- Kym Balthazar
The holidays are upon us, and we're in a giving mood. It's cold and dark outside, but spreading love among friends, family and community makes the days merry and bright. If you're inspired to do the same, read on to find our picks for presents. Remember, shopping locally keeps your cash close to home and supports a robust retail scene. Plus, you'll reduce your environmental impact — all those cardboard shipping boxes are no gift to Mother Earth. And please do consider charitable donations to Vermont nonprofits. Generosity brings joy to the world.
When you and Ethan got together last year, your friends said you were an adorable odd couple. That's because your personal styles couldn't be more different. You'd wear a conservative cashmere pullover and tailored slacks to a dinner party; he'd happily don a vintage tuxedo — in powder blue. Indulge his outside-the-box taste with a classy Filson Mackinaw wool cap. The Australian sheepskin flaps will keep his ears warm without sacrificing fashion. $95 at Common Deer in Burlington.
There's nothing little about your little sister these days; she's a confident college senior with a decidedly boho sense of style. The girl is all about jewelry, scarves and other adornments that dangle oh-so-casually from her person. So how about this trendy black leather bracelet with silver charms that, yep, dangle? $56 at A Little Something in Shelburne.
Your family is a rambunctious, hockey-playing, ski-racing, Burton-wearing bunch. Except for one. Eldest teen Liza finds her bliss in yoga class, eats vegan and has never seen a colorful Lilly Pulitzer print she didn't adore. So her gift is a no-brainer: a Luxletic Teegan sports bra in "Nauti Navy Boho Bateau," whatever that means. $54 at Pink Colony in Stowe. Naturally, there are matching leggings, $98.
Juggling her profession and her soccer-mom duties, your wife tends to run herself ragged. The same word could describe her underwear. The love of your life and mother of your children is a frugal, no-nonsense woman, but she deserves better! Give her an excuse to upgrade down there with a gift certificate for pretty-and-practical Knock Out! Smart Panties at Bertha Church in Burlington. Prices vary by style.
Your guy looks like the stereotypical hipster, but you know underneath that cool exterior beats a heart as big as his drum kit. He'll appreciate the wry retro designs as well as the charitable fundraising behind Solidaritees. The "Books Not Magazines" shirt, for example, benefits nonprofit Change the Ref, founded by the father of a student gunned down at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., last February. $28 at Solid Threads in Burlington, inside Maglianero Café.
The family babysitter, Erin, is so cool. Almost too cool for a 16-year-old. Show her that you're grateful she keeps your children alive, and doesn't even eat all the Ben & Jerry's in the freezer, with this sleek little crossbody purse by Hobo. Maybe she'll wear it to school and tell all her friends about her hip neighbor. Or not. $118 at Ecco in Burlington.
This holiday season, your girlfriend is not-so-secretly hoping for a diamond. If you're not quite ready to pop the question, stall for time by giving her some sparkle for her ears. She'll be so impressed by your impeccable taste, maybe she'll forget — for now — that you've been together nine years with no engagement ring in sight. The long, oxidized-silver Toby Pomeroy earrings are inset with 12 tiny diamonds. Bonus: all the materials are ecologically sourced. $1,260 at Von Bargen's stores in Burlington, Stowe, Springfield and Hanover, N.H.
Food & Drink top
Your roommate is a budding chef and tries out all of her dishes on you. This is a pastime you totally want to encourage! One thing, though? She obsessively listens to public radio while cooking and gets pretty freaking outraged by the news. Help her keep kitchen time fun with a sassy oven mitt from Blue Q. The "I've got a knife" model might prove cathartic. $12.99 at Stowe Street Emporium in Waterbury.
It's your first year as the boss. You def don't have time to find unique gifts for each of your employees, so how about something all of them will love? And also maybe calm them the heck down. Here's the answer: CBD chocolates for everyone! A number of Vermont chocolatiers are getting on the cannabidiol bandwagon. One tasty option is a collaboration of Nutty Steph's and Elmore Mountain Therapeutics. Each GMO-free heart-shaped candy contains 13 milligrams of CBD and is 70 percent cacao. $3 at Nutty Steph's in Middlesex, Healthy Living Market & Café in South Burlington and other outlets. Also comes in a four-dose bar for $20.
