As much as we all love that there's a new Target in town (and believe me, I LOVE it), there are choices we can make this holiday season that will result not only in a lovely gift for someone in your world but in a family who is supported by your decision to shop at their business.

What if you could give the people in your life a thoughtful, handcrafted gift instead of something from a factory in China this year... for about the same price?

Well you can. I present my top ten list.

#1 Sydney Roasting Co

Price range: $-$$

Sydney Roasting house is hands down one of my favorite coffeehouses in Lebanon. It's one of the only places I go when I need to get my photo editing done but I don't want to sit in my home office. Not only do they have great food and beverages and a nice floor plan with ample seating and window light, they have some pretty sweet merch--t-shirts, hats, mugs, stickers. You can even buy a gift card online.

#2 Ancestor Creperie & Coffeehouse

Price range: $-$$

If I had to pick a runner-up for best coffeehouse in Lebanon, it wouldn't be Starbucks. Not by a long shot. It would be Ancestor Creperie & Coffeehouse. They are known for their sweet and savory crepes and for their bakery selection from Whirling Dervish in Annville and Sweet Macaron in Palmyra. And, if you're like me and coffee gives you the jitters, they make a pretty decent London Fog. Gift cards available.

#3 Carriage House Style

Price range: $-$$$

For the person in your life who loves Joanna Gaines (you can't throw a rock around here without hitting a Magnolia fan), Carriage House Style will surprise and delight her. This little gem has been tucked away over near the Quentin Tavern and it is LOADED with a curated collection of handmade items for the home as well as jewelry, soap, and apparel.

#4 Level Eleven Art Department

Price range: $-$$

Did you know that you can get hip, trendy t-shirts based off of Lebanon county legends right here on Cumberland Street? I got the "Swattie" one (featuring a loch ness monster) for my husband last year and he has worn that thing to shreds. Other options include a sasquatch walking the Governor Dick trail, as well as t-shirts with "opera fudge," the Cornwall furnace and of course "Lebanon bologna" featured.

Perfect to show off both your hometown pride and tongue-in-cheek humor!

*Please note* - T-shirts say they are out of stock on their website, but as I understand it you can still purchase them from Level Eleven on Cumberland St.

holiday gift tshirt in Lebanon PA featuring swattie creek

#5 Wertz Candies

Price range: $-$$

There's chocolate... and then there's WERTZ. If you have never sampled a batch of Wertz chocolate I may question your status as a citizen of this fine town of Lebanon, PA. They are literally legendary as they have been around since 1931. Their opera fudge and chocolate covered bacon are celebrity status. Plus, did you know that they also make a variety of non-chocolate items such as caramel popcorn and country fudge?

Their little sample boxes of chocolate make the perfect stocking stuffer.

I typically include a small box of Wertz chocolate with every family photo session and I may or may not pick myself up an extra box every so often. Shhhh... that can be our little secret.

#6 Frey's Greenhouse

Price range: $-$$

Frey's Greenhouse has one of the best arrays of little succulent plants in my humble opinion. Plus, they are one of the few greenhouses open this time of year and have a variety of Christmas arrangements and flowers to choose from.

You could also opt for a gift card for the garden lover who will enjoy it come springtime.

#7 Sue Eikenberry's Stone and Wire Art Jewelry

Price range: $$-$$$

Do you have someone who loves rare finds? Sue Eikenberry is a resident of Annville and she makes intricate one-of-a-kind jewelry right here in Lebanon county. Every stone is carefully selected, designed and tediously wound with wire to create a piece of wearable art. She is a true artist and she lives right here in our own backyard.

#8 The Lazer Factory

Price range: $$-$$$

We all know that kids want nothing more than to run around in the dark and shoot at each other with toy guns. Make that dream a reality with a trip to The Lazer Factory for some laser tag. You can get unlimited rounds of laser tag for just $20 per person. OR... get that tween angst out by kicking butt in one of the many arcade games they have on hand. Either way, they have gift cards for that!

For kids too young for tween angst, there is a bounce house and what my family affectionately refers to as a "gerbil cage" available.

Playhouse at Lazer Factory in Annville PA
Kids shooting each other with laser tag at the Lazer Factory in Annville, PA

#9 Snitz Creek Brewery

Price range: $$-$$$

This is a nice, family-friendly brewery that sells great food and their own beer concoctions. Look out for flavors such as: Blueberry Cream Ale, Seltzer's Smokhaus 7, or one of their holiday brews, Sugar Plum Sour. They host a trivia night every week and Taco Tuesday happens every... well, Tuesday. A great place for a date night or to take the whole family.

Gift cards are available or browse the merchandise area for t-shirts, glasses, or a refillable growler.

#10 Under the Bridge Cidery

Price range: $$-$$$

If you have someone who is more into light, fruity beverages, check out Under the Bridge Cidery. They offer a variety of hard ciders made in small batches, ranging in flavors from Strawberry Crisp, to Beet It, to Mayan Pilot (infused with cacao and cayenne pepper).

Pick up a bottle or two and wrap it up for that anonymous holiday gift exchange you never know what to buy.

That concludes our top ten list...

...but here are a few that didn't quite make the cut.

The takeaway: We have so many good options in Lebanon county!

The Timeless Cafe

Are and Be Cafe

City Watch Coffee

Cakes by Moraima & Cafe

Swatara Coffee Co

Layser's Greenhouse

AA Comics and Cards

Hooked on Comics

Cooper Spa

New Essence Spa

And if you want to drive a little ways, I recommend these shops:

Prussian Street Arcade (Manheim)

Mill 72--coming soon to Lebanon!

Copper Cup Coffee (Brickerville)

Hey there, I'm Naomi.

I specialize in laid back, stress-free photo sessions for families in all seasons of life.

Supporting other local artists and businesses is important to me. So please... tell me who I missed in the comments.

(And oh look... I have gift cards too!)

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