Shop Local: Chicago-Made Holiday Gift Guide for 2012

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Shop Local: Chicago-Made Holiday Gift Guide for 2012
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Truffle Truffle's Chicago-inspired treats. (Photo courtesy of Nicole Greene, Truffle Truffle.)

Holiday shopping season has officially begun, and this year, more Chicagoans are looking to shop local for the special people on their lists. There are many local businesses that make great gifts for Chicagoans by Chicagoans. Here is a look at some of the best Chicago-inspired gifts to give this year.

Truffle Truffle's Chicago Truffle Collection, $6-$24

Chicagoans will love Truffle Truffle's Chicago line of sweets. Each gift set of truffles comes in a decorative tin commemorating the city's famous skyline. Each truffle is decorated to resemble the red, white, and light blue Chicago municipal flag. The sweets are created by Nicole Greene and her artisan chocolate team. Truffe Truffle products can be purchased online or at several specialty grocery shops throughout the city.

Koval Distillery's Lion's Pride 47th Ward Four-Grain Whiskey, $49.99

Koval Distillery has the distinct honor of being Chicago's first craft distillery since the Prohibition era. Located on the city's North Side, they create organic whiskeys, brandies, and liqueurs. The Lion's Pride 47th Ward Four-Grain Whiskey is named for the city's famous 47th Ward and creates the perfect gift for any liquor connoisseur. Koval Distillery sells their spirits through their website and several shops in the Chicago area.

Tru Blooms Chicago Perfume, $65

Tru Blooms is a community-based initiative that works with the City of Chicago to use local space to grow the flowers needed for their signature scent. The result is the Tru Blooms Chicago perfume. It uses roses, white lilies, lavender, and violet, the state flower, to create a signature scent that represents everything Chicago's about. The fragrance can be purchased at many locations throughout the city, including Water Tower Place, The Chicago History Museum, and The Ritz Carlton. To find a complete list of stores throughout Chicagoland area that carry the fragrance, visit the Tru Blooms website.

Chicago-Style Hot Dog Belt by Chicago Belt Company, $35

For a fun holiday present, give the gift of a Chicago-style hot dog belt, a blue and white belt with a Chicago-dog print. They are available in men's and women's sizes. The locally based Chicago Belt Company sells products that define the Chicago lifestyle and that of the Great Lakes region. If the hot dog belt isn't for you, they also sell Chicago municipal flag belts and Mackinac-inspired products too. You can purchase any of the belts on the Chicago Belt Company website.

Al Capone at Wrigley Field T-Shirt, $10

Nothing brings the North Side and the South Side together quite like this T-shirt. It depicts notorious South Side mobster Al Capone taking in a Cubs game at Wrigley Field. For a native Chicagoan, it is one of the best gifts you can find. The shirt is sold by Souvenirs of Chicago. The business, owned by artist Mark Thomas, is operated on the idea that Chicago souvenirs should come from Chicago. Their products can be purchased online or at The Alley, located at the corner at Clark and Belmont in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood.

Whitney Levon is a native Chicagoan and a local blogger. You can follow her on Twitter @sweetchitown or on her blog, Sweet Chi Town.

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