By Jackie Kelly
Elm Staff Writer
Halloween has come and gone and Thanksgiving is a mere two weeks away. If you haven’t noticed, holiday commercials are already plaguing television, and you can’t walk into a store without hearing some pop star’s version of one of the holiday classics.
As we all know, the holidays come with the dreaded holiday shopping. This year, get your family members and friends something a little less generic than just hitting the stores in the mall.
One of the many upsides of being in a small town is all of the quaint, Mom and Pop stores. One of these many stores is Twigs & Teacups located on Cross Street across from Play It Again Sam’s. This is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for something unique. They have so many things to choose, from toys, clothes, soaps, cards, silverware, dishes, jewelry, things for the home, or just fun trinkets. They have very good prices, and any of their items would make a perfect gift for friends or family. To make things even better, you won’t have to worry about someone else giving the same gift since these are so unique!
Another great place to shop, especially for the ladies in your family, is Gabriel’s of Chestertown located on Cross Street right near the Lemon Leaf Café and the Blue Heron Café. Gabriel’s has all different kinds of beautiful jewelry, wineglasses, jackets, sweaters, and more. It is the perfect place to go get a personalized present for a friend or family member. Gabriel’s offers monogramming on most of their products. Try monogrammed earrings or wineglasses for a perfect heartfelt present.
Is someone you know a bookworm? Bookplate is the perfect spot. It is located on Cross Street as well, where many of the other shops are located. Bookplate is a used bookstore filled with very good quality used books. They also have some signed first editions of books available for sale too, which can be a very neat gift idea. Stop by and enjoy their comfy, reader-friendly atmosphere while you peruse for that perfect present.
Another business right on Cross Street is Empty Hangers. It is a consignment shop, so the clothes are either new or gently used. You have to be willing to go through racks of clothes, so this is definitely the place to go if you have some extra time and patience while you’re shopping. However, there are some great finds that would make a perfect gift.
Just around the corner, across the breezeway from Dunkin Donuts, there is Houston’s Dockside Emporium. It is a little pricier, but it has great gift ideas for everyone in the family. They have a wide variety of jewelry, and while the clothing may be more for our parents’ age, there are plenty of other gifts available. They have all kinds of Tervis Tumblers, ranging from sports to nautical to initialed, and everywhere in between. Dockside Emporium also offers a lot of nautical-themed gifts, such as belts, glassware, ties, scarves, and much more.
Looking for a great way to bring C-town home? Head right next door to Finishing Touch. This is a great place to get beautiful artwork. They have digital prints, paintings, framing, and a few other gift ideas. While some of their prints may be a little on the expensive side for a college budget, there are also some that are very affordable. Their artwork is based mainly around C-town and the Chester River, so it is a unique gift for those who love the town and appreciate great art.
However, one of the best places to get unique gifts for your family is the Chestertown Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market located in Fountain Park. Open from the first Saturday in April until the last Saturday before Christmas, local farmers come and set up stands with local produce, granola, freshly made bread, and other yummy food, while artists come from the area and sell crafts like gourd birdhouses, handmade jewelry, and bags. There are always fresh flowers and plants available according to the season. One vendor makes homemade soaps and I am obsessed with her peppermint bodywash.
Another favorite vendor of mine is Heather Collins, who hand-paints wine glasses, dishes, drinking glasses, beer mugs and so much more! You can personally contact her to order glasses through her email address: firstname.lastname@example.org and check out her work on Facebook by searching Nate-ure’s Art by Heather Collins. The market starts around 8 a.m. and is normally over around noon, but before Thanksgiving, it is open on Wednesdays from noon to 5 p.m.
If you’re looking for another cute boutique and you’re willing to drive a little, then you should definitely check out Serendipity in Centerville. If you turn right out of the main entrance of the college and stay on 213 for about 20 minutes you’ll run right into Centerville, and Serendipity is located right on the main strip. It is full of cute gift ideas you can only find in a small-town store!
Last but certainly not least you can never forget those gag-gift families or that last-minute shopper. Rose’s and the Dollar Store are the perfect place to find random gifts when you’re short on time or when you just want to make someone laugh. There is nothing better to brighten the holidays than laughter and saving money!
Hopefully this helps everyone get a head start on their shopping and make their holidays more meaningful with less stress!