Five Local Gifts to Share this Season
From massages to magnetic toys, Westford businesses offer many holiday treats.
With the lure of point-and-click online shopping and huge chain stores, local businesses can sometimes get lost in the holiday shuffle. But there are many opportunities to support local businesses and give unique gifts this holiday season.
Here are five local gifts:
1. For many of us, toys play a large role in the holiday season, but all the fads, fakes, and safety hazards can make shopping for them daunting. Toy Shop of Westford is happy to help.
The Toy Shop's shelves offer stuffed animals, games, educational kits, cutting edge and classic. toys For younger kids, the Doodle-Track car has been popular this season, while gifts for teens lean toward mindteasers and kits.
Store owner Sonya Kalajian said that one of their bestsellers, Oppenheim Award-winning toy Rainbow Magformers, has been a hit with everyone, including her staff.
"Magformers is great because it's so open-ended, creative, and fun," Kalajian said. "One of my employees can lay it all out flat and pick up one piece that brings the rest together to make a circle; it's amazing."
2. The holidays can be stressful, so reward a loved one (or yourself) with some post-holiday pampering at Take Ten Relaxation Studio.
With reflexology, massage, meditation, facials, yoga, hydrotherapy, and a nice selection of gifts, there are plenty of gifts for a stressed loved one at the year-old studio. Save on a relaxing gift by booking seven facial services for the price of five. Or book a couples massage with your partner to share a romantic gift together. Owner Sharon Roggio also recommended items from Bee Bar, a West Coast aromatherapy and body care company.
"The line we carry includes all natural moisturizers," Roggio said. "Our gift pack includes a purse size moisturizer, a larger bar for home, and a lip balm which I use every night -- it's wonderful."
3. Ink About It has gifts for those with a creative eye and fondness for paper. Papercraft tools, stamps, papers, books and more line the shop's shelves and staff are happy to guide in gift purchases.
If you're unsure of the purchase, co-owner Linda Donovan suggests a gift certificate, especially for teachers. Or, you can get someone started on the art of paper by giving them passes to classes. Introductory classes are available in stamping, scrapbooking, and altered art and more than 20 specialty classes are offered monthly.
"The new stamping releases from Hero Art have been popular," said Donovan. "Also, Copic markers have been popular with teens interested in cartooning because they don't bleed but blend well."
4. After bouncing back from a roof collapse last year, the iconic Butterfly Place has expanded its programming and gift shop. Even though the insect haven is closed for the season, you can still purchase gifts from their online shop.
A butterfly hatching kit could be a welcome gift for a budding entomologist, or you can choose from various toys, books, and videos to fit your recipient. Gift certificates are popular stocking stuffers and are on sale until the Dec. 20.
For a conservation-minded loved one, consider purchasing a "Support a Species" gift for $25. The gift includes a $20 coupon (good for admission or shopping), information on the species you're supporting, and a supporter space in their exhibit.
5. Need a gift for a skibunny or boarder? Look no further than Westford's own Nashoba Valley. The slopes have already opened for the season, but there is still plenty of time to take a few lessons or hit the popular snow tubing park. Set up a friend with lessons, passes, or some gear from the ski shop.
If you're not sure which part of the Nashoba fun they would appreciate, pick up a gift card. Cards may be used for the slopes, tubing park, shop, Outlook Restaurant, and even the warm weather events. Until the end of the year, you can get $10 added to your $50 certificate by purchasing online.
"We had one customer recently," said Jonathan Damon of Nashoba Ski Area, "who purchased $12,000 in gift cards in one order so that he received $2,400 in free gift cards."