2020 Vermont Holiday Gift Guide | Holiday Gift Guide | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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2020 Vermont Holiday Gift Guide

By

ROB DONNELLY | REV. DIANE SULLIVAN
  • Rob Donnelly | Rev. Diane Sullivan

In a year that's been largely without cheer, the approaching holiday season might not seem so holly-jolly. It might feel, frankly, bizarre to be celebrating at all in 2020, a year that just keeps on giving (and we don't mean that as a compliment)

But we actually think it's more important than ever to find things to celebrate — things that keep us grounded, things that give us hope. Those very much include our loved ones and our local communities. Enter our annual holiday Gift Guide, full of Green Mountain State gift ideas for the wonderful, wacky people in our lives. You might not be able to see them all in person this year, but you can still send them a thoughtfully chosen gift from a Vermont retailer.

That's right, please shop local! Shop early, shop safe — online and curbside options abound — but keep your hard-earned cash in our state, supporting our neighbors and our beloved downtowns. Speaking of money, we've made sure to include some super-affordable ($20 or less) options in this year's guide, and we're highlighting a handful of charitable gifts that support worthy causes.

We also polled Vermonters on their favorite stores as part of our first-ever Gift Local Giveaway. Look here for a community-curated shopping directory — our gift to you.


Wearables & Accessoriestop

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So, you're pretty sure your earthy aunt stole your pot stash that summer you crashed with her between college semesters. Still, bygones are bygones, and you'd like to treat her this holiday season. Browse botanical jewelry from Vermont maker Featherflies, which showcases handpicked flora in clear acrylic. The mushroom necklace should be right up your auntie's alley. From $21 at featherflies.com.

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Does your girlfriend torture you each winter by touching you with her icy toes under the covers? Perhaps your cold-blooded paramour could use a pair of fluffy slippers to keep her tootsies toasty. The Acorn Women's Moc Slipper comes in Buff Popcorn or Icelandic Blue and is fully lined in microfleece for maximum coziness. $48 at Farm-Way/Vermont Gear in Bradford.

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A cold-weather hike, a fat-bike ride, a backcountry ski: These are all part of a typical winter weekend for your über-active boyfriend. Outfit him in the Roark Passenger 27L Backpack. This condensed daypack strikes a balance between practicality and style with its easy-access magnetic roll top and tasteful color combinations. $89 at Alpine Shop in South Burlington.

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Not to be a downer, but according to the University of Vermont Department of Psychological Science, up to six of every 100 people in the United States may experience seasonal affective disorder, particularly in northern regions. Remind your SAD-inclined coworker of Vermont's signature summertime treat with limited-edition CREEMEE mittens, specially designed at New Duds' Colchester screen-print studio. $26 at newduds.net.

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If there's been a silver lining to the pandemic, it's all the quality time you've spent with your roommate while under quarantine. But you're both furloughed and living on tight budgets. Still determined to exchange gifts, you've agreed to spend no more than $5 apiece. A flannel scrunchie is sure to make her day — and her '90s-inspired wardrobe. $4 at Vermont Flannel in Burlington, East Barre, Ferrisburgh, Johnson and Woodstock.

COURTESY OF MAX JENNINGS
  • Courtesy of Max Jennings

Your running buddy has provided miles of inspiration, conversation and companionship on those long outings. To show your appreciation, present them with a Lightweight Long Trail bandana. Handmade and sold by Meet Max VT (also known for bow ties, bags and business cards with suggestions for gender inclusivity), this sweat-absorbing neckwear doubles as a face covering. $24.99 at meetmaxvt.com.

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His first North Country winter has your brother-in-law questioning his decision to leave sunny California for the Green Mountain State. He's bound to look and feel more like a true-blue Vermonter with a pair of Darn Tough Vermont Buffalo Plaid Moose Socks. What's more, $2 from each pair sold is donated to the Vermont Foodbank and JCEO — Town of Plattsburgh Food Pantry. $25 exclusively at Lenny's Shoe & Apparel in Barre, St. Albans, Williston and Plattsburgh, N.Y.