Your fourth grader has discovered that his best friend doesn't always have enough to eat at home and relies on school lunches. He wants to help — without embarrassing his buddy. The world needs more of that. Nurture his sense of altruism with a donation to the Vermont Foodbank in his name. Any amount helps at vtfoodbank.org.
Cousin Lisa swears by her slow cooker and looks down her nose at newfangled electric pressure cookers. Well, guess what: Lisa needs a push into the 21st century. With the Fagor LUX, she'll be able to cook her famous five-bean chili in less than an hour. Just you watch: The slow cooker will be relegated to the basement by New Year's. $139.99 at Kiss the Cook in Burlington and Middlebury.
Like any good Vermonter, Grandma is mad about maple. She's fond of a boozy nightcap, too. So she'll love Vermont Ice Maple Crème, a smooth and sweet blend of maple syrup and apple brandy. She can drink it on ice in the evenings or — even better — use it to spike her famous French toast on New Year's Day. $32.99 at Boyden Valley Winery & Spirits in Cambridge and at liquor stores statewide.
Every week in the summer, your farmer friend sets up shop at the farmers market and reminds everyone in sight to eat their veggies — she even rhapsodizes about the weird ones, like rutabaga. Help her spread the gospel by gifting her a Vermont-made vegetable T-shirt. The original screen-printed design depicts Brussels sprouts, kale, mushrooms and more. $26 at New Duds online and in Winooski.
Your brother took his grill skills to the next level over the summer. And now that it's cold out, he clearly misses playing with fire. But he can do that inside, on the gas stove! Let the Essex Culinary Resort & Spa's Cook Academy teach him how. He'll get hands-on experience from a seasoned chef in classes such as Bistro Favorites and Surf & Turf ($98 each) — and the fam will reap the rewards when he brings those recipes home.
Arts & Entertainment top
Long before "Portlandia," your parents "put a bird on it." Avian art decorates every inch of their home — but in a tasteful way. Middlebury artist Gary Starr's Vermont Winter Birds are perfect for their holiday tree (and, knowing your 'rents, displaying in the house year-round). Starr has been hand-carving little wooden birdies since age 9 — no wonder he's a master of his craft. $18 at Frog Hollow Vermont Craft Gallery in Burlington.
Remember when you and your sis were afraid of the dark? Like, every night after Mom read you a story and then flicked off the light, you both would dive under the covers and make weird noises to scare off monsters? Remind your sister of those innocent times with a cute switch-plate cover wrapped in a children's book illustration, crafted by artist Recycle Moe. $9 ($10 for two-switch plate) at Thirty-odd in Burlington.
Your wildly creative and adventurous friend Jill has taken up knitting like there's no tomorrow. Her yarn works are as quirky as her personality is large. She will surely enjoy a visit to the Mountain Fiber Folk Cooperative in Montgomery Center, where your gift certificate will allow her access to fibers spun from angora rabbits, llamas, alpacas, goats, sheep and even Samoyed dogs! With any luck, she'll knit you a cuddly octopus. Prices vary.
A lot of people eat local. Your hipster bro listens local. Every weekend he finds a new favorite band at some neighborhood club. That's why Live at ArtsRiot is the perfect album for his turntable. Pressed at the Burlington Record Plant, the LP features an eclectic array of songs played by artists on the Pine Street stage — from Dwight & Nicole to Ryan Miller to Lowell Thompson. He'll dig it. $20 at ArtsRiot in Burlington.
Aunt Margaret is Vermonty AF ... even though she's a type-A CEO in Connecticut. Whenever you talk, she reminisces about that time she petted an actual cow, or that other time she attended a Bread & Puppet Theater show way up in Glover. Send her a sweet reminder of the Green Mountain State with a Mary Azarian woodcut print, $10 at Axel's Gallery & Frame Shop in Waterbury. Oh, and you might as well get it framed, too. Prices vary.
