A Buffalo-Centric Etsy Christmas List for Santas with Queen City Roots 

By Michelle Kearns

Published on

Buffalo Santas can delight their loved ones with cheerful spins on hometown pride. Start off the Buffalo winter season merrily: Christmas cards featuring whimsy like a Buf-fa-la-la-la-la-lo word play, Josh Allen holding a Christmas tree as he jumps over a Bills fans’ broken tables. Wares from the shelves of local Etsy makers include Bills Mafia wrapping paper, a broken table ornament made of Baltic birch plywood, and more.

Each Etsy item has a story. The couple who made the Josh Allen tree topper say they were inspired to make sturdy cutouts because of the Bills quarterback’s habit of leaping. “We were just in awe as it happened again,” wrote Jessica Poblocki of Queen City Crafts 716. 

For a hot cocoa mug with wintry visions of Buffalo city streetscapes, including Allentown, Mary Kunz Goldman starts by sketching outdoors in “plein air” with pen and ink before transferring images to Etsy objets d’art. “The Allen Street houses were in the snow when I drew them, from a coffeehouse across the street, so all I did was add watercolor and falling snow,” she explained by email. “This scene always strikes me as cozy because these houses are among the oldest in the city, and as I drew them, I thought about how many Buffalo winters they had seen.” 

Another bit of Etsy-Buffalo holiday cheer: Retro-style original art prints celebrating classics like a Franks RedHot sauce bottle as a flower vase, a smiling “good as heck” beef on weck –– and a favorite dancing “hot and ready” pierogi. “While I was living elsewhere, I began to realize how many traditions — especially in terms of food — were unique to Buffalo,” said the arist Molly Beres in an email. “I grew up making pierogi with my grandma, aunts and cousins. So that illustration is close to my heart and makes me really happy… There is a lot of beauty ordinary things.” 

Find more beauty in the artistic offerings from makers with Queen City roots on this short list.  

GIVEAWAY! 10 of these items (one from each shop) have been collected from Buffalo Etsy shops for a holiday giveaway!

Enter to win by commenting on the Facebook post here, telling us your favorite Buffalo holiday tradition. Leave a comment here: Buffalo Etsy Christmas Giveaway

Molly Illustration

For a whimsical, contemporary and mid-century-esque take on Buffalo classics, Molly Beres offers frameable prints of Frank’s RedHot sauce repurposed as a flower vase, a a glamorous pierogi with legs and a smiling beef on weck. “When I was a little kid, I saw a clip of animated movie theater foods encouraging you to run to the lobby and get a snack,” wrote Beres. “The mid-century art style of that cartoon stuck with me and has influenced my work ever since. The little beef on weck character I designed is no exception. The Frank’s design was inspired by the idea that bottles can be vases and weeds can be flowers.” 

Prints of “Hot N Ready Pierogi,” “Beef on Weck, It’s Good as Heck Print,” and “Frank’s Vase” in assorted sizes, $12-20.

Selling at MollyIllustration.etsy.com

JF Vintage

Find your way home with a heart ornament with a Buffalo map at its center. Artist Joshua Fraass, of Jf Vintage Art, makes city art from his collection of more than 100 vintage atlases. “It is a perfect gift for someone that lives in Buffalo or someone that is from Buffalo and has moved away to remember home,” he wrote. 

His handmade Buffalo map heart ornament is made on a 3.25” wood heart with twine attached for hanging. The back of the ornament is stained brown and is branded with jf.vintage etched into the wood.  $15.95 with free shipping. 

Selling at jfvintage.com and JfVintageArt.etsy.com  

Mary Kunz Goldman Art

Mary Kunz Goldman spent most of her career as a Buffalo News writer and editor. Her latest turn as an artist chronicling the city’s neighborhoods, houses and streetscapes reflects her love of off-the-beaten-track scenes. The mugs in this holiday roundup have Christmas cards that match and include a snowy day view she drew of Allen Street houses as she sat across the street in a café. To her, the Delaware Avenue brownstones epitomize the grace of the Gilded Age. “Later I made them December-ish by adding a fanciful Christmas tree, and then I splashed them with gold watercolor. I love how festive they look!” she wrote.

Mugs are $19.99 for 11 ounces and $24.99 for the 15-ounce size. 

