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Volume 16, Issue 49 - December 4 - December 10, 2008
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Bay Weekly’s
2008 Holiday Guide
to Gifted Giving

Shopping locally makes our villages strong

by Sandra Olivetti Martin, Margaret Tearman and Diana Beechener

A year that taketh makes simple work of what to giveth.

This holiday season’s advice from Bay Weekly: From local sources give the people on your list what they need and want — for otherwise they may have to do without.

Here at Bay Weekly, we can’t do without our advertisers. So they’re where we’re shopping in this year’s annual Holiday Guide to Gifted Giving. Follow us through their offerings, and you’ll find, as we have, gifts for every taste and body on your list. For just as it takes all kinds of people to make your village, it takes all kinds of advertisers to make Bay Weekly.

And by shopping locally, you’ll also be strengthening the local economy.

“When people shop in our communities, they do more than support the businesses where they buy,” explains Lynda Striegel, president of the Beach Business Group. “They see what active and thriving communities we have in Chesapeake Country, which means more tourism dollars, with their multiplying effect of $4.60 for every one dollar spent.”

Taken a step farther, local shopping also increases our chances of buying safe, reliable goods.

Tracking Consumer Product Safety Commission recalls and discovered recalls, reports that most are imports: 296 of the 339 recalls posted since January.

Many products sold locally are also made locally. In local stores, you can tell the owner personally that you want to buy American — and the closer to home the better.

Here’s this year’s Guide, organized by the ways we spend our time.

Better Homes …

Uncle Dick and Aunt Jane are attempting a whole-house renovation on their 1940s’ Cape Code — themselves. But Uncle Dick isn’t the handyman he used to be. To keep their house — and marriage — from falling down around them, give the gift of professional help.

It may take two sets of handy hands to undo Uncle Dick’s efforts:

Handyman Matters: 410-867-3838;;

• and Made Perfect Handyman: 301-773-1053; 866-459-0559.

For Uncle Dick, who has made a valiant effort at carpentry, but may not be walking so well these days: A couple of visits to a back pain specialist will help him face the New Year — upright: Maryland Disc Institute: 410-647-6342;

If Aunt Jane is feeling the pain, send her to Meadow Hill Wellness, where therapies range from acupuncture to zero balancing massage. For a holiday gift to last her through all Uncle Dick’s renovations (or to share), choose 10 treatments in any combination of massage, bodywork and organic facials for $599. Annapolis: 410-263-0411.

And for May, Jane and Dick’s daughter, who spent a year’s worth of weekends at her parents’, trying to help hammer nails, but really just keeping their parents from hammering each other: a few sessions from Golden Heart Yoga should return her to a calmer, quieter place. Annapolis: 410-22-HEART;

Then there are those among us who are indeed handy. Sneade’s Ace Home Center is stocked with must-haves for the do-it-yourselfer — those crafty folk who know the value of a good hammer. Owings: 410-257-2963 and Lusby: 410-326-3222:

Not everyone wants — or needs — a complete home renovation. But a leaky roof, cranky heating system or over-heated A/C would turn anyone into Scrooge. A new roof from Exterior Concepts and American Roof-Brite may not sound so romantic, but just try cuddling up under a dripping ceiling. Edgewater: 410-956-0376;; 800-553-4135;

Turn the heat up — way up — with a house-warming gift. Snuggle by the toasty glow of a new gas fireplace. Belair Engineering is owned and run by women. Trust them to bring back romance. 1-888-8BELAIR;

Keep the heat up with Real Chill, who’s as happy to keep that chill away in winter as to turn it on in summer. Or plan ahead with a new A/C unit under the tree to keep you frosty — even in August. 410-867-3626; 888-989-1253.

