Finding the right gift for everyone on your list can be exhausting but luckily there are so many fantastic options in Charlottesville you are sure to find a fantastic gift with a local story.
Moms can be tricky to buy for but something handmade is always a hit in my experience. Luckily there are a few options for making a gift that not only comes from the heart but is truly beautiful as well.
Blow Your Own Glass Ornament at Sunspots Studios! This fantastic gift option allows you to put your own spin on a truly beautiful piece of artwork that you can enjoy every year when decorating the tree. Ornaments cost $40-45 and children age 5 to adult can participate.
If ornaments aren’t your thing, The Glass Palette has supplies for you to make jewelry, dishes, and artwork.
Another option for crafting your own gift is Wine and Design. Started as a BYOB step-by-step guided painting class it now offers kids classes too. Join one of the prescheduled classes or get a group together and pick what you want to paint. You’ll love the class and leave with a beautiful piece of artwork for mom. If you think she would enjoy the painting herself a gift certificate would be a great option too!
Dads can certainly be tough to buy for so I find it is best to stick to the basic pleasures in life.
For starters, food is a generally safe bet. When it comes to food there are few gifts more decadent than A Year of Cheese from Feast!. Each month the recipient goes to Feast! and chats with the cheese monger about this month’s selection. Not only are you giving the gift of fantastic cheese but also an education on how to pair it with other food and drink. If the $200 price tag is above budget consider one of their many other gift boxes.
For the scholarly father, pop into Blue Whale Books on the Downtown Mall. Here you can find special edition books, artwork prints, and beautiful maps. The owner is almost always there and incredibly helpful. I just heard they got a new shipment in of Virginia maps so hurry in before they are all gone.
For the Kids
Check out the local toy shops for the children in your life. Shenanigans at 601 West Main Street is where I bought my niece her first baby doll. Alakazam on the downtown mall always has loads of fun gadgets and gizmos for the creative child. O’Suzannah just off the mall on 4th street northeast has curated a unique and aesthetically sophisticated collection of children’s books and clothing.
One of my most memorable Christmases was coming down to see a shiny red bicycle with my name on it. If you are looking to give a bike I suggest Blue Ridge Cyclery at 1039 Millmont St.
For Teens & Young Adults
Often the most fickle demographic, teens and young adults can prove difficult to shop for. Fear not though as several local shops can help you find the right gift.
This is a very active age for most people so heading to Ragged Mountain Running Shop is a safe bet to find something they need. They have a wide assortment of athletic clothes and shoes as well as running accessories like belts, water bottles, and gps watches. If you have a hunter or fisher in your life consider The Albemarle Angler to find the right gift.
For the preppy on your gift list you can’t beat Country Club Prep founded by two UVA alum who decided to put their first brick and mortar store on Elliewood Avenue on the corner. Other fun shops around this area include Duo, Finch, and Southern Proper.
For Out of Town Family
Every year we celebrate not only with my family in Charlottesville but also make a trip to visit family in Louisiana. It has now become a tradition to bring down a basket full of local goodies not available there. We include local candies, jams, granola, sauces, peanuts, honey, you name it! It is a fun way for us to share our daily favorites with them once a year. Just stroll through the local food shops of Main Street Market to fill up your basket at such shops as The Spice Diva, Gearhart’s Chocolate, Albemarle Baking Company, and of course Feast!
Another favorite for our out of town family is local jewelry. Sterling silver dogwood flower earrings from The Virginia Shop were such a hit we got a necklace the next year.
Being UVa alums there is always a stop at Mincer’s to gear up on hats, T shirts, and socks for the family to wear as they root on the Hoos from afar.
Last but not least there are always some new local craft beers and wines to share with the adults as well. Beer Run offers perhaps the most extensive selection in town!
For Your Pets
Sammy Snacks is sure to make any pup in your life very happy this holiday season. Visit them at 1055 Millmont St.
Animal Connection is another great shop to pick up something for your furry friend. They are located at 1701 Allied St behind Cville Coffee.
With the holiday season comes all of the holiday parties and a good guest never shows up empty handed. There are several places in town to pick up the perfect hostess gift.
Again, Beer Run can help you select the perfect wine, beer, or cider for your host.
Gearhart’s Chocolates are an irresistible gift anyone would love to receive. Visit their shop at 416 West Main Street next to Albemarle Baking Company.
Locally roasted coffee from Shenandoah Joes can be a nice gift as well.
For Everyone Else
If you are still looking for ideas here are a few more general suggestions most anyone would like.
Two tickets to a show at The Jefferson would be a great idea. Anyone who can appreciate some funky 80s music and a good time would love tickets to New Year’s Eve with Love Canon. Other shows coming up are Corey Smith and Steep Canyon Rangers.
Gift certificates for an evening out are a great idea. I don’t know anyone who could resist dinner at C&O, Mas, or Fleurie.
An exquisite pen, stationary, or journal can be a lovely gift for anyone. Visit Rock Paper Scissors in their new location on the downtown mall.
A massage, facial, or pedicure from CitySpa is an unexpected treat.
All of these options make shopping local a cinch so get out there and spread some cheer. Happy Holidays!