Attention, shoppers: That conglomerate of events we inclusively call “the holidays” is upon us — not to mention the birthdays of any friends or family members who share December with the baby Jesus. That means it’s time to get crackin’ with the cash, credit cards and charitable donations.
Choosing gifts can be hard, but not to worry: The Seven Days editorial staff is here to help. This year we decided simply to share our own wish lists — with a different theme for each of the remaining issues of 2013. This week, it’s “Body,” by which we mean anything that can go on it or in it. So let’s get started…
I want some Darn Tough socks. I know. It’s about as exciting as buying your dad a tie. But look, we live in Vermont, and foot warmth matters for, like, 11 months of the year. Yeah, Darn Toughs are a little pricey, but the lifetime guarantee is for serious! The Northfield company offers models for the hiker, runner, skier and even hunter. Me, I’d happily accept a pair of the Padded Over-the-Calf Cushion ski socks. Just sayin’. $19-26. darntough.com
I’m usually kind of a slut when it comes to body-care products. But I’ve recently fallen into a monogamous relationship with the creamy chocolate-mint lip balm from Healing Earth Vermont Herbals in Fairfax. Now I want to explore more of the company’s offerings in the form of the Winter Care gift box, filled with healing herbal potions to get me through the cold months. $29.95. healingearthvt.com
Does Citizen Cider do subscriptions? A Growler of the Month (or, hell, Week) Club? If not, esteemed local cidermakers, please entertain this notion. You produce delicious alcoholic beverages, and I wish to imbibe them even more regularly than I already do. How about a growler six-pack? Sold at a number of Burlington-area locations. $8-10 per 32-ounce growler (plus $4 deposit). citizencider.com
ETHAN DE SEIFE
I’ve always been a big fan of local designer Matt Renna and Queen City Dry Goods, so I was psyched to hear Renna is launching a line of Vermont-made T-shirts that will be cut and sewn in Winooski. I’ll be ordering a few for my husband before the December 1 deadline for Renna’s crowd-funding project — and I might sneak in one for myself while I’m at it. $20 for a blank T-shirt, $30 for a Vermont artist screen-printed T-shirt. queencitydrygoods.com
I approach winter like a bear, meaning that I do my best to sleep through it. So for me, winter’s lone saving grace is that it’s an excuse to hunker down with a good book and a hot drink while enveloped in a warm, fuzzy cocoon. Hook me up with a new set of flannel PJs, a flannel bathrobe and a flannel stadium blanket from the Vermont Flannel Company, and I’ve got everything I need to wait out the deep freeze. Throw in a dog blanket for the pooch, a wine bag and maybe “bun warmers” for my special lady — those are flannel panties, by the way — and you won’t see me until April. vermontflannel.com
I’m soon moving from the Upper Valley, so here’s a perfect gift for this homie who’s leaving the ’hood: a hoodie with “Upper Valley” emblazoned across the chest, from Revolution in White River Junction. It’s warm, comes in limited-edition colors and entitles me to post a selfie from my current locale to the store’s Facebook page. $49. shoptherev.com
Burlington’s own Minor League Baseball team will take the field in new threads next season after freshening up its iconic Champ logo. Be the first on your block to sport the new Lake Monsters hat — the same one the players will wear on the diamond — and start counting down to opening day, grilled hot dogs and warmer temperatures. $25.99. Vermont Lake Monsters team store or vermontlakemonsters.com.
Maple sugar scrub! At this time of year, my skin starts to take on its characteristic winter hue: ash. If no one else takes the hint, I might gift myself with an invigorating (and indulgent) scrub using Vermont maple sugar. Where can one find such a luxurious treatment? In Stowe, of course. Maple sugar body scrub at Topnotch Resort & Spa, 25 minutes, $70-80. topnotchresort.com. Vermont maple sugar body polish at Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa, 80 minutes, $190. stoweflake.com
When it’s cold, there’s nothing better than a hot drink with a shot of something strong. And when I sample locally made spirits, I can tell myself it’s all about, ahem, researching Vermont’s terroir. This year I’d like to “research” Vermont Spirits Black Snake Whiskey, which food writer Corin Hirsch tells me is “essentially moonshine made with local corn.” I’ll drink up with visions of backcountry bootleggers dancing in my head. $27.99 at Vermont Department of Liquor retail stores. vermontspirits.com
British sailors in the East Indies drank tonic water to prevent malaria. To make the antidote not taste absolutely disgusting, they added gin. Tropical disease may not be a concern for my parents, but making good gin-and-tonics during the holiday season is. That’s why I’m getting them a bottle of organic gin from Stowe-based Green Mountain Distillers. $27.99. greendistillers.com
I’m no cologne guy. Too many bad memories of teenage years spent in Long Island shopping malls dodging the department store spritzing ladies. But when I find a scent I like, it’s worth the money. The Whiteface Lodge, in Lake Placid, N.Y., carries a line of products for guests — shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and bath salts (no, not the drug) — some of which you can also buy online. These Naturopathica products are scented with green tea and lemongrass, and cost $7 for the bath salts and $14 for shampoo, conditioner and body lotion at their store in East Hampton, N.Y. Throw in a pinecone-scented candle from the Adirondack Candle Company ($9 for the tin or $13 for the glass) for the full olfactory mountain experience. Ahhh! thewhitefacelodge.com, naturopathica.com
While researching another story, I came across a new Timothy Grannis bracelet called the Paris Cuff, an elegant, tapering tube of hollow gold whose flexibility makes for easy on and off. The ingenious clasp consists of textured, carved and forged rings in different karats and colors of gold — and they move, which is always fun. The aesthetics, techniques and closure mechanism caused Grannis to declare of this design, “I think it’s a keeper.” I couldn’t agree more. And I’d like to keep one … on my wrist. $1900. Timothy Grannis Studio in Alchemy Jewelry Arts Collective, Burlington. timothygrannis.com
Forget fancy jackets and cocktails infused with the hottest locally distilled spirit. I want to stay warm this year, and I prefer a caveman-era basic: wood. Don’t snicker — an extra half cord of seasoned firewood would assure me that even an unusually harsh winter won’t decimate my woodpile by mid-March. Price: Seasoned half cords run around $150, extra for delivery. Store: guy down the road. Disclaimer: instructions not included, kindling sold separately.
John DuBrul III: Razor and the Old Soul team rock
Christopher Hayden: Hoo hoo hoo-ray!
wahrheit: Once again Dan Bolles has produced a beautifully crafted and researched piece of real journalism. Thanks Dan and…