Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and as you enjoy a delicious meal and quality time with family and friends, you may also be penning your holiday shopping lists. As you seek gifts for everyone from grandparents to coworkers, be sure to check out these local businesses for unique presents.

Barbara Jean's Gifts and Gourmet
Barbara Jean's Gifts and Gourmet is located in Crown Point. This shop features items by local artisans and specialty food items. In addition to fabulous gifts like homemade soaps, hand-carved wooden bowls, glass cheese trays and more, specially made gift baskets can be created, making an impressive gift for any occasion.

To learn more, visit

Update 9/13/17 - Barbara Jean's Gifts & Gourmet no longer has a storefront, but is still creating gift baskets! Call her with your order at (708) 606-1612.

It's Just Serendipity
From glassware and décor to collectibles and vintage items, It's Just Serendipity offers something for everyone. This consignment shop provides explorers with numerous opportunities to serendipitously stumble upon special nostalgic gifts. The shop sets out items daily, so there is always something new to discover.

Find It's Just Serendipity at 5630 Hohman Avenue in downtown Hammond. For more information, visit

The Gift Shoppe at The Shrine of Christ's Passion
The Shrine of Christ's Passion's Gift Shoppe is a 6,000-square-foot store with more than 10,000 products, offering inspirational gifts for any occasion. Guests can shop for religious art, jewelry, carvings, bronze sculptures and more. All net proceeds from Gift Shoppe purchases sustain and support the upkeep and maintain of The Shrine of Christ's Passion.

The Shrine is located at 10630 Wicker Avenue in St. John. Their current hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and beginning the second week of December will change to 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Learn more about The Shrine of Christ's Passion and the Gift Shoppe at

Long's Gifts and From the Needle's Point
With its terrific selection of unique toys and games, kitchen items, crafting supplies and holiday décor, Long's Gifts and From the Needle's Point offer shoppers an eclectic array of gift options.

Located at 125 Front St. in Rensselaer, this local shop is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and is closed on Sunday. For more information, call 219-866-5353.

Lifestyles Unique Gifts
Located in Valparaiso's downtown historic district, Lifestyles carries gifts, kitchen gadgets, gourmet foods, jewelry, luxurious bath items, art, home and garden décor, toys and baby items, freshly roasted coffee and so much more. They also offer free gift wrapping year round.

Lifestyles is located at 122 East Lincolnway in Valparaiso and is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and closed on Sundays. To learn more about Lifestyles, visit

Oak Ridge Jewelers
Family-owned and operated in Northwest Indiana for more than 20 years, Oak Ridge Jewelers has a beautiful selection of jewelry, gift items, watches, Pandora and Karisma, as well as contemporary metal jewelry. Custom and personalized jewelry is available as well.

Oak Ridge Jewelers is located at 329 N. Halleck Street in DeMotte. The store is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday; closed on Sunday. For more information, visit

Small business Saturday is Nov. 29. Be sure to support these businesses and others as you plan the perfect holiday! Check back throughout the week for additional blogs on some of the above locations to learn more about these fabulous and unique stores.

Contributing Editor: Stacina Stagner
Former communications coordinator with the South Shore CVA.