Tis the season for gift giving! Sure you have the big things covered: Your kids and spouse have been dropping hints since July. It’s the other gifts that have you stumped: gift exchanges at the office and Secret Santa among your friends. Then there’s the family gift exchange; you’ve pulled the name of your third cousin, who you’re lucky to see once a year (at Christmas). Oh, and you need gifts for your kids’ teachers, the babysitter, and all those other people who make life easier. And, if you have parties on your schedule, hostess gifts will be needed. As you will see from the sampling we’ve gathered – nearly everything is $50 or less – the county is brimming with gifts that will leave recipients in awe of their Secret Santas!
For the Cook
Almost every family gathering centers around food, which means there are a few great cooks in the family. Olio Olive Oils & Balsamics in Lititz knows a thing or two about family. This family-owned-and-operated store offers an enormous variety of seasonings, salts, lotions, soaps, balsamics, oils and more. Some great gift ideas include the Tuscan Herb Olive Oil for $19; the $25 medium dipping bowl paired with two balsamic vinegars and two olive oils; the $40 large dipping bowl paired with three balsamic vinegars and one olive oil; or a lovely gift set consisting of the family’s best-selling, thick, traditional balsamic vinegar with their best-selling olive oil from Cilento, Italy, for only $42.50.
41 S. Broad St., Lititz. 627-0088 or oliooliveoil.com.
For the Old Soul
From pocket watches and old compacts to antique lockets – the original mobile device – and brooches, Lancaster County is known for its one-of-a-kind antiques shops. T. Blaszczyk Antiques, Vintage, & Collectables carries an impressive array of all-things antique: photos, jewelry, typewriters, license plates, purses, cameos, mechanicals and more. Behind every vintage or antique item is a story waiting to be told. Prices start at $15.
25 N. Prince St., Lancaster. 869-6914 or tblaszczykantiques.com.
For the Glass Lover
In colonial times, Stiegel Glass, which was made in Manheim, was renowned and revered. The tradition was revived during the 1960s, when local businessmen launched a glassworks through which demonstrations of glassblowing were offered. Now known as Stiegel Glassworks 1976, the thriving enterprise led to the creation of Artist’s Alley (in Manheim’s Railroad Station complex), where artists and artisans come together on designated weekends to demonstrate and sell items such as pottery, paintings, stained glass and, of course, blown glass that is made on the premises. The next open house will be held December 5 & 6 (10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) as part of Manheim’s holiday celebration. (You can see examples of Stiegel Glass, circa 1760s, in the Railroad Station’s museum.) Stiegel Glassworks’ gift shop will be brimming with glass ornaments, votive candle holders (pictured) and other gift ideas that start at approximately $15. Custom orders are also accepted.
210 S. Charlotte St., Manheim. 940-1382 or manheimdowntown.org.
For the Teacher
Most teachers have enough mugs and bath products to last a lifetime. Like you, these people are busy. Like you, they often eat on the run or indulge in take-out. So, why not say “Happy Holidays” with a gift card from a restaurant or deli like Isaac’s Famous Grilled Sandwiches, which supports local school organizations (and other nonprofits) through their Community Night fundraisers and Gift Card sales.
For locations, visit isaacsdeli.com.
For the Book Lover
We’ve all seen the unique signs that define rural Lancaster County. You know, the homemade ones that advertise everything from horse blanket washing services to homemade root beer. Writer and photographer Tana Reiff, who moved to the county in 1973, found them to be intriguing and began documenting them during her travels. Now she has written a book (Schiffer Publishing) that serves as an ode to this quaint tradition. In her introduction to Signs of Lancaster County: A Photographic Tour of Amish Country, Tana explains the signs are more than advertising vehicles as “they represent the culture, cottage industries, and trades of this area.” Signed copies are available through tanareiff.com for $19.99 + tax and shipping. The book can also be purchased through Amazon.com and at Barnes & Noble, Lancaster County Mennonite Historical Society, Bird-in-Hand Restaurant and Lancasterhistory.org.
Tana will be hosting a book signing at History.org (230 N. President Ave.) on December 11, 3-6 p.m.
For the Fashionista
Gloves may seem like a typical holiday gift, but a nice wool blend glove that is fashioned with technology in mind makes ordinary gift giving extraordinary. These stylish Sayami gloves with touchscreen technology can be found at Sonia Rose for $35. Need a matching accessory? A Fraas confetti scarf pairs nicely with any color for only $30. Arrive at your next dinner party warm and in style.
50 N. Queen St., Lancaster. 394-3700.
For the Home Decorator
One really can’t go wrong in the gift-giving department if he or she purchases something that falls under the home décor category. Sprucing up one’s home (or garden) is always in vogue. We found these decorative Oriental Danny rabbits – priced at $22.50 each – while strolling through Gehman’s Furniture & Interiors, Inc., in Mount Joy.
51 E. Main St., Mount Joy. 653-1488.
For the Men in Your Life
Whether you’re searching for your husband, father, son or a friend, a flask is an ideal gentlemen’s gift. This handmade, needlepoint flask is available at Brent L. Miller Jewelers & Goldsmiths. While the flask is trendy, it also evokes memories and is a true keepsake, which is why it is a popular gift for a groomsman, too. If the needlework finish doesn’t suit your taste, you can elect to have the stainless steel flask engraved with a name, date, initials or a special message. Price: $65.
1610 Manheim Pike, Lancaster. 569-5450 or brentlmiller.com.
For Those Who Live Green
Kathy Frey Terkeltaub, owner of Festoon, is proud to be the exclusive source of a limited-edition tumbler that is a collaboration of Kevin Lehman (potter, glassblower and founder/director of the Lancaster Creative Factory) and Christina Maser (whose soy candles are 100% natural and biodegradable, with no colors or dyes added; plus the wicks are made from paper or cotton). Once the candle is gone, the tumbler takes on a second life as a one-of-a-kind drinking glass. Price: $39.
202 N. Duke St., Lancaster. 299-2232. 1183 Erbs Quarry Rd., Lititz. 560-6509. Shopfestoon.com.
For the Wine Lover
From Nissley Vineyards: Fans of Pinot Noir will like Cabernet Franc, a dry, light-bodied red that is perfect for the holidays, as it pairs well with turkey and pork, as well as Swiss and cheddar cheeses. Price: $16.90. Country Cherry is one of Nissley’s fruit wines. Made from fresh cherries, this sweet wine is good for sipping and pairs nicely with chocolate and cheesecake desserts. Price: $13.90. Nissley also stocks glassware, nifty wine accessories and eye-catching wine bags.
Winery is located at 140 Vintage Dr., Bainbridge. 426-3514 or nissleywine.com. Shops are also located at Rockvale Outlets and Park City Center (Fountain Shops).