An enthusiast’s view of America’s Original Seaside Resort… by Meghan Kunz
As the holidays draw near, I find myself bombarded with so many gift ideas I have no idea where to turn. I start with a clean slate, and as the days pass I accumulate catalogs, coupons, email offers, fliers and brochures, all with gift-giving potential. Even the seemingly simple task of purchasing an item from a grab bag seems daunting – hat and gloves… OK, what color? What material? Water-resistant? Sport or fashion? It can make even the merriest feel downtrodden. For those of you who become stumped by the sheer volume of options, I offer a short list of holiday gift-giving ideas.
Gift certificates. Some find them simply unimaginative. I, for one, rejoice. It forces someone to specifically put aside time to try something new, visit an old favorite, or indulge in a whim even if funds are running tight. There are endless choices of stores, salons, restaurants, and hotels you may choose from – or, keep it simple and pick up a Cape May Gift Certificate. Available in increments of $25, this thoughtful gift provides the most options for your recipient, with many local retailers, accommodations, and organizations participating. Just visit the Washington Street Mall Information Booth, the Hill House Office at the Emlen Physick Estate, or purchase online at www.capemaymac.org.
I am a huge proponent of handmade art (it might be my own penchant for creating handmade wares) so naturally I find that the best gifts are often the most creative ones. If you like supporting the handmade movement, check out The Jonathan Galleries at www.thejonathangalleries.com for stunning yet affordable prints including “The Reason for the Season” and “Winter Berries” (a favorite of mine, as it captures a tree on the Washington Street Mall). Looking for unique jewelry? Check out these beach pebble earrings, hand-crafted by Keith Madden, set in sterling silver. Under $20 and an ideal gift to capture a piece of Cape May, you can order these earrings without leaving home! Just check out Keith’s shop at www.etsy.com/FTRKAM. He also offers other great pieces made from beach pebbles and shells.
I avoid Black Friday in favor of another shopping-inspired weekend: Hospitality Nights in Cape May. This year, Hospitality Weekend commences on Thursday, December 9, and features local merchants offering later hours for convenience, often with snacks and spirits to ease the pains of weary shoppers. Sunset Beach Gift Shops hosts three nights of food, live music, and hourly raffles while offering a wide variety of gift ideas. I hope to see you there!