Food & Drink top

BEN DEFLORIO
  • Ben DeFlorio

How much money should you put on a Babes Bar gift card? It depends on how many Chicago-style hot dogs you want to lavish on its recipient. But $20 will easily get them a dog and a beer, perfect for your work colleagues to treat themselves. Any amount at Babes Bar in Bethel.

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Imagine this: It's February. The temp hasn't edged above freezing in weeks. Your dad drinks his coffee before the sun comes up and scrapes an inch of ice off his car windshield before leaving for work. But then, one day in his mailbox — surprise! There's a beautiful piece of homemade pottery for that morning cuppa. Why? Because you signed him up for Waterbury potter Jeremy Ayers' Mug Club, a subscription that nets him one of Ayers' unique, timeless mugs every month. $135-425 at jeremyayerspottery.com.

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Ever the environmentalist, your best friend wants to go vegetarian — but, like many of us, she's not sure how to commit. Get her started with Sustainable Kitchen: Recipes and Inspiration for Plant-Based, Planet-Conscious Meals. The book, by Upper Valley authors Heather Wolfe and Jaynie McCloskey, features recipes such as Three Sisters Succotash Enchiladas and Veggie-Studded Frittata. $32.99 at Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, as well as other local bookstores.

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Early in the pandemic, your cousin graduated from "good cook" to "certified farm-to-table evangelist." The Red Wagon Herb Salt Collection will liven up their meals all winter long with salt-cured chive blossoms, tarragon and other herbs grown at the Hinesburg nursery. Add a donation to Red Wagon's Grow It Forward program, which works to ensure that everyone who wants to grow their own food has access to strong, healthy plants and the information and support to be successful. $40 at Red Wagon Plants in Hinesburg.

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For the after-dinner sipper on your list, try Dead Bird Brandy, distilled from the 30 varieties of apples grown at Shelburne Orchards. If they prefer something a little sweeter, go for the Pommeau, a French-style blend of apple brandy and fresh-pressed apple cider, perfect for pairing with cheese or dessert. Très français. $80-100 at Shelburne Orchards.

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Grandma's got a serious sweet tooth — fitting for such a sweet lady. Treat her to Fat Toad Farm's Sweet Quartet Petit Caramel Sampler, made in Brookfield from Vermont goat's milk. You can choose among flavors including salted bourbon, Vermont maple and even spicy dark chocolate. $30 at fattoadfarm.com.

COURTESY OF BRIAN MACDONALD
  • Courtesy of Brian MacDonald

There's nothing you love more than sitting down in the kitchen for a glass of wine with your aunt. Next year, she could be sipping her pinot grigio out of something delicate and decadent: this hand-blown Stemless Vermont Glass from Burlington's AO Glass. She'll think of you every time she sees the outline of Vermont stamped into the bottom. $38 at aoglass.com or a pop-up shop at ArtsRiot in Burlington.


Arts & Entertainment top

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  • Courtesy of Robert C. Jenks

Between virtual meetings and remote school, you, your spouse and the kids are way over your screen-time limit. Give your loved ones the gift of quality real-life connection in the form of the Vermont-made American Game Table from St. Johnsbury's American Game Table Company. Turn the table to switch among six classic pastimes, including chess, cribbage and backgammon. $750 at americangametable.com.

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After the year we've had, who could blame your proudly feminist sister-in-law for feeling tense? Help her channel her frustration into an artistic project that pays homage to one of the most influential women in American history: RBG. With this Ruth Bader Ginsburg Cross-Stitch Kit, she'll craft a handmade portrait of the late Supreme Court justice — while getting to stab something repeatedly. $18.99 at Notion Fabric & Craft in Montpelier.

