Still shopping for last minute gifts? Here’s some suggestions…
By Denise Clay-Murray
Photo above: Philadelphia Christmas Village Photo:www.philachristmas.com
If you’re like me, it took you awhile to figure out whether you were going to gather with family, friends and loved ones for the holidays or not.
But now that you’ve figured that out, gotten the COVID-19 vaccine parameters in place, and have purchased all the COVID-19 rapid tests you could need to make this a memorable holiday, it’s time for the hard part.
Buying that perfect gift for all of those folks that you didn’t think you’d be entertaining.
If you’re still not ready to head to the Fashion District or Cherry Hill Mall because the thought of being indoors with thousands of mostly unmasked shoppers freaks you out, the Christmas Villages at Dilworth Park and Love Park may be able to help you out.
From a sweet treat familiar to SUN readers to holistic skin care, games, and clothing, finding a last-minute gift for a guest at your holiday party is a lot simpler than you think.
As a foodie, I love getting —- and giving — things that expose my friends and family to new tastes.
One of the things that I may be giving this year is a jar of one of the great sauces from the Bake-N-Bacon stand at the Christmas Village.
After the death of his brother in 2016, Justin Coleman decided to quit his job at a Philadelphia non-profit and build the bacon-themed food truck that came to him in a dream of his brother. This is Bake-N-Bacon’s first year at the market, and they offer a variety of treats ranging from bacon on a stick with a variety of sauces to some brisket and bacon fries that will tantalize your taste buds.
But if you’re looking for a gift for that foodie in your life, might I suggest Bake-N-Bacon’s bacon caramel sauce ($15) or the bacon bourbon sauce ($20). Both sauces are good on all things sweet (Coleman recommends trying it on Bake-N-Bacon’s pound cake) and savory (Coleman’s aunt has used it as a rib sauce.)
Bake-N-Bacon is located near the Ferris wheel on the City Hall’s North Apron, across from the Municipal Building.
Much has been made of the lack of Black and Brown owned businesses in Philadelphia. The City’s Commerce Department has been trying to change this dynamic through a variety of efforts including a pair of repurposed shipping containers featuring the Sable Collective, the Welcoming Center and the Magic Makers Marketing Collective. These containers are located on the LOVE Park side of the Christmas Village, behind that section’s main food court.
On the day I went to the Christmas Village, I visited Magic Makers and gravitated to the “Princess Bride” game on display from the folks at the Queen and Rook Game Cafe. The café, located at 602 S. 2nd St. in South Philadelphia, allows you to indulge in food and spirits while playing your favorite board games, also has a selection of games for sale ranging from “Bye, Felicia!” The Game, to a combined Monopoly/Clue game that wouldn’t look out of place on display.
This week, you can visit Magic Makers and see the gift suggestions from Marsh and Mane, which is located at 529 S. 4th St. There are all kinds of self-care products ranging from body oils to hair products. Prices may vary.
Another store specializing in self-care items is Elizabeth Peyton Creations, which is located near the Rothman Skating Rink in Dilworth Plaza. Peyton began creating a line that includes an armpit detoxification kit that cleans out blocked sweat glands, a breast massage oil designed to help new mothers, and other holistic items.
When her mother died of breast cancer five years ago, Peyton was inspired to create the holistic products that she wished were available. While this is her first year at the Christmas Village, Peyton’s she’s been participating in pop-up markets around the city.
One of the more popular things that she has is a peppermint foot balm that not only helps with foot pain, but also works on pain in other areas. You can get that as part of the many gift sets that Peyton offers. These gift sets also include such things as candles and Turkish towels, which are beautiful and also absorbent.
Prices range from $7 for stocking stuffers to $55-$60 for gift sets.
In a place like the Christmas Village, getting yourself and what you’re offering noticed often takes some creative marketing.
So, when Cirese Clindinin put out a sign in front of her booth for Cirese C. The Skin Therapist that said “Ashy? We Got You”, it was hard not to notice.
Twenty years ago, Clindinin’s mother encouraged her to start making soaps and other skin care, and she’s kept at it sense. From body butters to bath oils, soaps, and everything in between, there’s a stocking stuffer or gift basket for your gift giving needs. Prices range from $8 for stocking stuffers to $25 for gift sets.
Our last-minute gift guide began with food, so let’s end with it too.
A few years ago, the SUN introduced you to Charisse McGill, or as some call her, the French Toast Lady. McGill’s company, Lokal Artisan Foods, has been taking the country by storm with a French Toast Bites line that includes French Toast spice, a beer partnership with Yards Brewery and a line of coffee. McGill’s stand in the main food court at on the LOVE Park side of the Christmas Village has a gift package that you can put together for the person that’s responsible for Holiday brunch. For $22, you can get the French Toast spice and a pouch of the French Toast coffee.
Well, if you’re like me, and you haven’t finished your shopping, I hope this list gives you some great ideas for gift giving.
The Christmas Village is open from now until Christmas Eve from 11am-7pm, and on Christmas Eve from 11am-5pm.