Sometimes people just need the gift of inspiration. Your fiancé has been fooling around with paint and shows real promise, in a Jean-Michel Basquiat kinda way. But the dude lacks confidence. Give him an original artwork by another self-taught artist that will encourage him to let it rip. For example, Frank DeAngelis at S.P.A.C.E. Gallery in Burlington or frankdeangelis.art. Prices vary. He also makes arty tote bags, $38.
Your parents took you to the Shelburne Museum when you were a kid, then you took your kids. Now your son has a kid of his own — little Will is already an avid fan of the circus gallery — and another on the way. Why not encourage this tradition and support the institution that's given you all such good times? You could make a donation in memory of Gramps and get memberships for the rest of the gang. $60 per individual; $125 per family.
Outdoors & Rec top
"Take only pictures, leave only footprints" is your daughter's mantra. She's a hiking enthusiast who cares about her environmental impact on the Earth — as should we all! Support her mission and encourage her outdoor adventures by gifting her a warm Oak Pullover Hoodie. It's from Burton's bluesign-approved Sustainable Softgoods line, which promises to be "good for both people and our planet." $59.95 at Burton in Burlington; also available at outdoor stores around the state.
Here's proof that opposites attract: Your childhood bestie runs two marathons per year and is working up to her first Ironman — and you haven't run a lap since high school gym class. Whatevs. You're happy to enable your BFF's adrenaline-junkie habits. With the lightweight Nathan Super 5K Armband, she can strap on her iPhone to play her favorite power anthems. You go, girl. $20 at Skirack in Burlington.
Mother Nature has given us so many gifts; it's about dang time you did something for her! A donation to the Community Sailing Center in Burlington helps protect Vermont's greatest natural resource, Lake Champlain, through the WAVES program, which (among other things) helps monitor blue-green algae, collect shoreline trash and inspire sailors to become citizen scientists. Your donation can also help provide scholarships that allow community members to access and play on our lake. Go on, make a splash.
Since a knee injury in the fall, your next-door neighbor has been nervous to jump back into all of his usual rigorous hobbies, namely bike and ski racing. Remind him it's OK to stop and smell the flowers — or the dead leaves — on a slower-paced stroll with a copy of The Walker's Guide to Vermont: Rambles for Half an Hour or Half a Day ($14.95) and a gift certificate toward a new pair of walking shoes. Both available at Lenny's Shoe & Apparel in Barre, St. Albans, Williston and Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Your teenage mentee wants to be the next Chloe Kim — and these aren't half-baked halfpipe dreams: She spent the summer applying for scholarships to snowboarding camps, and she got in! Send her on her way with a stylish lesson in safety first: a lightweight yet strong Bern Brighton EPS Helmet in a lovely shade of seafoam, with removable ear pads and a cold-weather liner. $99.99 at Splinters Boardshop in Warren.
Fly-fishing is a father-son tradition in your family — even if "fly-fishing" is sometimes just code for cracking open beers at the water's edge. Get your dad the ultimate cooler for your next natural outing together: the Dakine Party Bucket, which includes a five-gallon bucket and eight built-in insulated koozies. From the beach to the river to the mountain peak, it's a ready-made party wherever he goes. $54.95 at Outdoor Gear Exchange in Burlington.
After a year of long-distance dating, your boyfriend finally moved from Florida to Vermont to be with you. You've taught him to enjoy kale, craft beer and mountains — now he just has to get used to the whole really-long-winter thing. Gift your man a sexy wool knit balaclava lined with cozy fleece — and remember to tear it off every now and again to give him a smooch. $49 at Patagonia in Burlington.
Grandpa Chuck is renowned among friends and family for wearing colorful avian-themed ties. You might be tempted to buy another for his collection, but why not take it to the next level? The Edwardian Bird Feeder has dining ports for six real-life birds, and the graceful cage prevents pesky squirrels from stealing the seed. Grandpa Chuck will no doubt enjoy watching birds even more than wearing them. $44.95 at Gardener's Supply in Burlington, Williston or online.
