One-stop local shopping at Vineyard Holiday Gift Shop

Photo by susan Safford

Going strong after more than 20 years, the Vineyard Holiday Gift Shop offers the opportunity to shop local, times two. Along with shopping at home on the Island instead of turning to malls or online merchandisers, choose presents made here by Vineyard friends and neighbors. Now, that is real local shopping.

“The shop looks really good and everyone is working really hard,” said a beaming Linda Alley, welcoming customers in from the snow this past Saturday.

An original organizer of this quintessential “pop-up shop” and creator of delicious New Lane Sundries, Ms. Alley said the enterprise has grown and expanded its variety. After moving nearly 10 times in two decades, the shop is now on Spring Street in Vineyard Haven.

“We have more creativity, and lovely artisans on the Vineyard who have joined us,” said Ms. Alley, recalling when there were barely 12. Now there are some two dozen vendors, six new this season.

Along with samples of Ms. Alley’s jams, jellies, and mustards, cider is always warm and a plate of treats welcomes customers to the bright little shop.

A big red basket overflowing with gifts is being raffled off to benefit the Island Food Pantry.

Visitors will be glad to see many longtime favorites. Stephanie Tilton Rossi’s fleece sheep, pigs, and horses are staples on many Island trees. She makes fleece mermaids, and tall Santas.

Scott Campbell is back with lovely ceramic bowls, serving dishes, and lamps in deep, rich tones. Realistic ceramic fish are perfect for the family fisherman.

He is joined by daughter Rose offering healthy green succulents and cacti artistically arranged in ceramic planters.

Helayne Cohen’s ceramics have a more feminine feel, in tones of pink and light ocean greens and blues.

Our stockings aren’t complete without Pat Vanderhoop’s festive Christmas earrings to wear while we celebrate. Under her “PZ Designs” label, she also sells beaded jewelry and knit scarves.

We suspect that a package of Patti Linn’s “Linnsational” chocolates won’t get under your tree without someone sneaking a taste. Best to buy extra, whether her irresistible chocolate-covered marshmallows or pretzels, truffles, or creams.

Susan Fairbanks adorns bracelets, bookmarks, and pens with her own handmade glass beads. Jannette Vanderhoop crafts delicate dream catchers and arranges miniature beach scenes in glass ornaments. Teresa Yuan’s dried flowers look like spring.

Laura Hearn Caruso offers colorful beaded bracelets. Her mother, Linda Hearn, shows quilted items; her dad, Glenn, carved birds.

Leather goods, fabric bags, hats, scarves, pampering bath products, and many styles of jewelry are here for the finding.

Randi Hadley’s sweet aprons have a feminine, retro appeal. I imagine them on a glamorous 40s movie star. Featuring floral fabrics, ruffles, sashes, and bows, the aprons are pretty enough to wear to a party, yet practical with big pockets and a button for keeping a dish towel close at hand.

Fabric magician Jo Maxwell turns vintage chenille and other vintage fabrics into robes, throw pillows, bags, and more.

Among the newcomers this year is Juli Vanderhoop with tempting assortments of Orange Peel Bakery cookies packed in snowman-themed gift boxes.

Donna Michalski offers yummy “Aunt Ollie’s” soaps. Each ample bar looks like a mouthwatering slice of frosted cake. They glow with color, sparkles, and fluffy frosting that it is hard not to taste. A fun and useful gift, especially for the gals, or perk up your own guest bath.

Lovely land and seascape photos by David Joyce, another first-timer, show Island nature in a variety of lights, from bright morning to glowing sunset, from softly cloudy days to somber dusk.

Fans of Irene Fox’s Island’s Own Herbals will rejoice to hear she is back with her Simple Joy Herbals. These skin care products range from lush to therapeutic, including Lavender Body Oil, rich Mocha Body Butter, A Faery’s Kiss delicate moisturizer, a healing balm, and more.

Another returnee is Let There Bee Light candles. These pure beeswax tapers in red, green, and natural, some pillar candles, and molded Christmas tree candles add glow to the wintry holidays.

Here for the first year, Elizabeth Williams offers handmade felted hats and scarves, along with jewelry. Also new is Celine Segel with her “wearable art” enamel jewelry, and chain-style gold and silver necklaces.

Add some spice to someone’s life with Heidi Feldman’s Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt. Harvested and processed on the Island, it comes in small jars or a gift set with a ceramic mini-bowl for serving.

The Vineyard Holiday Gift Shop, located on Spring Street in Vineyard Haven, is open daily from 10 am until 6 pm. The shop closes early on its last day, December 24.