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The Lost Art of Gift-Giving

Best Gifts For Anyone, Anytime



One local business created this special CT ornament for holiday 2016.

Photos by Jess Grutkowski

Remember when you actually had to visit a real store to buy a gift, wrap it yourself, and present it in person?

Well, those days are long gone thanks to online shopping and the giant gift-card kiosk at Stop & Shop. Now you can check off everyone on your holiday list while stocking up on toilet paper. How personal!

It’s not my goal to make you feel bad about giving a gift card. But in most cases it’s easier than you think to give a creative gift that says “I thought of you” (for more than five seconds and in the checkout line). Here are some ideas. 

Stay Local
Don’t forget that in addition to some terrific retail in Fairfield, our neighboring towns, from Ridgefield to Wilton to Westport have charming shops, not to mention make for a nice weekend drive. Everyone loves a few items in a basket or gift bag: try a home décor gift, pair it with a high end herbal tea, the book of the moment, and a box of homemade chocolates, and you have something that makes an impression on your recipient.

Keepsake With Tree Bling
We received a box of one-of-a-kind hand-painted holiday ornaments for our wedding shower. I smile every year we trim our tree. Any special ornament is a sweet gift for a couple just starting out and creating their own traditions. Henry C. Reid Jewelers also carries ornament enhancers by Waterford. These add sparkle to the tree and showcase some of a family’s more treasured tree decorations. 

Personal Is Always Better
When in doubt, add a monogram. This simple touch takes your gift from ordinary to keepsake. Several stationery shops will help you personalize everything from Lucite trays to baby clothes. Think outside of the monogram, too. Instead of initials, try a word or a special hashtag.

A Picture Is Priceless
One of my go-to gifts is a pretty picture frame featuring a memorable photo. Thanks to social media, it’s easy to grab images from Facebook or Instagram and get them printed online (Shutterfly, Print Studio, or Chatbooks). Put some extra photos inside the card for options. Trust me, it’s a winner. The mother of pearl frames at Olley Court in Ridgefield turn a simple photo into a wow factor. 

Gift Art
Art can be personal, but it doesn’t have to be. Fairfield is home to many talented local artists offering affordable artwork neutral enough to make anyone happy. Southport mom and artist Jen Scully of Mack & Ro is known for her free-spirited watercolor and signature acrylic on canvas artwork, which now adorns the walls of The Beehive. Check out mackandroshop.com to purchase her latest limited edition watercolor map print of Southport, perfect for any Fairfield-loving local. Gift it as is, or pop it in an inexpensive frame so it’s ready to hang. (Photo left: One of Jen Scully’s signature watercolors of local places. )

Man Gifts
Unless your guy sports a beard or brews beer at home, gifts for men can be so predictable. Try something useful and classic, like a new business card holder or sterling silver keychain from Fairfield Center Jewelers. For something out-of-the-box and more sentimental than a new tie, try framing your kids’ toddler-sized sports jerseys for your main man’s office or “cave.”

Something Useful
Personalized stationery is a classic and useful gift. There are infinite ways to personalize note pads—to the point you could gift everyone you know. Get your zip code emblazoned on it or dream up your own based on a favorite vacation destination, or your family members.

Gift Card Exceptions
Take a hall pass when you’re purchasing for teens; you’ll never pick the right gift. Gift cards also make sense for teachers because you shouldn’t give cash in an envelope. Otherwise, stick to gift cards that offer share-worthy experiences: dinner out, a show at a local theatre, or a massage. Grab a bunch of gift cards for “Dad’s Day Out,” complete with a gift card for his favorite cup of Joe, or a sports outing. 


Wrap It Up 
Don’t forget to wrap. No need for drugstore bought red and green paper. Use craft paper or recycle some of your child’s artwork then tie it off with simple ribbon (a real one) or twine. 

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May 2018

School Days. School days. Dear old golden rule days! Join the Norwalk Historical Society on Sunday, May 20, 2018 at 2:00pm at Mill Hill Historic Park for a trip back in time to those good old...