A gift of everyday toiletries may be mundane, but a new toilet — with all the trimmings — is a gift that will be appreciated every day. The designers at Bath Rebuilders will leave you flush with ideas. Crofton: 410-451-3888;

For another kind of seating — one the family can enjoy together — consider a new dining room suite from Millwood Furniture’s Pennsylvania Dutch-crafted furniture. A gift that keeps on giving, these heirloom pieces can be handed down through the generations. In the Pennsylvania Dutch Farmers’ Market at Annapolis Harbour Center, Annapolis: 410-897-1906;

Recycle and reuse is all the rage. With an inventory of gently used interior decor items, Echoes and Accents is the perfect choice for the green giver and receiver, with choices ranging from wicker chaises to crystal chandeliers. Annapolis: 410-280-8800.

For the home — or boat — entertainer on your list, check out Parkemoor Home’s exclusive collection of Mediterranean-inspired plastic tableware. It looks like pottery but won’t break the bank — or break when dropped. Main Street @ South River Colony: 410-956-1701.

Streaking is so passé, anyway you look at it. Give the gift of clean windows from Dr. Glass: 410-626-0782;


… and Gardens

Poinsettias and Christmas cactus color the holidays, and our local garden centers are all abloom with these traditional favorites — and many more terrific gift ideas.

For the bird-lover on your gift list, fly over to Greenstreet Gardens for birdhouses, feeders, seed and baths — and pink flamingoes for any size gardens. Pair these items with a gift certificate to redeem come springtime for a bird-friendly garden, and you’ve got a gift sure to leave them chirping with happiness. Lothian: 410-867-9500;

Winter is a long season for gardeners, the ones who are happiest with dirty hands. For these frustrated diggers, a gift certificate to one of Homestead Gardens’ winter workshops will help tide them till spring. The workshops cover a lot of ground, from secrets of good composting to composing a floral Valentine. Davidsonville: 410-798-5000;

For another take on charming winter, give the gift of home staging from home and garden decorator Linda Richardson, formerly of Garden Décor, who transforms homes into showcases for the season or special events: 410-533-1955.

… and Boats

Uncle Dick is saying that his next project might be down at the water, because he’d like to replace his old bulkhead with more environmentally friendly shorescape. Before he throws his back out for good, call A-1 Marine Construction: 410-956-9824.

Boaters without Uncle Dick’s enviable water access will find their perch on the Bay at Breezy Point Marina, down south where the fish are and where the season for winterizing is now: 301-758-9981;

Days at the Bay

We’re not all lucky as Uncle Dick and Aunt Jane, whose waterfront property came into the family with a newspaper subscription a century ago. Or as the taxpayers of North Beach, whose address brings them Bay and beach. The rest of us pay a fee — which makes a beach pass a desirable gift for anybody on your list but townsfolk: 410-257-9618;

Daughter May can make sure Dick and Jane’s property stays in the right line of family by making one of Mom and Dad’s holiday gifts a consultation with attorney and estate planner Lynda Striegel. On the other hand, May’s secret wish is that Mom and Dad write their wills. See Striegel either way. North Beach: 301-855-2246;

For another gift of peace of mind, May wishes Mom and Dad would make their own arrangements for resting in peace, because she sure doesn’t want to get those details wrong. For such gifts, turn to • Rausch Funeral Home:; Owings: 410-257-6181; Lusby: 410-326-9400; Port Republic: 410-586-0520.

Chesapeake Highlands Memorial Gardens: Port Repbulic: 410-257-0544;

Home Grown Gifts

You don’t have to go far to find the perfect gift for the locavore on your list. Take a hint from Maryland’s Secretary of Agriculture Rodger Richardson’s Holiday Letter:

“In these tough economic times, there is no better way to save on fuel, help the environment and keep your money in your community than by buying local products directly from a producer.”

