‘Tis the season n’at, yinz guys. Giveaway!

I start thinking about my Yinzer Gift Guide in the late summer. It’s a bazillion degrees out, my eyeballs are sweating, my hair looks like someone electrocuted Cousin It, and I begin to pine for a cool breeze and a cute scarf.

So I’ve been hunting for months for the perfect gifts to suggest to you for the Burgh-lover in your life, or even yourself. My requirements are gifts that either feature Pittsburgh, are made in Pittsburgh, or are made elsewhere by former Pittsburghers. I don’t think any made the list from that last category this year as all 13 gifts on the list are Burgh-made or feature the Burgh. Some do both.

Gifts range in price from $12 to $198, with almost all of them coming in at or below $50. 

As you click through the slideshow, you will need to scroll down on some picture captions to read the entirety of them.

And it wasn’t easy to pick the list, so here are the others ideas that would make awesome gifts as well:

—  The “Jagoffs Make Me Stabby” and “I Brake for Tunnels” shirts from Fresh Factory, with proceeds going to Genre’s Kids With Cancer Fund.

— Anything from Believe Merch or Commonwealth Press.

— BYOB painting fun at Paint Monkey! 

— LOVE these handmade holiday cards designed and produced right here in the Burgh by a Burgher.

JP Diroll Pittsburgh Photography or Uprooted Photographer Photography.

— Anything from Sapling Press or Garbella.

— Or go to Wildcard and just go nuts.

Check them out if there’s nothing on the Yinzer Gift Guide that floats your coal barge down the Mon.

Now, let’s give some of the list items away!

Here’s what you will get, and due to the fragile nature of two of these items, I’m going to ask that the winner make arrangements to personally retrieve the items from me or my husband at Las Velas in Market Square.  If you live out of state, you hopefully have some close friends or relatives who can run downtown and get these picked up for you until such a time as you can get to the Burgh. Or make arrangements for that friend to have the items CAREFULLY shipped to you. (I just typed “shitted to you” and then had to stop writing and chuckle for twenty seconds).

What: One lucky randomly-selected winner will receive the following, all valued at a total of more than $160:

  • Pittsburgh Love pottery made at the Zotter the Potter studios in Pittsburgh. Perfect kitchen utensil holder.
  • One You and Who Pittsburgh T-shirt in size X-Large.
  • One Light of Life GLORY ornament forged at Wendell August Forge.
  • One professionally matted and framed “HOME” print in which the H is an ornamental railing overlooking Mt. Washington, the O is the Kaufmann’s clock, the M is the arches on Carnegie Music Hall and the E is an ornamental iron design on the door to Heinz Chapel. If you haven’t gone to the ltrs4u.com site to check out the amazing Burghy ways you can spell anything you desire, you must. And each picture is taken in the Burgh. I had a hard time choosing the perfect Burghy M for this HOME print I designed just for one of you. Imagine your friend or brother or sister who no longer lives in Pittsburgh being able to hang this in their house to show where home really is.

To enter: You have until next Monday to enter and all you need to do is leave a comment, one comment per valid email address. And so you have something to say, either tell me a gift you think should have made the list or tell me what your favorite holiday memory is. You can be as brief or as wordy as you like. I’d love to read some funny stories about cats in Christmas trees, the time you and your husband bought each other the same gift, or the funny thing your kid shouted out at church.

My favorite holiday memory is the time my mother made my father his favorite fruity cranberry jello dessert for Thanksgiving, I mean, he LOVES this stuff and she only makes it once a year. She took it out of the oven. She let it set. She continued to cook and bake delicious things. And then she absentmindedly put it back in the oven and returned it to its formerly liquid state, and then upon realizing her mistake minutes later, she frantically tried to take it out of the oven causing the liquid to slosh all over the inside of the hot stove, filling my sister’s Wexfordhampsminstershire home with cranberry-flavored smoke. My father was an understanding but very sad panda.

Tell me yours!

Random.org will select the lucky winner next Monday, November 26 at noon. If your comment goes to spam, I’ll fish it out for you. No worries. The winner and I will then make arrangements for me to hand over the loot.

Good luck!

And go check out the Yinzer Gift Guide!


