BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Christmas is in T-minus 17 days. Do you have your list, and are you checking it twice? Because you don’t have much time left to shop.

But luckily, our region has plenty of places to check out, from department stores to made-in-North Dakota treasures to find the perfect gift.

Should I shop online, visit a big department store, or just give them cash? These are all questions that come to many of our minds around the holidays. So why not stick local?

“A lot of people like to shop locally at Christmas time. It’s been a good boom for the small businesses in our area,” said Store and Vendor Owner, Steven Furcht. 

Local vendors in the mall create handmade, North Dakota-made goods.

Not only can buying locally save you a buck or two but it can also help our community overall.

“I would say that most of your money stays here when you shop locally, about 66% of your dollar will stay in the local community when you buy local. If you go to a big box store it’s usually between 10 and 20%,” said Furcht. 

Vendors at the Gateway Mall are not only preparing to get those Christmas presents together for the holiday season but, they’re preparing to cater to just about everyone.

“Turquoise is kind of a Native American stone. If you’ve ever been down south, you’ll see an awful lot of it down there, and you’ll see a lot of unique designs that they make, handmade like the Zuni putting different colors together of stones and make pictures it means a lot to them,” said Jewelry Maker, Connie Gessele.

Both businesses say the holiday season is going well for them and their consumers.

“I’ll say it’s really really good. A lot of people like to buy stuff and send it off to their families that have moved away, and in general, we get a lot of corporate odors like right now we have some that are about 250 boxes at a time,” said Furcht.

“I just sold 15 necklaces to a lady the other day and she said “oh you have everybody’s personality here”, Gessele said.

Selling what’s made from home, at home, to those at home and beyond is special, and after all, we are searching for that perfect gift.

“It’s largely due to the artisans in the area. You have quite a few people that this is what they do, their primary job or their secondary income and they pour their hearts into it. They really enjoy making things that people enjoy in North Dakota,” said Furcht. 

“It’s really a passion of mine. I love to see somebody happy with my jewelry,” said Gessele. 

Maybe this helped you with your Christmas shopping list.

For some saying bye to websites, long lines, and big stores, this may be the way to go for you this year.

According to a survey by Serp Watch, right now, 82% of consumers use local businesses, and 48% plan to shop locally more often in 2023.