This year, buying online risks deliveries arriving so late they are more likely to show up on Valentine’s Day than Christmas. Instead, smart shoppers are heading to local shops on the Avenue. We have picked out stores in Chestnut Hill and Mt Airy that offer immediate gratification and, in many cases, unique gifts that cannot be found anywhere else.
For the Hostess
No one really needs another tray of cookies or melted Brie. Bring her something she’ll enjoy long after the holiday lights come down. How about a Fraser fir scented candle from Robertsons Florist, 8501 Germantown? They have much more than flowers, including home décor items to delight the most discriminating hostess. robertsonsflowers.com
Or stop by Ten Thousand Villages, 8331 Germantown, for a grab-’n-go selection of Fair Trade table linens, hand blown glass vases, or fill a handmade basket with guest soaps. We think their hand-crocheted reindeer ornaments are a must-have. tenthousandvillages.com
The back room at El Quetzal, 8427 Germantown, is filled with gorgeous pottery, ceramics, candles, soaps and hand creams. What's not to like? elquetzal1963.com
For Your Wife
No woman wants a kitchen appliance for Christmas anymore than you want a subscription to Popular Mechanics. She doesn't want “a nice robe" either. March yourself and your credit cards into TC Unlimited, 8518 Germantown. This is where to get her a Montcler hat and scarf set, Versace perfume or a Christian Dior handbag. You say she's not into designer labels? To that, we say, "Ha!" tc-unlimited.com
Visit Windfall Gallery, 7944 Germantown. They have a large assortment of hand-crafted rings, earrings and bracelets at all price points. If she was stuck in the house, home schooling the kids, add a bundle of white sage to burn off the bad vibes of the past year and start fresh. windfallgallery.com
Psst. If you've been very naughty, head straight to Delphine Gallery, 8435 Germantown, and go for a glittery bracelet with serious bling. Your accountant will concur; it's a wise investment. facebook.com/DelphineGallery
Who says it’s impossible to buy a gift for the man of the house? Short of giving him tickets to the 2021 Super Bowl, priced at $6K to $21K, give him a comfy outfit emblazoned with his favorite team in which to watch the game.
The back room at Serendipity, 8506 Germantown, has all the gear an Eagles fan needs: caps, hoodies, t-shirts, gloves, sweats, etc. shopsofserendipity.com
What’s a Super Bowl without munchies? Stop at Kitchen Kapers, 8530 Germantown, and buy him a Nordicware Pro Popcorn Maker, along with Urban Accents White Gold Popcorn and Urban Accents White Cheddar or Buttery Caramel Popcorn Seasoning. (The fact that you’ll end up eating most of it is beside the point.)
If he doesn’t know DeVonta Smith from Colin Kaepernick and prefers a good book to a touchdown, pick up a hardback at Booked, 8511 Germantown, bookedch.com.
Or circle back to Kitchen Kapers and splurge on a Nespresso Machine. It will bring back romantic memories of pre-pandemic trips to Italy and make your home smell like that little cafe in Florence. kitchenkapers.com
For teens and TwentySomethings
If she’s still sulking about having to skip her Junior Year Abroad due to the pandemic, give her a taste of exotic travels at From Bali to US, 8532 Germantown.
Choose from a dazzling assortment of affordably priced Fair Trade, handmade crafts, clothing, décor, masks, sculptures, musical instruments, textiles and jewelry at all price points. Owner Laura Cohn can provide the backstory on every item. Don’t miss the Christmas ornaments, including a flying Santa. Warning: you will probably leave with more for yourself than those on your list. frombalitous.com
Want to score major points with picky teens? Visit I Spy, You Buy Thrift, 7151 Germantown. This is not your typical thrift shop. The self-proclaimed "all star" of Philly thrift shops, they hand-curate top brands and current trends for men and women. Think jeans and t-shirts with graffiti designed from recycled textiles. Keep this shop in mind for the impossibly cool teens and TwentySomethings on your list. ispyyoubuyphilly.com
For boys and young men
If he is an aspiring percussionist (and doesn't live under your roof) stop by Sandaga, 7130 Germantown, which brings the sounds of Senegal to Mt. Airy with authentic Senglese musical instruments. africantailor.com
For 76ers and Phillies fans, Chestnut Hill Sports, 8628 Germantown, has caps, hoodies and jackets. chestnuthillsportsinc.com
What does he love more than your cooking? Pizza! Stuff his stocking with a gift certificate from Golden Crust Pizza, 7153 Germantown, goldencrustmenu.com or Fiesta Pizza III, 8339 Germantown. fiestapizza3menu.com
Whether your friends are writing novels, practicing law or launching a new app, they may be leaning more heavily on tea these days than coffee.
Consider a tea and honey gift set or a monthly tea and honey subscription from Viva Leaf Tea Company, 6730 Germantown. The shop features hand blended teas from a local, sustainable farm. Ask about botanical teas to fight colds, manage pain and insomnia. vivaleaftea.com.
If your friend is a hippie-in-transition, stop by The Movement, 7133 Germantown. This is a Black-owned boutique that asks, "How hip are you?" Filled with Black-made fashion brands featuring colorful tie-dyed fabrics in dresses, socks, leggings, etc. Plus graphic T-shirts that will rock their world. facebook.com/TheMovementPhilly
Bohemian Pink, 8440 Germantown has just the right gift for the friend who has everything but is always misplacing it. Choose from pom beanies, mufflers, pashminas and super cute handbags and totes. Take note of their hair accessories and fun jewelry which make great stocking stuffers. bohemianpink.com
Time to get crafty! Just tell a staff member at Artists & Craftsmen, 7926 Germantown, the age and interests of the child on your list and they will help you find an intriguing gift, from a beginner’s watercolor set to everything your young Picasso needs to become a sidewalk chalk artist. They also have a large assortment of adorable hand puppets, toys and games. artistcraftsman.com
When you finish playing Santa, congratulate yourself on all you have just done for the environment by conserving fuel for your car and for shipping. And top that off with a nod to all you have done for the local economy, keeping your money in the community and supporting local, independently owned shops.