Tag Archives: christmas

Christmas in Minnesota

Guest Post by SK Brand Ambassador, Joe Whitson

A Winter Lake in Minnesota

After a reluctant arrival, winter in Minnesota is finally beginning to take hold. The rough waters of our 10,000 lakes are slowly, slowly freezing over, exchanging their ripples and waves for icy crystals, spider webbing their way across the surface in endlessly complex patterns. Nature has replaced her faded greens and grays, lovely in November, but out of style in December, for a new coat of unblemished snow. In winter, the stars seem crisper and even the sun herself celebrates the season, rewarding early risers with her sundog, the multi-hued ring she wears on only the coldest and clearest mornings.

Winter in Minnesota

It might sound cliché, but in winter, the world truly is transformed. Of course, every season brings change, but the changes of other seasons speak to growth and progress, always looking forward. In winter, the alterations seem more foundational, more primal; it looks back, a time of reflection and heritage. Colors are simple and honest; sound is subdued beneath the snow. When I walk through the knee-high snow drifts of one of Minnesota’s evergreen forests, the heavy boughs drooping threateningly above my head, my breath drifting out in miniature white clouds, the sound of the sudden crack of ice as it expands in one of the nearby lakes, thoughts of the future are set aside and nostalgia is allowed to run free.

A Winter Trail in Minnesota

I know what you’re thinking, it’s easy to romantically philosophize about the season when you’re sitting peacefully by a fire watching the flurries come down outside, but the realities of winter often make it hard to appreciate. For my sister, trying to survive winter with two toddlers can be far from magical. Every errand is a lesson in patience as gloves and hats and boot and coats are put on and taken off and lost and found. Every icy sidewalk is a potential fall and every icy road a potential accident. Every outdoor task that is hard enough with two babies in the summer, becomes something to be dreaded in the winter. You don’t think about the lightly shrouded fir trees, you think about the painfully frigid wind and hope your daughter’s nose won’t freeze.

Peninsula Cap, Urban Workpack and Tough Mitts from Stormy Kromer

This year for Christmas, I wanted to give my sister the gift of seeing winter as it should be seen. I wanted her to look back, to rediscover the magic winter holds for all of us before the realities of life gets in the way. The question was how to translate an experience, a way of seeing the world into a concrete gift. I decided on a Stormy Kromer Christmas. Stormy Kromer is a heritage brand from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula that I know values winter the same way I do. There is just something about wool and flannel that jump starts winter nostalgia. My sister will be getting the new Peninsula cap, a pair of wool Tough Mitts, and an Urban Workpack. I also threw in a Minnesota State Park pass for good measure. But of course, the real gift isn’t about the gear, it’s about the experience, so the gift also includes a January trip to wintry woods north of Lake Superior, hosted by yours truly. The kids can stay home with dad.

So this winter, get outside, rediscover the season and from all of us at Stormy Kromer, have the happiest of holidays.

A Kromer Christmas Miracle

The Reynolds Family

On August 10th of this year, the newest member of the extended Kromer family was brought into the world – Hunter George Reynolds. While the family is celebrating now, little Hunter has had to fight to get here.

You see, Hunter was born 3 months premature and weighed in at just 1 lb, 10 oz on that August day. Members of the Kromer family contacted us soon after his birth, and his Stormy Kromer family here in Ironwood immediately joined the large group of people sending prayers his way.

His family just sent us this photo this week – and you can see how tiny little Hunter still is 4 1/2 months later. His Lil Kromer Cap is still way too big on him!  He has been quite the fighter these months – and the best news is that he has been able to finally go home after spending months in the NICU.

So how does Hunter fit into the Kromer family? Hunter is Stormy’s great-great-great nephew, and his middle name of George is in homage to the many “Georges” in the Kromer family, including our namesake, George “Stormy” Kromer.

One last note. Hunter’s parents are named Tyler and Angela. Do you see what happens when you correctly arrange the initials of their first names? H. A. T.

Tyler and Angela say this was completely unintentional. Maybe. Or maybe there was a little divine intervention from his great-great-great uncle.

Please join us in welcoming Hunter home for Christmas, a Kromer Christmas miracle!

Happy Holidays from Stormy Kromer

It’s that time of year when folks reflect on the past 12 months and look forward to what’s to come.  For those of us here at Stormy Kromer, we’d like to take the time to simply say “thank you.”  We’ve had an amazing year, full of growth and expansion, and all fueled by you, our customers and supporters.

We have lots of exciting things planned for 2012 and we look forward to sharing them all with you.

Happy Holidays,
Your Friends at Stormy Kromer

Last-minute Surprises from Stormy Kromer

Welcome to the last frantic days of the holiday season!  The employees here at Stormy Kromer feel a little like the elves at Santa’s workshop – we’ve been working seemingly around the clock to be sure that everyone who put Stormy Kromer gear on their wish list will wake up happy on Christmas morning!

If you’re still looking for that little something to stuff in a stocking, or round out someone’s gift, we’ve got a handful of fun items that just might fit the bill.

Add a little flair to a Stormy Kromer cap with a pin, or help your loved one shout to the world their love of Stormy with a bumper sticker on their vehicle of choice.

And don’t forget, for the lager-loving folks on your gift list…that we also make clothes for beer(Or other cold beverages that come in a can or bottle.)

Also…we’re hoping to make your shopping dreams come true this weekend too!  Two lucky shoppers on each day this weekend will get their orders FOR FREE!  We’ll draw Monday morning and contact the winners.

And finally, because we’ve heard it through the grapevine that Santa occasionally reads the SK blog, are there any Stormy Kromer items on your wish list?

Holiday Gift Guide, Courtesy of the Upper Peninsula

Here at Stormy Kromer, we’re proud to be made in the USA.  Sometimes we’re even prouder to be made in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula, even though you might not know exactly where that is.  Let’s just say that if pointing out the UP on a map was one of David Letterman’s geography stunts out on the streets of New York City, the failure rate would be pretty high.

We like to think that we’re a small part of changing that.  A part of, well, putting the UP back on the map.  As the holidays approach, we thought we’d share some other great UP companies who are not just surviving, but thriving in this wilderness we call home.  Check them out; you might just find that perfect gift for the hard-to-buy-for on your list.

Iverson Snowshoes – For over 50 years the Iverson craftsmen have been handcrafting the finest traditional snowshoes, right here in the USA.  All are based on designs that have been perfected through the eons. They strive to mix tradition with technology while staying true to their cause. No techie terms or slick marketing slogans, just the best snowshoes for the true enthusiasts.  Shingleton, MI.

Rapid River Knifeworks – Established in the spring of 2002, Rapid River Knifeworks is a producer of high quality custom knives. With a lot of skill, a few pieces of machinery and some really big dreams, they developed a line of custom knives that combine beauty with strength and practical usability. Rapid River, MI.

Sayklly’s Confectionary & GiftsSince 1906 and for three generations the Sayklly family has been delighting folks in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and beyond with homemade chocolates and candies, made from old-world recipes with only premium ingredients.  They even feature a chocolate bar in the shape of our fair peninsula.  Escanaba, MI.

Pasty Central – To be clear, it’s pronounced with a short ‘a’, and it’s a hearty meal of beef, potatoes and onions seasoned and wrapped in a flaky crust.  Made popular in the UP during the mining heyday, it’s unofficially the official food of the peninsula.  Pasty Central will ship them straight to your door, so you can enjoy them, no matter your zip code.  Calumet, MI.

For even more UP products, including those made by individuals artists and craftsmen, check out Michigan Upper Hand.

What other made in the USA products do you plan to give this year?