By Sadie Williams
The holiday season, for all its promise of comfort and cheer, offers up a dizzying paradox. While visions of relaxing by the fire with family and friends or zipping through the snow on weekend adventures gives this time of year a sense of chilly excitement, the more sober reality is that the stress of planning menus, coordinating travel, and shopping for gifts can turn even the happiest of souls into a Grinch.
To alleviate some of that stress, we’ll be offering up a holiday shopping guide to help you navigate the season.
For the historian
On the corner of Shelburne and Harbor Roads, Patina offers up quality antiques that will brighten any home. Although most large furniture items carry a hefty price tag, their character and quality make them investment purchases that will stay with your family for years. From Adirondack twig cupboards to zinc topped dining tables, every piece is a statement piece. Lovers of art and photography will also find beautiful black and white prints of Vermont landscapes and architecture by Gary Hall.
My personal favorite item, or I should say items, at Patina is a set of three photographs of the Shelburne Shipyard in the 1930s. The photographer, Louis McAllister, was active in the Burlington area for 60 years, photographing people, construction projects, buildings, businesses, and events. Although the majority of his collection was donated to the University of Vermont by his family and the Burlington Street Department in 1969 and 1979 respectively, these three photographs are still available. Artwork makes a wonderful gift, but so does a piece of Vermont’s history.
For a special someone
If you’re looking for artisan jewelry, look no further than Matthew Taylor. As an artist, Taylor creates a range of pieces from the traditional to contemporary that showcase attention to detail, mastery of his material, and an appreciation of form and beauty. As a consultant, he creates custom pieces that tells each client’s story.
The Green Mountain line features men’s and women’s rings, bracelets, and belt buckles and captures rugged elegance with sterling silver landscapes and rich leather. More traditional wedding bands evoke timeless style and sensibility. Taylor also demonstrates his knack for more contemporary artistic forms with the 14k white gold and mokume spinning trout ring.
For the entertainer
The Shelburne Country Store is sure to have something for everyone on your holiday list. Whether you’re looking for stocking stuffers, fun holiday cards, books, or specialty Vermont food items, you’re sure to find it on the Country Store’s well stocked shelves.
Chop Vermont creates beautiful granite cutting boards from recycled stone. Each hand chiseled piece is both functional and beautiful. In three sizes with prices ranging from $24.95 to $49.95, the boards make beautiful holiday cheese plates. You can even throw the whole board, cheese and all, into the fridge to let it chill before a party.
Most holiday parties feature savory hors d’oeuvres, but that doesn’t need to be the rule. If you have family visiting from out of town, treat them to maple cotton candy, only $2.00. Serve it straight out of the jar, use small puffs to decorate cakes, or bribe the kids and have them make you a few dozen small construction paper cones to hold sample sizes to be passed. It makes a wonderful snack and an even better gift.