Chanukah is already upon us and Christmas is just about two weeks away. Both religious holidays have traditions of gift giving and every year the pressure is on to find just the right gift for each person on our lists. Shopping at the malls and big-box stores can be exhausting and time-consuming. There’s another way, a more peaceful and joyful way to shop that better fits the holidays we cherish and celebrate.
With the help of this post, hopefully, you’ll be able to find creative, one-of-a-kind gifts for your friends and families without leaving downtown Westerly. These suggestions are sure to help bring a smile to those on your list, and perhaps even a giggle or guffaw. Some suggestions are inspiring, touching, artsy or witty, while others are glowing, twinkly, fuzzy and warm. Still, others are stylish and smell oh-so-fragrant, and some just taste really yummy.
The uniqueness and community-oriented spirit of the businesses in downtown Westerly/Pawcatuck are often overlooked and underestimated, yet they provide locals and visitors with special dining and shopping experiences. Whether you are looking for antiques or “brand new”, thrifty, or the sky’s- the limit sort of gift you need not look any further than your own backyard. So, leave the mall behind for the remainder of the season. Shop local. Be at peace.
To help you in your quest to check off all items from your Christmas or Chanukah gift list in a timely fashion, suggestions have been made by some local shopkeepers. This list is by no means exhaustive but should serve to inspire you and lead you on your journey to all things happy.
So, get your gift-giving list, grab a pencil, a cup of coffee, and get ready to make some notes because your Chanukah or Christmas shopping has just gotten a lot easier. Here are some gift ideas in the categories of most popular, unique, humorous, high end, thrifty, and what to get for those who are hard to please.
Popular Gifts: According to some downtown shopkeepers, the most popular gifts this year are things like customized ornaments highlighting local places from Watch Hill Designs and Boutique, alpaca wool sweaters from the Beach House or oversized and snuggly sweaters from Woodees, bridal and newly engaged gifts, or on-the-spot engravable items from Nigrelli Jewelers or Westerly Jewelry company.
To really brighten up someone’s life, why not pop down to Get Lit,” one of the newer shops in downtown and purchase handmade bottle lamps filled with twinkling lights, or sea glass jewelry? And who can pass up a great traditional and popular book like the “Polar Express” or a local author-signed book from the Savoy Bookstore? “The Thumb Tack Dancer” by Leslie Tryon is a great piece of children’s literature. A gift certificate to one of the great restaurants or coffee shops or boutiques in downtown Westerly/Pawcatuck always makes a good gift.
Higher End Gifts: If you’re not so concerned about your budget, then some suggestions would be purchasing a room re-design certificate or consultation from Watch Hill Designs and Boutique, or some Vera Bradley items at The Eagle’s Nest, a hand-painted canvas from a local artist at the Beach House or a beautiful Diamond Tennis bracelet from Westerly Jewelry Co., or a diamond ring from Nigrelli’s.
Savoy has the new book of portraits by famed photographer Annie Liebowitz in stock, which would make a great gift. Miceli’s is a good place to find a piece of furniture for someone. A YMCA membership is always in vogue, and a donation to go towards phase two of the St. Michael’s Church rebuild project would be meaningful for some as well as a tax deduction.
Tight Budget gifts: Since many are concerned about budgets, the more thrifty-minded shopper might want to purchase some Serio Lub bracelets at Woodees, or some trendy Coastal Crab clothing, wood crafts, or bottle candles from “Get Lit.” Others might want to consider a cute t-shirt from the Eagle’s Nest, key chains or handmade soaps from the Beach House, a nice piece of sterling jewelry from Nigrelli’ s or Westerly Jewelry Co., or bookmarks from a variety of the shops.
Humor: For those looking for light-hearted gifts, perhaps for the jokester of the family, pick up some socks with funny sayings on them at the Watch Hill Designs and Boutique, or some great wooden signs from the Eagle’s Nest, or have some jewelry engraved with your own fun quotes, or grab some whimsical big furry jackets or bell-sleeved sweaters at Woodees, or Star Wars books at the Savoy Bookstore.
Unique: Why not pick up some Lola custom necklaces at Watch Hill Designs and Boutique? They are the only store in Rhode Island that carries them. At the Savoy, you can pick up some custom made Westerly ornaments or books by local authors. The Beach House features the work of three local artists, and Westerly Jewelry has some beautiful rose gold pieces, something that is trending in the cities and has now hit Westerly.
For the younger set, and young at heart, Woodees carries Benny and Ezra jewelry which is a build-your-own gift with chains, quotes, and gemstones. Take some time out of the busy season and make someone a gift at Get Fired Up, where you can paint your own pottery, or purchase a health-focused gift at Herbwise Naturals.
Hard to buy for: The Savoy suggests a good presidential biography, or Ron Chernow’s book about Ulysses S. Grant, which is called simply “Grant”, for the history lover. Watch Hill Designs and Boutique offers a registry people can enroll in and then their friends and family will have a specific list of their favorite gifts from which to choose.
The Eagle’s Nest has some jewelry for sale that donates a portion of their sales to charity. Westerly Jewelry company suggests that a gift always be purchased, even if you aren’t sure what to get because their policy is that any item can be exchanged to assure your recipient is happy with their gift.
Downtown Westerly/Pawcatuck is a great place to shop this holiday season, so come and explore. We hope you enjoyed this smidgen of what our downtown has to offer. There is a real possibility that by the end of your shopping excursion to downtown you will still have a little joy in your heart with time to spare to experience the real meaning of this wonderful season.