It is that time of year again. Chances are the dregs of big box retail will sing their siren song. Don’t listen. We’ve got a better idea. Hit up these cool small businesses in Raleigh, and buy your loved ones something awesome. They deserve it, and your local proprietor will thank you in copious smiles. Plus, they’ll be able to restock their shelves with more unique goods and maybe eat something other than potatoes for dinner. Buy local and spread holiday merriment all around. 

Ramble Supply Co.  Liz Kelly Ceramics coffee mug, $35; Rhue Designs wooden bottle openers, $75 each; Mixed Made Bees Knees spicy honey, $14; Enkle Designs artisan cutting boards, $50 each. Kye + Hardy textured pillow, $150. 123 E. Martin St.

Flight Pop-up (collaboration between Deco Raleigh and Edge of Urge)  Videri Sea Salt and Dark Chocolate, $8; Kikkerland Rivsalt sea salt and grater set, $25; sea salt refill, $6; Stay Home Club Sad Sack tote, $22. Open 7 days a week until Dec. 31st! 10% of all sales fuel the Flight Fund providing urban improvements and spurring creativity in DTR. 17 E. Martin St.

Quercus Studio  S. Tector Metals geometric sterling silver earrings, ranging from $45-$65; Sevlyn leather clutch, $135; Horn & Heel field knives with sheath, $200 each or kitchen knives, ranging from $180-$300. 201 S. Salisbury St.

Visual Art Exchange  Elena Caron embroidery hoop art, $25-$35; Crude Bitters small batch bitters 4-pack gift box, $25; 4-oz. bitters any variety, $17 each; Curtis Blake Leather beer caddy, $135 or doctor’s bag, $435. 309 W. Martin St.

Before you head off to Person Street, you’re going to need a little sustenance. We suggest you pop over to South St. for a roasted carrot tart and a coffee at Boulted Bread (614 W. South St.). While you’re there, pick up some craft bread for yourself and an extra loaf for your friends. It is not nice to show up for dinner empty-handed, after all. Then drop in Holder Goods & Crafts next door (612 W. South St.) to spruce up your digs a little before company. You know that taxidermy fox is a great conversation starter…

So & So Books  Well, you don’t need us to tell you what you want to read, or what books to give. But you might want to ask the kind folks and literary tastemakers at So & So Books to offer help should you need it; they’re pretty savvy. We’re big fans of the RBG, thus the not so subliminal suggestion of Notorious. Do what you feel. It also is just a cool space to hang out in, by the way–part bookstore, part architecture firm. 704 N. Person St.

Pelagic Beer + Wine is spanking new to the neighborhood. Spread some holiday cheer, literally. Pick up a few bottles to fill that leather beer caddy we know you want from VAE. What the heck, make them seasonal brews to get in the spirit! 300 Pace St.

Oak City Cycling  Brooks leather bicycle saddle, $115 or Cambium saddle made of vulcanized rubber and cotton (vegan) $165; Ten Speed Hero Blue Intelligentsia Star socks, $12; La Girafe Sportive pink chain sock, $12. 212 E. Franklin St.

Gather  Check out Oak City Cycling’s new neighbor, Gather. Again, we have no specific recommendations here. The hanging glass planters are on our wish list though, just sayin. But you’ll love everything in this airy, light-filled nook. Formerly located in the historic village of Cary, Gather is owned by Rock & Shop Market founder Michelle Smith, so you know the makers will be spot on in this tiny curated market. 212 E. Franklin St.

Standard Foods Restaurant and Grocery The much buzzed about Standard Foods is open, and the joint is popping! We suggest you head over to refresh from your travails with some Tribucha kombucha, soon to be on tap there (the Flower of Life, oh my!). Build a gourmet gift basket with local goods, or stock your fridge and pantry with heritage meat and artisan cheese before your guests arrive. Then, naturally you’ll deserve a cocktail and a plate of Scott Crawford’s amazing food, right? 205 E. Franklin St.

Edge of Urge Culture Flock Clothing E. T. t-shirt, $28; Custom-stamped naughty unicorns, $5 each. 215-110 E. Franklin St.

Lumina Clothing Company  Lumina Cotton Duck Work Chinos, $128; The Graham Button Down Lumina shirt in grey check poplin, $98; Portland General Store Sea Mineral aftershave splash in whiskey, $18 and beard oil, $30. 215-120 E. Franklin St.

Escazu Artisan Chocolates  Give someone you cherish chocolate from this Good Food Award winner. The dark chocolate peppermint marshmallow is festive. But we’re all for a liquor-filled chocolate, too. Better get multiples. 936 N. Blount St.

Furbish Studio PomPom ornaments, $14 each; Felt Evil Eye ornament, $12; Felt Evil Eye Wall Hanging, $58. 2012 Cameron St.

Happy Holidays! For more Raleigh goodness check out our city guide.

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