Cost: $5 general public/ $3 current teachers

Where:
Mill Hill Historic Park - Town House
2 East Wall St.
Handicapped parking on site only. All others follow signs to overflow parking across the street.
Norwalk, CT  06851
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Sponsor: Norwalk Historical Society
Telephone: 203-846-0525
Contact Name: Samantha Kulish-Fargione
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Cost: $40.00

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Wall Street Theater
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Norwalk, CT  06850
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Sponsor: Wall Street Theater
Telephone: 818-857-2390
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Cost: FREE

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SilverSource, Inc.
2009 Summer Street, 3rd Floor
2949 Long Ridge Rd
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Sponsor: SilverSource, Inc.
Telephone: 203-324-6584
Contact Name: Kathleen Bordelon
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Cost: $30/pp

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Norfield Church - Parish Hall
64 Norfield Road
Weston, CT, CT  06883
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Sponsor: WestonArts
Telephone: 917-363-5345
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Cost: $10 per person; Museum members and children under 5 free

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Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
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Stamford, CT  06905
View map »


Sponsor: SilverSource, Inc.
Telephone: 203-324-6584
Contact Name: Kathleen Bordelon
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Cost: FREE

Where:
SilverSource, Inc.
2009 Summer Street, 3rd Floor
2949 Long Ridge Rd
Stamford, CT  06905
View map »


Sponsor: SilverSource, Inc.
Telephone: 203-324-6584
Contact Name: Kathleen Bordelon
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Cost: $60.00

Where:
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684 Long Ridge Road
Stamford, CT  06902
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Sponsor: Stamford EMS
Telephone: 203-252-2193
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Cost: $15/class or $70 for all 5 sessions

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Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
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Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346
Contact Name: Tracy Steneken
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Cost: FREE

Where:
SilverSource, Inc.
2009 Summer Street, 3rd Floor
2949 Long Ridge Rd
Stamford, CT  06905
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Sponsor: SilverSource, Inc.
Telephone: 203-324-6584
Contact Name: Kathleen Bordelon
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Cost: FREE

Where:
SilverSource, Inc.
2009 Summer Street, 3rd Floor
2949 Long Ridge Rd
Stamford, CT  06905
View map »


Sponsor: SilverSource, Inc.
Telephone: 203-324-6584
Contact Name: Kathleen Bordelon
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Cost: $42 Members Save:$5 /tckt

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70 Sanford Street
Fairfield, CT  06824
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KMR Arts is proud to present MAYDAY, an exhibition of new photographs by Barbara Vaughn. Please join us for the opening reception with the artist on June 2, 2018, from 3-7pm, 2 Titus Road,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot , CT  06794
View map »


Website »

More information

SilverSource – the leading resource for older adults and their families– announced today that it is now accepting nominations for the 2018 SilverSource Awards.  The awards...

Cost: FREE

Where:
SilverSource, Inc.
2009 Summer Street, 3rd Floor
2949 Long Ridge Rd
Stamford, CT  06905
View map »


Sponsor: SilverSource, Inc.
Telephone: 203-324-6584
Contact Name: Kathleen Bordelon
Website »

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Where:
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1 First Stamford Place
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Website »

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KMR Arts is proud to present MAYDAY, an exhibition of new photographs by Barbara Vaughn. Please join us for the opening reception with the artist on June 2, 2018, from 3-7pm, 2 Titus Road,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot , CT  06794
View map »


Website »

More information

SilverSource – the leading resource for older adults and their families– announced today that it is now accepting nominations for the 2018 SilverSource Awards.  The awards...

Cost: FREE

Where:
SilverSource, Inc.
2009 Summer Street, 3rd Floor
2949 Long Ridge Rd
Stamford, CT  06905
View map »


Sponsor: SilverSource, Inc.
Telephone: 203-324-6584
Contact Name: Kathleen Bordelon
Website »

More information

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Cost: $10.00

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Wall Street Theater
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Sponsor: Wall Street Theater
Telephone: 203-283-5290
Contact Name: Jeanne Moore
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Where:
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