It could be me maturing, working more, or having a wonderful place to live, but I’ve grown to really enjoy leisure time at home. I have taken a recent interest, or slight obsession, with doing jigsaw puzzles. I’d love to give everyone in my life a 1,000-piece puzzle, but realistically they’re just not for everyone. However, it did inspire me to shop local for cozy gifts that can be enjoyed at home. The happiness I feel when I do a jigsaw puzzle is something I want to pass along to my family and loved ones.
Walking around Oak Bluffs, I stopped into Phillips Hardware. The puzzles in the windows lured me in. By the door they have a rack of Island books. A recent conversation with one of my coworkers about ghosts makes me think she would love to snuggle up and read this book by Tom Dresser titled “Ghosts of Martha’s Vineyard.”
Walking back to my car, I saw that the Lazy Frog was open. I haven’t been inside in a number of years, so I figured I’d hop in. The first thing I saw was a game of cornhole, which I am going to try to convince my boss to buy for our office. We would have some competitive fun with this addition. They had all sorts of games, puzzles, and toys. I decided to get the game of Vineyard-Opoly for my brother. Memories of us fighting over Boardwalk and Park Place could be rehashed as adults, if he dares to challenge me. A good winter storm (or pandemic) might get us together to play, and if that time comes, we will be prepared.
Another great spot for holiday shopping is the Toy Box in Vineyard Haven. Lots of toys and games, and convenience of parking is an added bonus. If you’re shopping for children, this is the place to go, and there’s plenty for adults too. I admit, I did buy a puzzle, but it wasn’t for myself. I plan to send my cousin, who is currently living in England, a Vineyard signs puzzle. (Secretly, I am hoping she sends it back to me for me to do when she is done.)
Also at Toy Box, I found a simple Pocket Star Finder, which will make a great gift for my boyfriend. Since we both have porches, we can explore the stars together — how romantic. Speaking of romance, for him I also found a pair of what I think are funny boxer briefs. Rainy Day has a few to choose from. Since he is a fisherman, or thinks he is, I picked out the pair that says “Bait & Tackle” on them, which I find particularly humorous — he will too.
My best friend recently had a baby, and she loves to journal. Among the variety of themed journals at Rainy Day, I found a “Mother’s Memory Journal,” along with a sparkly pink pen to match. I can picture her snuggled up in her bed scribbling away in it while the baby sleeps. I also picked up Vineyard Wick & Bath scented bath salts. They carried scents such as Vineyard Waters, Beach Cottage, and I chose Wash Ashore. From what I hear, when you become a mom, a bath for yourself is worth doing right, so I’ll splurge for her.
If there is a musician, or aspiring musician, in your life, Island Music is a great stop to shop. Three types of harmonicas on the shelf caught my attention. They look as though they are made of good-quality materials, along with everything else for sale in the store. Just going into the space, hearing music, and seeing an employee stringing a guitar made me wish I knew how to play a musical instrument.
I’ve never heard of a DIY Miniature House, but they have them at Bunch of Grapes — three different styles. It is a kit that reminds me of an adult Lego set. A good friend of mine is obsessed with anything mini. I wasn’t planning on getting her a gift, but because it is so perfect I just had to get it. I have a feeling she will be excited and surprised when she opens this one-of-a-kind project. When she is done assembling it, the lights inside even light up!
Known for its clothing and footwear, Brickman’s in Vineyard Haven also has an entire section of its store devoted to hobbies, toys, and activities. A Tech Deck finger skateboard will make a great fidget toy for a friend who is always restless. One of my close guy friends decided to build a home gym during the pandemic, which he uses almost every day. I found a cardio speed rope that will make a good addition, and it’s unlikely he already has one because he prefers to lift weights.
I wouldn’t be able to write this article about my holiday shopping without admitting I saved my last stop for Granite in Edgartown. Anyone I missed or couldn’t find something for, I can definitely get there.
As much as I enjoy my time at home, it was a real pleasure to get out and explore some of our Island stores. Looking around, talking to people, and spending money was really fun. I can’t wait to give out these gifts to their recipients. My hopes are if I give my family and loved ones something to do at home, they won’t spend their time texting me — maybe I’ll be able to work on my puzzle in peace.