Sip away any holiday stress in the tasting room at Friday’s Creek Winery. Try the 2007 Seyval Blanc or the Rubilee red. A bottle — or two — of your choice Maryland wine will please any party host. Upstairs, browse the winery’s artists’ showroom for a gift of local art. Owings: 410-286-WINE;

Need a plate of cookies or other confectionary treat, but fear the flour? Sweet Sue’s Bake Shop & Coffee Bar takes the pain out of holiday baking. And a cuppa something hot will give you steam to continue forth. North Beach: 410-286-8041;

The season of growing may have ended, but the Anne Arundel Farmers’ Market stays open Saturday mornings thru December 20. Where tomatoes and corn once reigned, now find more than the average garden-variety holiday greens to deck your halls and Maryland homemade goodies for filling gift baskets. Annapolis, Riva Rd. and Harry S. Truman Pkwy.

Widen your wine gifts beyond Maryland while still shopping locally at Parks Liquor. Yes, Parks is a drive-in liquor store and gas station — not to mention sharing summer space with a crab shack. That’s why good wine, wide selection and bargain prices (10 percent off on Tuesdays) are a welcome surprise. Deale: 410-867-4577.

Artful Gifts for Connoisseurs and Collectors

Annmarie Garden is a wonderland any time of the year, so shopping there is a gift to yourself. At Christmas, the garden is an illuminated wonderland, so plan your shopping to coincide with the six pre-Christmas nights when you can walk through the winter woods (6-9pm Dec. 12-14 & 18-21) as well as see their holiday exhibits and buy local art in the gift shop. Solomons:

Take your favorite sports fan out to the ball game any day of the year. Choose from 500 panoramic photographs of stadiums and tons of sports memorabilia, plus nautical antiques for the seafarer at The Stadium Gallery and Sports Editions. Bring in Bay Weekly’s ad for 10 percent off any framed product. The Stadium Gallery, Annapolis: 410-280-0271;

Give yourself plenty of time to search every charming nook and cranny of Galesville Crossing. Each room of the converted bungalow is packed with vintage everything: a 1950s’ hand juicer to art deco jewelry, a 1940s’ pocket guide of drill bits to shelves lined with amber glass bottles. Galesville Rd. and Muddy Creek Rd.: 410-867-3434.

’Tis hard to remember we’re shopping for gifts in The Magnolia Shoppe. A soft pashima was impossible to resist. As was the hanging glass lantern etched with a sailboat. Or the brightly colored serving platter just begging for our holiday ham. Then there are those earrings, perfect with the pashima … Friendship: 410-257-7510.

Cottage Chicks left us clucking with bright gift ideas, like the beaded candelabra with the dangling crystals, a perfectly unusual gift to light up a gazebo. A cup of warm cider offered as we walked in the door gave us even more reason to dawdle. Deale: 443-607-6228.

For that crabby person on your list, Shore Living is the source for all things Maryland. A tiki bar aficionado, writer Margaret Tearman had a hard time resisting the red crab novelty lights, hand-painted wine and margarita glasses and beer cozies. All had her dreaming of warmer poolside days. Dunkirk: 443-964-8837.

Toys aren’t just for tots. Shop Jack in the Box Toys for the young or young-at-heart on your list. This year, pick up a Blokus game for the puzzler on your gift list. For a more cuddly present, seek out an Ugly Doll, stuffed creatures who are, in turn, so ugly they’re cute and so soft it doesn’t matter. Browse walls of stuffed animals and aisles of games for more gift ideas. Annapolis Harbour Center: 410-897-0940; Severna Park: 410-897-0940.

You can help a Guitar Hero fanatic realize delusions of musical grandeur with a gift from Good Deale Bluegrass. Buy lessons for musical novices to help transform their guitars from Gibsons into Lucilles, like B.B. King did. Deale: 410-867-2400;

Join the Club

Memberships to a local museum gives a whole year of opportunity. Members of Calvert Marine Museum get free admission whenever they care to explore archeological exhibits; inspect artifacts from the Calvert Cliffs, learn about our maritime history or tour Drum Point lighthouse. Find out what’s new first: Membership comes with a subscription to the Bugeye Newsletter and early notification on concerts and special programs.

