It’s Christmas time in the City, Ring-a-ling (ting-a-ling), soon it will be Christmas Day. City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style. In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas. Children laughing, people passing, meeting Smile after smile…
— Silver Bells by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
The halls are decked, Holiday Design House at the Loughran House has been successfully launched, holiday entertaining plans have been finalized, and all that is left are the Christmas gifts. The Christmas gifts, ye gads! For two guys (well in honesty just one guy) who spend their life shopping you would think by December 16 all of our gifts would be neatly arrayed around the Christmas Trees (for the record we have two rather ornamented trees). Instead, the mad dash has just begun. Between the unexpected gifts which arrive yearly, a rather extensive list of friends, and varied “thinking of you during this season gifts” Gary and I typically find ourselves purchasing gifts late into the day on Christmas Eve. For those of you whose schedules are coupled to a slight propensity to procrastinate, I thought I would provide a brief insight into just a few of my favorite Christmas shopping resources, all within the confines of Kingston, NY.
One of the very best consistent resources for baby gifts, women’s wear and hostess gifts is Theresa and Company, located in historic Uptown Kingston. Our friend Theresa Misasi, the proprietress of Theresa Company, has a discerning eye for the chic and classically styled. Theresa’s price points rang from $10 hand milled soaps, to $600 fine cashmere jackets. Her artfully arranged shop has a variety of items ranging from infant gifts and children’s toys to the finest in women’s wear. During the holiday season, Theresa kicks it up a notch by offering individually custom designed holiday gift baskets. A well-skilled gourmand, Theresa also offers gourmet gift baskets. In fact her, Italian basket is a must have for the foodie on your list. Put succinctly, a personally designed gift basket of varied price points may be designed for those on your gift list.
To some Herzog’s Home and Paint Center, a True Value Hardware Company, might seem a bit unorthodox as a holiday shopping destination. Though Herzog’s carries a wide range of gifts from jewelry, to candles, to home accessories, it is the standard hardware store items I find most appealing during gift season. Having endured a number of garden landscaping and home renovation projects, a gift of a power tool, wheelbarrow or a sundry of assorted handheld tools is always a welcome sight. Along these lines, almost everyone has at least one person on their list who is looking to paint or wallpaper a room, order new fabrics to enhance their home’s design or to spruce up their garden in the New Year. What better way to brighten a friend’s day than a gift certificate to Herzog’s to assist with their renovation goals in 2016. Trust me, as renovation/ restoration projects journey forward a gift certificate in any domination is a welcome addition to any project’s budget.
While we are on the topic of gift certificates, coffee shops, restaurants and cafes are great options for the friend who seemingly has everything. Some friends are simply impossible to buy for. Rather than searching and seeking here and there for the right gift, a gift certificate to The Elephant, Le Canard, Stella’s, Chops, or Boitson’s in Uptown Kingston would be winter treat as our tropical December eventually retrogrades to the bitter cold of January. Nothing is more enjoyable than a late luncheon or early dinner in Kingston’s Rondout District on a snowy day. From Ship to Shore, to Old Savannah to Savonna’s, dining by the waterfront is winter’s dream. A gift certificate to Uptown Coffee, Outdated Cafe, Domnick’s or Duo would provide additional moments of enjoyment on a harsh winter’s day. In fact there are so many wonderful eateries in Kingston to date, it is hard to go wrong with a coffee, breakfast, luncheon or dining gift certificate.
Thanks to Schneider’s Jewelers, Milne’s At Home Antiques and Exit Nineteen, obtaining a coveted gift is as easy as one, two, three. Schneider Jeweler’s, one of Uptown Kingston’s long established mainstays, harkens back to Bromberg’s Jewelers of my childhood. A store which glitters with diamonds, marvels with the latest in wrist watch design and tempts with a rather remarkable collection of estate jewelry. Gift items from Simon Pierce, Waterford and Steiff assure every hostess on your list will beam on Christmas Day. Shopping at Milne’s At Home Antiques reminds me of the wedding gift shopping scene in Four Weddings and a Funeral, starring Hugh Grant and Andie McDowell. Rebecca Milne’s offerings start with $25 Vintage Items progressing all the way to a hand-forged, 1870 dated weathervane listed at $20,000, providing a vast spectrum of pricing for even the last minute shopper. In my December feature, Get Your Kick’s at Exit 19, I touted the miraculous array of temptations displayed in this new-kid-on-the-block in Uptown Kingston. Given the quality of merchandise and the diversification of offerings provided by the retailer’s in Uptown Kingston and the Rondout, it is hard to take a wrong turn this holiday shopping Season.
Hostess gifts, “thinking of you during the holiday season gifts,” and last minute gift list additions or by far the simplest of purchases given the array of wine and beverage options throughout the city of Kingston. J.K.’s Wine and Liquor and the Wine Merchant are long recognized hallmarks for this genre of gifts. The addition of boutique shops Ester Wine and Spirits and the Kingston Wine Company in the last two years has further expanded the opportunity to provide each gift recipient with the best of Yuletide cheer. Michael and Theresa Drapkin, of Kingston Wine and Co. are perfectly suited to assemble a collection of the finest wines and handcrafted liquors to suit the palette of the most daunting hipster or steely epicurean.
The holiday season is a time of cheer and friendship, a time for memories old and new, a time for reflection of the journey which has been 2015. Rather than magnifying the stress of The holiday season the purveyors, retailers and restauranteurs within the city limits of Kingston transform the dreaded Christmas gift list into a snap. Suddenly, one, two, three and your list is finished and you are home nestled by the tree watching your favorite holiday film. Perhaps that last statement was a bit too corny but I think you have the idea.