Holiday Shopping Guide: Lexington Center
A selection of gifts from local stores.
While there's nothing wrong with Christmas shopping at area malls, there's something to be said for patronizing local businesses. The selections are good, the prices are often reasonable and one-of-a-kind items can be found.
Lexington Center is home to several gift and craft stores, bakeries, a liquor store and a pharmacy. Let's take a walk down Massachusetts Avenue and look at a selection of gifts you may find.
Our first stop is the Crafty Yankee Moon Spoons are attractive serving spoons, forks, and spreaders made in the United States of solid cherry wood. They are priced at $9 and $12. Bamboo cheese trays created by Lexington artist Geneva Smithlin feature hand burned designs. They come in a variety of styles for $20. From Tea Forte in Concord comes the "Winter Collection," a box of 20 infusers for $24.95. Sweeten that tea with a jar of Amber Tea Sugar for $8.95. For chocoholics, there are several possibilities. Large bars of chocolate are available for $4.95; however it's the creative packaging – Emergency Chocolate and Instant Gratification – that makes the gift fun. Bacci Chocolate Design in Swampscott makes a number of delicious treats, such as individual chocolate pizza slices for $11.95 and whole chocolate pizzas for $24.95.
Sweet Thyme Bakery, at 1837 Mass Avenue, has edible gifts that are a bit unusual. For the holidays, a gift box of 18 individually wrapped cookies costs $18.50. The flavors are Cranberry, Marbled Chocolate and Vanilla, Sesame, Green Tea Pumpkin Seed, Almond, and German Rose Walnut. A cellophane bag of six cookies, perfect for the Christmas stocking, costs $5.49. The bakery is also offering an eight-inch chocolate or mango mousse cake for $24.50 if you order by Dec. 19 for pickup before Christmas. They also have two sizes of house fruitcakes that definitely won't get thrown away. A three-inch cake is priced at $3.25; a seven-inch one, $16. Call 781-860-8818 to order. For more product information, go to Sweet Thyme's website.
You may not think of a pharmaceutical store for presents, but a stop at Theatre Pharmacy, 1784 Mass Ave., may change your mind. The store has a wall filled with attractive and hard-to-find gifts. Perfect for the stocking are bars of Provence Sante pure vegetable soaps for $4.70. They come in eight scents, including wild rose, bergamot and apricot. Provence Sante bath and shower is also available for $18. For the men, there are all-purpose lotions from Bermuda in Royal Muske, Bay Rhum, Royal Lyme, Royal Spyce, and Royal Mandarin scents. The lotion comes in three sizes and costs $10, $25 and $55. Is there someone you want to spoil? Put together a spa gift basket with bath pillow ($7.50), sponge bath brush with flexible handle ($6), exfoliating sponge ($2.50), nylon bath net ($1.50) and bar of Essence mint loofa soap ($5). VitaBath and boxes of Roger & Gallet perfumed soaps are also sold.
Making jewelry can be a fun project and if you have a creative type on your list, be sure to go to Sweet Beads, 1792 Mass Ave. A well-stocked selection of supplies for making necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings is available, along with pre-made pieces of jewelry. There are also kits containing everything necessary to make one piece of jewelry for $12 to $15. Gift certificates for group and private classes, for adults and children, can also be purchased for $30 to $45.
Cat Studio makes a line of hand-painted frosted glasses called the World Traveler Collection. Several dozen glasses decorated with scenes, signs and symbols from Cape Cod, Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Boston and some of the American states are sold at Valentine's, 1756 Mass Ave. Each glass costs $12.50. The shop also sells small, brightly colored serving bowls handcrafted in China by MoMo Penache for $10.
If you're pressed for time and need something last minute, a grab-and-go gift from Great Harvest Catering & Bakery at 1736 Mass Ave. might fill the bill. Attractively wrapped and ready for presentation, these gift collections will delight hot chocolate and tea lovers on your list. There's even a gift bag for Fido. Prices range from $7.95 to $9.50.
Just in time for the holidays, Nikki's Liquors at 1726 Mass Ave. has several gift packages. Priced at $42.99, The Glenlivet comes with a bottle of 12-year-old single malt Scotch whiskey, two glasses,and two nips filled with 15- and 18-year old whiskey. For cognac lovers, there's a bottle of Hennessy Privilege Cognac and two glasses for $49.99. New on the market and an exceptionally good buy are bottles of organic Amaretto for $19.99 and organic Sambuca Secolare for $17.99. Attractive wine gift bags are available for only $2.50.
A box of cupcakes can make a lovely gift and you can find beautifully decorated ones at cake., which opened last year at 1628 Mass Ave. The cupcakes come in two sizes, regular and mini, for $2.50 and $.95, respectively. Flavors include Midnight Delight, Black Tie Affair, Karat Topped, Berries & Gold and The Minuteman. Everything is made from scratch right there in the bakery.
Of course, we couldn't fit every business or great gift on this list. There are lots of businesses to explore in Lexington Center and in other areas of town.