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Bay Weekly’s Last-Minute Gift Guide

     You have 10 days to complete your gift-giving mission. Having difficulty coming up with brilliant ideas to wow and impress?
      Here Bay Weekly helps you think outside the Big Box and impersonal online shopping sites by browsing and buying at small businesses and shops in Chesapeake Country. We talked to many of our favorites to find out what surprises you can find on their shelves.
     Read on for great gifts, from stocking-stuffers to big-ticket items, from artwork to pet treats.
 
 
Gifts of Good Tastes
Anne Arundel Co. ­Farmers Market
Fill gift baskets with lots of goods and goodies from local farmers and craftsmen. You’ll find several alphabets-worth of choices: apple cider, breads, candles, cheese, honey, jams and jellies, jewelry, meats, pierogies, pies, seasonal produce, yarn. Everything is local, grown by farmers and produced by crafters whose stories add extra value. Bring cash as not all vendors accept credit cards.
Riva Rd. & Harry Truman Pkwy., Annapolis: Sa thru Dec. 7am-noon, Su 10am-1pm
 
Annebeth’s
Give the gift of sugarplums and more from this Annapolis shop. 
Owner Annebeth Bunker suggests Zoe’s Holiday Tree: caramelized almonds dipped in dark chocolate and then handcrafted into a tree and sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar ($22). For sweets for the stocking, try gift boxes of Himalayan sea salt caramels in a variety of sizes ($6-$27) from Annapolis Chocolate Bar or Chouquette Chocolates.
“We have Naughty But Nice dishtowels, wine and beer, which make super easy and fun gifts,” Annebeth adds.
46 Maryland Ave., Annapolis, 410-990-9700
 
Bowen’s Grocery
With more than 100 varieties of old-fashioned candies, including peanut brittle, Bit-o-Honey, coconut bonbons, Christmas ribbon candy and a selection of gummies, Bowen’s Grocery is a must for sweets-lovers. Proprietor Gordon Bowen admits he ­doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, but he loves keeping the shelves stocked for those who do. Bulk candies come prepackaged and sold by the pound. 
4300 Hunting Creek Rd. (just off Rt. 4), Huntingtown, 410-257-2222
 
Cakes and Confections
A specialty cake or pie makes a memorable — and delicious — gift for the holidays. For something different, try a Yule Log, seasonal tea cookies or a caramel apple tart to enhance your Christmas table. Smith Island cakes also make a festive statement at your holiday party.
342 Ritchie Hwy., Severna Park, 410-757-7100
 
Chesapeake Spas
“When looking for great gifts that are unique I have a secret source, Chesapeake Spas in Edgewater,” says Bay Weekly ad rep Audrey Broomfield.
“You can find individual gift baskets of locally crafted spices and rubs that make great hostess gifts or gift exchange presents.
“This year, I’m buying a wedge, a whiskey glass with an insert that allows ice to be frozen at an angle preventing dilution of the spirit. It makes a great gift for the whiskey-lover on your list.
2806 Solomons Island Rd., Edgewater, 410-798-5674
 
The Irish Restaurant Company
For the gift of seasonal spirits, “we have perfected this one-of-a-kind recipe, crafted by talented master-blenders from the rich pastures of County Cavan, just outside of Dublin,” says Irish Restaurant Company owner Michael Galway. “Their time-crafted knowledge of fine Irish cream and whiskeys combined with our passion for delivering exceptional beverages makes this the most delightfully unique Irish eggnog in the world. 
“What makes this holiday beverage so special is the hint of a perfectly smooth and well-rested Irish whiskey blended with a rich, genuine Irish cream spiced with vanilla notes in just the right proportions to deliver a mellow, warm and comforting experience with every drop. Slainte!”
Choose 750-milliliter bottles ($22), half-cases ($125) or full cases ($210).
Available at Galway Bay, Pirate’s Cove, Killarney House and Brian Boru restaurants
 
Old Town Candy Company
“If you have a Pez collector on your Christmas list, you will want to come see me,” says John Skelly, the owner of Old Town Candy Company. John has over 1,700 in his personal collection and a variety of 140 for sale in his shop. Individual dispensers start at $1.88, with collections selling for around $14. DC Justice League, two different Star Wars collections, Super Mario Brothers and Paw Patrol are just some of the boxed sets ready to be wrapped and placed under your Christmas tree.
9122 Bay Ave., North Beach, 410-286-7300
 
Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission
Local farmers have more to offer than you might have imagined. From Alpaca ware to firewood to seahorse greenery swags to wine tours, Southern Maryland farms have great options for original gifts of food, textiles and events. Check out the 32-page Holiday Guide featuring more than 70 farms with products and services: www.smadc.com.
 
