Beth’s Favorite CNY Things for Christmas
Move over, Oprah. While Beth's list might not include $245 sipping tequila or $165 sweatpants (what??), all of it is made right here in Central New York and is totally worthy of being your 'Favorite Things.'
If you haven't heard, Oprah released her annual 'Favorite Things' list. If you but all 102 items on her list it'll set you back $12,000-ish. Pocket change for Oprah, but not for the rest of us. Besides, why not shop locally when you can?
I'll admit, my favorite CNY things include a lot of food. I'm looking at you, Thursday-night-special-at-The-Grapevine-that-I-can't-pronounce. Maybe you'd like to give someone a gift certificate to a restaurant as a gift - ain't nothing wrong with that. I tried to focus on some of my very favorite things that were not food. (Spoiler alert: it was hard.)
Beth's Favorite CNY Things
Utica Coffee If you're an early riser, or a later riser who just really loves good coffee, you need to try Utica Coffee Roasting Coffee. If you have, spread the love - it makes a great gift. On top of that, Frank and Heather are just super cool, and theirs is a great local business to support. My personal favorite is the Adirondack Blend. They even put together a gift basket along with other CNY favorites. (Okay, some of it's food.)
I'd Rather Be Upstate Mug First of all, this is a BIG mug. Whether it's holding coffee or ice cream, bigger is better, right? Second, this mug is made by Handmade Darling right out of Clinton. #shoplocal, amirite? The Etsy shop is owned by Rachel Bartunek, and this is just one of the cool and beautiful things she makes.
Artwork by Utica Artist Marie Vallese Her shop goes by the name Retro Sorrento, and she creates vibrant, energetic art, often capturing Utica landmarks. I dare you not to smile when you see one. Want to commemorate great nights spent at Saranac Thursday? Check out her illustration of the Brewery. She can even do custom pieces. Imagine your childhood home rendered in a custom illustration. What an amazing gift. She also has an Etsy shop with other great items you can purchase.
Basically, Anything from Signature 81 This Clinton shop collects items from the best Central New York artisans and offers them to you in the coziest, most adorable setting. Seriously, can't you think of at least 3 people on your Christmas list that would love those darling little rings? I know I can (raises hand). If the rings don't do, something else will - they carry everything from textiles to furniture. They even offer classes for the DIY lover in your family.
Give Someone the Utica Zoo Okay, so you can't actually give someone the Utica Zoo, but you can give them a Utica Zoo membership, which is practically the same thing. The Zoo is open 363 days a year, so it's probably the most useful thing you can give someone. And it's a double-duty gift: you give a great gift, and you help out the Utica Zoo and all their animals. Did I mention that they have red pandas?
Half-Moon Cookies I know, it's food. I couldn't help myself. They're just so darn delicious. You have an advantage. If you want half-moons, you just drive over to Holland Farms and get some. But all the other poor people in the country can't. Unless you're feeling generous and send them some. Yup, Holland Farms will ship half-moons to any of the 50 states.
So these are the items that make my CNY Favorite Things list. All the items won't cost you $12,000, and you'd probably rather have the half-moons than pay $165 for sweatpants. The best part is that each of these support a local CNY business.
What's your favorite CNY thing? What did I miss?