Obviously (and with great bias), I think that the shops my mother and I own, Poiema and the Vault, are lovely place to begin and end your holiday shopping. Homemade soaps, lotions and body scrubs? Locally made jewelry and gorgeous textiles from Thailand? Handknit hats for the littlest members on your good list? We’ve got you covered. And of course, barVino gift certificates are the perfect stocking stuffer (sidebar: many apologies for any delay in said gift cards reaching you. We’re on the slow track when it comes to getting to the post office). The truth is, shopping locally is how you keep money in your community. I try to do as much of this as possible not only during the holidays, but year round. Even if the community isn’t my own, when I visit other small towns (or even bigger ones), it’s the non-big-box shops that I try and patronize.
Locally, I love gift certificates and holiday cookie trays from Cafe Sarah and all things chocolate from Barkeaters Chocolate. The Gear Source has great outdoor gear in a variety of price ranges (I got my roommate an amazing wool Norwegian sweater there two years ago that, in true form, he’s worn so much that there are holes in both elbows). Local breweries and distillaries are also a stellar source of gifts. Hudson Baby Bourbon Whisky could make quite a few people happy on Christmas morning (although, depending on their ability to pace themselves, they could also end up hung-over by Christmas dinner).
Close to home, Minky Mink in Glens Falls, NY not only has amazing inventory from Free People, Wildfox and Alternative Apparal, but also a super nice owner and proprietor who is as stylish as the clothing she sells. And the sale section is killer, too. A little farther south, in Saratoga, Violet’s and Silverwood Home and Gallery both offer carefully curated collections. At Violet’s, it’s chic clothing, shoes and accessories. And Silverwood has stunning found objects for the home, original art and striking jewelry.
On-line, I’m a big fan this year of Seteditions. I first saw their products at ABC Carpet & Home in NYC. They have a great selection of tongue in-cheek cards that your wittier (or just plain cynical and sarcastic) friends will enjoy. My personal favorites are small business size cards printed with the words “Stop Talking” that you can hand out to those individuals whose lengthy monologues aren’t nearly as entertaining as they think and cards that tell deserving recipients, “In my heart I know you lied.” Second place goes to “You settled.” It’s like my wicked twin sister started a company. Love, love, love.
And although annoyingly found at Urban Outfitters (where, I’ve finally realized, I am entirely too old to shop – it’s me in one fitting room trying on a dress while a teenager fights with her mother in the next . . . uggh), the Ryan Gosling coloring book I discovered thanks to Buzzfeed (who says my time spend there has been unproductive) is pretty much the perfect gift for every woman I know. Add a 64 pack of Crayola crayons and a bottle of wine and I feel like a lot of ladies are gonna be happy this holiday season.
The New York Times gift guide is also a great source for inspiration. I especially like their selection of coffee table and art books, things that I would never buy for myself but love to give and receive as gifts.