Membership also lowers costs for special programs, including the popular summer concert series, children’s educational programs, the museum store and cruises aboard the Wm. B. Tennison. $50/family: Solomons: 410-326-2042;

Historic London Town membership cuts costs on historic programming from high teas to Londontowne Symphony performances to historic workshops.

Members enter the grounds for free, tour gardens, get an early look at exhibits and benefits for garden club sales. Learn what’s new in London Town with a subscription to the quarterly newsletter, get invitations to gala events and save 10 percent off any plant sale or museum store purchase. $75/family: Edgewater: 410-222-1919;

Diamonds Are for Everyone

When the dollar goes down, jewelry holds its value. So precious metals and gems are not only lavish gifts. They’re good investments in rocky economic times like these.

Each shop is the closest we’re likely to come to the treasure hoards that have sparked the quests of centuries of adventurers and explorers. From the panoply of gold and gems, we’ve chosen one piece that sparks our imagination. You’ll find many more — or get hints from wish lists left for you by people you treasure.

A brand-new shop on Maryland Avenue opened by Annapolis jeweler Tiffany Clay, Augustine’s Diamond Boutique seems the place to shop for diamond-studded innovations. But don’t discount nostalgia pieces: Clay takes her inspiration — and her business name — from her grandmother’s jewel box. Annapolis: 410-990-0580.

Our favorite piece from Dickinson Jewelers is on the hand of a friend. Dickinson designers, who explained how the stones and settings of rings she no longer wore could fit into — and help pay for — the ring of her dreams. That’s a gift for people who’ve inherited jewelry they don’t wear — and a way to add value to the family treasury. Dunkirk Market Place: 410-257-2772; Prince Frederick: 410-535-4338.

Now that diamond pinky rings, cuff links, tie bars and tacks make a guy look like he’s stepped out of a 1950s’ movie, buying jewelry for men isn’t so easy. Except at Little Treasury Jewelers, where history lives on in the famous Ball watches, the timepieces that gave us the phrase on the Ball. Before you shop, read the whole story at Village at Waugh Chapel, Gambrills: 410-721-7100.

We like to give gifts with a sense of place, our place. So we’re especially drawn to the Maertens on the Island’s exclusives collection of Bay and sea creatures — seahorses, blue heron, jellyfish, sand dollar, sailboat, and lighthouse — many commemorating and benefiting local endeavors. The Bay bracelet chains nine of them together in silver or gold. Solomons: 410-394-3990.

We always find plenty to like at W.R. Chance, just steps from the Annapolis Christmas tree on Main Street. But we’re especially drawn to their enamels: exquisite, jewel-like bracelets, rings and earrings. For a touch of whimsy, consider diamond-eyed Atlantic blue crabs of 14-karat gold overlaid with enamel so fine that Chance owns the trademark on the process. These crabs come as in nature or red from the pot. Annapolis: 410-263-2404.

With gifts from Bead Boutique, you give art and artistry. Bead artist and owner Tricia Darrow has collected beads from around the world and teaches new artists how to use them in weekly classes in basic beading, wire wrapping, seed bead weaving, precious metal clay, advanced wire work and metal fusing. Prince Frederick: 410-535-6337;

These Gifts Are Only for a Few …

Give the links lover on your list a chance to pretend to be Arnold Palmer with a round of golf at Renditions. Each of Renditions’ 18 holes replicates holes played during golf’s four major championships — The Masters, The U.S. Open, The British Open and The PGA Championship. After a round, golfers relax in the 1930s-style clubhouse for drinks and snacks. Davidsonville: 410-798-9798;

Add adult spark to the season with the gift of better love from For Your Pleasure. Throw a holiday pleasure product party and invite friends to share the love while you learn the buzz on personal gifts. Seasonal shoppers get a free massage oil candle with every purchase thru December 16. For Your Pleasure: 410-330-0553;

  Some gifts come from necessity instead of desire. If you’re concerned about the habits of a loved one, give the gifts of help and a new start this season. Start with evaluation at The Addiction Treatment Center. Annapolis: 410-295-3974.

