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A warmly dressed young woman carrying a shopping bag and a wrapped holiday gift glances at her phone.

How to Celebrate the Holidays With Some Evanston Flair

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Whether you’re staying put or traveling for the holidays this year, it’s easy to instill some Evanston, Illinois, flair into your celebrations. From local eats, treats, and artisans to Northwestern University-themed gifts, let your holiday reflect the best aspects of your Chicagoland home base with this guide from The Link Evanston.

How Can I Share my Wildcat Pride at the Holidays?

Take the 10-minute walk from The Link Evanston to the Northwestern University Bookstore on campus or shop online for gifts and fun stocking stuffers emblazoned with the Wildcat colors, mascot, and logo. For something a little more quirky, see if you can find a vintage Dillo Day festival T-shirt at Crossroads Trading or one of the other consignment or used clothing stores in town. If you’re video chatting with friends and loved ones, use a pic of the Deering Library building as your virtual background. This will do double duty and hide any mess you’ve left laying around!

What Are Some Other Creative Local Gifts I Can Find in Evanston?

Get in the holiday mood as you window shop around beautifully decorated Downtown Evanston where you’re sure to find lots of inspiration for locally themed gifts. Presents from or featuring local institutions and landmarks like the Halim Time & Glass Museum or the Grosse Point Lighthouse are also a great way to share the love. And at the Evanston Made online art shop you can find all kinds of eye-catching holiday gifts handcrafted by local artists.

Why Not Infuse Holiday Meals With Local Flavor?

If you’re spending the holidays in Evanston and don’t feel like cooking a feast yourself, you can savor a delicious meal at one of the many wonderful downtown restaurants. Order carryout or delivery with the special three-course surf and turf menu from Prairie Moon or keep it casual with pizza and barbecue from Smylie Brothers Brewing Co, Call ahead to verify holiday hours and order in advance. If you’re cooking at home, lighten your load by buying an incredible dessert from Patisserie Coralie, or enjoy decorating (and then eating) a gingerbread house kit from Bennison’s Bakery.

What Are Some Good Local Products to Include in a Care Package?

Send a little taste of Evanston to friends or loved ones who can’t be with you this year, with a care package that includes a jar of House Made Jam from Found Kitchen and Social House, mouthwatering handcrafted chocolates from Belgian Chocolatier Piron or fragrant handmade soaps and lotions from The Alchemist’s Wife.

For more great options to eat, drink, and make merry in and around Evanston, check out The Link Evanston’s Neighborhood page. And wherever and however you’re celebrating the holidays this year, have fun incorporating local vibes from Evanston and Northwestern University.

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