The 12 Best Gifts to Give Modern Enthusiasts

We’ve got 12 ways to give a little more cheer to the modern enthusiast in your life, Midwest style.


PossibiliTree at Danish Teak Classics

Skip the pine needles this season and make room for the Possibilitree.

Charlie Brown meets modern design in this wooden tree alternative, which is available at the modern furniture showroom, Danish Teak Classics, in Minneapolis.

It all started when architect Richard Babcock, who made furniture in his spare time, decided to skip the hassle of cutting down, hauling in and setting up a real tree in favor of crafting a Scandinavian looking one from wood slats.

Years passed before that spark of an idea transformed into a company run by his daughter, Pat; her husband, Arne Sorenson; and Sorenson’s sister, Nadja Sorenson Reubenova.

Babcock passed away in 2006, only a year after PossibiliTree started, but his family continues to churn out the wooden creations in memory of his inventiveness.

The tree comes in 2- and 3-foot tabletop versions, and a 6-foot model that hangs from the ceiling. You can opt to have it made in maple, walnut or cherry. The tree adds a holiday pop to DTC’s modern aesthetic and fits in next to the furniture Steven Swanson and his team find and restore.

When Christmas is over, just fold it up, stash it away and breathe a sigh of relief that your floor is pine needle free.

Get it now at Danish Teak Classics


Oiva Toikka glass birds, FinnStyle, Minneapolis

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me, seven (white and grey iittala Toikka glass) swans a swimming…

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The Porthole, Crucial Detail, Chicago

Here’s a stylish way to infuse anything from bourbon and gin, to olive oil and tea. Get creative and use it as a centerpiece to kick off the holiday dinner conversation.

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Watch, Shinola, Detroit

Get hearts a tickin’ with a Shinola watch meticulously assembled by hand in the company’s Detroit factory.

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Chocolate, Askinosie, Springfield, Mo.

Askinosie’s direct trade chocolate made in Springfield, Mo., gets some holiday cheer. Pick the gingerbread dark chocolate bar or pumpkin spice white chocolate bar.

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Parallel Series lights, online at Hennepin Made or exclusively at Room and Board, Minneapolis

Brighten up any space with these spun aluminum and hand blown glass pendant lights made by two guys in Minneapolis.

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Room and Board series


Games at Nora Modern, Detroit

For the kids (or the kid in us all), swap out Angry Birds for a game you can play around the table minus technology. Play memory with Eames, or learn the ins and outs of typography as you deal out this deck of cards.

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Bitters set, Bittercube, Milwaukee

Let the wannabe mixologist in your life feel like a pro with bitters such as blackstrap (good for whiskey) and Jamaican #2 (perfect in rum).

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Wooden state rattles, Bannor Toys, Des Moines

Let your little one show off his or her cheesehead pride (or whatever state you fancy) with these adorable wooden rattles.

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Denim jeans, Detroit Denim and Baldwin Denim, Detroit and Kansas City

Crank up the style of the man (or woman) in your life with a pair of selvage denim jeans stitched in Detroit or Kansas City. The more you wear them, the better they look.

Get it now: Baldwin Denim

Detroit Denim


Wood jewelry, Gustav Reyes, online or at Modern Cooperative, Chicago

These twisted coils bracelets made of salvaged wood from Gustav Reyes are sure to make a statement.

Get it now online

Or, at Modern Cooperative


Eames craze and books, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio

From the most comprehensive selection of contemporary art books, to Eames gear galore (check out this rocker and coat rack), this art center gift store is a one-stop shop for the modern enthusiast.

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