 
Where-Did-You-Find-This? Gifts
Bay Country Crabbing Supply
Got an angler on your list? Make your Christmas gift the perfect catch with Pen Rival Combo 30 LW Trolling rods, says owner Daniel Mallonee, ($79.99). Give customizable flair with brim clips, fishing hooks that attach to a hat.
214 Mayo Rd., Edgewater, 410-956-0300
 
Chesapeake Antiques
“Look for items that are both practical and nostalgic,” advises Chesapeake Antiques owner Patsy Visnansky.
Antique and vintage fishing lures, rods and reels for those who remember fishing with Grandpa can make an excellent gift. Lures range in price from $5 to $35, rods and reels, $15 to $40.
Practical and nostalgic for the home is vintage kitchenware, such as Pyrex storage containers from the 1940s. Pieces cost as little as $8. 
4133 7th St., North Beach, 410-257-3153
 
College Park Aviation Museum
“Check out our new line of aviation-inspired socks ($8-$10). They are the perfect stocking-stuffer,” says College Park Aviation Museum Director Andrea Cochrane Tracey. While at the museum, look for toys, books, jewelry and other great gifts for the aviation enthusiast on your shopping list. An airplane ornament by Olde World Christmas is only $14.99.
1985 Corporal Frank Scott Dr., College Park, 301-864-6029
 
Ekaa
Want to give a gift that’s exotic? Head to Ekaa, where owner Ritu ­Sudershan suggests wrapping your loved one in a genuine Pashmina shawl. “They make great gifts, and you can find them in different colors and prints, and some are even embroidered, too” ($70-$250).
For gifts for the home, consider unique hand-painted ornaments ($6-$18) or a brass bell ($25-$135).
68 Maryland Ave., Annapolis, 631-455-1991
 
Green Phoenix 2
Find jewelry, baskets, handbags, accessories and more. “We offer handmade gifts from around the world and here at home in the U.S.,” says owner Liz Sochor. “Our artists produce decorative and functional products.”
From U.S. artists, handmade glass vases in blue and earth tones are priced at $125 each. From South Africa, handmade telephone-wire baskets are great for the desk and holding things, at $21 each.
141 Main St., Annapolis, 410-626-0739
 
The Magnolia Shoppe
“Don’t forget your hostess gifts,” advises Pamela Whitlow of The Magnolia Shoppe. “It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should let your hostess know you appreciate her hospitality.” 
Magnolia Shoppe carries ladies accessories, jewelry, Christmas ornaments that range from elegant to whimsical, serving pieces, seasonal home accessories and hard-to-find consumables. For the holiday season, Pamela is stocking Grandpa Linquist Glogg at only $13 per bottle. 
2 W. Friendship Rd., Friendship, 410-257-7510
 
Mustard Seed Shoppe
“We sell nostalgic and vintage items. The vintage toys are popular,” says Gayle Moreland, manager of Mustard Seed Shoppe. With second-hand and repurposed items and an ever-changing stock, prices range from $1 to $65.
“We have glassware, linens, jewelry, seasonal décor and much more.” Beautifully painted furniture is one of the store’s specialties, and so is excellent customer service. “Sometimes, customers come looking for a specific item, and if we don’t have it, we will look for it, and if we can get it for them, we do.”
250 W. Bay Front Rd., Lothian, 410-867-0707
 
