By Jessica Bowne | December 2, 2016 | People
The 2016 holiday season is in full swing, the social calendar is stocked with events from one end of December to the other, and the pressure of gift buying is mounting. We spoke with Boston tastemakers about what they are gifting to friends and family this holiday season, from locally made products to experiences like cooking classes and charity-minded goods.
“This holiday season, I plan on shopping local and purchasing the majority of my gifts from my favorite small businesses in Boston. To find the perfect accessories for my fashion-minded friends, I'll be browsing shops like Salmagundi for their stellar hat collection and Flock Boston because they always have the coziest knits and wittiest cards. Before I head to holiday parties, I'll be stopping by Shake the Tree, Flat of the Hill, and Olives & Grace for one-of-a-kind hostess gifts (think Instagram-worthy cocktail shakers, beautiful trays, and the most delicious smelling candles). I love gifting each of my friends and family with a present that's unique and meaningful to them, and I know that the amazing boutiques in Boston will have exactly what I need to please everyone on my list.”
“Forgo the usual pair of socks, silk tie, and leather watch option for your mans this holiday season. Instead of upgrading his outfits, outfit him with some travel upgrades. While a duffel might to be his go-to, Tumi’s International Carry-On offers a little more room and a little less chance of wrinkles. Bonus: square shapes are easy to wrap. And for her? Let’s be honest. Going to the gym is a pain, and having to put together an outfit to receive that pain in only makes it 10x worse. Help a girlfriend get her fitness on by gifting her a fresh ‘fit this season. Our favorite online boutiques are Bandier and Carbon 38, but if you’re thinking locally check out the selection at Legit Activewear in Wellesley.”
“This season I am gifting an Amazon best-selling book recently published by Humble Hues to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Inspire Me! is a compilation of quotes from people both widely and never before published. From world leaders and philosophers, to farmers and young bloggers, its collection of inspiring quotes is organized along 12 guiding principles of life to help readers find inspiration at their fingertips. The quotes were curated by Paul Ayoub and his daughter Lizzie. Paul is an attorney at Nutter McClennen & Fish who currently serves as the Chair of the national Board of Directors of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. It’s available on Amazon with Prime shipping!"
“This year, I'm going for an 'experience' theme for the holidays. Instead of thinking about presents to put under the tree, I'm thinking about concert tickets, cooking classes, and other activities that involve time spent together! For instance, instead of getting gifts for each of my three nephews, brother, and sister-in-law, I bought us all tickets to The Nutcracker! Rather than a toy or piece of clothing that might only be cool for a few months, it'll be something we'll never forget.”
“When giving gifts I really like to make them personal. One of my favorite gifts I am giving this year are custom retro viewers. I found this great site where you can customize reels with your own photos. For my best girl friends I made reels with photos from all our adventures over the years and for the man in my life I did the same but with a few PG-13 photos mixed in to make it a bit more personal. My other absolute favorite gift for the ‘impossible to buy for person that has everything’ is to find an antique prescription for whiskey (or other spirits) from Prohibition written on either the person’s birthday, Christmas Eve, New Years day or any date that has meaning to the person you are gifting too. I then bring it to The Back Bay Framery on Newbury Street to have framed to fit the recipients style. I have done this for a few people in the past and a few for this year and it’s always a hit as most people don’t know they exist. Etsy has a great seller named ‘PhrohibitionWhiskey’ who has many for sale and was able to find me some of the most difficult dates to find."
"I love gifting local; there's something gratifying about bringing the best of Boston home for the holidays. This year, I'm focusing on two things. The first is Brunswick Park, an apparel company I co-founded that pulls performance fabrics like Merino wool into pieces you can wear every day in a variety of settings. The second, of course, is beer. There are so many amazing local breweries right now it's hard to go wrong: Night Shift Brewing, Trillium Brewing Co., Winter Hill Brewing Co. ... the list goes on. A great hoodie and a great beer? Tough to top that."
“I get most of my holiday gifts online from Etsy! I love supporting small businesses and creating something custom and special. My usual go-to gift is a monogram wine opener and personalized wine stopper.”
"I tend to theme my holiday gifts, so this year for a few individuals the theme is 'treat-yourself'! I'm all about shopping local, so someone special is getting a Crane & Lion gym bag, a Swell water bottle, topped off with a gift card for a facial at Skoah! After the chaos of the holiday season I think we all deserve a little treat!"
“As a busy entrepreneur, I have to admit, I do most of my holiday shopping online during the holiday season, however I still try to support local and pick out something really thoughtful and unique. Some of my favorite items that I have purchased this year, include moon phase wall hangers for everyone on my team. I also love this home cleansing kit from Haus Witch Store in Salem and bought them for my friend who is hosting a holiday dinner next week, as well as for my aunt who just moved into a new home. I might be biased, but all of the men in my life are getting Moroccan Magic organic lemon thyme & peppermint eucalyptus lip balm in their stockings! Most of my friends and family are foodies, so I was thrilled to find amazing gift baskets on Eataly.com as well as a variety of cooking classes available on StirBoston.com. I purchased the hands-on pasta making class for a few couple friends as well as for my boyfriend and I to enjoy!”
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