Thank God for that one coworker who always brings a box of doughnuts to your Monday morning meetings — without that sugar jolt, you wouldn't survive the day. Show him how grateful you are with a glazed-doughnut match striker, a sweet and smart design that will allow him to strike a match right on the stoneware. Wheel-thrown by Farmhouse Pottery in Woodstock for $42.
Your new next-door neighbors have relocated from New York City, and they could not be nicer — or more enchanted by the Green Mountain State. Since nothing says "I live in Vermont" quite like plaid wool, how about gifting them with a cozy throw for the couch? That, and showing them how their woodstove works. $139.95 to $159.95 at Johnson Woolen Mills in Johnson.
Your beloved goddaughter has gotten a great postcollege job and, finally, moved out of the apartment with three roommates. She's excited to make a grown-up home in her new condo, and you're all too happy to help her. Sophisticated dishware indicates she's also graduated from eating directly out of a peanut butter jar. These ceramic bowls, handmade by an artisan in northern China using centuries-old glazing techniques, come in small ($45), medium ($65) and large ($105) sizes and in white, turquoise and gray at Slate in Burlington.
Practically since birth, your aunt's been a tree hugger. Like, literally. Not only is she an ardent environmentalist, she volunteers for every tree-saving committee and organization in the state. That's why you know she'll have a special appreciation for a sustainable gift that glorifies the grain: a cutting board from Vermont Tree Goods in Bristol. Price varies by size.
Your great-grandmother, who escaped the Holocaust, understands what it means to leave one's home and all that is familiar. She's been grateful ever since to have landed in Vermont, and you know she likes to help current refugee families start over. Let her know you're making a donation in her name to the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program. Any amount, or gift of specific goods, can help.
What's brightly attired, full of holiday spirit and a little wacky? A nutcracker ... and your mother-in-law. A three-foot-tall royal Red King Nutcracker wooden figurine will be the perfect addition to her hoard, er, collection of Christmas decorations. It's the least you can do to thank her for birthing your spouse and pretending to be interested in your food blog. $129.95 at the Shelburne Country Store.
Like most parents, you worry about your kids spending too much time with electronic devices. That may be inevitable, but you can at least encourage their creativity with a DIY PinBox 3000 pinball kit. That's right, the little ones can assemble the cardboard "machines," decorate them if they wish and commence playing. Extra good news for Mom and Dad: No power tools required. Prices vary; playboard refills available, too, at Cardboard Teck Instantute in Burlington, or online.
All of your female friends are pregnant. Repeat: All of your female friends are pregnant! Since 2019 is clearly the Year of the Baby, at least in your circle, stock up on one thing all the parents-to-be will love: an adorable onesie. Specifically, the Vermont Typography Organic Bodysuit, a super-soft organic cotton number that will remind them of their pal in the Green Mountain State every time baby wears it. $29 from Bear & Moosh for Littles (online) in South Burlington.
The neighborhood boys are suddenly all on a hockey league together, and you know your kid bro wants to join them. One hitch: He's scared of the ice! Gift him a Public Skate Punch Pass and tag along to help him face his fear and learn to slip and slide with ease. $40 gets him 10 visits to Stowe Arena at the David Gale Recreation Center. Once he's conquered simple gliding, he can work up to stick time.
Last year you got your little nephew a classic sock monkey, and he loves it as much as you loved yours as a kid. (Truth be told, you still do.) So he's sure to light up when he unwraps this year's present: sock monkey mittens! The Original Rockford Red Heel mittens by FoxRiver are totally adorbs — just like your nephew. And the elastic cuffs ensure he won't lose them immediately. $13.99 at Onion River Outdoors in Montpelier.
Your family has an annual tradition of getting a game that everyone can play. In light of the current political and media climate, you might opt for one that allows you to teach the kids about "fake news" while actually making it. Man Bites Dog is a humorous board game that provides options for creating sensational headlines — up to you to imagine the rest of the story. $19.99 at Woodbury Mountain Toys in Montpelier.