  1. Joyce D.
    November 25, 2012 9:35 am

    Growing up my mom and I had this unspoken contest. She would buy and wrap the presents and then hide them. And then I would try to find them. My two favorite years were the Year She Gave Up (Put the presents on a table in the basement and threw a sheet over them) and The Year of the Garage (She hid them in the rafters of the garage – I could see them, but couldn’t get to them. Evil genius!) The year she drove me crazy was the year she hid them under our small Christmas tree – it was a little four foot tree that sat on a sheet-draped table. It never occurred to me to lift the sheet – who would hid Christmas presents under a Christmas tree?!

  2. Shannon
    November 25, 2012 10:18 am

    When I was a teenager I made it my mission to find the gifts that my mom had hidden. I’d wait until my mom wasn’t home and the hunt would be on. I was only successful a couple of times. My mom sure hide them well.

  3. Shortie
    November 25, 2012 3:34 pm

    My favorite Christmas memory is no question, December 23, 2010 at about 10pm. Everything is ready for the holiday – kids presents are wrapped, cookies are baked, Christmas CD is softly playing. The only thing I had left to do was wrap my husbands presents, so I run out to the garage where I hid them. After 35 minutes of frantic searching, I break down and ask him where the bags of presents were?

    HE THREW THEM IN THE GARBAGE!!! To be fair, they were hidden in large, opaque bags…but I still can’t believe he tossed them accidentally.

    I spent Christmas Eve running all over town buying a second version of everything on his list. I remember my panic then, but now this memory always makes me smile.

  4. Amy
    November 25, 2012 6:07 pm

    Every year my family would go Christmas caroling with other neighborhood families. Some people would sing, some would play musical instruments. Afterwards, we would go to the same neighbor’s house every year for hot chocolate, monkey buns (some kind of sweet roll) and games. It seems like no one goes Christmas caroling anymore, but those time are some of my happiest Christmas memories.

  5. Denise
    November 25, 2012 9:50 pm

    My favorite holiday memory hasn’t happened yet…my little girl turned one today and this Christmas we will be traveling to Iowa to Pittsburgh to spend the holiday with our family and friends. Looking forward visiting with everyone and taking part in some Pittsburgh traditions with our little one!

  6. Brian
    November 26, 2012 9:27 am

    My favorite Christmas memory is when I received a huge 75 gallon fish tank from my sister. I was 14 and she came home from college – I opened up the first box and it had a stale fish bowl in it. I was very disappointed, but everyone laughed and took me outside to the car where the tank was. 13 years later, I still have the tank up and running!

  7. Julie
    November 26, 2012 9:40 am

    One of my favorite Christmas memories is my big family cramming into my Grandmother’s tiny two bedroom apartment. There was barely enough room for everyone, but Grandma loved hosting everyone. She would send the cousins out to carol in her high rise complex, and when we got back from caroling, Santa would have stopped by and all of our presents were under her miniature tree.

  8. Sean
    November 26, 2012 9:52 am

    I feel like Eat ‘N Park Smiley Cookies should always be included in a Yinzer Gift Guide!

  9. Gina
    November 26, 2012 11:37 am

    I found out about Santa accidentally (and very young), so my favorite Christmas memory was a Christmas Eve before that, and Santa made his way around the neighborhood, stopping in at kids’ houses to tell them to go to bed early so he’d have time to deliver presents. It was the last time I believed & it was magical.

  10. red pen mama
    November 26, 2012 12:01 pm

    I just had one of my favorite thanksgivings ever. It’s my favorite holiday, anyway, but this year was especially nice and low-key. My family (husband, me, 3 kiddos) went up to my parents’ house in Erie — and it was just the seven of us. My mom had done all the prep work throughout the week, so she just had some cooking to do; the weather was so nice, my parents and 2 of the kids went to the park; and my mom, dad, husband and I stayed up drinking wine and playing a game. Plus, the food was good, but not overwhelming in amount. So, I just made my favorite holiday memory!

  11. Regis Ryan
    November 28, 2012 12:33 pm

    It has to be that first bike. Receiving a bike for Christmas is a form of torture in Western PA. No place to ride!