Take 2! Everyone loves a good sequel, so I’m back to share my favorite holiday gifts with you. The best part? It’s ALL local, which means no crowded malls, no circling for parking (oh wait, nevermind), and you get to support people in your community. Know who else this guide is perfect for? Last. Minute. Shoppers. Yup, I see you – and raise my scotch tape to ya.
When your fallback needs a facelift:
Sometimes we get in a gifting rut. The fallback? Flowers, gift baskets... or sometimes both. But who doesn’t love a good gift basket? The thing is though, they have to be GOOD. I love these two gift baskets from Outside the Box. Housed in the Monroe Center, Outside the Box designs thoughtfully curated baskets that keep up with current trends. They even do custom orders for when you really need the perfect gift. I love the holiday themed basket above and the other box which is perfect for new homeowners.
When there's a new sheriff in town:
Need a holiday present for the newest Hobokenite in your life? Charley and Hudson (run by a local mom) make the cutest apparel for kids ranging from itty bitty onesies all the way up to adult sizes. I’m a huge fan of their graphic HBKN shirts, and not to worry – they represent JC too! Check out the adorable “Heights” print as well. All Charley and Hudson designs can be ordered through their site, while some items are stocked locally in shops around town.
For the couple:
I came across Schwing Shop on Etsy about a year ago and am still in love with just about everything they design. The clay coasters, the marbled coffee mugs, personalized ring dishes… Everything is whimsical, original, and handmade by the owner (right here in Hoboken). The “His & Hers Ring Dishes” make great gifts for a newly engaged couple while the coasters, glasses, or trinket dishes are perfect for new homeowners. Custom orders are available too!
For the hipster in your life:
If you’re looking for different, funky gifts that are miles away from ordinary, do yourself a favor and visit Kanibal & Co. in Jersey City. While I dream about their vintage jewelry and home décor items, this place also has AWESOME stuff for guys too (and we all know how hard it can be to shop for them). Not only can you find great clothes and accessories, but they carry tons of items from local artisans which makes it even more special. Need a gift for the JC enthusiast in your life? Need a bacon ornament? Beard glitter? T-shirts, glasses, ornaments – you name it, it’s there.
When you needed a gift like, yesterday:
Need a gift fast? Like on-your-way-to-the-party-and-need-a-present-now fast? Luckily, there’s Washington General Store right here in midtown Hoboken. Washington General never disappoints in my opinion. They pack a lot into a relatively small space with varying price points and gift options for everyone on your list – kids, parents, friends, bosses, and even pets.
Ok, so winter is already here, and Game of Thrones is on hiatus, but who doesn't walk and text nowadays? Since it's officially freezing, if you, your little brother, sister, or anyone you know needs some warm mittens that are still phone-friendly, check out The Little Foxes shop on Etsy. I saw these handmade knitted and crocheted accessories at a local holiday fair and loved the look and quality. The Little Foxes make mittens and fingerless gloves for men and women plus scarves, headbands, and even beautiful crocheted baby blankets.
For the babe who barre so hard:
Tired of the b-a-r? Or the same old g-y-m? If you're looking to try something new in 2018, or give the fitness fanatic in your life something fun to try, then check out Local Barre right here in Hoboken. They have 2 locations (Maxwell Place & the Monroe Center) and have top level barre classes taught by equally top-notch instructors - ahem - Barretenders. Classes are challenging (trust me, I've been), inspiring, and offered at a variety of times. Moms of little ones - they even have childcare titled 'Monkey Barre"! For more information on trial classes, packages, memberships, or just pictures of the beautiful space, visit their website.
For the man with style:
For the man in your life with style, or the one that could use some help, send them over to Joseph Genuardi. For those of you who don’t know him, do yourself a quick little favor and visit his website. Read his story. Look at his pictures. Located in the old Neumann Leather Building downtown, Genuardi Master Tailor is the only true bespoke tailor shop in Hoboken. They make custom handmade suits and shirts that will have him looking and feeling like a million bucks. Genuardi has been tailor to former mayor Bloomberg, numerous actors, professional athletes, and even former president Barack Obama. Next week, maybe your husband ;) For gift certificates and more information, please visit his website.
For the luxe lover:
When it’s time to up your game and select a luxe gift for someone on your list, I suggest heading uptown to Creative Interiors in Hoboken. This gorgeous little store has TONS of options for gifts and again, at varying price points. They have a beautiful collection of picture frames (I love this one for grandparents), gorgeous pillows and throws, handcrafted trays, fine stationery, and so much more. If you’re still in need of some holiday décor, they also carry handmade nutcrackers and other festive items. The owner is extremely helpful too, which is always a plus when shopping for someone else.