Do you believe every kid should know what it's like to tap a maple tree, pluck a carrot from the ground and collect an egg from a chicken coop? If yes, a donation to the Program Scholarship Fund at Shelburne Farms can help make that happen. It supports summer camps, school field trips and early childhood education so "the student's only job is to be a kid: to explore, discover, make new friends and learn."
There's nothing toddlers love more than totally destroying your living room, amirite? With a set of colorful animal dominoes decorated in everything from ladybugs to dinosaurs and pigs to whales, your 3- and 5-year-olds can channel their inner Godzillas and wreak all the havoc they want. They'll have a blast, and at least the destruction will be cute. $22.60 at Maple Landmark in Middlebury.
Beauty & Body top
Uncle Rico has long had all the moves on a dance floor. The family still talks about his particularly athletic salsa at cousin Consuela's wedding. But in recent years Rico's knees have been a little creaky, and you've heard him say he wants to "try this marijuana stuff." You know he means CBD — cannabidiol — which could help ease his aches and pains. A CBD salve in Rico's stocking might put the spring back in his two-step. $40 for a four-ounce, 200-milligram tin from Ceres Natural Remedies in Burlington.
Uh-oh, the dreaded office Yankee Swap is on the horizon, and you have no idea what to contribute! Fear not. Anyone could benefit from Joy Tonic, an aromatic herbal supplement blending lemon balm, motherwort and more. It helps promote positive feelings and kick anxiety to the curb. With any luck, it'll end up on your boss' desk. Available online from Urban Moonshine in Burlington for $18.99, as well as at markets around the state.
Lauren is your best friend and a true powerhouse. She runs her own business, cares for her three children and even volunteers on a regular basis. But, honestly, she needs to chill. Her stress is starting to spill into your monthly wine nights, leaving you to finish the bottle as she obsesses over her to-do list. What Lauren needs is some me time. And Vermont has so many yoga studios. There's bound to be one near her. A gift certificate for introductory yoga classes will help her go with the flow. Prices vary.
Your daughter is still a tween, but her sense of social justice is fierce: She's already a veteran of women's marches, and she proudly sports her "The Future Is Female" sweatshirt. For a career goal, she's torn between ob-gyn and Supreme Court justice. It's definitely not too early to teach the girl to put her (well, your, for now) money where her mouth is: Make a donation in her name to Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. Any amount is welcome.
Every holiday season, your cantankerous cousin Sarah insists she doesn't need anything. And every year you ignore that nonsense. Thankfully you've spied a product that everyone can use: Hand Shit. Made with botanical ingredients and beeswax, this hand cream comes in a variety of pleasant scents, such as coconut cherry blossom, bergamot lemongrass and sweet pea lilac. It says right on the jar, "A little goes a long way," so maybe it'll last a Vermont winter. Bonus: Sarah will love the irreverent name. $11.99 for two ounces at Salaam in Montpelier.
Your coworker Deb is always saying her skin is a "hot mess." You think she looks just fine, but at least you know exactly what to get her for the holidays: Blaq Mask. The charcoal-activated skin-care line from Australia is cruelty-free, comes in a simple-but-sexy black tube and is said to pull toxins right out of your skin. $30 at Mirror Mirror in Burlington. Eye mask ($30) and body scrub ($17 also available.
It's a scientific fact that teenagers need more sleep — but your 15-year-old son is pure night owl and never catches enough Zs. Help him rise and shine (and smell good, too) with Morning Mojo Bar Soap. Scented with peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary and grapefruit — with volcanic rock blended in for exfoliation and a tingly sensation — it'll get him to school on time. Available online at Ursa Major in Waterbury for $14 and at stores around the state.
Experiences & Classes top
Your photographer boyfriend is always looking to play with unusual perspectives. How about getting up, up and away? Yes, it's a splurge, but a hot-air balloon ride for two — complete with Champagne and gourmet snacks — will be a thrilling experience for you both. And he'll have a field day capturing some truly special scenes from above. A Views of Vermont tour is $285 per person from Above Reality Hot Air Balloon Rides in Essex Junction.
When she was younger, your daughter used to follow Grandpa into his woodshop and fiddle around with tools that you were sure would take out an important body part. But, lo and behold, she's turned into a fully intact, badass young woman and a budding builder. Help her hone her skills with a course at Waitsfield's YesterMorrow Design/Build School. Just think how proud she'd be to make Gramps a wooden chess board — and how happy you'll be if she someday builds, say, an adorable tiny house just for you. Totally worth the investment. Course info at yestermorrow.org; prices vary.
Your mom, who grew up in a midwestern suburb, fell in love with Vermont the minute she moved here. She's practically made it a hobby to walk around old neighborhoods and gawk at the houses. Satisfy her voyeurism and love of history with a membership to Preservation Burlington ($35), a nonprofit whose mission is "to preserve and protect the historic architecture and livability of Burlington through education and advocacy." And while you're at it, throw in a PB T-shirt ($15) to wear on her walks.
She's the smartest and funniest girl in your class, and you're smitten. You've had a few pizza-and-movie outings and want to step up your dating game. Here's how: Gift Alex, and yourself, with a pair of tickets to Bassem Youssef — dubbed "the Jon Stewart of the Arab world" — appearing at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in January. She'll love his political satire, and she'll love you for knowing that. $45 at flynntix.org.
Now that they're retired, Nana and Pop-Pop have tricked out their vintage Westfalia and are eager to hit the road. Encourage them to explore their beloved state of Vermont with a membership in the 251 Club ($10 for one year; $45 for five), a couple of 251 ball caps ($15), and a Vermont Travel Journal in which to record their adventures, sightings and favorite sites to revisit ($18). All available at vt251.com.
Jackson has always been a good kid, but he's a bit more eccentric than you might have expected from your gene pool. Who knew he'd one day become a video game designer and get a tattoo of Princess Peach on his chest? One thing you have in common is beer, so put aside your differences this Hanukkah and spend some quality time together on a City Brew Tour. Three different public tours showcase a variety of Vermont's best-known breweries. After sampling, oh, 15 beers, you and Jackson will be on the same page. Prices vary. Details and booking info at citybrewtours.com.
Your niece has always loved to sing, and in the past couple of years she's been writing and performing her own songs, plus playing guitar, at every open mic that will let in a 16-year-old. You think she's pretty darn good. Encourage that talent — and document it! — with some studio time. She'll think you're the awesomest auntie ever when you give her a gift certificate for a recording session at Robot Dog Studio in Williston. Prices vary from two hours ($120) to full day ($400).
Listening & Reading top
Your uncle has finally seen Hamilton and, aside from wanting to go out for beers with the guy who plays King George, has announced he needs to read some "real" American history. That is, not "the propaganda I got in high school," he clarified. What better gift than the biography of Alexander Hamilton penned by Ron Chernow, which inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda to write the musical in the first place? $18 paperback at Phoenix Books Burlington and other local bookstores.
Seems like just yesterday your daughter was obsessed with Frozen and The Little Mermaid. Suddenly, she's listening to grown-up podcasts and thinks she wants to go into journalism. Annoyingly, though, she's always losing her earbuds and stealing yours. Get her some headphones she can't miss — say, Urbanears Plattan headphones in screamingly bright tomato red. $49.99 ($69 for wireless) at Small Dog Electronics in South Burlington, Waitsfield or online.
You and your friend Monica work in a restaurant frequented by Québécois tourists. You both love going to Montréal on weekends off. But your high school français is just not cutting it. How about signing up Monica and yourself for a class at Alliance Française in Burlington — maybe start with Business French 101? $75 for five weekly hourlong sessions. Then practice over croissants and café au lait after class.
