Go Local for the Holidays! Charlottesville Shopping Ideas

1) Dinner at The Local – my family and I love everything about this restaurant! The ambience is warm and inviting. The food is fabulous and prepared using local ingredients. Even the light fixtures, chairs, bar, and balcony were built by local craftsmen. My son recommends the shrimp and/or the mussels. He also lives for the homemade bread. I personally like it all, including the wine selection.

2) Cooking classes at the Charlottesville Cooking School -- the perfect gift for a friend who dreams of being a chef or, perhaps, a spouse who needs a little culinary encouragement. For a peak inside the school, check out the CVIO segment on the Charlottesville Cooking School.

3) Here’s a cool idea! Les Yeux du Monde gallery is teaming with Sarah Dupont's Amazon Aid Foundation to provide “Art and Acres” – a meaningful alternative for gift giving that won’t break the bank and will keep on giving to the earth. A portion of all art sold through December 23rd (beginning at $25 on) will be donated to the Amazon Aid Foundation.

4) William Albert Allard: Five DecadesBook CoverI know I’m biased (since he’s my dad and all), but this is a real holiday gift buying problem-solver. Not only is it a beautiful and affordable choice ($35-50), it is also the perfect treat for someone who has everything. The book, part photographic retrospective and part personal memoir, covers five decades of Dad’s work as a National Geographic photographer and writer. You can find it locally at the Greenwood Gourmet Grocery (a great holiday shopping spot!), the Dominion Bookshop or Barnes & Noble or on-line at Amazon.com* or the National Geographic. If you missed my CVIO interview with Dad on December 15, you can catch it on-line on the WHTJ CVIO web site.

5) “A Charlottesville Songwriters Christmas” CD -- give the gift of music while helping to support local talent and future songwriters all at the same time. Proceeds from the sale of the CD will benefit Kid Pan Alley, a children's songwriting program that works closely with area elementary schools. The CD features local musicians Art Wheeler, Barb Martin, the Chicken Head Blues Band, Danny Beirne, the Gladstones, John Carden, Kathryn Caine Ogden, Paddy Dougherty and many more! It sells for $15 and is available at several local venues including Charlottesville Music, Fellini's #9, Plan 9, Greenberry's Coffee, Greenwood Market, Heinz Musitronics,The Ivy Store, The Music Store (Ruckersville), SideTracks Music, Toddsbury’s, and the Virginia Shop.      

6) Charlottesville SPCA – adopt a dog or cat! Throughout my life, my favorite pets (except for our pet pig Sweetheart) were adopted from the SPCA. These animals are loving, endlessly entertaining, and in need of a home. You will also be helping out my friend Jane’s husband as I'm sure he is concerned that she will eventually adopt them all!

7) An evening on the Downtown Mall – if you really want to spoil someone, give them a gift package from one of Charlottesville’s favorite destinations – the Downtown Mall. You could go with tickets to a show at The Southern and a gift certificate to Spring Street Boutique. Or maybe dinner at the C&O, tickets to The Paramount Theater and a night at the Inn at Court Square…Wow!

8) Back rubs -- my son has given me back rubs for Christmas ever since he was little. This is my all-time favorite gift. You just need three ingredients -- a little time, elbow grease and love. Doesn't get any better or more local than that!

Happy holidays! 


*If you use the amazon link to make a purchase, the station will receive a small benefit. Your cost is the same.

If you want more gift ideas, try:

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"You will also be helping out my friend Jane’s husband as I'm sure he is concerned that she will eventually adopt them all!"

Hahahahaha! Yes, I've done quite my part for the SPCA in the past few years. If only I could give a few back...


I couldn't resist...You have always been so supportive of the efforts of the SPCA, Jane.

Happy holidays!

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