i talked a while ago about doing your xmas shopping at the drugstore in a financial or time pinch, and those gifts still stand as decent ideas… but what happens when it’s three days before xmas, and you really can’t give someone a sack of very merry deodorant? the internet is no longer an option, the big boxes have been vultured into oblivion- what now?
the answer is very simple: local, local, local! maine is my home (and it totally kicks ass btw), and i love nothing more than to showboat my state pride and support my local stores, artists, bakers, authors, craftsmen, musicians… buy buying their stuff and sharing it with the people i love.
1. books! there’s a boatload of great books about maine/set in maine/from maine authors or artists to suit the needs of everyone on everyone’s xmas lists. for the historically inclined, outdoorsy, artsy, fartsy, creepy, foodie, and whatever the hell else. longfellow books is a regular xmas target of mine, and in general, independent bookstores tend to have a much better selection of maine authors than your regular borders or barnes & noble.
2. music! local music is the balls. the bollard just put out a great article about the best 10 local albums of the last 10 years– and it’s all gold! i’m also currently obsessed with the fire on fire album “the orchard”, and anything by metal feathers. go to bull moose. seriously, go now.
3. food! don’t feel like baking anything this year? grab a dozen cowboy cookies from the aurora provisions, or 2 dozen cupcakes from the two fat cats (or both), and people with thank you for not bothering to mess up your kitchen. they do it better than you do, i promise.
4. art! whether its an inexpensive screen print, or full blown high-class gallery painting, portland is packed to the gills with incredible local artists. just because it’s maine, doesn’t mean it’s all buoys and seashells (although we have that too if that’s what you want).
6. a hot date! remember that time i told you to F the applebees gift card? well, i’m telling you again. and again. and i’m telling you to go to your favorite local restaurants (caiola’s, blue spoon, local 188, paciarino, hot suppa, & green elephant… i’m talking to you), and get yourself a gift certificate big enough for two (because nobody wants to eat alone, and paying for half a meal with a gift certificate is just tacky).
now i highly doubt that any other state is as cool as maine… but i’m pretty sure if you look around your hometown hard enough, you can find some state-centric sexiness worthy of everyone on your xmas list (even the night before).