Your family had story time every night before bed. When you were older, Mom and Dad taught you to read yourself. You can't imagine life without the vast worlds available to you through books. Not every kid is so lucky — but you can help. Honor your parents with a donation in their names to the Children's Literacy Foundation, or CLiF, which provides free books to low-income, at-risk, refugee and rural children in Vermont and New Hampshire.
Isa is a great roommate — and also a massive word nerd. Just about every Friday night you can find her and some besties taking over the dining room table with a heated game of Scrabble. A Blockbuster Book of Crosswords will encourage her to geek out more quietly. She'll be so engrossed solving 300 puzzles that she probably won't notice when you eat her cheese. $14.99 at Bridgeside Books in Waterbury.
Your bro inexplicably adores the Patriots; like, he wanted to marry Tom Brady until that supermodel came along. Give Toby a little consolation with The Pats: An Illustrated History of the New England Patriots by Vermont sports writer Glenn Stout. At least he'll be able to toss around fanboy factoids with his friends. $35 at Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury and other local bookstores.
You're so proud of your sis for learning how to fly — especially because she conquered a fear of heights to get there. Now she's set her sights on becoming a professional pilot. Fuel her aspirations with Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History by Keith O'Brien. $28 at Bear Pond Books in Montpelier and other local bookstores.
Pets & Their Humans top
Who needs kids when you can have cats and dogs? That's your cousin Anna's perspective, anyway. She's got five feisty fur babies whom she dotes upon as if they were her own flesh and blood. She will legit freak out — in a good way — when you gift her a custom pet portrait of her little loved ones from local artist Julianna Brazill. Starts at $75 via juliannabrazill.com.
Who'd have thunk you'd one day be sharing a roof with a chinchilla? You can barely tell them apart from guinea pigs, but your tweenage son begged you to adopt one last year. Help spruce up the little furball's living space with a Kaytee Tropical Fiddle Sticks Flexible Hideout. The rainbow structure bends to create a number of fun new hiding places. It's also suitable for other small animals — cuz you never know what the future holds. $9.99 at Pet Food Warehouse in South Burlington and Shelburne.
As a dog walker, you have more four-legged friends than most people. This Christmas, you'll be thanking your loyal clients and treating your canine companions with a colorful gift they'll love: Cycle Dog's Duraplush Monster Dog Toys, funny-faced creatures perfect for playtime. Handcrafted in Portland, Ore., they're made from postconsumer recycled plastic bottles — so they're good for the planet, too. $14.50 at the Quirky Pet in Montpelier.
Love animals — and dining out? Purchase a Dining Card from Addison County's humane society to score a sweet yearlong dining deal and help support pets in search of their fur-ever homes. Buy one entrée at any of the participating restaurants, and your guest will receive an entrée of equal or lesser value for free. All proceeds provide food and medical care to animals in need. $50 to $100 at Homeward Bound in Middlebury.
You got yourself an early holiday gift this year: a senior rescue kitty with a heart of gold. The purrs! The lap pets! You're both in heaven. But her long black fur is in a sorry state; it's tangled and matted and certainly doesn't reflect the beautiful soul she is inside. She'll look and feel much better after a grooming treatment at A Passion for Paws in Colchester. A brush-out with a nail trim costs about $35.
Thunderstorms. People wearing hats. Other dogs. These are some of the things your roomie's pup Georgie seems to be afraid of. You don't mind his howling, exactly, but you'd like him to feel better! Noah's Ark CBD Pet Health Formula is "not a cure-all, but it's kind of a help-all," says a customer service rep at Green Mountain Hemp Company. The formula can ease anxiety, PTSD, fear and stress — as well as relieve pain. Starts at $29.99 at Green Mountain Hemp Company in St. Albans.
Your dog-friendly office is full of personable pups who lighten up the workday, every day. They're such good dogs, yes they are! Reward them with some Ginger's Snaps — about as close as a dog biscuit can come to the holiday cookie. You want only the best for your puppy pals, and these treats are completely organic. Available online from Vermont Dog Eats in Waitsfield for $8, as well as at stores and markets around the state. Woof!