Want a gift that gives a little more?
By Liz Schevtchuk Armstrong
Trying to avoid the crowds and crass commercialism of typical holiday shopping? Looking for seasonal home décor made close to home? Want a gift that gives a little more?
Take advantage of the many options in the Hudson Highlands for finding distinctive holiday items and simultaneously supporting worthy causes. Patronize seasonal craft fairs, art shows, bake sales, markets and boutiques sponsored by non-profit organizations or visit the permanent stores that help support some of these institutions year-round. A sampling follows.
Pottery Show and Sale, Garrison Art Center, Garrison’s Landing, Garrison (at the Garrison Metro-North station), garrisonartcenter.org: Selling far more than pottery, the show opened last weekend and continues through Sunday, Nov. 29, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wares include a diverse range of pottery and similar items, from coffee mugs, bowls and plates to decorative art; wooden craftwork, sculpture, cards and prints, apparel and accessories, jewelry, and other examples of area residents’ talents.
Holiday Boutique, Desmond-Fish Library, at the library, Routes 403 and 9D, Garrison, 845-424-3020: Offering handcrafted items from nearly 80 Hudson Valley artisans, this year’s boutique runs from the “grand opening” on Saturday, Nov. 28, through Sunday, Dec. 13. Goods include Shaker boxes, quilts, knit goods and hand-made sweaters, pottery, jewelry, photos, cards, bath and toiletry products, dolls, cookies and candy, “and much, much more,” according to the library, which describes the boutique as “a chance to support local artisans, purchase beautifully crafted gifts and contribute to the library’s community programming.” Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 28 and Fridays Dec. 4 and Dec. 11; 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays Nov. 29, Dec. 6, and Dec. 13; 2 to 9 p.m. on Thursdays, Dec. 3 and Dec. 10; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, Dec. 5 and Dec. 12.
Annual Wreath Sale, Garrison Union Free School, at the school, 1100 Route 9D, Garrison, 845-424-3689: This annual fundraiser for the eighth-grade class began on Wednesday and continues on Monday, Nov. 30 from 3 to 7 p.m. The 24-inch Maine balsam wreaths come plain, with a bow or with a bow, pinecones and berries. Garrison School has an order form on its website at gufs.org.
Craft Fair, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Chestnut Street (Route 9D) at Main Street (Route 301), Cold Spring, stmaryscoldspring.org: Saturday, Dec. 12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Annually, the fair helps support the activities and outreach of the historic parish. Typical items include large, pre-made “themed” gift baskets (such as one for chocolate lovers), ornaments and decorations, knitted, crocheted and sewn items, quilts, paintings, gently-used toys, wreaths, jewelry, accessories and cookies and other baked goods.
Thrift Shop, St. Christopher’s Inn, 21 Franciscan Way, Graymoor, Garrison, 845-424-3635, stchristophersinn-graymoor.org: A project of St. Christopher’s Inn, the Thrift Shop stocks donated household items, including furniture, glassware, and linens; clothing; collectibles, both new items and antiques and art. Proceeds benefit St. Christopher’s Inn, a licensed residential facility that provides alcohol- and drug-abuse treatment and medical care, a ministry of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. The shop also provides vocational experiences for Inn residents, who help repair furniture, work as sales assistants and research the value of donated goods. Hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cold Spring Farmers’ Market, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church Parish Hall, Chestnut Street (Route 9D) at Main Street (Route 301), Cold Spring, csfarmmarket.org: The indoor market operates 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., on Saturdays, though not Dec. 26. Vendors change a bit week to week; the Farmers’ Market website provides details. Typical products include vegetables and fruit; bread, pastries, and other baked goods; honey, jams and jellies; olive oil, sauces, dressings and pickles; wine, beer, cider and similar beverages; teas; fish; cheese and other dairy products; wool creations; beef, pork, lamb, chicken and eggs; plants, wreaths, and flowers.
Boscobel Gift Shop, in the Carriage House on the Boscobel grounds, 1601 Route 9D, Garrison (just south of Cold Spring), 845-265-3638: The Museum Gift Shop sells stationery, garden accessories, jewelry, apparel, glassware and other home décor items, toys, and books dealing with such subjects as American history, U.S. and English literature and the Hudson Valley. A yearly sale continues through Sunday, Nov. 29. The shop is open to the public, without museum admission, through Dec. 31, Wednesdays through Mondays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. It is closed on Tuesdays and Christmas Day.
Putnam History Museum, 63 Chestnut St., Cold Spring, NY, 106515, 845-265-4010, putnamhistorymuseum.org: The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. A small gift shop offers local history-related prints, books, maps, letters, toys, totes, shirts, pottery and other keepsakes.
Beacon and Fishkill
Annual Holiday Craft Fair, Howland Cultural Center, 477 Main St., Beacon: Saturday, Dec. 12 (Second Saturday), 10 a.m. to-5 p.m.: An Etsy-related event, the fair includes jewelry, toys, candy, wooden and other artisan goods, mosaic creations, cards, knitted items, infant clothing, and more. Check the Howland Cultural Center’s Facebook page for more information.
Hudson Valley Winter Book Fair, First Presbyterian Church, 50 Liberty St., Beacon, wherevent.com; Saturday, Dec. 12, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.: The event features authors, book signings and readings, second-hand books, baked goods, and a gift wrapping service. Sales of many items will benefit the First Presbyterian Church; sales of books by their authors will benefit those authors.
Craft Boutique, Van Wyck Homestead Museum, Route 9 at Snook Road, Fishkill, fishkillhistoricalsociety.org; Saturday, Nov. 28, and Sunday, Nov. 29, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Sponsored by the Fishkill Historical Society, the event occurs at a Revolutionary War site. Sale items include silk scarves, candles, vintage-style handbags, stoneware pottery, ceramics, quilts, jewelry, stained glass, soap, and wooden goods, made by juried crafts artisans. The historical society adds that homemade soups and chili will be available for “lunch by the fire in our circa-1732 kitchen” and that “we’ll have plenty of decadent sweets available.”