Sacchetti Music
“A ukulele makes an excellent starter instrument for anyone, but especially for kids,” says owner Pete Sacchetti. Ukulele prices range from $49 to $179. Sacchetti Music also offers lessons for children and adults. “When buying music lessons for someone else, it’s better to buy a gift certificate for a dollar amount, because we work with several instructors and they charge different rates,” Sacchetti advises.
7 Oxford Way, Huntingtown, 410-257-7620
 
Second Wind Consignments
“At Second Wind Consignments, impulsive shopping is compulsory,” says proprietor Teri Leisersohn. “We check in and check out hundreds of wonderful treasures each week. Some items disappear off the shelf the moment they are set out. If you are a discriminating shopper with a keen eye for value and quality — and can make a purchasing decision in a heartbeat — this is the place for you.”
661 Deale Rd., Deale, 410-867-0480
 
The Shops at Ogdens Commons
Hurry now to grab some re-imagined gifts, says owner Barby Harms. “We have these really neat wine toppers. A dish with three dividers, for things like cheese, nuts, pretzels, that sits on top of your wine bottle. It makes a great gift for a hostess or wine lover” ($26).
Better get Dasher to pull your sleigh. The shops are only open one more weekend before Christmas. 
2990 Parkers Creek Rd., Port Republic, 443-532-5981
 
Side Street Framers & Gift Gallery 
“We carry beautiful candles that are clean-burning and refillable,” says Dawn Wilson. “They come in holiday colors, shells, fruit and many other styles.”
“We also love our holiday gourds, shaped like snowmen, angels, reindeer and Santas.
“For a larger ticket item, we suggest Kim Hovell artwork. Her original acrylics on canvas include oysters, Annapolis landscapes and nautical images. They are perfect to give those who love art with a Chesapeake Bay feel.”
558 Ritchie Hwy., Severna Park, 410-544-9050
 
Sisters Corner
Look for snuggly-warm crocheted scarves and hats, many designed and made by the ladies who own Sisters Corner. Many handmade items are under $30.
“Consumable gifts are good for people who don’t want or need more things,” says shop owner Kathy Brookes. “We sell relishes, jams and jellies that can be packaged into attractive gift baskets.” The shop also specializes in items specific to Maryland and the Chesapeake, made in the USA.
8905 Chesapeake Ave., North Beach, 410-286-0074
 
The Wheel
Natural fabrics are practical, affordable, and environmentally friendly. The Wheel has a selection of clothing made from hemp, bamboo and alpaca wool. “Bamboo has a cooling, silky texture, and hemp is the strongest natural fabric,” says owner Celia Molofsky. Bamboo socks start at $14; alpaca sweaters start under $60. 
4109 7th St., North Beach, 410-286-0000
 
Willow Oak Flower and Herb
For plant-lovers, Heather Carr suggests a potted fairy garden. “Our potted fairy gardens are a garden in miniature that can last all season. For the season, I suggest a seasonal greens arrangement, which includes flowers and a candle.”
8109 Telegraph Rd., Severn, 410-551-2237
 
 
Gifts of Experience, Education & Inspiration
Annapolis Summer Garden Theater
With shows selling out well in advance, gift certificates for individual performances and even entire seasons have become a popular gift. “Unless you are 100 percent certain of the recipient’s schedule, it is safer to buy a gift certificate that can be used for any show versus tickets, which require that you commit to a specific date,” advises company president Carolyn Kirby. Amounts begin at $25; the box office will send you a certificate to put under your tree. 
143 Compromise St., Annapolis, 410-268-9212
 
For someone who is always doodling but hasn’t taken that next step toward becoming an artist, art lessons could take it up to the next level. ­[email protected] offers classes in painting, printmaking and collage with prices ranging between $45 and $55. “Our next scheduled class is a painting class in pet portraits,” says artist and instructor Pat Morrison.
8905 Chesapeake Ave., North Beach, 410-286-5278
 
CalvART Gallery
“For as little as $50, you can buy original artwork at CalvART Gallery,” says artist Carol Wade. The gallery shows and sells the work of local artists whose styles range from realistic to impressionist to abstract. Handmade gift cards, both holiday and non-holiday themes, sell for only $8 for a pack of three.
Prince Frederick Shopping Center, 410-535-9252
 
