As Tiny Tim notably said, “God bless the Internet.” Or something like that. Anyway, whether it’s a fussy kid, an estranged uncle, a best friend, or you just got stuck with Chad from accounting in the office Secret Santa pool, some people just aren’t easy to shop for.
If you’re having trouble finding a meaningful gift this time of year, items with a personal touch or a local origin always go over well, but finding them can be an ordeal in and of itself. Hence: Tiny Tim; Internet. Online marketplaces like Etsy are a terrific source for finding handcrafted, repurposed, and vintage items from artists and small businesses you might never have realized were even in your neighborhood, while some local creatives have garnered enough success to go mainstream. Here are a few of our favorites.
Hudson Candle offers artisanal candles, hand-poured in the Hudson Valley, all of them made from soy wax and scented with essential oils, and with metal-free wicks. The Fir + Spruce scent featured above is a lovely choice for winter holidays, but there’s a nice assortment to choose from, including “Wake Up Call” and “Pumpkin Chai.”
Nothing quite lends an air of subdued class to a room like a beautiful, hand-cut, framed silhouette. Popular in the American Colonial and English Victorian periods, the pieces ranged from tender keepsakes to humorous cartoons. This local shop can create a one-of-a-kind portrait for you of yourself, a loved one, a pet, or practically anyone you want. For that special someone, we highly recommend a couple’s portrait to commemorate the biggest day in your relationship. We selected an 8-by-10 size suitable for walls and framing (options available), but the shop offers everything from lockets to porcelain Christmas ornaments.
While many people know their birthstones, few know their birth month flower. With vintage styles handcrafted in the Hudson Valley, the collection comes as pendants with or without birthstones, earrings, and more. Not a fan of flowers? The shop also offers plenty of animal and insect designs.
This one’s pretty self-descriptive, but honestly we couldn’t think of anyone who wouldn’t enjoy this lovely spa kit. This Hudson Valley shop specializes in products made from raw honey and beeswax, which really come together in this gift set. Included are a jar of body butter, the three-step Ultimate Lip Care Set, lip balm, healing salve for distressed skin, raw honey and beeswax soap, a hand-knit cotton washcloth from neighboring Saugerties, and a beeswax votive candle to complete the warm and relaxing spa atmosphere.
A perennial holiday favorite on The TODAY Show, Rachel Ray, and more, these chic sequined (or vegan leather) totes all fold up into their matching wristlets and make great grab bag gifts. This particular package even comes with a matching sequined cloth mask to help you protect others while still looking got-dang fabulous.
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Say you love someone by showing them how much you love their pet! There’s no better way to an animal lover’s heart, and it’s something they can keep forever to remember their best (non-human) friend. Best of all, they’re made right here in Westchester by local artist Laura Massari.
Pick up a gorgeous set of simple, understated, and utterly perfect Christmas ornament styled jewelry —hand-crafted by a local designer — at a very reasonable price. Sets come in a variety of colors and styles, but we kept coming back to this silver and cherry-red necklace and earring set. Choose your earring back and necklace length for as little as $59, and get a perfect little gift box ready to bequeath under the mistletoe.
What’s not to love? As stocking stuffers go it’s perfect: Locally made, locally themed, and classy in an understated way while still feeling a little rustic. Basically, it’s Hudson Valley through and through. Feeling a little kitschy? Why not try this Christmas narwhal for only $7?
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All right, this one is a little bit of a cheat but in our defense:
The artist currently only has this one pair in stock, but has confirmed it’s something they try to make more of anytime they can find more of the tokens. Grab this set now, or ask to put in an order for the next batch.…Sheboygan!
What? How did this get on here? This must be some kind of mistake. I mean, this breathtaking article of Americana would be the perfect gift for any staff member of your favorite local magazine, but it’s a one-of-a-kind find. Wouldn’t really be suitable for our readers, at least not as much as any of the shop’s vast selection of women’s and men’s vintage clothing. We don’t know who you could possibly get this for…. *Hint hint*