A few of our favorite Berkshire things
From local shops to handmade festivals and fairs, we combed through artisan wares and crafty selections to bring you a holiday gift guide worthy of your friends and family.
Give your loved ones and your community the gift of shopping local this holiday season and let this guide be the start of your shopping adventure. The Berkshires is filled with beautiful, unique and "that's perfect!" gifts — enough ideas to fill an entire newspaper — but we took on the impossible task of whittling it down to a few. Here are a few of our favorite things:
For the hostess
Offer your host/hostess a hand with this set of adorably sweet potholders created by Monica Celli from Stockbridge. These are made in small batches from upcycled materials. And with cookie season upon us, these potholders will be the gift that keeps on giving, reminding your host of your smiling face every time they reach for them to get a tray out of the oven. $26 for the pair. (We bought these at Local, on Pittsfield Road in Lenox.)
Make mom feel like the movie star she is with a Jane Iredale eye shadow kit. Sleek and sophisticated, this versatile selection of eye colors will make mom’s eyes sparkle. Not only are these shades easy-to-apply, but they’re calming to the skin. $55. janeiredale.com
Give dad the gift of being cool again with some vintage vinyl to add to his collection. Stop by Toonerville Trolley CDs & Records in Williamstown and pick up a few albums of his favorite bands. The store has thousands of out-of-print records in stock and a huge selection of hard-to-find new and used CDs. toonervilletrolleyrecords.com
For the foodie:
Celebrate food and the Berkshires by giving the gift of a cookbook by a local author.
There are plenty to choose from, but our favorites include Jennifer Trainer Thompson’s “Fresh Fish,” and farm-to-table guru Michael Ballon’s “A Chef’s Life.” For the cookie lover, give Pittsfield baker Brandi Scalise’s “Cookie Classics Made Easy.” Just make sure to request a dozen or two of the finished product.
Warm grandma’s heart and hands with these soft, beautiful mittens made from upcycled wool sweaters. Based out of Lenox, fabric artists Jan Charbonneau of Berkshire Fabrications makes these cozy mittens, which you can find at many local shops. We got ours at the Museum Facsimile store in Pittsfield. $40
For the dog walker
Keep Fido’s favorite pal warm and hip with a Becket Beanie ($18) or a “Lenox” five-panel hat ($40) made by Berkshire Supply Co., a small online apparel store run by two local college grads. The beanie is made of a soft, cozy wool sure to be appreciated on those long walks come January. www.berkshiresupply.com
For the traveler in your life:
Send your friends and family off in style with a cause with this set of three luggage tags showcasing art by CATA artists. Community Access to the Arts supports and celebrates the creativity of people with disabilities. $15 for the set. cataarts.org
For your sister:
Help your sister mount a quiet revolution of sassy-ness with a pair of socks from Blue Q, made in Pittsfield. The daily grind will be easier for her to tackle, knowing she's sporting a pair of these bad boys under her black slacks. $9.99. www.blueq.com
It may be winter, but it's never too early to start thinking about spring training. Commit to sharing a few hot dogs while routing for the home team with your grandfather next summer by purchasing a 2017 season pass. The Pittsfield Suns organization is running a holiday mini-pass special: 5-game grandstand plan for $25, and a 10-game grandstand plan for $50. Call 413-445-7867 for more information. Get a 10-pack Family Plan for the North Adams SteepleCats for $60. www.steeplecats.com.
For your babysitter
Let's be honest, this person chases your little tot around for eight hours a day. Doesn't he or she deserve a relaxing cup of tea, or a jolt of caffeine to keep them going? Maybe if your sitter is sipping out of one of these handmade Michael Boroniec Contemporary Ceramic mugs, he/she won't mind one more rendition of "The Wheels on the Bus." $25. mboroniec.com
For your neighbor:
Thank your neighbors for shoveling that extra few feet of the sidewalk, or for always being courteous and quiet with these simple, yet beautiful hand-stamped letterpress Thank You Cards from the Museum Facsimiles store in Pittsfield. $8 for a box of six.
For the little artist in your life
Your little loved ones will dive into this almost four-foot long coloring poster, "Flora and Fauna of the Berkshires" created by Berkshire Four Poster, a creation of Moho designs out of Great Barrington. $12, berkshirefourposter.com.
For your coworker
Keep a stash of delicious chocolates from Chocolate Springs Cafe in Lenox at your desk around the holidays in case a coworker springs an unexpected gift on you and you don't want them to leave your cubicle empty-handed. Or, just keep the luxury chocolates and enjoy them yourself. We won't tell anyone. Six-piece classic assortment, $11.95. Chocolate Covered Holiday Oreo - 2-pack, $3.50. chocolatesprings.com
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