Want to find unique gifts while shopping closer to home this holiday season? Well, now you can find the perfect gift for everyone on your list right in your own backyard. Our local businesses have you covered!

I took a stroll through town, and here’s what I found….

Smith’s Acres is your one-stop shop for Christmas trees, wreaths and other decorative greenery. Need a special holiday bow for your decorating touches this year? Look no further. You’ll find an extensive assortment of decorative ribbons and bows. Their Christmas ornament selection offers a wide variety of themes, including fun marine life options.

For the special girl in your life, you’ll find women’s apparel and unique jewelry at several downtown stores.

At Grace, you’ll find a beautiful selection of cozy sweaters and comfy sleepwear. Sets are sold as separates so you can mix and match. Add the warm slippers to complete your gift. They also have a great selection of matching hats, gloves and scarves in gorgeous hues. Check out their extensive selection of books with a home entertainment theme.

At Bayberries Fine Gifts you’ll find warm and stylish sweaters and outerwear for women. The flannel shirts are perfect for New England winters. Gift ideas abound here. Consider kitchen towels with sayings that are sure to make someone on your list laugh out loud. They carry the fun Mud Pie brand of serving dishes, as well as books for the history buffs on your list. One book shares tales of East Lyme’s past, perfect whether someone has always lived here or is new to town.

Azalea offers an eclectic mix of gorgeous items for your home from serving dishes, platters and bowls to useful, beautifully crafted utensils. My personal favorite are the custom-made wire wall signs, patinaed to look black. You can order any word or phrase that you want – Ciao is a popular seller! Shop for stocking stuffers here, too, where you’ll find a Niantic ornament, soaps, candles and more. They’re the only shop in town that sells locally produced – and delicious – Nightingale Honey. You’ll find women’s one-of-a-kind apparel in Azalea, too.

All three stores have creative baby gifts, including super soft baby apparel. You’ll find a wide array of items to make the perfect gift for the little ones in your life. Decorating a nursery? Check out the soothing sea-themed mobiles at Grace. I fell in love with the plush Octopus at Bayberries! In addition to baby clothing, Azalea sells unique and environmentally friendly toys for young children.

Of course diamonds are a girls best friend… so be sure to stop into Anna Pearl’s Curiosities for a wide array of vintage jewelry and accessories.

Looking for clothes with a beach vibe? Be sure to stop in Coastal Gifts on Main – their fun Coastal Crab logo and designs appear on clothing for all ages. Other items bear the logo, too – hats, glasses and more. While there, check out their Niantic ornaments, wooden signs and framed sea glass art.

At Past to Present and it’s Silver Skate Pop-up Shop at Past to Present On the Corner, you’ll find vintage one-of-a-kind Santa Clauses, snowmen, ornaments and more. Stop in and take your time.

Tumbleweeds is our downtown mainstay for a wide array of records and apparel with fun music and 60s vibes. If you bring a list, the staff there is super friendly and will be happy to help you!

When you’re stuffing those stockings, include homemade fudge, chocolates and nostalgic candies from Gumdrops & Lollipops – sure to delight all ages!

Don’t forget Book Barn. Their team is on hand to help you find the special book for that special person.

Sometimes a gift card from one of our local restaurants, shops or businesses will make the perfect gift.

While you’re shopping, take a break to treat yourself to a hot cocoa at Café SoL. Select a mocktail from their special menu of Ghirardelli dark and white chocolate drinks. For example, their Peppermint Patty is described as “chocolate and mint screaming with Old World espresso.. a warming mid-day eye opener.” Also, they’re the only spot in town where you can purchase the new children’s book titled “We’re Really All Just the Same”, written by New London native Rod Cornish. So, you can pick up a gift while sipping your specialty hot chocolate drink.

And for your furry friends and family members, check out Paw Print Pantry as you head out of downtown and work your way up Pennsylvania Avenue to Flanders Road. Here, you’ll find toys, accessories, healthy treats and more to meet all your pet’s needs. Does your dog need a new warm sweater as we head into the cold winter months? They have unique designs handmade locally. You can even place a custom order.

One thing is for sure. Everywhere you go, you’ll be greeted with holiday cheer. Aromas conjure up memories of traditions and holidays past. Christmas music will lull you into the season of giving. Shop local and support our small businesses to find that perfect item to let your loved ones know you care.

About Our Main Street Blogger:
Joanne lives in, and loves, our community. She was looking for an opportunity to help share all that our local businesses do to make East Lyme such a special place to call home, and she is excited to contribute to our blog. Joanne brings to the role her experience from New London Main Street where she contributed content to their website, newsletters and email communications for many years.

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