Darnall’s Chance House Museum
The basement gift shop at Darnall’s Chance is a history-lover’s delight, with stocking-stuffers from Colonial Williamsburg and small items specific to Chesapeake history for people interested in the past. Books for children and adults include the American Revolution, early American lifeways and African American history. 
George vs. George: The American Revolution As Seen from Both Sides by Rosalyn Schanzer is a great book for kids,” says museum director Susan Reidy. “It explains the similarities and differences between the English and colonists on the brink of the American Revolution.”
14800 Governor Oden Bowie Dr., Upper Marlboro, 301-952-8010
 
Grauel’s Office Supply
Give the gift of communication and organization, advises owner Debbie Grauel: “Give stationary or greeting cards for great hostess gifts and stocking-stuffers.”
Grauel’s also carries gifts from calendars to artisan olive oil and ships as well as sells.
5952 Deale-Churchton Rd., Deale 410-867-2381
 
Medart Galleries
“Paul McGehee just came out with a new Christmas print, Christmas in  Rothenberg. It’s a beautiful  old-world winter scene that  reminds me of downtown  Annapolis,” says owner  Teresa Schroedel. “We  carry the collectible White  House ornaments, too,  which are inexpenseive and  always popular.”
 Dunkirk Gateway  Business Center, 10735  Town ­Center Blvd.,  Dunkirk, 410-257-6616
 
 
The Polymath Place
Give children the gift of experience with a little learning thrown in. A winter workshop at this STEM-focused learning center gives parents some time off and kids have fun while learning, says owner Kate King. Choose a 90-minute class ($25) with themes like gift-making, cooking, Christmas around the world and toy-making. Or sign up for a longer class for a gift that lasts. Polymath also has fun educational toys in its retail shop.
5735 Deale-Churchton Rd., Deale, 410-867-0100
 
Riversdale House Museum
The shop at Riversdale House Museum sells Federal-period wooden children’s toys, many less than $5, and a selection of cookbooks and history books. Mistress of Riversdale: The Plantation Letters of Rosalie Stier Calvert, 1795-1821 by Margaret Law Callcott is one of the shop’s most popular items, as it is set at the historic home and gives an intimate glimpse of life at Riversdale, says education coordinator Samantha Ferris.
4811 Riverdale Rd., Riverdale Park, 301-864-0420
 
Unity Gardens 
Give a doubly sustainable future (and save money) with a holiday gift to carry the gardeners on your list through the fallow months to the brink of spring. Unity Garden’s 2018 Spring Lecture brings landscape designer and permaculture pioneer Michael Judd to Annapolis to talk on Edible Landscaping: Have Your Garden and Eat It Too. This gift will not only inspire its receiver but also enable Unity Gardens to make more grants for community gardening projects in Anne Arundel County. Buy this $65 ticket now (and through January) for only $50.
Sunday March 4, with wine, cheese, tours and book signing at 2pm, presentation at 3pm, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Annapolis: www.unitygardens.org
 
 
Gifts that Glitter & Gleam
Dickinson Jewelers
Think Bohemian when you think of Dickinson Jewelers. New to Dickinson is a boutique selection of candles, scarves, purses, pouches and beaded bracelets and necklaces with pieces starting as low as $13.
Looking for something a little more upscale and elegant? Check out the estate collection featuring both fine and costume vintage jewelry with prices ranging between $150 and $10,000.
Dunkirk Market Place, 10286 Southern Maryland Blvd., 301-855-8770; Prince Frederick Market Square, 916 Costley Way, 410-535-4338
 
Maertens Fine Jewelry & Gifts
At Maertens Fine Jewelry & Gifts, Heather Maertens designs and sells her own sterling silver and 14K gold jewelry inspired by Chesapeake Bay. She also carries the Alamea collection from Hawaii. Original pieces for both men and women start around $100. 
11743 HG Trueman Rd., Lusby, 410-394-3990
 