On the Road …

Out here in Chesapeake Country, most of us are drivers by necessity. Here are a couple of gift ideas to keep our vehicles sharp and dependable.

If there’s been a deer — or a careless driver — on the road, Sisk Auto Body is the place to make wrongs right and dings disappear. Make your gift the deductible. For drivers who got through the year unharmed, detailing gives a clean car to drive into whatever the new year might bring. Owings: 301-855-5525;

He doesn’t have to be a motorhead. Scratch the surface of most any man on your list, and you’ll find he harbors secret longings for clever customizations. Trick out his ride at Trick Trucks with tinted windows … or far more dramatic after-market adjustments. Use Bay Weekly’s coupon for 10 percent off. Edgewater: 410-269-0919.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

When belts are tightened, eating out is one of the first luxuries we forgo. Gifts of breakfasts, lunches and dinners — in certificates to be spent as desired — keep that pleasure coming despite hard times. As well as a gift nobody wants to return, they’re a good investment in rebuilding the economy, according to Paul Hartgen, president of the Restaurant Association of Maryland.

“Every dollar spent dining out in Maryland generates more than two dollars for other industries,” Hartgen writes.

With that wisdom in mind, we suggest gifts of savory specials offered by Bay Weekly advertisers.

Brick House is the place to send friends who like the comfort and customs of the neighborhood bar, including good food. It’s not just for Shady Side locals; car-trip lovers will get the pleasure of discovery on their way to this village pub. Shady Side: 410-867-3400.

For good-times lovers whose tastes run to German food, beer and wine, The Old Stein’s the right place to buy the gift of nights out. Add a note with the gift: there’s accordion music most Saturdays, and in December and January wild game is on the menu. Mayo: 410-798-6807.

For friends who like it hot, Gonzalo Fernandez serves authentic Mexican food for lunch and dinner in two settings: Restaurante Serrano for casual and carry-out and Jalapenos, where the setting is splendid and the menu speaks old world Spanish as well as new. Restaurante Serrano: Annapolis: 410-573-9200; Jalapenos: Parole: 410-266-7580.

For friends whose favorite meal of the day is the first, open up a breakfast account at Happy Harbor, where some things stay the same under the new ownership of Michelle Daniels: helping are huge breakfasts every day of the week and you get it all at the Sunday breakfast buffet: Deale: 410-867-0949.

Here’s an option for your Tex-Mex loving friends: Gina’s Cantina, which serves generous portions and Maryland-influenced dishes — such as a crabmeat quesadilla. Millersville: 410-923-8226.

Pirates Cove is the universal choice: classic Chesapeake cuisine in a classic Chesapeake setting on the water, where the West River fleet slips, moors and races. Great views all year and a warm winter fireplace double the pleasure of this gift. Galesville: 410-867-2300;

Skipper’s Pier offers another window on the water that makes Chesapeake Country famous. Here you overlook Rockhold Creek and the fleets of Deale harbor, slipped or heading out to Chesapeake Bay. Give the gift of dining here to friends who seek an innovative touch on the flavors of the Chesapeake and fine cuisine. Deale: 410-867-7110:

To delight friends with fast-food cravings, money to spend at Jakes Steaks will satisfy with homecooked and fresh-cut ribeye hoagies: Edgewater: 410-956-4420.

Nights on the Town

Take your friends for a night on the town, sampling specialty elixirs from behind the bar. Before you set off on any imbibing trips, arrange transportation.