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  • Courtesy of Francis Moran Photography

Your Vermont-born grandmother is a total David Budbill fangirl. She's read every poetry collection and seen every play by the late scribe, who centered the Green Mountain State in much of his work. As a Lost Nation Theater Patreon member, Grandma can geek out over the Montpelier theater company's video archive of previous shows, including Budbill's A Song for My Father, from the comfort and safety of her home. $2-199 at lostnationtheater.org.

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The local mail carrier moved your absentee ballot on its journey to your polling place. She delivered your quarantine purchases. She risked her safety by serving your community during a public health crisis. A handmade "World" print from Bread and Puppet Theater could serve as a token of your gratitude, as well as a reminder that you're in this together. $12 at Bread and Puppet Theater in Glover.

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After patiently schooling you in the ways of Google Classroom, your kid's teacher deserves some extra love. Quirky knickknacks from the local artisans represented at Burlington boutique Thirty-odd are sure to make her smile. Support the Maker! boxes are available at various price points and include an eclectic mix of surprise items — think stickers, accessories and body care products. $25-100 at Thirty-odd in Burlington.

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We've all got that pal who's late to every meetup because they spent 20 minutes frantically searching for their keys, wallet or phone — or all three. For this flighty friend, a framed Wear Your Mask Fairy drawing by Burlington artist Emily Anderson should serve as a gentle reminder to grab that face covering before rushing out the door. $18 at bluebirdfairies.com.

COURTESY OF JAMES LOCKRIDGE
  • Courtesy of James Lockridge

"We speak truth to power — and to pinhead haters who bring the world down," reads the website for Big Heavy World, a Queen City nonprofit dedicated to preserving and promoting Vermont-made music. Your happy-go-lucky little brother has no time for naysayers and will proudly express his all-love attitude with a Hate Makes You Weak T-Shirt benefiting BHW. $20 at bigheavyworld.com.


Outdoors & Rec top

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In the family group chat, your brother has repeatedly mentioned waking up to a bombardment of Nerf bullets from his young son, who's apparently a budding sharpshooter. Treat the tyke to a more productive use of his already stellar aim: archery lessons. $25 for a 30-minute individual lesson, including equipment rental, at Pelkey's Archery in St. Albans.

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Your newest colleague just moved to Vermont and deserves a proper introduction to the Green Mountain State — and a reminder that, no, winter won't last forever. Soon enough, they'll be able to wander anywhere and everywhere, guided by the Green Mountain Club's Day Hiker's Guide to Vermont: Exploring the Green Mountain State. It guides readers through more than 200 hikes. $18.95 at greenmountainclub.org and local bookstores.

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Possibly the most practical gift on this list, a Petzl headlamp is a stocking stuffer that even the most crochety uncle will appreciate. Everybody needs a headlamp for their car, basement or barn, especially when it costs less than $20. Let there be light. $19.95 at Outdoor Gear Exchange in Burlington.

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Your daughter lives in Burlington with a houseful of young athletic people, and they're going to need an outlet this winter. Get them Craftsbury Outdoor Center passes to enjoy as a group; there's prime cross-country skiing at this recreational complex in Vermont's northeast highlands. Adult prices range from $10 for a day pass to $75 for a season pass at craftsbury.com.

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As pandemic gardening became all the rage, Wolcott-based High Mowing Organic Seeds experienced a springtime surge in demand and sold out of some seed varieties. Help your neighbor get ahead of the game on her ever-gorgeous vegetable garden with a gift certificate for seeds. While you're at it, request a free copy of the catalog so she can dream through the dreary winter months. Any amount at highmowingseeds.com.

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After a long, fruitful career — and, of course, raising the love of your life — your mother-in-law finally retired. If her dozen volunteer gigs are any indication, though, she's having a little trouble learning to relax. She deserves a woven throne — this hammock chair from Cobble Mountain Hammock in East Corinth — so she can swing in comfort for at least a few minutes. $286 at cobblemountain.com.

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Early on, your grandson developed a love for turtles, fish and everything else that inhabits the water. Give him a gift that will help other kids develop the same passion. Through the You Give, We Give program, when you buy an ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain membership, a matching membership is donated to a local family in need. Starts at $50 at echovermont.org; purchase by January 15.


