Perhaps you’ve noticed strings of twinkling lights in downtown Oak Bluffs, or an evergreen tree peeking through your neighbor’s window. It’s not your imagination — the holiday season has snuck up on us once again.
While the holidays are a time for celebration, they’re also known for their stressors. There’s always too little time to find that perfect gift, no matter how soon you start your shopping. Save yourself the seasonal anxiety, and do this year’s shopping the Island way — early, local, and among friends.
Starting in Edgartown, Stefanie Wolf Designs is your one-stop shop for artisan jewelry, handmade on-Island. Here you’ll find everything from glass-beaded bracelets to handbags. You can even pick up a face covering or two, complete with colorful mask chains. Shop online at stefaniewolf.com for a full holiday gift guide, or visit in person at 12 North Water St. in Edgartown, between 11 am and 5 pm daily.
While in town, stop by Edgartown Books to pick up a couple of MV Times contributing editor Kate Feiffer’s holiday cards. These are the perfect companion to any gift, whether you’re wishing a loved one “a better 2021” or just passing along some “peace.” Cards are 5 by 7 inches, and blank inside, so you can add whatever message feels right. Edgartown Books is open 10 am to 6 pm daily at 44 Main St. in Edgartown. Online shopping is also available via Feiffer’s website, katefeiffer.com.
In Oak Bluffs, Featherstone’s Holiday Gift Show is open 12 to 4 pm daily through Dec. 16. Pick up handmade gifts of all kinds while supporting Island artists. You’ll find this annual gem at 30 Featherstone Lane.
Vineyard Haven has a number of its own holiday shopping spots. World Market Holiday Shop is now open inside the Capawock Theater, located on Main Street. With a wide array of global goods, you won’t leave this new spot empty-handed. The shop is open daily, 10 am to 5 pm.
Also on Main Street is an all-time Island favorite: Rainy Day. You can’t go wrong with its huge assortment of items, be they lotions and soaps, candles and home goods, or toys and knickknacks. Visit the website at rainydaymv.com, or stop in between 9:30 am and 6 pm Monday through Saturday. Hours are 10 am to 5 pm on Sunday. Plan to stay and shop a good while.
The Tisbury Toy Box is another gift go-to, especially if you’re shopping for a couple of kiddos. This Island staple is fully stocked with outdoor games, arts and crafts materials, and toys for the toddler too. Even adults can find something for themselves here, with an inventory of puzzles and board games. In-person shopping is available 10 am to 5 pm daily at 79 Beach Road in Vineyard Haven. The Tisbury Toy Box also offers online shopping and curbside pickup through tisburytoybox.com.
Pop-up shops have become quite a popular shopping outlet this season — why not get started with 17 at once? That’s right, Heather Gardens at 377 State Road in West Tisbury is hosting 17 pop-up shops, Island Made Holiday Gifts, through Christmas Eve. Here you’ll find offerings from SRS-Grunden Pottery, Janet Messineo’s horseshoe crab designs, books by Cynthia Riggs and Alice Early, textiles by Suzy Zell, Linda Alley’s homemade jams, and many more. Chances are there’s something here for everyone on your list. Hours are 10 am to 5 pm daily.
Making our way up to Menemsha, you’ll find pop-up shops at Pandora’s Box, Menemsha Deli, and Ruel Gallery this season. Shoppers can find Salt MV at Pandora’s Box, located at 4 Basin Road in Chilmark. It’s open Wednesdays, and Friday through Sunday, 10 am to sunset. Meanwhile, the Salt Rock Chocolate Co. will pop up at the Menemsha Deli on Wednesdays and Saturdays, 12 to 4 pm through Dec. 19. You can find it at 24 Basin Road in Chilmark. Why choose between chocolate and unique designs when you can have both? At Ruel Gallery, you can find paintings by Colin Ruel, jewelry by Nettie Kent, and hats, shirts, and M.V. secession flags. They are open on the weekends in December from 11 am – 4 pm. Vist ruelgallery.com and nettiekent.com.
Hoping to do your holiday shopping online this year? Martha’s Vineyard Made offers an assortment of artisan goods, all made on-Island. From Michael Blanchard photography books to Flatpoint Farms goat milk soap, M.V. Made gives the gift of options, all of which can be shipped locally, across the country, and beyond. The showroom, located at 29 Main St. in Vineyard Haven, is open by appointment or for order pickup. Visit the website at marthasvineyardmade.com for more information or to place an order.
Finally, Islanders can embrace this unique year with a unique shopping experience. The Northeast Indigenous Artists Holiday Market is a brand-new, online-only market running through Dec. 11. This market comes to us thanks to the efforts of the Aquinnah Cultural Center and the Northeast Indigenous Arts Alliance. Here you’ll find goods handcrafted by Native artisans, including unique jewelry, intricate artwork, and various accessories. To find the market, visit facebook.com/groups/NIAHM, and send a request to join the group.