December 1, 2014

Local Cheer: Our 2014 RVA Holiday Gift Guide

It seems as if we blinked and now it's December! This is a favorite time of year for us, where seasonal smells and traditions seem to be around every corner — a busy time, and a chance to catch up with family and friends without the normal hustle and bustle of our daily routine.

When heading out to holiday gatherings, we always like to bring a little something along with local origins — it's always a great conversation piece and makes us feel good about spreading a little local cheer. Today we wanted to take the opportunity to highlight some of our choice gift picks this river city has to offer. Whether looking for a select option to bring to a holiday party or ideas to knock out your entire gift list, we've rounded up some of our favorite local goodies and offerings from Richmond spots to make it a very RVA season!

RVA Foodie

1. Give your favorite beer lover a growler filled with Ardent Craft Ale's seasonal sweet potato sage saison — with 3 sizes to choose from, the amber glass bottles are fun to display and can be refilled for a chance to try every year-round and seasonal beer Ardent has to offer.

2 & 5: Stop by Little House Green Grocery on the way to holiday brunch and pick up a bag of Blanchard's Coffee Holiday Blend and a bottle of Blue Bee Cider to help get the gathering going.

3. Made with Virginia peanut butter, Gearhart's Chocolate peanut butter pups are cute and support a good cause. For every PUPS box sale, 5% goes to Companions for Heroes, who work hard to match rescue pets as companion animals to our nation's wounded veterans.

4. Pucker up! Pickled Silly combines yummy veggies, savory brine, flavorful spices, and lots of crunch that just gets better with time.​ Pick up a jar of our favorite — Dilly Beans — at Belmont  Butchery on the way to your next get together as a hostess gift to be shared.

6. For a true gourmet heirloom, find one of these sycamore cutting boards at Na Nin's Studio Shop. Handcrafted, each unique board requires anywhere from one to three hours to complete and will only get better with use and time.

7. Make a coffee lover's gift set out of the Blanchard's holiday blend when paired with this But First, Coffee mug designed by local design duo, Sarah and Ryan Parker of Milk & Honey Luxuries.

8. Drop by Harvest Grocery + Supply to find an array of unique gift ideas and grocery staples. Through the holiday season, you can choose from an array of gift boxes, including this Virginia is for Lovers variation — from salt to salves, this box will surely satisfy the localvore in your life.

RVA Style

1. Blur the lines between casual and formal with one of Richmond Thread Labs' wool tweed bow ties from Christie Thompson's latest collection, Midnight City.

2. Hand-knit fingerless gloves from local knitwear designer, Leney Breeden, allow for comfort and the freedom to use your — you guessed it — fingers. Available in 6 color options, find a pair for everyone on your list.

3. Find handcrafted jewelry designs, like these painted ID bangles, from local designer, Aimee Munford at Addison Handmade & Vintage. This local spot is located just across the street from the Addison Street Lamplighter cafe and is a collective of seven different creative owners who work to promote unique handmade and vintage goods.

4. The perfect present for the newlyweds in your life — Mr. & Mrs. T-Shirts from Richmond natives, Jody and Karl of Blackbird Tees. You'll want to check out their full collection of illustrated and screen-printed original designs — everything's done by hand in their home studio with ethically manufactured apparel.

5. Give a little bit of luxury with this red and green tartan Lindsay lambswool scarf from local menswear brand, Ledbury. Crafted from 100% Scottish-spun lambswool, it's sure to become a classic new favorite in any winter wardrobe.

RVA Home & Hostess
1. This mason jar ornament would make a charming gift for friends & coworkers, or a welcome stocking stuffer. It comes in a variety of color options from an endearing collection of handmade small-scale pottery by local potter, Tasha McKelvey.

2. Spell it out! From initials and monograms to clever turns of phrase, a personalized pillow from local artist and interior designer, Jillian Carmine, will be a big hit.

3. A few bars of this Swedish Dream sea salt soap always make their way into Tim's Christmas stocking — they're one of our favorite B&B products, inspired by simple Swedish style, but made in America. Find them locally at Quirk Gallery among a host of other unique and clever gift offerings.

4. There's no better way to keep up with #RVA than giving the gift of Richmond Magazine. This independent, locally owned city publication covers the latest and greatest in Richmond food, events, and news — plus you'll receive copies of RHome & Richmond Bride when subscribing.

5. With scents like basil, campfire and rosemary mint, a Square Trade Goods Co. candle will earn you "best gifter" points this holiday season. The candles are hand poured in small batches using top quality U.S. made ingredients. You can find them locally at the newly opened High Point Barbershop & Shave Parlor — a great excuse to get fresh style and a hostess gift before hitting the party.

RVA Kids & Pets
1. Turn your favorite Instagram snaps into a personalized wooden memory match game — order a set from local blogger and DIY enthusiast, Linda Smith of Burlap & Blue.

2. Start your little ones out early by showing off their RVA love with a foodie bodysuit handprinted on organic fabric by Richmond designer, Chyrie Sell.

3. See your children's eyes light up as they watch their drawings leap off the page into 3D format with this 3D drawing pad from local toy shop, World of Mirth.

4. We're big fans of taking the nieces and nephew to our local Children's Museum. With 4 Richmond locations, a family membership will provide hours of entertainment and education all year long.

5. Give your furry friends the gift of safety and style with one of these reflective safety dog collars, handmade here in Richmond by Leslie Taubenberger of Good Life Pet Supply.

6. It's no secret we're big fans of natural sweet potato treats for our big guy! If you're looking for a great gift idea for the pups in your life, these are a great chew to try — they're made in the USA and offered by local pet supplier, Best Bully Sticks.

Making an RVA Difference

1. Share the values of a cooperative mind and help open the doors to a food Co-op here in Richmond by giving the gift of Richmond's Food Co-op membership.

2. Give the gift of helping thousands of deserving, orphaned animals, to find a second chance for a happy life in a permanent, loving home and support the many lifesaving programs and services of the Richmond SPCA when donating to this great cause. Gifts can be made in honor or in memory of a pet or person who means the world to you and a special card will be mailed to your Honoree or their family!

3. Help inspire Richmond's youth! SPARC inspires young people, ages 3-18, to reach their full potential through quality training in the performing arts. For over 33 years, SPARC has provided the youth of the Richmond region distinctive performing arts training, and moreover, an opportunity to develop self-esteem, confidence, and social and leadership skills. As a nonprofit organization, SPARC relies on donations from individuals, foundations and corporations to continue the highest level of training, performance and outreach throughout the year. Learn more here.

4. Help support food programs like Meals on Wheels, the Richmond Food Bank and Community Kitchen with a gift to Feedmore. FeedMore’s Holiday Cards honor loved ones, friends and colleagues by providing crucial nourishment to neighbors in need. Each card benefits feeding programs for elderly or disabled homebound clients, children and families in our community. Learn more here.

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It's truly amazing what our local community has to offer in terms of creativity, innovation and community — we'd love to know what local spots and goods are topping your holiday list this year?

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  1. love everything on this list! thanks for making such a great gift guide!

  2. I love your finds! Thank you for including my mug among such fantastic RVA finds. xx

  3. So many good gift ideas here! My husband and I are addicted to al the Pickled Silly products and I adore Blackbird Tees!


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