November 23, 2015
As the "Christmas Creep" gets closer and closer to Halloween and Black Friday steadily becomes a maelstrom of good sales and bad behavior, shopping for gifts that your loved ones actually want gets harder and harder. The average shopper is inundated with holiday picks from major retailers, but smaller brands and more thoughtful gifts often get lost in the shuffle.
Thus, for our first Philadelphia gift guide we'll be highlighting some of our favorite local creations -- books from area authors, crafts by local artisans and knick-knacks that straight up remind us of home.
Below, you'll find our favorite gifts for foodies, toys for the kids, clothes and jewelry, decor for the home and ways to celebrate Philly's sports teams. In part two of our 2015 gift guide, you'll find experiences to share, presents for pets, tech gear, books and general interest finds for all occasions.
Peruse our suggestions, then share who you'll be shopping for this season with us in the comments.
1. DiBruno Bros. Private Collection Panettone: This Italian delicacy makes a great gift for those with a sweet tooth. The cake-y bread, made the traditional Abruzzo way, makes great French toast. ($24.99, DiBruno.com)
2. La Colombe Coffee subscription: Of course, you can pick up La Colombe's quality coffee grounds at their cafe locations and some local grocers -- but you could also just have it delivered straight to your door. A caffeine subscription is the gift that keeps on giving. ($12-18 per bag, LaColombe.com)
3. The Bacon Jams spreads: The only way bacon can get more delicious is if it's spreadable. Flavors like red chile & garlic, black pepper and original bacon make for great gourmet condiments. ($14.99, TheBaconJams.com)
4. "Magpie: Sweets & Savories from Philadelphia's Favorite Pie Boutique:" Holly Ricciardi distilled the wonder of her Center City pie shop into one gorgeous volume. We can't promise yours will turn out as delicious as hers, but you can try! Magpie also offers pie-making classes. ($27.50, 1622 South St.)
5. Rowhouse Spirits Gin: This small-batch, locally made gin has notes of cardamom, citrus and cinnamon. Dean Browne makes all of his spirits in his East Kensington distillery, and since his operation is artisanal he can sell direct to consumers. Check online for retail hours. ($27.99, RowhouseSpirits.us)
1. Bonnie Kaye Studio Napkins/Placemats: These screen-printed linen textiles are a funky addition to any tablescape. Bonnie Kaye's botanical patterns come in modern colors combos and, of course, double as placemats or folded napkins. ($24.00 for two, BonnieKayeStudio.com)
2. Popped Stitches ornaments: Melissa McCullough creates cross stitch works of art and for the holidays she's made new ornaments. Her online shop is currently closed as she heads to local craft fairs, but you can find her ornaments featuring season's greetings and dancing Drake at Philadelphia Independents and Nice Things Handmade.
3. Philadelphia-themed prints by Cricket Lane Studio: With phrases like "Home sweet jawn" and "Home is wit yous guys, " Cricket Lane's hand-lettered 8x10" prints make a cozy addition to any Philly-phile's home. ($25, PhiladelphiaIndependents.com)
4. D+L Signature Soy Candles: Local soap makers Duross & Langel also make a great all-natural candle featuring the Philly skyline. Scents include Moroccan cedar, lemon sugar, grapefruit, rosemary mint and "punkin ale." ($25, DurossandLangel.com)
5. Hand-painted Rider Designs planter: Give your on-trend succulents a fashionable home with a locally made porcelain planter and draining dish. Lauren Rider's striking designs pair black and white patterns with pops of neon color. ($30-50, Etsy.com)
1. Mama May I Make-a-Match: The Philadelphia edition of this brand's matching memory game features local landmarks and icons like Ben Franklin and the Liberty Bell. The 50 natural wood coins make a great game for anyone over 4 years old. ($27, MamaMayIShop.com)
2. Momo's Treehouse: A gift certificate isn't just cash toward this Old City store's unique children's toys -- it's an excuse to hang out in their whimsical space. Momo's always has a craft table available for little hands, they host story time every Wednesday and occasionally host parenting classes. (205 Arch St.)
3. Rocky Balboa Plush: Initiate your children and other little loved ones into the Philadelphia tradition of loving "Rocky" with an early, cuddly introduction to Sly. He can tag along to your viewing of "Creed," too. ($19.99, BleacherCreatures.com)
4. Olive + Bo wool felt cloud mobile: The younger children in your life will enjoy the calming sight of a fluffy cluster of clouds hanging over their cribs. ($30, Etsy.com)
5. Monster Hoodie: In addition to their creepy-cute plush dolls, Cutesy But Not Cutesy makes super "scary" hoodies for kids, complete with monster fur and horns. They also make them for the grown-up kids in your life. ($50-60, Etsy.com)
1. Patchwork bowtie: Local brand Forage Haberdashery makes a range of ties and bowties, but our favorite is this patchwork chambray item. They're made using vintage fabrics, too. ($58, Forage.bigcartel.com)
2. Avocado seed pendant necklace: Yes, this West Oak Design necklace is really made out of the seed in your favorite green fruit. It's carved to look like a faceted gem so it's guaranteed to be a conversation starter. ($18, WestOakDesign.com)
3. DIY Valley Green Inn Cowl: Winter is the perfect time to learn how to knit. Use a kit from local yarn maker O-Wool to create this trendy color block cowl - then brag about it all season long. ($36.75, O-Wool.com)
4. "X" stud earrings: Queen Village-based jeweler Bario Neal handcrafts earrings, rings, necklaces and more from ethically sourced and fair-minded materials. Try their minimalist yellow and rose gold "X" studs. ($180-296, Bario-Neal.com)
5. Big Duke tee: Center City boutique Duke & Winston recently released its new fall line and it includes this classic bulldog-emblazoned tee in white, navy and green. A ladies version features the dog on an oversized tee. ($32-36, Duke-Winston.com)
1. Sons of Ben 2007 Re-issue Scarf: You can't attend a Union game without a traditional fan scarf, so you might as well pretend you've always been an SOB with a throwback pattern. ($25, BarkTees.com)
2. Golf lesson with a PGA pro: If you're looking to up your game on the back nine, take a lesson with PGA Class A Pro Brian Perino at Scotland Run in Williamstown, NJ. (From $129, Cloud9Living.com)
3. Philly "Phever" tee: Get in the Phillies spirit with a T-shirt that not only features the team's old-school colors but references one of the best SNL skits of all time. ($24.99, PhillyPhaithful.com)
4. Flyers Solid Snapback cap: Nothing says "classic" like a vintage-style snapback in the Mitchell & Ness throwback shape. The light gray solid lets the Flyers' logo pop, as it should. ($26, MitchellandNess.com)
5. PHI Sports City tee: Belle & Whistles creates sports gear for women that isn't all-pink-over-the-top girly. Their "PHI" tee can be made in Eagles green, Phillies red, Flyers orange or team-neutral black and the tops come in v-necks, tanks and off-the-shoulder tees. ($29.99, Etsy.com)