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Remember your first solo apartment as a young twentysomething trying to make it in the world? Decorating turned from a dream into a nightmare as all those cute household items rang up to a serious bill. Help your cousin, who excitedly staked her claim on a downtown studio this year, add some kitsch to her kitchen with a Noon Designs tea towel; it's silk-screened with red onions. $16 from Clover Gift Shop in Woodstock.

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Your partner is the first to admit they have a black thumb; attempts at gardening have not always gone according to plan. But with the Organic Herb and Microgreens Grow Kit, they'll have everything it takes to plant and grow basil and microgreens indoors this winter, including pots, soil, seeds and a light. The kit's even self-watering, so there's pretty much no way to mess it up. $125 at Gardener's Supply in Burlington, Williston and Lebanon, N.H.

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On those seemingly endless freezing winter nights, your cooped-up parents miss their pre-bedtime strolls under the stars. Capture just a bit of that magic with a Starry Night Votive by Waterbury's Tabbatha Henry, made from translucent porcelain. $55-130 at Common Deer and Frog Hollow Vermont Craft Gallery in Burlington, and the Vermont Gift Barn in South Burlington.

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Your buddy from college buys all his clothes secondhand and ditched single-use plastic years before that was cool. He'll appreciate a Cora Ball, a ball you throw in the laundry that catches the microfibers your clothes shed and keeps them from ending up in the ocean. It's made in Vermont and benefits ocean research through the Rozalia Project. $37.99 at Healthy Living Market & Café in South Burlington and Williston.

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Waste not, want not — that goes for artists, too! Burlington artist Carly Sargent takes broken pottery and creates gorgeous mosaic items for the home. Spiff up your entryway with wall hooks — some of them even come with maple taps as the hook — and we guarantee your spouse will swoon. $45 and up at carlysargent.com.

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No one's better suited to a nursing career than your childhood bestie, who operates on just the right balance of sincerity and snark and has been caring for others since she could walk. This What Would Fauci Do? mug is perfect for her morning dose of caffeine before she heads out to be Superwoman. $19 at Golden Hour Gift Co. in Burlington, Waterbury Center and Winooski.

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When your roommate moved in, her grandpa's old chair came with her; she still remembers perching on its arm and reading picture books with Grampy when she was little. But the chair's seen better days. What about a reupholstery? That's just one of the home services offered by Your Home furniture and housewares store in Bristol; it also does decluttering and garden design. Get a gift card at yourhomevt.com.


Kids top

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If you think your godchild couldn't be any more adorable, imagine him in a tiny hat printed with tiny sushi. Yep, even more adorable. Scoop up the fleece-lined kids' Bento Box Alpine Hat and prepare for cuteness overload. $32 at Skida in Burlington.

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What better time to encourage your second-grade nephew's love for the written word than the era of social distancing? Penned by school librarian and Vergennes resident Angela Burke Kunkel, Digging for Words: José Alberto Gutiérrez and the Library He Built tells of a real-life Colombian garbage collector who created a library from books he found on his route. $17.99 at the Yankee Bookshop in Woodstock and other local bookstores.

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Your tween with the colorful personality deserves an equally vibrant — and huggable — fuzzy friend. Partial proceeds from the cuddly True Colors United Rainbow Bear benefit Cyndi Lauper's True Colors United, a national organization working to end homelessness among LGBTQ youth. $99.99 at Vermont Teddy Bear in Shelburne.

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Your former college roommate and her partner are all about rustic décor, even when it comes to the nursery for their soon-to-be-born babe. The "Vermont Alphabet" print by local illustrator and Kids VT contributor Elisa Järnefelt will fit right in — and give their child an early introduction to Green Mountain State staples such as plaid shirts and station wagons. $35 at Common Deer in Burlington.