* Hook-Up card vendor*
For when you agreed to host a holiday party… and instantly regretted it:
Or when your oven isn’t working. Or you’re short on counter space. Or you know, just don’t want to cook?? Anthony David Catering can come to your rescue. First of all, I didn’t even know they did catering until a few weeks ago. Anthony David’s is one of the BEST restaurants in town so you know the food will be delicious and sure to please a crowd. Visit their site for menus & pricing.
For your favorite cousin, or entire family:
Your holidays are ‘bout to be LIT, people. I recently discovered Little Batch Candle Company (owned & operated right here in Jersey City). I love these candles for so many reasons. Not only do they smell good, but their unique scents are 100% natural soy wax and their packaging is super cute and perfect to give away. My favorite feature is their custom designs like the one above. You can custom order a candle for your mother or a whole bunch for wedding parties, shower favors, etc.
For the mom with 500 blurry pictures of her kids and none of herself:
We all know how hard it is to get ONE.DECENT.PICTURE. of our family. TOGETHER. Like everyone, in one picture, smiling, with no strange shadows or flashes of light. Consider gifting someone in your life (or yourself) a gift certificate to Alyson Barrow Photography. You've never heard anyone say, "Gee, I wish I had less nice pictures of myself", right? Alyson does family sessions, newborn, maternity, engagement photos, and more. Her stunning work can be found on her website.
For the hostess:
Ohh the hostess gift. This one can be so hard. Do they really need another cheese plate? What colors are her kitchen? Is this gift too personal? These kitchen towels from Dear Hannah are just a light, cheeky gift for the hostess and go perfectly with a bottle of champagne or nice bottle of olive oil.
When you need a little something, for a little someone:
I find myself at a lot of little holiday parties this time of year and oftentimes feel like I should bring "a little something" to my friends kid(s). Recently, a friend introduced me to these freaking adorable paint-your-own-cookies from Love, Ana. My 2 year old tried her Thanksgiving cookie and had such a good time "painting" the (edible) cookie with icing. She got to paint, and I got to eat. It was definitely a win-win. To check out Ana's cookies, cakes, and other sweets, please visit her site. * Hook-Up card vendor*
When you favor moments over material things: Here are some ideas for people who want to get out of the house.
When you're tired of watching cooking shows on TV:
I love, love, love the idea of buying someone a gift certificate to Hudson Table. I asked for one last Christmas, and also highlighted them on the guide last year. The thing is, eating doesn't get old. It's a perfect date night or girls night out. I'd also be happy to go solo! Not only does Hudson Table feature classes where you learn to cook (and then eat) delicious cuisines, but they also have cooking demos with widely recognized chefs, and even competitions (think Iron Chef, but right here in Hoboken). Need a gift for a budding foodie? They also offer Mommy & Me cooking classes that I can't wait to try (taught by our very own Gourmet Mom, Sara Fry!). For a complete schedule and to purchase gift certificates, visit their site.
For Besties who Brunch:
Or brothers. Or like, really cool parents. In the last 10 years or so, all my parents seem to want, is a nice meal out. That, or a vacation somewhere warm…. as in not New Jersey. Bin14 is one of my favorite places to take people. Friends, family, hubby – it’s just a great spot that never disappoints. When you have really good food and a really extensive wine list, you can’t go wrong, amiright? Well now Bin14 is offering a new bottomless brunch! For $29, you get an entree, small plate, unlimited mimosas, bellinis, or bloody's for 90 minutes. Cheers! * Hook-Up card vendor*
For Your Little Scientist:
Looking for a fun activity for your kids or a gift for someone else’s? Located in the Monroe Center, Mad Science delivers unique, hands-on science experiences for children that are entertaining AND educational! In sum, a win win. They recently added an escape room where children are "locked" in a themed room and have to use teamwork along with the elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles, find clues, and escape the room in 60 minutes! They have weekly class offerings, kids’ parties, and even Parents Night Out dates! Jealous that your kids get to have all the fun? Check out their BYOB "Sip and Solve" slots for adults 21 and over!
*New HookUp vendor*
What else is there to do around here? If you're new to the area, check out Jersey Girl Food Tours (Hook-Up Vendor!) for a fun day of eating and walking through your new neighborhood. Feel like getting creative? Try a BYOB painting class at Artevino or make-your-own-pottery at the new Turquoise Cup. If you really want to get hands-on, try out DIY Uncorked. It's BYOB (see a theme here?) and you get to take home a cool project after you're done making it (with help, don't worry).
And last but not certainly not least, if you choose to give over receive this year, and want to help those in need, please consider donating (or volunteering!) to one or more of these local charities: