Holiday Gift Guide

Despite the unseasonably warm weather in NYC there is no denying that the holiday season is upon us. Christmas lights adorning every corner of the city, blissful tunnels of Christmas trees outside neighborhood delis, and increasingly stressed-out looks on peoples faces as they hit the streets in search of the perfect holiday gifts.

As you know I am a big fan of voting with your dollars and making purposeful purchase decisions. In the wake of Sandy the blanket materialism of the holidays seems even more out of touch with the real needs of our world and our spirits. But what is a girl to do? I still love finding the perfect present, wrapping it just so and seeing the smile of delight that follows. To me the solution, like so many things, lies in balance. Buy from local merchants, support independent businesses or those with a triple bottom line approach. What follows is a round up of some of my favorites:

Hot Blondies Bakery

These are my go-to corporate gift. They really stand out from the sea of generic gift baskets and are made by hand with top quality real ingredients – butter, sugar, flour, chocolate. Check them out this weekend at Refinery29′s Tinseltown Bazaar in Nolita.

Tin Mustard

A family business years in the making, Tin Mustard came onto the scene a few years ago and has been catching people’s attention ever since. They have a special edition out for the holidays – a must for stockings and host/ hostess gifts!

Jonathan Laurence

Artist Jon Laurence has limited edition 6″ circle prints perfect for holiday giving. $200 matted and framed or $75 for the print.

Shannon South

Designer Shannon South started her business with the ReMade line, crafted all from vintage materials, and recently expanded to include the Shannon South Collection. Everything is made with an eye toward sustainability and timelessness.

Fiddler’s Green Farm

Family owned Fiddler’s Green Farm makes my favorite pancake mixes and cereals – stone ground, organic and only the best quality ingredients. Their gift baskets with Maine maple syrup or blueberry jam are a great way to combat the winter blues.

Holbrooke by S. Berry

Every holiday season needs a little sparkle. Holbrooke’s founder Simone Berry brings such a fun sense of style and empowerment to her work – little reminders of the unique beauty we all posses and the power of believing in yourself.


Founder Anne-elise Stern started making these seed-blends to fuel her busy lifestyle as a corporate pilot and now is on a mission to share the power of Omega 3′s with the world. Love their holiday gift packs!

Jerri Finch

I have been blessed to grow up with a mother who is an amazingly talented artist. Her recent collection are some of my favorites – abstract land and water scapes of the ever-changing Maine coastline.

The Colonial Theatre

Give the gift of cinema in a beautifully restored art-deco theater in downtown Belfast, Maine.

Beauty Mark Spa

Pamper your loved ones with gift certificates to Beauty Mark in Camden, Maine or fun, colorful gifts from their boutique.

Mock Turtle Dove

Mock Turtle Dove owner Tara Marchionna has a whimsical style and an attention to detail that makes her woven, knit and felt styles irresistible!

Bay City Cargo

My uncle Mike is one of those serial entrepreneurs who I wonder how he ever has time to sleep. One of his newest businesses is this great collection of vintage marquee letters. They’re located in Belfast, Maine but ship anywhere.


No gift guide of mine would be complete without a link to Nau – a staple in my closet since a friend first introduced me to them years ago. The biggest company in this list but a true model for a new way of doing business. Materials are sustainably sourced and produced, % of sales go to charity, beautiful & functional designs.

Happy Holidays!!


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