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Of the many drool-worthy toys, garments and accessories at Minikin, Montpelier's new destination for baby and kids' goods, the Raduga Grez Wooden Arch Stacker stands out. Handcrafted in Russia, the piece features a stylish design, nontoxic stain and the potential to unlock your toddler's creativity. $27 at Minikin in Montpelier.

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Parenting hack: It's OK to delegate responsibilities to the small people who live in your house rent-free. For the youngster who's ready to sharpen their culinary skills — and perhaps prepare one meal per week? — consider Kid in the Kitchen: 100 Recipes & Tips for Young Home Cooks. New York Times food columnist Melissa Clark's cookbook walks beginning chefs through recipes such as Fresh Custardy French Toast and Korean Scallion and Veggie Pancakes. $24 at the Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne and other local bookstores.

JORDAN ADAMS ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Jordan Adams ©️ Seven Days

"I've played gin rummy and poker on my phone," part-time Lincoln teen Harrison Brooks told Seven Days in July, "but I still think there's no comparison to holding cards in your hand." To serve that passion, Brooks created Elevator Up, a game that takes players ages 7 and up on an imaginary elevator ride through numbered cards. It's ideal for your best friend's daughter, who loves games but gets limited screen time. $12 at Simon Says in Bristol.


Beauty & Body top

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  • Courtesy of Rebecca Lindenmeyr

When it comes to holidays, your mom is the hostess with the mostest. Even though this year's gathering will be small (and may involve a COVID-19 test and quarantine period), she'll go all out to create a day to remember. After the festivities, she's sure to savor a warm, rejuvenating bath with Flower Fizzies — they're infused with essential oils and real organic flower petals. $13 at Farm Craft VT in Shelburne.

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Nothing lasts forever, except maybe body art. Surprise your partner with a present that'll last a lifetime, be it a tattoo, a piercing or permanent cosmetics from woman-owned Luminary Ink. You buy the gift certificate and let him pick his poison. $25-500 at Luminary Ink in St. Albans.

COURTESY OF LIZ NEILY
  • Courtesy of Liz Neily

Two words to describe your adult cousin: new age. Send good vibes her way with an Energetic Aroma Mist. Each variety — Patchouli Tangerine + Citrine, Rosewood Infusion + Rose Quartz, and Ginger Elixir + Topaz — contains an alcohol-free fragrance and a tiny gemstone. Buy two-ounce bottles or four-milliliter mini mists. $15-64 at Flourish Beauty Lab in White River Junction.

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Dads like to look good, too. A Tweezerman Travel Tool Essentials Set holds everything your pop needs to keep his facial hair trim and tidy: a tweezer, a skin care tool, a folding razor and, best of all, a cute mustache comb for grooming on the go. $29.95 at Body Lounge Luxury Bath & Body in Stowe.

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  • Courtesy of Liz Keglor

Is it so wrong to spend a bit of that holiday budget on yourself? We think not. Treat your lizard skin to a jar of Coco Mango Whipped Body Butter by Craftsbury's Green Village Soap. This blend of olive oil and organic cocoa, mango, and shea butters soothes both body and face. A little self-care will sustain you through this busy season. $20 at greenvillagesoap.com.

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You and your bestie would typically get lit on New Year's Eve, but this year you'll both do the cautious thing and veg at home. Bring the party to your girl with a bottle of Jin Soon nail polish in Bijou (pictured) or another sparkly variety. She can at least feel festive while sipping Champagne on the couch in this confetti-esque polish. $18 at Mirror Mirror in Burlington.

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For your twentysomething daughter, animals are life. She volunteers at her local humane society and regularly fosters furry friends alongside her own rescue pets. When it comes to body-care products, cruelty-free is a must. The Lavender Gratitude Gift Set from Williston's Pure Energy Apothecary features five pampering products that are all PETA-certified vegan and cruelty-free. $25 from each set goes to the Vermont Foodbank. $100 at pureenergybody.com.


