Oprah does it... and now I'm doing it. If you don't have the cash to spend $130 on a bargain pair of pajamas (who needs pajamas) or a $70 mail order crumb cake for holiday entertaining, here's a list of things for the rest of us I am endorsing as great Christmas gifts from Detroit and around the country!
FOR FOODIES and BOOZIES!
Porkosaurus BBQ Rub!!! Our friends on the highly acclaimed, award winning BBQ team Porkosaurus out of Memphis now offer their championship rub for sale online - $20 for almost 2 pounds and Amazon is offering free shipping on orders of $25 that includes this awesomely delicious rub. How do I know its delicious? I use it on veggies, pork, meat, and even fish, have sprinkled it on my mac and cheese even. Other items and smaller packages are available as well!
Valentine Spirits ----
I'm just thinking that Porkosaurus rub might work out in a bloody mary. And the best vodka in the world is Valentine! Sweetheart, I am not messing. It was named world's best at the World Drink Awards in London. Recognized by Anthony Dias Blue, editor-in-chief of The Tasting Panel magazine as one of the top vodkas in the world – placing higher than noted international brands like Belvedere, Ketel One, Grey Goose and Absolut. Made in the Motor City!
Valentine has an offering of other world acclaimed spirits too - check out their bourbon, rye and gin. I'm a fan of their White Blossom Vodka with a splash of grapefruit. Locally you can purchase at their tasting room, Meijer, Costco, and Kroger. Maybe take a tour of the distillery or take a date to the tasting room. To learn more and for locations outside of Michigan see HERE.
The bonus is their fantastic products are made by really good, hard working people!
Here's one of their earlier bottles with us at the historic Boots Court Motel.
You can buy them by the sack but should you? If you are coming to my holiday party, yes. No more chips and salsa, please. Bring cheese sticks with extra marinara as well. While you are at it they would make a great topping for your holiday bloody mary brunch bar. There is actually a holiday stuffing recipe made with White Castles as well, and you can buy them frozen to ship to your friends that have never had the joy of the morning after White Castles!
Devries & Co 1887
Devries (R HIRT) is my favorite place to shop for holiday gifts for foodies. They have been open in Detroit's Eastern Market since 1887! I have occasionally popped in to barista on a Saturday when Ive needed some extra cash at home! They carry many iconic and lesser known Detroit food brands as well as an incredible assortment of cheeses and exotic foods from around the world. Its quirky, and has an energetic vibe. If you don't care for crowds, go after 1 on Saturday or any weekday. Here are my favorite things to buy and see there during the holidays:
Coffee Express brand - roasted locally for decades by one of the owners of the original Blind Pig (music venue) in Ann Arbor. They helped me by roasting batches of What Would Jenni Brew for charitable events and occasionally still do for me. Find the coffee at the front of the store. On Saturday, get the best fresh cup in the market and tell Howard I sent you for beans! He can also help you with teas. My favorites for gift giving are Coffee Express Costa Rican beans, and Harney and Son's Hot Cinnamon Spice tea.
Cheese Counter - they have an endless selection - like a list 20 pages long - of fancy cheeses for holiday entertaining and there's usually some sampling of cheese and tasty dishes. Around 1pm on Saturday they discount the short cuts of cheese and mark down breads, etc. Ask if they are carrying Corridor Sausage Co's Vietnamese Chicken Sausage...oh soooo yummy. If its not there, get it from the stand in the Market.
Sweets - Please.. Please get a box of Marlenka Honey Nuggets for yourself and one for a gift. They look like a box of chocolates and come in plain, lemon, and chocolate....Yes chocolate honey balls! Even if you don't like honey try these things. They also sell cakes and bars - the bars do not compare.
Best Kept Secret in Detroit - ask for a ride in the freight elevator to find a room full of gifts, knick knacks and baskets. But more importantly ask where you can see Luis Resto. This renown musician has friends join him in making music upstairs at his studio space and its open to everyone to listen in for free. Luis has recorded on Grammy Winning recordings, worked with and performed with everyone from Johnny Cash to Eminem.. and yes he joined us once for our Christmas benefit for Gleaners :D
If you want the Dunbar edge, you need a hand crafted Silica Slide . You can order online or in the Detroit area, visit our friends at Berkley Music in Berkley, MI! Its the perfect stocking stuffer for the guitarist in your life for around $20+. While you are at it, how about a package of GHS strings as well.