Selling at MaryKunzGoldmanArt.etsy.com

Born & Raised Shoppe

Warm up in a red sweatshirt with styled vintage logo of a station wagon with a Christmas tree tied to the roof, inspired by the 1989 “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” movie. Brittany Miller has a collection of items intended to evoke “a deep sense of pride for the place I call home.” The Christmas line up at her Born and Raised Shoppe include a buffalo-shaped ornament with a drone photo of Main Street that her husband Alexander shot. They are, she wrote, “little reminders of times shared together with family and friends in a place known as the City of Good Neighbors.” 

Locally made, handcrafted wooden ornament with a dye sublimated iconic drone photo of Main Street, $12.99. A “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” movie inspired crewneck sweatshirt for the holiday’s in Buffalo. Unisex fit, 50% preshrunk cotton/50% polyester, $43.99.

Selling at BornandRaisedShoppe.etsy.com

Queen City Crafts 716

Josh Allen’s field jumping prowess of 2021 left Jessica Poblocki and her husband in awe. “We just couldn’t stop thinking about Bills football and the athleticism of Josh Allen!” she wrote. When Allen’s second leap over a Kansas City Chiefs player led to memes, they got an idea. The Bills quarterback would make a great tree topper alternative to the traditional angels. “We went right to work on it. We had it made by October 24th, 2021. On October 26th, we had to get our Christmas tree out and set it up to get some pictures of the tree topper. We posted them for sale the night of Halloween 2021, and the rest is history,” she said in an email. 

Find them at QueenCityCrafts716.etsy.com for $22.

Cam James Lifestyle

Makers Jessica Pozantides and Marissa Wroblewski agree that getting a present is always a good thing. Make it stand out with Bills-themed, zebra “Zubaz” Buffalo patterned gift wrap! “There is nothing more fun than seeing our crazy, Buffalo personality under the tree,” wrote Pozantides. “We noticed that there wasn’t many Buffalo wrapping paper options, so we wanted to fill a gap.”

A 24 by 36 inch roll, $13.12, or 24 by 60 inches for $16.95.

Find it at CamJamesLifestyle.etsy.com

Tiny Buffalo Design Co.

Artist Lauren Van Osten mixes humor with Buffalo’s icons in a series of holiday cards that feature a dangling beef on weck sandwich and the carol inspired line, “Weck the Halls,” and a note for Santa with wings and a beer instead of the traditional cookies and milk. “I am inspired by the everyday traditions of Buffalo and the small things that make this city and it’s people special,” she wrote by email. “The art I make is designed to spread love and gratitude and holiday cheer to friends and family both near and far.”  

Each Buffalo holiday cards, $6, is printed on 100 percent recycled premium matte paper and is blank inside. The A2 size, 4.25 by 5.5 inches comes with a brown envelope and is packaged in a clear cello sleeve.

Find them at TinyBuffaloDesignsCo.etsy.com 

Wirth While Designs

Jen Wirth’s bent table ornament tribute to Bills fans’ celebratory table smashing came together when she thought about making something nobody else had. A good graphic designer friend helped her make her vision a reality. “When I hear the words ‘Bills Mafia,’ one of the first things that comes to mind is folding tables,” she wrote.

Each table ornament, $17, is made of Baltic birch plywood that is 1/8 of an inch thick and hand painted! (They are priced “to honor the greatest QB of all time!” she wrote.)

Find three design options at WirthWhileDesigns.etsy.com

Katie Wojtanik Designs

Katie Wojtanik came up with her Josh Allen leaping over a broken with a Christmas tree in a snow globe to celebrate the Bills and make people smile. “I can always tell when someone finds these cards on my table at a vendor show because they usually laugh out loud or their eyes visibly light up,” she wrote. “Go Bills!” 

Cards, “printed by me, cut by me, and shipped to you” are $5 each, five for $20, and 10 for $30. Each includes a brown paper envelope.

Find them at KatieWojtanikDesigns.com or KatieWojtanikDesigns.etsy.com

Country Creek Creative

Lisa Hackett’s wooden ornament features four jolly Bills Mafia gnomes.

Selling at CountryCreekCreative.etsy.com for $12. Note: This vendor is taking a short break for the holidays.

Michelle Kearns headshot

Michelle Kearns

As a former Buffalo News Reporter, teacher & member of a university communications team, I love sharing stories about Buffalo & the unexpected people, places & happenings here. It is a thrill to make new discoveries, and take in the city - & the Cheerios air! - as VBN's new communications manager.