Experiences & Classes top

COURTESY OF THOMAS MCCURDY
  • Courtesy of Thomas McCurdy

From adobo to zarzuela, your grandparents have always been adventurous eaters. But dining out isn't an option for them these days. How about delivery? Order them a dinner party for two from chef Thomas McCurdy's globe-trotting weekly menus. Prices vary at Ardelia Farm's Kingdom Direct Food Delivery in Irasburg, available for delivery throughout Chittenden County and the Northeast Kingdom.

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Your uncle is a brilliant woodcarver whose whittled works typically sell like hotcakes at craft fairs. Unfortunately, in the coronavirus era, he has no clue how to build an online presence for his business. A virtual professional development workshop at the Milton Artists' Guild could help him learn Instagram or another digital platform for as little as $10. Gift cards available at miltonartistsguild.org.

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Some of your fondest memories from high school include riding around in your older sister's beat-up Honda. Now that you're adults, she's more likely to be hauling kids or kayaks, but her car hygiene has tragically not improved. Help her out with a car detailing from Detail Works, a program from Spectrum Youth & Family Services that provides employment experience to at-risk youth. $120 and up for an interior detailing at Detail Works in Williston.

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Now that she's in virtual schooling, your kiddo misses her art class and the squishy, messy joy of digging into clay. You don't know pottery from printmaking, but you're determined to dive into it with her. Try a to-go clay kit from Shelburne Craft School. It's just $12 for clay and $12 for tools, with instructions for making a cute fish sculpture that the school will fire for you — a ceramic keepsake for when quarantine is a distant memory. $12 and up at shelburnecraftschool.com.

COURTESY OF ELISABETH WALLER PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Courtesy of Elisabeth Waller Photography

Your cousin's life is so perfectly curated that it's hard to imagine anything she doesn't already have. The answer is always flowers. Treat her to the first blooms of the season with a Vermont Flower Collective spring subscription. She'll get weekly bouquets with pickup locations in Ferrisburgh, Middlebury, Panton, Shelburne and Vergennes. $120 for four weeks at vtflowercollective.com.

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Yeast Witherspoon, your roommate's sourdough starter, recently turned 7 months old and has begat many a beautiful loaf — and a few bread Frisbees (it happens to the best of us). Help your roomie expand their repertoire with an in-person or virtual class at King Arthur Baking's Baking School, where éclairs, pita bread and English muffins are all within reach. $40 and up at King Arthur Baking in Norwich.

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If we don't laugh, we'll cry — that's your best friend's motto, anyway. You can always count on her to make you snort-laugh into your drink, but she's too modest to get onstage. Sign both of you up for an online standup class with Vermont Comedy Club, and even if you bomb, you'll be there to be her biggest cheerleader, as always. $10-20 recommended donation per class at vermontcomedyclub.com.


Listening & Reading top

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The Harry Potter book series was a staple in your household growing up. Despite the special place the fantastical stories hold in your and your big bro's hearts, neither of you is interested in giving another penny to the TERF Who Shall Not Be Named. Instead, invest in Lily Died for Love, Burlington folk singer-songwriter Eric George's 2020 album inspired by the Boy Who Lived. Name your price at ericgeorge.bandcamp.com.

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On a typical Friday night, your wife's idea of a good time is to dim the lights, roll a fattie and get lost in the sounds of psychedelic records. Keep her collection fresh with an Outer Sounds Vinyl Subscription. Register your sweetie for monthly deliveries of brand-new ambient, new-age and psychedelic LPs, plus supplementary digital content, curated by Greg Davis, owner of Winooski's Autumn Records. $90 for three months at outersoundsvinyl.com.

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Imagine a world where a global pandemic has rendered dating impossible and the only way to connect with your new boo is via videochat. Actually, you don't have to imagine, because you're living it. Thanks, 2020. Real cool. Present your remote romantic interest with Virtually Yours, an ebook cowritten by Brandon graphic novelist Jeremy Holt. You're both bound to relate to this digital-age love story. $6.99 at jeremyholtbooks.com.