Then & Again Antiques
Ring in the New Year with jewelry, says Maggie Lefevre. “We carry rings, bracelets and necklaces, ranging from Native American sterling silver and turquoise, costume jewelry from the ’40s and ’50s and sterling silver bangles from England. Not to mention men’s rings and gold chains.
“For the season, all jewelry is 10 percent off with cash or check.”
2009 West St., Annapolis, 410-573-0313
 
W.R. Chance Diamond Jewelers
“Every woman should have a pair of diamond hoop earrings,” advises Bruce Chance of W.R. Chance Diamond Jewelers. “They are a classic piece that can be worn every day or dressed up for a night out. We have a range of sizes in the store to choose from to add some sparkle to this year’s holiday presents.”
110 Main St., Annapolis, 410-263-2404
 
Gifts For Health & Wellness
At the Bay Healing Arts Center
“Give the gift of relaxation,” advises Valerie Watson, owner of At the Bay Healing Arts Center. Really, who couldn’t use that during the holiday season? An hour-long Swedish massage costs $85. The center offers other relaxing services, too: acupuncture, Reiki and reflexology. Essential oils starting at just under $5 may be the perfect stocking-stuffer.
9129 Bay Ave., North Beach, 410-286-9110
 
Body and Soul Spa
Give great skin, suggests Donna Bagati, office manager. “Give the gift of a massage or a seaweed/clay body wrap. The seaweed helps with detoxification, metabolism and hydration. Clay hydrates and smoothes the skin. A wrap is a 90-minute gift. If you need something smaller,  the spa also offers a 30-minute sugar scrub that is great for exfoliation.” 
Now through December 31, the spa is running a special with all 90-minute services $90. 
624 E. Bayfront Dr., Deale, 410-867-8600
 
Dunkirk Vision
Better vision is an out-of-the box gift.
“We carry name-brand sunglasses that start at $69 and high-quality, no-glare magnifiers that start at $35,” says Dr. Rose Susel Lucente.
Know someone always misplacing their glasses? Consider giving fashion chains that allow the user to wear their glasses like a necklace. Those run between $15 and $20.
10335 Southern Maryland Blvd., Dunkirk, 443-964-6730
 
Meadow Hill Wellness
“Massage is always a great gift,” says Dr. Sara Poldmae. “We have an excellent deep-tissue massage therapist on staff, and we are offering one-hour massage for $70, a savings of $20 off our normal rate.”
53 Old Solomons Island Rd., Annapolis, 410-263-0411
 
Gifts for Pets & the People Who Love Them
Chesapeake Paws 
“We are doing stockings for pet owners. You tell us what you want to spend, and we will stuff it for you with pet treats, toys and chews,” says owner Gwen Rogers Jones. “You can come and pick up at your convenience.”
5504 Muddy Creek Rd., West River, 443-223-2532
 
Crunchies Natural Pet Food
For stuffing a stocking for a special pet, visit Crunchies. The knowledgeable staff can guide you through an array of treats for animals with allergies or special health concerns, from organic, gourmet dog cookies to special dental chews. “Be sure to check out our Christmas tree,” says long-time Crunchies employee Debi Mohn. “It’s decorated with our most popular gift items.” Canine Christmas cookies start at $1.89.
2421 Crofton Ln., Crofton, 410-721-5432
 
Paws Pet Boutique
Paws owner Michelle Kownaki invites you in to see great gifts for humans as well as pets. “We have beautiful charms, made locally from recycled sterling silver, that can be customized with your furry friends’ names ($24-$28). We also have these adorable carved dogs, hand-carved individually with a chainsaw from fallen Ponderosa pine. They come in a variety of dog breeds” ($46).
64 State Circle, Annapolis, 410-263-8683
 
Pepper’s Pet Pantry
So you have Christmas jammies for the whole family except the dog? At Pepper’s Pet Pantry, find festive Christmas pajamas for small dogs, priced at $15 to $18. “We carry gifts for pet parents, too,” says owner Mary Beth Gates. With breed-specific pens, earrings and magnets, you’ll be able to stuff any animal lover’s stocking. The wild bird section features feeders for under $30.
13372 HG Trueman Rd., Solomons, 410-326-4006
 
 
–Audrey Broomfield, Susan Nolan and Donna Day contributed to this article