Two ways that you Christmas and holiday gift-giving process is going to get a big boost on this page: First, many people were unable to travel to their favorite New England place in the summer of 2020; second, shopping in person at retail stores may seem a little risky this fall for many people. The solution starts with the list, below, of shops and makers who create unique things that evoke that special beauty of New England. Things like, Vermont cheese and maple, New Hampshire pewter goods, Maine lighthouse posters and décor. These gifts bring a wash of memories of past visits to New England’s magical places, and the promise of vacations to come. (Remember: while you’re shopping for friends, the “one-for-her; one-for-me” principle says it’s ok to treat yourself, too!)
Gibson Pewter in Washington, New Hampshire, creates beautiful and useful objects from a substance that looks and feels like the heart of Colonial New England. Formerly made from silver and lead, pewter is now made from various non-toxic alloys. The company makes mugs, pitchers, vases, candlesticks, tea sets, ladles and other enhancements that make you feel like you’re dining with Paul Revere.
Dog Mountain, outside of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, is the creation many years ago of artist Stephne Huneck and his wife, Gwen. The Stephen Huneck Gallery presents lots of fun dog art, with a focus on the distinctive massive head of the Labrador retriever. This is the place to buy gifts for dog-loving people, and holiday cards, too.
Stonewall Kitchen, headquartered in Maine, began with two friends making jam at an ordinary kitchen. Now, jams and other foods are sold in 6,000 locations and 10 company stores. Look online for the fabulous gourmet gift baskets for all gift-giving occasions.
American Lighthouse Foundation of Rockland, Maine – Find innumerable images of Maine’s craggy peninsulas, inlets, 60 lighthouses. Gifts for adults and kids include posters, charts, clothing, table décor, pillow, puzzles. Some of the kids’ books about lighthouses are delightful, telling classic stories of Maine toughness.
Mystic Knotwork based in Mystic, Connecticut, used cord to create all manner of decorative and useful items contrived with sailors’ knots. Starting with the sailor’s knot bracelet and moving on through table décor like trivets and napkins rings, the knotwork brings a fresh sea breeze into any home from sea to desert to mountain setting.
Morse Farm Maple Sugar Works of Vermont makes maple treats of the highest caliber. If you have ever visited a Vermont maple grove in late winter, you will almost feel the moment, with late-winter snow crunching underfoot and the smell of the wood fire at the sugar house in the air, when Vermonters tap the tree to release the pure sap. Gift selections include maple syrups, cheeses, sausage and bacon, mustards, kettle corn, gift baskets and even wedding favors.
Cabot Cheese of Vermont.. Do you love really sharp cheddar cheese? It’s one of the award-winning Cabot cheese and dairy products. Be sure to look at the recipes page on the Cabot cheese website. Fabulous recipes and photos will send you to your kitchen to start working on tonight’s dinner.
Memory Mittens from Jack & Mary Designs of Maine is a uniquely Maine creation. Jack & Mary Designs will take your old blankets or sweaters from you and use the fabric to create mittens, scarves, headbands, hats, and skirts, creating a beautiful and useful object from a beloved piece of cloth. Mary transformed a 70-year-old blanket that meant much to our family into gorgeous mittens. Turn your memories into mittens. (Photo by Shane Corcoran Photography LLC)
The League of New Hampshire Craftsmen – supporting fine crafts makes since the Great Depression – presents art-caliber works in fabric, pottery, glass, wood, and other materials. A favorite tradition is the annual holiday ornament, with a different, artful ornament coming onboard each year.
Yankee Candle was founded in the late 1960s by a teenager making a Christmas gift for his mom. Now, the huge variety of candles and fragrances is famous across the nation. Yankee Candles makes 150 fragrances, candles scented for the season, personalized candles, and candle accessories.