee companies, etc. that could use your business as much as you could use their one-of-a-kind goods.
Loose tea at Nova Mae Cafe in Bennington, VT
Or, make something yourself! Bake up a batch of cookies, a pie, or some bread. A little love makes everything taste extra good.
I say you can still make the pumpkin bread. OR... homemade gingerbread anyone??
I'm sure you'll come up with something perfect :) Good luck and Merry Christmas!