Some people are incredibly thoughtful and clever when it comes to picking out gifts for everyone in their circle. Others, like myself, are absolute garbage at it. I have trouble finding gifts for all of the personalities in my life – the dog lover, the glitz and glam fashionista, the granola mom, even my own kid. And, if you are like me, you might need a little extra help this holiday season. So I did the work for you to find the best Seacoast stores for your holiday shopping.
For the kids
Despite popular belief, kids don’t need a lot of stuff. They do, however, love getting toys that boost their confidence, enhance their imagination, and get them up and moving. There is no better shop than Kit Supply + Co. in Kittery, ME to find the ideal gift for the child in your life. The shop prides itself on the sustainability of their toys and apparel. They work with eco-conscious brands that are determined to make Earth a better place to live. They currently have an array of gift guides so you don’t have to do the work and can get back to spending quality time with your kiddos.
For the chefs and food connoisseurs
No matter the skill of the wannabe chef in your life, you’ll be sure to find the perfect gift along the Seacoast. Head to Stonewall Kitchen in Portsmouth for an array of kitchen gadgets and food blends perfect for any budding cook. Then head over the bridge into Kittery, ME to stop in at Maine Meat to grab all the fixings for a superior feast. Just beware that raw meat will spoil so maybe just get your friend or family member a gift card there.
For the eco-conscious warriors
Folks are more conscious about their impact on the environment more than ever due to the stark realization of climate change. There are plenty of gift options for those not wanting to accrue more “stuff” and, thus, adding to the trash that’s been building up around our Earth. For the environmentalists in your inner circle, look no further than The Refill Station in Portsmouth, NH. It’s a one-stop-shop for all your refilling needs including laundry detergent, shampoo, condition, lotion, and tons more! There are even a few eco-friendly gifts in case you’re not sure what someone’s preferred shampoo is.
For the “tea not coffee” people
The Seacoast isn’t exactly know for its tea (or coffee) culture, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t places to find excellent tea varieties. Société, located in downtown Portsmouth, has the most creative teas. The Naughty and Nice tea helps bring balance to your life while the Stone Breaker tea helps dissolve blockages and irritations. Another great option is the Spice and Tea Exchange, also located in Portsmouth, NH. On top of the teas they supply, you can also choose from an abundance of spices for all your cooking and baking needs.
For the bookworm
When all else fails, giving friends and family members a book is a safe bet. Instead of heading to large booksellers like Amazon or Barnes & Noble, find your way to one of the many independent booksellers along the Seacoast. There are a few around town including Water Street Bookstore in Exeter, NH and RiverRun Bookstore in Portsmouth, NH. There is a wide variety of books and genres to choose from at both bookshops. The staff are incredibly knowledgeable and give great recommendations to anyone who might be having trouble choosing.
For the “I don’t know what to give them” folks
Gus & Ruby in downtown Portsmouth is the perfect shop for those who you don’t quite know what to get them. Maybe they like everything or nothing all at the same time. Gus & Ruby is full of postcards, journals, candles, kid toys, and mugs to satisfy anybody in your family. It really has it all and is one of the reasons it’s on our list of the best seacoast stores for holiday shopping.
For the fashionista
Do you have a person in your life that sews their own clothing? Or perhaps they style different patterns together without making it look gaudy. If so, make sure to pop into Cotillion Bureau in Portsmouth, NH. This shop has something for every body shape and size and the staff can style you to perfection. Grab a gift card in case you don’t know your gift-receivers’ measurements. Other great boutiques include Birch (great for women’s clothing) and Inside Out (both women’s and men’s clothing), both located in Portsmouth, NH.
For the pet parents
The holidays aren’t just for your two-legged companions so make sure to treat your four-legged ones too. Portsmouth houses the Canine Cupboard where you can buy everything your dog might need for the new year. From leashes, to dog bowls, to organic food, they’ve got you covered. If you head southwest to Exeter, you’ll find Paws Pet Boutique. They’ve got the cutest accessories for all types of pets and is why they’re included on our list of best Seacoast stores for holiday shopping. It’s also a place where you can find a pet au pair who can watch your beloved animals if you are traveling for the holidays.
For the gamer
Let’s face it, there’s one in every family. You know the one I’m talking about. They like to play Scrabble instead of watch football on Thanksgiving. They would prefer to outsmart you in a round of Catan than chat about Aunt Millie’s new pet. I’m talking about the gamers in your life. And if you’ve got one, make sure to check out Diversions Puzzles and Games store in downtown Portsmouth. They have board games as well as puzzles, Legos, and more!
Don’t forget about yourself
If you’re reading this piece, you are probably a mom along the Seacoast. This means you are also likely tired and would love to spend a day by yourself to relax and unwind. Head to the outlet shops in Kittery if you want to find a new wardrobe for the new year without breaking your bank. Take a break at White Heron Tea and Coffee Company in Portsmouth or Kittery before moving on with your day. Pop over to Yarrow in Kittery for all your spiritual and witchy side. You could walk along downtown Portsmouth and visit the many boutique shops including Evie. Treat yourself to lunch at Elephantine Bakery and then head to Ash Alchemy Spa for a new ‘do and maybe a foot scrub. It’ll be the perfect gift for yourself after you’ve finished hitting up all the other best Seacoast stores for your holiday shopping.