Consider gifting your bar-hopping battalion with a bus pass from the Annapolis Regional Transportation Management Association before buying a round of — or a gift card for — Pusser’s Caribbean Grille’s Painkillers. ARTMA, Annapolis: 410-269-7433; Pusser’s Caribbean Grille, Annapolis: 410-626-0004;

Give your friends a hand with local reveling by picking up the tab (why cut yourself out of the fun with a gift certificate they can use without you?) at Shockers, the new watering hole where get-down partiers add sports and good eating to their celebrations. Shockers Bar & Grill, Edgewater: 443-607-8964;

Farther south, buy your beer-bingo fans a round at Crooked i’s weekday tournament, where they’ll enjoy live music with their pints. Crooked i, Chesapeake Beach: 410-257-7999;

After a night of partying, the greatest gift you can give — beyond aspirin and lots of water — is a hearty meal. Find divine feasts of fowl and beasts at Heavenly Chicken & Ribs. No worries if you don’t want to leave the house: This is a gift that delivers. Heavenly Chicken & Ribs, Dunkirk: 410-286-9660.

For more temperate treats, drive your roomiest vehicle and load up gifted family and friends for a trip through Anne Arundel Medical Center’s Lights on the Bay. Cruise through two twinkling miles to see North Pole scenes, a penguin village, an under-the-sea adventure and more. Rent Holospex glasses, and the lights become 3-D with secret images hidden in the glowing specters. Sandy Point State Park: 443-481-3161;

Or raise the curtain on local entertainment by giving the gift of community theater tickets.

Bay Weekly theater reviewers regularly report local talent can compete with the Great White Way by giving performance or seasonal tickets to productions from renowned companies Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre, Bay Theatre Company, Colonial Players,2nd Star Productions and Twin Beach Players.

Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre: 410-268-9212;

Bay Theatre Company, Annapolis: 410-268-1333;

Colonial Players, Annapolis: 410-268-7373;• 2nd Star Productions, Bowie: 410-757-5700;

Twin Beach Players, Chesapeake Beach:

For outstanding choral music reaching its summit this season, give tickets to Annapolis Chorale: 410-263-1906;

For a night out that needs not end, we suggest two overnights on the Bay:

Herrington on the Bay’s stay-over Christmas package: A $175 gift buys a sauna room at the Inn at Herrington Harbour with its Bay beach — plus $50 worth of eating and drinking next door at Mangos: Inn at Herrington Harbour, Rose Haven: 800-213-9438;; Mangos 410-257-0095;

Your gift of a visit to Chesapeake Beach Resort and Spa brings a room over the Bay plus upscale meals at Rod ’n’ Reel or family meals at Smokey Joe’s Grill. For a very special person, splurge on a New Year’s Eve package. Or give the endless possibilities of an open date. For a value extender, every $100 gift certificate brings a $20 bonus. Chesapeake Beach: 866-312-5596:

Creature Comforts

These times have been hard on everybody, and both men and women can use gifts of pampering. Salons, spas and healing arts centers make you feel renewed and relaxed, with services that run from the top of your head to the tip of your toes.

For head-to-toes pampering on this sie of the Bay Bridge: Alexander’s of Annapolis Salon & Day Spa: 410-266-6694.

On the other side of the bridge: Swan Cove Day Spa and Salon: Historic Stevensville on Kent Island: 410-604-1500;

For hair and nails: Beauty by the Bay: North Beach: 443-964-8753.

When our best friends seem more like the beasts in our lives, a little break is a luxury gift. For time away from Fido and Felinda, give a certificate for Allison Quattro’s Fur-Get-Me-Not Pet Sitting: 443-286-5736.

For more of a break on your own turf, take an item from calendar editor Diana Beechener’s Christmas wish list. She’s considering fortifying her desk with Invisible Fence, so that Bay Weekly’s Jack Russell, Nipper Knoll, will finally spark with the idea of quiet time. 410-721-7799;

When your Nipper gets a bit too much sizzle — or any other trouble — the right gift is after hours TLC at Allied Partners Veterinary Emergency Service. Huntingtown: 410-535-9722.

© COPYRIGHT 2008 by New Bay Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.