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Holiday Buying and Gift Ideas...
Think Local... Buy Local...
Did you know... In the Dec. 17th Roman festival of Saturnalia and Jan. 1st Roman New Year holidays, gifts were given as good luck emblems and houses were decorated with greenery.
The early Christians frowned on this pagan ritual, and wouldn't have any part of it. For years though, many of the converts wouldn't part with the practice of giving gifts and related it to the Magi's giving of gifts and later to St. Nicholas' gift giving. Gift giving became widely accepted by the middle ages.
The most popular gift requests of boys & girls are of toys, but in the 19th and early 20th century it was fruit, nuts and candy and for many of the early letters to Santa printed in newspapers would include this.
Beginning in early 1900's Teddy bears became the most requested gift by boys and girls and still is the most popular stuffed toy of all time.
If you're tired of the shrink-wrapped, made in China, holiday items that you find in the big chain stores every year, consider buying unique local items.
Each county offers an array of locally owned and operated shops. Additionally, there is large agricultural and Amish community that offers an abundance of unique food and gift ideas—from prepared foods and wine to crafts and even hand-crafted furniture. We are also blessed with a wealth of local artisans such as painters, photographers, and craft-makers. Their works can be found in local galleries and craft shows.
Drop by downtown Leonardtown one afternoon or evening and browse the many boutiques. Stop in to the local art shop where you can find many visual art items. The shop is operated by a cooperative of local artists. Right across the street is the used book store. He has a large supply of old vinyl records. Maybe you'll find something that brings back old memories.
You will want your next stop to be Solomons—a fine, walkable town, resplendent this time in year in its holiday finery. Be sure to stop by the gift shop at the Calvert Marine Museum to find something for the sailor in the family.
There's also the Twin Beaches area in the north end of the County where people can find many interesting shopping nooks. There is Seascapes; Artworks @ 7th; Antiques-Brocante; Bay Treasures; Coffee, Tea & Whimsey; Sweet Sue's Bake Shop & Coffee Bar, among others - all located in North Beach and Chesapeake Beach.
The town of La Plata in Charles County is becoming more and more charming,
with some great shops. Along Charles Street there's Sycamore Accents and
Bernie's Frame shop-both great places for gifts. Joson's Jewelers at the corner
of La Grange and Centennial has unique jewelry, accessories, housewares, and
other gifts. The quilt shop at the corner of Centennial and Route 301 (facing
301) is considered one of the best in the entire metro.
Don't forget to download a copy of the Farms for the Holidays guide brought to us by the good people at the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission. The guide makes it easy to find every thing you'll need for the holidays including unique gifts, food, and home décor. There's also a list of fun farm events for the whole family to enjoy. The guide promotes local farms in the five county area that includes Anne Arundel, Prince Georges, Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary's counties.
The Md. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has a great way to give an environmental gift to show how much you care. Send someone the Gift of Trees this Holiday Season. For $35, a tree will be planted on public land in the county in which the recipient lives and a beautiful certificate will be mailed announcing your gift. Find out how to make your purchase. If your loved one is an avid sportsman or outdoorsman, The DNR also has a great selection of unique gifts in their gift shop.
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