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Mark Lynn's Gift Ideas 2023

Mark Lynn's Gift Ideas 2023

All year, we've combed Appalachia's hills and hollers, and, dang it, our collection of handmade goods has never been more exciting. 

The downside? 

I'm supposed to name favorites in this guide, and there's just no way! We handpick and love every product we share with you. So while I can't exactly call them favorites, my holiday gift ideas do have something special for everyone on your list.

Sure hope you like them. And, even more, I hope you have a magical holiday season.

— Mark Lynn, Woodshed's Co-founder

Gifts for


I'm like a crow. Flash something shiny in front of me, and I'm hooked. That's why I love our many jewelry makers. They know how to mix metals with other materials to create truly enthralling, wearable art. 
We’ve all admired deer running through a field or watching us from a roadside. Now you can honor them with this beautiful necklace. Made by Rebecca Accessories in Asheville, North Carolina, it comes in silver or gold. Both are lead and nickel free.
That loved one with a little edge, the one who loves a bold, yet minimalist accessories — these triangle stud earrings were made for them. Crafted from clay and gold plated brass by Cold Gold in Knoxville, Tennessee, they're nickel/lead-free and finished with hypoallergenic, surgical steel posts and rubber backing.
Made in West Virginia by The Pretty Pickle, this necklaces features a single, striking mustard seed captured in jewelry grade resin. Inspired by the Biblical verse in Matthew 17:20, it represents the surprising strength found in small things. The necklace’s stainless bezel hangs from a 24” matching chain.

Gifts for


Everybody thinks their grandma was the best cook ever, right? Not me. You could give my momma's momma the finest cut of filet mignon, and she would turn it into charcoal. She was such an amazing lady in other ways, but Lawd, we kept her out of the kitchen. Anyway, you can't go wrong with these gifts when you're shopping for grannies, spouses, friends, and neighbors who are, in fact, good cooks. 
These beautiful tea towels brighten up any kitchen. Hand printed by The High Fiber, a husband and wife team in Asheville, North Carolina, they're made from natural fabrics and environmentally kind inks. Fun fact: The clever couple behind these towels screen their patterns onto fabric using sunlight! 
The mothers of all utensil crocks, these stoneware beauties are both beautiful and durable. Fired to 2200 degrees, they are dishwasher safe and promise to become heirloom additions to your favorite cook's kitchen. They are handmade by the gifted potters at East Wheeling Clayworks in — you guessed it — Wheeling, West Virginia.
Led by a husband and wife duo, both former coal miners, Allegheny Treenware crafts beautiful wooden utensils like this charming butter board with a wooden knife. It's the perfect gift for bread lovers or really anyone with a soft spot for butter.

Gifts for


There are downsides to having little screens with us all the time. We sometimes forget the sheer wonder of paper — the smell of a new book's pages, the weight of it in our hands, the tactile joy of pulp. But the holidays are the perfect time to help loved ones connect with their inner bookworms. 

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This year's winner of the Pulitzer prize! Set in the southern Appalachians, "Demon Copperhead" is about Damon Fields, a boy born to a teenaged mother in a single-wide trailer. In a plot that never pauses, he braves foster care, child labor, derelict schools, athletic success, addiction, disastrous loves, and crushing losses. Through it all, Damon reckons with his own invisibility in a culture that has abandoned rural people.
According to legend, a strange moth-like creature lives deep in the West Virginia woods. Few have seen Mothman, but everyone agrees nothing good happens when he's around. Is he really an unlucky charm, or does he get blamed for trouble just because of his strange, glowing, red eyes? Find out in this heartwarming, holiday picture book for children and adults.
The only child of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, John Carter Cash shares cherished family recipes and memories about meals shared around the kitchen table with his famous parents. From June's biscuits to Mother Mabelle's tomato gravy, these recipes from one of Appalachia's most cherished families promise to become classics for your family too.

Gifts for


A lot of nights, my husband Alex and I are in a rush. We'll heat some frozen pasta because it's fast and easy. But I still look for little ways to make the meal special. My favorite vintage dishes, a good cocktail, and some great candles always do the trick. These beauties here are perfect for giving life's mundane moments a little sparkle.

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If this isn't the world's sexiest candle, we don't know what is. As its wood wick burns, the smoky grey geode will glisten and your home will fill with the aroma of cedarwood, sandalwood, birch, sea salt, and musk. The candle's unique container is also reusable.
Not your typical holiday candle, this one is grounded by earthy base notes of moss and soil which open up to herbal mid-tones of sage and balsam, which then give way to bright top notes of currant and frosted pine. Hand poured by Cord & Iron in Beaver, Pennsylvania, invokes fond memories of freshly fallen snow on a brisk winters night.
Like a little wit with your wick? This snarky candle — made from hand-poured soy wax by Wicks & Wreaths in Buchanan, Virginia — is ski lodge scented and guaranteed to bring a smile to even the most stoic person on your gift list.

Gifts for


You know, I had to leave Appalachia to fully appreciate its natural wonders. I immediately missed its rolling mountains, souring waterfalls, enormous caverns, and sparkling lakes. And when I saw how other places had been trashed by industry or paved over for strip malls, I understood the importance of our parks. They keep Appalachia Appalachian. Shouldn't we celebrate and protect them?
Running from Maine to Georgia, the Appalachian Trail is the world's longest hiking-only trail. Whether you've done a through-hike from beginning to end or day-hikes at some of its most striking points, you can relive your favorite AT memories with this 750 piece puzzle. It was crafted by True South Puzzle Co. 
With this classic beanie hat, your loved ones can keep their heads warm and their hearts true to the Smokey Mountains. Depicting the park's dramatic peaks plus a big blue sky, it contains 50% recycled polyester and 50% acrylic yarns. This retro-ish hat is made by The Landmark Project, a Greenville, South Carolina print shop that creates beautiful products that commemorate outdoor places we love.
Stretching over a hundred miles, Shenandoah National Park has been delighting visitors since 1935. Its legendary vistas are captured perfectly in this stunning giclée print from Charlottesville, Virginia artist Barbara Shenefield, who prints all her art in-house, using a special clay-coated paper that renders vibrant colors. This piece measures 13" x 19".

Gifts for


If you're shopping for someone who likes to add a little flair to their vehicle, notebooks, or canteens, then you've hit the jackpot. From natury to silly, we have some of the most distinctive stickers I've ever seen.
Share the majesty of one of Appalachia's most beloved butterflies. This eco-friendly sticker is made from responsibly sourced paper with a glassine liner. It was created by Root & Branch Paper Co. in Knoxville, Tennessee,
What’s more fun than a ripped raccoon? Printed on indoor/outdoor vinyl, he's made by Kin Ship Goods in Charleston, West Virginia, a small business that draws inspiration from rabble rousers, mountain mornings, labors of love, and dusty keepsakes.
Probably the most versatile saying we have here in the South. It can mean everything from "you are so sweet!" to "you ain't so smart, are you?" This premium vinyl sticker won't crack or fade, and it's waterproof too. It's made by Good Southerner in Cookeville, Tennessee.

Cards for


I love a thoughtfully chosen gift, but thoughtfully chosen words really win my heart.

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In our Roanoke, Virginia shop, you'll find hundreds more gifts from area craftspeople along with beer, wine, and cocktails from Appalachian producers.




WOODSHED photo IN HEADER BY sally hinton via CANVA.

Mark Lynn Ferguson founded Woodshed. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Virginia Living, and many Appalachian publications. He lives in Roanoke, Virginia, where he loves cooking a mess of fried taters, picking pawpaws, and exploring the old family farm he and his husband bought in 2021.