Holiday Gift Guide 2020
'Tis the season to shop local and support independent makers and retailers. These are a few of our favorite things.
Hometown businesses need your support now more than ever, and they have some pretty awesome giftables this holiday season. Here are a few super-cool items to put on your list or buy for someone you love.
Arlington resident Karina Gaull started sewing back in April to help meet the overwhelming need for face masks. She joined the Million Mask Challenge and made about 200 masks for the cause. Soon, she was hooked on her newfound craft and branched out into making colorful clutches, wallets, cosmetic bags and zippered pouches. A former graphic and jewelry designer, she recently sold her wares in a holiday pop-up bazaar at Botanologica in Falls Church, but if you missed it, you can also shop her website and Etsy page. “I love mixing colors and patterns,” Gaull says. Betcha can’t pick just one.
If The Queen’s Gambit left you spellbound and determined to brush up on your chess skills, Kinder Haus Toys in Clarendon has the goods (you provide the brains). Proprietor Sue Pyatt’s beloved toy store is also a popular stop for wooden train sets—Brio is a favorite brand—Paddington bears, picture books, dolls and other classic children’s gifts.
She left us in September, but RBG’s fighting spirit lives on. The inimitable justice has been memorialized in everything from face masks and collar necklaces to housewares—including this 100% alpaca wool pillow cover (made in Bolivia), available at Trade Roots in Westover. Lisa Ostroff’s affable boutique carries hundreds of fair-trade items that support artisans around the world, including women-owned small businesses. Other colorful items include kantha placements, wool “cat caves” (for the crazy cat lovers on your list) and batik bread baskets.
When in doubt, give chocolate. Arlington chocolatier Rob Kingsbury’s repertoire includes goodies ranging from fleur de sel caramels and peppermint bark to hot drinking chocolate, as well as Christmas-themed sweets like the “Frankincense, Ginger and Orange” bar, which blends 60% dark chocolate with Boswellia sacra frankincense oil, candied ginger and orange peel. Order direct from Kingsbury Chocolates, or find his confections at local retailers such as One More Page Books, Dominion Wine and Beer, Cheesetique, Commonwealth Joe Coffee Roasters, Lebanese Taverna, Good Company Doughnuts, Crystal City Wine Shop and East West Coffee.
No luck getting your hands on the new PS5? No worries. Old-school games are cool, too. Super Bit, which opened in Falls Church City in March, uses a buy-sell-trade model to circulate retro (80s, 90s, even early 2000s) video games, consoles and collectors’ items. You’ll find piles upon piles of games for Switch, PlayStation, Wii and XBox (owner Chris Jackson says most of his inventory centers on Nintendo Entertainment systems through the PlayStation 3) and occasionally some vintage classics, like an Atari gaming system (with joysticks!) and mint-condition VHS tapes. Posters and fan swag, too.