Great list, Bridie! Theatre tix and winter blooming bulbs are a couple of my local favorite gifts to give.
To add to your list ... local independent gift stores and art galleries.
We have several Trade Days weekends around the metroplex that allow shoppers to meet the artists and find unique gifts. Also, several popular craft and holiday expos.
Another way to shop locally is Etsy.com - they have the option to search for local artisans vs. the international database.
On a similar note, I've started giving to local vs. national organizations. Non-profits have felt the pinch of the economy too.
In some years, when friends have gathered, we all bring non-perishable foods to donate to the local food bank - or to help someone we know that can use a little help.
When I was married with step daughters, I helped them make meaningful gifts for them and their dad. They were 10 & 14 and had never cooked their dad a meal, so I helped them plan, shop for, and cook their first Father's Day celebration. They were over the moon with excitement. At Christmas, I gave them the idea of a book of memories for their dad, since he missed them a lot, and for every page in the book, they wrote a favorite memory or reason why they loved him. Very low cost, but both full of "personalized love", and brought a lot of joy to the girls, their dad, and me. I think we lose sight of simple things sometimes with the business and commercialization of the holidays.
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