T-minus 18 days until Christmas, folks! Christmas is fast approaching and in full steam ahead. Christmas trees are up and decorated, holiday lights are lining our neighborhood streets, holiday music is filling the air, and ugly Christmas sweaters are making their appearances. ‘Tis the season to be merry, celebrate the birth of Christ, and graciously give gifts to loved ones. My gift to you, is to ease the holiday stress a tad by providing you a curated list of places to do holiday shopping in Claremont.
Tiny Portrait Project. Christy is a local artist who runs an online business drawing customized portraits (through Adobe Sketch) that are cutesy and almost cartoon-like. The process is simple. Purchase a portrait in her Etsy shop, upload a photo of who you’d like her to draw (she also does pets!), and wait 7-10 days to view the comp. Once approved by you, she digitally sends the file of the portrait where you can print it out and find your own frame for it. Check out her Instagram to view her work.
Photo cred: Tiny Portrait Project Instagram @tinyportraitproject
The Hens’ Kitchen Shoppe. This unique gem of a store located on Yale Ave, exclusively sells kitchen items like festive décor, handy kitchen tools, cook wear, marinades, tea, baking mixes, and seasonal accessories. They do a beautiful job at gift wrapping so don't forget to ask!
The Diamond Center. The Diamond Center, owned by a long line of jewelers (The Lantz Family), has been gracing the Claremont Village presence since 1996. They’re the best in the business carrying on the finest quality diamonds, gemstones and jewelry with superb customer service.
They offer a variety of necklaces, bracelets, earrings, pendants, and watches and are well known for their Hearts on Fire Diamonds. I recently made my way there and had the best experience with Bianca Ustrell and Ray Lantz. I tried on a Hearts on Fire Diamond ring and nearly fainted (okay, not really but still!). They keep a record of your favorite jewelry you try on, in case you want to sleep on it or have a loved one come later and purchase it.
The Smell House Claremont. For all my candle lovers out there, this is the store for you! The Smell House, located inside the historic Packing House, is a store that exclusively sells candles. Right now they have a special where you buy 3 and get one free. They offer gift wrapping for free and have a punch card system. Their candle scents are unique and always rotating around the seasons.
Their current winter collection scents include candles like sweater weather, warm flannel, Christmas morning, milk and cookies, under the mistletoe, midnight snow, and so much more!
Lost Levels. This game store, located inside the Claremont Packing House, is perfect for any video game themed gift. They have actual video games for sale (including retro ones) as well as consoles, artwork, figurines, mugs, blankets, plush dolls, key chains, and so much more. Below ground is an actual arcade with many retro games making it a blast to the past. You can buy an hour game pass for $10 or an all day pass for $15.
Packing House Kiosks. Head over to the Claremont Packing House, particularly on a Friday evening, to shop at the various kiosks including Lalovie Kids, The Crafty Soaps, The Crafty Soaps, Node Plant House, and Respun Resto.
Claremont Gallery hosts various art and entertainment events held every Friday from 6 - 9 pm so be sure to visit the Packing House during that time.
The Grove Home. Specialized in indoor décor, office accessories, scents, house plants, and plant accessories, The Grove Home is located on the corner of Indian Hill Ave and Second St. Their inventory is rotated around the seasons and they carry more whimsical and witty gifts for the edgy type.
VomFass Claremont. Located on First St and Indian Hill, VomFass specializes in olive oils, vinegars, spices, craft spirits, wine, and more. Personally, it’s where I shop for my bourbon, scotch, and wine. They have gift sets, baskets, and boxes ready to go! Gift sets include the Bourbon Boozy Box, Foodie Gift Box, Oils and Vinegars, and more. Anything you buy in the store can also be gift wrapped at no cost by their incredibly knowledgeable and friendly staff.
Jasmine Boutique. This quaint boutique off of Second St and Yale, specializes in loungewear carrying comfy and luxurious pajamas, slippers, robes, and bath accessories. Since many people are now working from home, giving a gift of comfy and fashionable PJ's is all the rage! Don’t forget to tell them you’re shopping for a gift because they offer gorgeous gift wrapping.
Massage or Skin Care. Give the gift of a healing Thai massage and purchase a gift certificate from Mint Leaf (request Mr. Young if you can!).
Gift certificates for facials or skin care enhancements make excellent gifts. Consider purchasing a gift certificate from Harvard Garden Day Spa or Aromatique or a gift card from The Treatment Skin Boutique.
Feel free to DM me on Instagram @missclaremont or comment if you’d like more shopping suggestions. Until then, have a very merry Christmas filled with love, peace, and joy.