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Local music and social justice are among the interests listed in your college-age nephew's Facebook profile. Champion both with a Make It Better T-shirt from Burlington singer-songwriter Francesca Blanchard. Designed by Jackson Tupper, the shirts were released as part of the rollout for Blanchard's outstanding 2020 indie-pop record Make It Better. Sales support racial justice nonprofit Until Freedom and mutual-aid-based organization the Black Trans Travel Fund. $20 at francescablanchard.bandcamp.com.

COURTESY OF ERICA HEILMAN
  • Courtesy of Erica Heilman

Uncle Jim in New Jersey is a podcast junkie. From "Serial" to "Slow Burn," he's downloaded every episode. Introduce him to Vermont's one-of-a-kind qualities — and residents — through Montpelier independent radio producer Erica Heilman's audio series "Rumble Strip." A T-shirt with the show's logo is the perfect prompt to get him to press play. $20 at rumblestripvermont.com.

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Your teenage mentee is a budding activist taking a stand against racism and sexism. Montréal author Bethany C. Morrow addresses those issues in her YA novel A Song Below Water. This modern fantasy follows Black sirens Tavia and Effie as they navigate high school and fight for justice. $17.99 at Phoenix Books in Burlington, Essex and Rutland, as well as other local bookstores.

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You can always count on your octogenarian grandfather for a great historical nonfiction recommendation. This year, impress him with a copy of Universe of Two, Vermont author Stephen Kiernan's fictional account of a real-life scientist who contributed to building the atom bomb and struggled with his conscience ever afterward. $27.99 at the Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury and other local bookstores.


Pets & Their Humans top

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Forget Puppuccinos. You can get highly Instagrammable treats for your furry friend right from your own kitchen with these cute dog bone cookie cutters. They're made by Vermont-based Ann Clark Cookie Cutters and come with a dog treat recipe, just the thing for Fido's stocking. $6 at Houndstooth in Burlington.

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You'll never lose your pooch in the woods again if you dress them in a Spot the Dog bandana. The South Hero-based company makes snazzy and highly visible outerwear to keep dogs safe — and donates 10 percent of the proceeds to Waitsfield's Golden Huggs Rescue. From $14.99 at spotthedogvt.com.

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This year, your childhood dog finally succumbed to old age, and there's a hole in your heart and an empty space by the fireplace where he used to curl up every Christmas. Memorialize him on the family tree with a pet portrait ornament, custom-painted on a natural wood slice by Vermont artist Jennifer Lenox. $35 at JenniferLenoxVT on Etsy.

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The compulsive chewer in your life destroys toys within minutes and has gotten to more than one pair of shoes. Fill that stocking with an array of the best dry dog chews around, selected by Quirky Pet owner Cindra Conison. The Quirky Sampler includes a chicken foot and bison tendon. $10 at the Quirky Pet in Montpelier or its new online shop, quirkydogchews.com.

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Cats are natural hunters, a quality that's proved distressing to your boss, whose recent feline rescue has a taste for murdering songbirds. Save their relationship with a cat collar by Duxbury-based company Birdsbesafe. Birds have strong color perception, and dressing cats in this ruff makes them more visible. Plus, kitty will look adorable. $9.99 at Pet Food Warehouse in Shelburne or South Burlington, or at birdsbesafe.com.

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Your little brother's guinea pig is possibly the most doted-on creature on the planet. Help keep that five-gram brain stimulated and happy with Oxbow Enriched Life toys, which offer small animals the chance to chew, explore and play. A forage pot, which can be filled with hay or treats, is just begging for a little nose to poke inside. $4.99 at the Pet Advantage in South Burlington.


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For the dog-loving father who has just about everything, you can't beat this "Greetings" doormat designed by Stephen Huneck, the late founder of Dog Mountain. Purchases from the gallery help keep the nonprofit afloat and maintain the 150-acre public mountain and Dog Chapel. Plus, it's classic dad humor. $29.95 at Dog Mountain in St. Johnsbury.

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