The moment Thanksgiving dinner ends, the holiday planning begins. It doesn’t matter if you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Boxing Day – December is full of events that traditionally involve gift-giving. That means you’re practically required to start your holiday shopping ASAP to avoid the last-minute panic.
But don’t just hop on Amazon or Ebay. Merrimack Valley is full of small businesses and galleries with works by local artists. So instead of hitting the big box stores, shop small and shop local. It benefits the local economy and you’ll find far more unique and personal gifts for your loved ones.
Mill No. 5
Skip the craziness of holiday shopping at the mall. Instead hit the Shops at Mill No. 5 in Lowell, Massachusetts. These small, independent stores cover a variety of products so you’re sure to find something for everyone.
Does someone love gaming, anime, and collectables? You’ll find the perfect gift at Pop Cultured. If there’s someone in your life with a love for fashion and alternative clothing, find an outfit they can rock at Jack Attackk Clothing. Music lovers will adore the collection of vinyls you get them from Vinyl Destination. With the variety you have, Mill No. 5 could be your one-stop holiday shopping destination.
Discovery Museum – Discovery Store
Kids learn best through play, so toys focused on improving their thinking skills and expanding their horizons make excellent gifts. If there are children on your holiday shopping list with inquisitive minds, the Discovery Store in Acton is the place to go. No need to buy a ticket to the Discovery Museum to visit the store, either – it’s open to all.
Inside the Discovery Store you’ll find books, puzzles, science kits, craft supplies, toys, and more. All of these kid-approved items come from specialty vendors like Ooly, Klutz, Folkmanis, and Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty. This way you know you’re getting the best gifts for young minds who love to discover and explore the world around them.
Crafty Yankee in Lexington, Massachusetts is a local favorite for unique jewelry, accessories, and home decor. This woman-owned store has love for American-made and responsibly sourced global products. This means you can find quality products and buy gifts guilt-free as you shop responsibly.
You can find a stunning necklace for a significant other, candles and drinkware for your parents, and books and apparel for babies. You can cover the whole family in one shopping spree at the Crafty Yankee. Considering how exhausting the holiday season can be, this saves you time and lets you relax for the rest of the month.
Do you know someone who loves homemade crafts and goods? What about alpacas? Then you’ll have no shortage of warm, soft goods to choose from at the shop at Harvard Alpaca Ranch in Harvard, Massachusetts. The shop has an ever-changing and expanding inventory of alpaca-related goodies and gifts made in both the U.S. and South America.
Grab a cuddly alpaca plush for a child who loves animals. Find gloves, scarves, hats, and other winter accessories to keep your loved ones warm during the chilly holidays. Get natural fertilizer for your friends who love to garden so they’ll have an incredible flower bed in the spring. If you’re the crafty type, you can find wool sheared from the alpacas on the ranch to knit your own gifts for loved ones.
Kimball Farm Country Store
Some people don’t want a traditional wrapped gift. They’d much rather have a basket full of little goodies, especially if they’re foodies and bakers. At Kimball Farm Country Store in Westford, Massachusetts, you can find everything you need to make a gourmet gift basket at the two-story gift shop.
Get pots of honey, jams, and maple sugar for bakers. Put together a delicious breakfast basket with pancake mix and real maple syrup. Pick up Kimball’s merchandise and locally-crafted jewelry and mementos for friends who prefer unique gifts. Creating a personalized gift basket of goodies is a great way to show your loved ones that you care during the holiday season.
The Thoreau Society Shop at Walden Pond
Shopping for a book for a nature lover? How about someone who loves American history? The Thoreau Society Shop at Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts is a good choice, especially if you know someone who loves the works of Henry David Thoreau. He was a major historical figure in Merrimack Valley and celebrated author, and the shop’s proceeds benefit the Thoreau Society, which works to keep his legacy alive.
You’ll find books related to Thoreau, Walden Pond, historical figures, nature, Concord, writing, creativity, and more. On top of that, they have apparel, artwork, cards, jewelry, souvenirs, and more. Among these options could be the perfect gift for the history, nature, or literature lover in your life.
Holiday shopping doesn’t have to be stressful. When you shop small and local businesses in Merrimack Valley, you get an incredible assortment of gifts to choose from. This means you can find the right present for everyone on your list while supporting the local community and economy. It’s a win-win for everyone, and will surely make the holiday season merry and bright for all.