Reverend Guitars has been making a buzz for sometime. They started in East Detroit, now located in Toledo. The brand has grown with a reputation for quality and affordability, beloved by locals and nationally acclaimed guitarists alike. Who plays Reverend Guitars? Folks like Pete Anderson, Meshell Ndegeocello, Rick Vito, and Dylan Dunbar... Do me a favor and ask customer service where you can find the Dylan Dunbar signature guitar.
Available around the world, check out their website to find your local music store or online distributor. May we suggest Joe's Music in Eastpointe, MI (East Detroit) if you are in Michigan.
And... How about lessons? In the Detroit area - reach out to our friends at Berkley Music for guitar, bass, piano lessons and more. These are people we know and love, many of them have performed around the world. They are all class! (248) 543-3900. Also, don't be afraid to reach out and ask Dylan about adult lessons when we are in Detroit. And lessons on adulting for the guitarist as well.
Well, come on it is my own blog... So buy some music, buy a T-shirt from me! Right now I have shirts up to 3xl on sale for $15. Add a download lanyard for $15 and get free shipping with code: JWHD BUNDLE! Some of you know we have new recording in our sights we want to get done soon. And we are leaving to work on new music in Arizona early in 2020, too. Your purchases will go to the cause!
Visit our store HERE
If you live in the Detroit area, buy a friend a gift certificate for Fishbone's or head out for a holiday date night. They serve sushi and NOLA inspired cuisine and have music on weekends. As I always say - support those that support your local and independent artists and they have been consistent champions of the cause, treating musicians with the utmost love and respect for years. We have our last full band event of the year at the Saint Clair Shores location on December 21.
FASHIONISTA'S and FUN!
SPEEDCULT - Add a little Detroit attitude to your home with metal art from Speedcult. Artwork, housewares, knick knacks; home decor for your Tiki Bar and more. They also have T's, Koozies, hats, etc. with prices starting at only $5. Check out all their cool stuff HERE or at Rustbelt Market in Ferndale.
Socks and Underpants
Laugh if you want but I've talked to a handful of women that want socks and underwear for Christmas and nothing brings more delight. Why? Its not fun spending money on socks and underwear. It is possibly one of the most anti-climatic and depressing moments of our lives. Buying us socks and underpants is like saying "Go get yourself something nice. Anything you want, whenever you want. Free that money up for a mani-pedi, a latte, a scratch-off". They can be just a plain old package of quality socks or some cute underwear. Hold the granny panties. Add a fun pair of socks that suit her personality.
Something that smells nice, something that burns.
Who doesn't like a candle for the holidays? Its a nice, appropriate gift for a party hostess, someone you've just started dating or even for your mom. The LuckenBooth carries candles, curious, teas and bulk herbs, essential oils with a splash of divination. And who doesn't want a Krampus Candle - Only $12! LuckenBooth Detroit is located next to the Hygrade Deli at 3650 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48216 ---> (313) 318-5801
Atomic Armour belts and accessories
Atomic Armour is an independently owned, hand crafted accessory company in Wichita, KS. Items are made of leather, vintage hardware, coins and sparkly things. Components snap together and can be used/repurposed to create belts, necklaces, head-dresses, hat bands and more - maybe a guitar strap? Designed with the belly dancing crowd in mind the items would appeal to anyone that likes a vintage vibe as well as lovers of steam punk. These are notably some of the more expensive items I've listed. Earrings start around $40 and full blown belts and accessories designed exclusively for the individual can cost up to $600 but one belt could possibly turn into a dozen of different accessories. Check it out HERE
Have a friend that is considering another tattoo? One of the artists at the award winning Lucky Monkey in Ann Arbor, Michigan would love to offer their services and our pal RC Palmer at Ol Crow Tattoo shop in Wichita has a chair waiting for you. Who wouldn't love a tattoo from this guy? He also creates some stunning artwork on repurposed window frames. If you are lucky he might throw in some style tips!
I'll be updating this blog before black Friday. As if I needed a disclaimer. Yes.. We have endorsements and friendships with many of these people. We keep good company and I wouldn't share anything I don't believe in!