Season’s greetings from Carson and family 🙂 This happy ho-ho-holidays post – the first in a two-part series – arrives from the frosty tip of Minnesota’s North Shore. We’re nowhere near the North Pole vicinity, but when it comes to giving, Santa + his busy elves have a little competition to contend with thanks to some super creative, innovative and generous Minnesotans…

Minnesota Gift Guide Lutsen Mountains

Before sharing our 2018 list of gift ideas, mini MN-maker stories and snaps (of course!), let’s pull back on this photo of Carson and enjoy the full-frame. He’s looking handsome indeed with Lutsen’s iconic Moose Mountain in the background.

Our 2017 Gift Guide was so fun to create — we wanted to follow up with something bigger and better! As we started to mull over our 2018 Minn-spired Holiday Gift Giveaway, our goals were to feature a few of our favorite things with heartfelt ties to Minnesota, and then to spread that homegrown love, far and wide. This year we’re highlighting eight elf-worthy giveaways on social media, to complement our list. Why? Well, because thankfully there are kind & generous folks who wanted to share with YOU – and we did, too. Follow From Lutsen with Love on our Instagram and Facebook feeds now throughout December for a chance to win.

So, here’s the first four must-give, Minn-spired items in our round-up…in no particular order.

Minnesota Gift Guide

Let’s begin by enjoying a bit of calming candlelight and puppy therapy, shall we? Meet Linda of Scent from Nature: 100% Pure Beeswax Candles.

Minnesota Gift Guide
Linda Newman displays her lovely Scent from Nature pure beeswax candles made in her Hovland, MN studio.

It was amazing to visit Linda at her idyllic Northern Minnesota studio last month where she has perfected the artistry of creating non-toxic pure beeswax candles.  She shared that pure beeswax candles have a longer burn-time than other candles. Her beauties emit the sweetest all-natural, mild-honey scent, and they come in a variety of sizes – pillars, tapers, votives and tealights. Linda has engineered her workshop with precision where she melts, molds, trims and packs these lovely miniature works of art year round.

Minnesota Gift Guide

She’s also represents the human component of Points Unknown dog-based adventures. These friendly pups just melted my heart!


Both of Linda’s passions and pursuits are based out of expanse of breathtaking forest in Hovland, MN. Here she operates her candle studio and cares for her canine companions completely off the grid. Yep, inspiring. She’s designed her space to be fully sustainable utilizing solar panels, deep cycle batteries and a back-up propane generator.

Minnesota gift guide www.FromLutsenwithLove.comI could have stayed all day at Linda’s, learning about her craft. She is smart, innovative, kindhearted and full of knowledge and wonderful stories. As part of the Holiday Gift Giveaway, Linda generously donated two of her Scent from Nature signature snowflake candles to two lucky winners! Watch for the giveaway on Facebook this month. In the meantime, check out Linda’s Facebook page.

Kah-nee-tah Gallery Lutsen Minnesota Gift Guide

Next up…let’s zip over to Lutsen’s Kah-Nee-Tah Gallery. Maybe we’ll see Santa!

Holiday carved figures Kah-Nee-tah Gallery Lutsen

This has become one of my top stops along Highway 61. There’s always something new at Kah-Nee-Tah, and every piece of art comes arm-in-arm with a wonderful local story. The gallery’s beautiful collection of one-of-a-kind works from regional crafts people and artists has greater meaning when customers can support area makers and their small businesses. For example, check out these darling wood-carved holiday figurines (below) by Wayne Johnson. Amazing to see how he transforms buck thorn!

Kah-nee-tah Gallery Lutsen Minnesota Gift Guide

And Dani, the friendly gallery manager and chief curator, juggles it all and has an amazing gift for identifying an original selection of desirable items at a variety of price points.


Making things merry, Kah-Nee-Tah Gallery is graciously offering a custom made-in-Minnesota signature mug as part of the Holiday Gift Giveaway. These are designed, crafted and fired by Minneapolis’ dynamic duo at Studio 2 Ceramics. Just add coffee – or tea!

Kah-nee-tah Gallery Lutsen Minnesota Gift Guide

Visit Kah-Nee-Tah in person next time you’re along the North Shore. In fact on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018 the gallery celebrates its fourth birthday bash from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Stop by for a festive beverage, live music and friendly company. You could even ask about a sleep-over as they rent the cutest rustic cottages! Meanwhile, check out their Facebook page.

Minnesota Gift Guide Pet Friendly  Next up, we needed a special gift for the good dogs. They’re always on the nice list, right? Our favorite pup-themed giveaway is one Carson purchased on his own to share with a fellow furry friend: one darling pup-kerchief made by Minnesota maker August Sparrow. This sweet website is brimming with Minn-spired items! He’s pairing it with a lumberjack-plaid, triple-heart dog dish, again from the creative & talented team at Studio 2 Ceramics in Minneapolis. This is so doggone cute! Watch for the bundle on Instagram…soon!

Superior Hiking Trail
Hit the Trail! The Superior Hiking Trail guidebook is filled with maps, campsite info, trailhead parking locations and more.

The fourth gift is well-suited for all the adventurous trail lovers out there. Hello…we see you! But, oh so briefly as there you go again…making tracks, backpacking, bicycling, cross-country skiing, hiking, sledding, distance running and camping along some of Minnesota’s most scenic thoroughfares.

Superior Hiking Trail minnesota gift guideOne lucky trail fan will win copy of the Superior Hiking Trail guidebook, a must-have for North Shore enthusiasts, that precisely charts the 320+ miles of rugged pathways stretching from Wild Valley Road south of Jay Cooke State Park to the Canadian border. Mile-by-mile descriptions feature maps, trailhead specifics and info on campsites.

Gitchi-Gami Trail and Superior Hiking Trail trail lovers giveaway

And…a special note of thanks to our friends at the Gitchi-Gami Trail Association for helping to round-out the trail-lovers giveaway with an awesome T-shirt, green water bottle and lovely sticker to proudly display! We met Michele from the GGTA last summer when we posted about our excellent ride from Lutsen to Tofte. Be sure to visit GGTA on Facebook, consider supporting their vital cause – and watch for details on this giveaway soon!

Hopefully this gave you a few gift ideas for those Minnesota Nice people on your list. Stay tuned for the second installment of our 2018 Holiday Gift Giveaway next week!

Thank you, as always, for visiting. xo

This post & photos first appeared on From Lutsen with Love on December 7, 2018. All reflections and images are my own. A warm thank you to Kah-Nee-Tah Gallery, Scent from Nature and the Gitchi-Gami Trail Association for donating in-kind items for this giveaway. Please consider supporting them, too! 

2 thoughts on “Minnesota-Themed Holiday Gifts. Just For You!

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