Appalachian Gift Guide

Published on December 24, 2014
Written by Ray Access

Appalachian Gift Guide

Christmas in Central Appalachia means getting together with your loved ones. It’s a time to share the warmth of friendship, the blessings of family and the gratitude of receiving gifts. This article highlights one gift idea from 10 Central Appalachian states. Maybe you’ll find something to give… or keep!


Not every gift has to be expensive. The Nora Mill Granary in Helen is famous for its flour and mixes, but the Smidgen, Dash, Pinch measuring spoon is very clever. At $4.95, get one for everyone who loves to cook from the hand-written, hand-me-down recipes from Great-Great-Grandma.


Daniel Boone personifies Kentucky, so this 10½-inch distressed wooden writing desk from the Daniel Boone Trading Post may be the perfect Kentucky gift. It’s like owning an old-fashioned desk for $83.00, but it works on any tabletop. When folded up, even Daniel Boone could carry it in a knapsack.


Sleeping cats can turn up anywhere: on the bed, in the closet, under the sofa and… on your desk. While you can find blown-glass items almost anywhere, these curled-up sleeping cat paperweights from the Art of Fire are both affordable ($36) and one-of-a-kind. Find a colorful tabby for your friends and family.

North Carolina

The Blue Ridge Mountains are in the heart of Central Appalachia, and Asheville is in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. So discover some of the fine local food that Asheville Goods packages, such as the Blue Ridge Breakfast gift box. It has local grits, biscuit mix, coffee beans, jam, honey, and more, all for $48.00.


Athens, in southeastern Ohio, was established in 1787. When people kept stealing the bricks from city streets, a law was passed to imprint every brick with “Athens block.” Now you can buy a square coffee mug with the logo imprinted on it for only $30. You can’t find this anywhere else, and you’ll know if anyone steals your coffee.


The best representation for this state may be a Pennsylvania Dutch hex sign. The best one we’ve ever seen is a gorgeous hand-painted, leather-tooled hex sign. It’s $99.99, but you can’t find them anywhere else.

South Carolina

Upstate is much different from most of the state. Instead of embracing conservative values, upstate people favor progressive values, like recycling. So here is a great idea that’s also useful: a 12x9-inch cookbook holder made of repurposed forks. It’s a unique gift from a Greenville artist. For $79.00, you can finally make that recipe without making a mess.


Pigeon Forge is famous for many things besides Dolly Parton. Start with a jar of blackberry moonshine jelly from The Three Bears General Store for $6.99. Then add some good Southern cornbread from The Old Mill. For $29.99, it comes with its own pottery baker.


Roanoke is one of only two good-sized cities that border the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s only fitting then, that this gift highlights the Roanoke Star, the largest freestanding neon star in the world. The Roanoke Star coffee mug from Steger Creek is $24.00, but unavailable anywhere else.

West Virginia

The mountains of West Virginia have always been mined, so it makes sense that this gift would be made of metal. This ring is made from a West Virginia quarter by Etsy artist customcoinrings. For $29.95, you can show the world how much you love the Mountain State.

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