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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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October 2017

Join the 11th Annual CancerCare Fairfield Walk/Run for Hope at Jennings Beach, 880 South Benson Road in Fairfield, Connecticut, Sunday, October 15, 2017. Walk or run to celebrate survivors, support...

Cost: $35-40 for Adults

Where:
Jennings Beach
880 South Benson Rd
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Sponsor: CancerCare
Telephone: 212-712-6165
Contact Name: Erica Lebensberg
Website »

More information

Registration is open for the annual Walk/Run for Abilis that will be held at Greenwich Point Park (Tod's&nbs...

Cost: $35 for 5k run

Where:
Greenwich Point Park
Tod's Driftway
Old Greenwich, CT  06870
View map »


Sponsor: Abilis
Telephone: 203-531-1880
Contact Name: Erica Klair
Website »

More information

The Fairfield Chamber of Commerce is  happy to announce that its annual fall “Harvest Market” will be held on the Old Town Hall Green, (corner of Old Post Road and Beach Road) on...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Old Town Hall Green
611 Old Post Road
Corner of Old Post Rd & Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Sponsor: Fairfield Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 203-255-1011
Contact Name: Krista McCormack
Website »

More information

Bring the family to Pequot Library’s Great Lawn on Sunday, October 15 from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. to discover what life was like on the home front during WWI with hands-on activities for all...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext.115
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

Sunday, October 15th Calf Pasture Beach Calf Pasture Beach Road Norwalk, CT 06851 Check-in: 3:00 pm Walk Begins: 4:00 pm Route Length: 3 miles The Lupus Foundation of America's...

Cost: Free but registration is appreciated. $100 incentive level for t-shirt

Where:
Calf Pasture Beach
Calf Pasture Beach Road
Norwalk, CT  06851
View map »


Website »

More information

Music on the Hill opens its fall concert season with the Festival Chorus performing "The Power of Song" with artistic directors David H. Connell and Ellen Dickinson. An uplifting...

Cost: $20 in advance; $25 at the door; students, free.

Where:
Unitarian Church in Westport
10 Lyons Plains Road
Westport, CT  06880
View map »


Sponsor: Music on the Hill
Telephone: 203-529-3133
Contact Name: Music on the Hill
Website »

More information

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

A weeklong celebration of art with programs for all ages and fine art for sale. Related Programming: Saturday, October 14 - Sunday, October 22: Green Art Show Sunday, October 15: Gallery Talk...

Cost: See details for each program

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext.115
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

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Favorite memories, reminders and images of home are on display at the City of Norwalk Parking Authority’s Maritime Garage Gallery. “Memories Of Our Town,” features art in a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203- 831-9063
Contact Name: maritime garage gallery
Website »

More information

Nikon Small World  exhibition runs July 29 - October 29, 2017 at Bruce Museum This exhibit showcases the top 20 award-winning photographs of the 42nd annual Nikon Small World...

Cost: $10 adult,$8 senior/student, under 5 and member free. Free on Tuesdays to all

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Website »

More information

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

A weeklong celebration of art with programs for all ages and fine art for sale. Related Programming: Saturday, October 14 - Sunday, October 22: Green Art Show Sunday, October 15: Gallery Talk...

Cost: See details for each program

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext.115
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

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Click here to attend the 3rd Annual SilverSource Autumn Breakfast when investors and innovators will explore how exciting advances in technology will improve our lives. Now more than ever,...

Cost: starting at $75

Where:
Crowne Plaza Stamford Hotel
2701 Summer St.
Stamford, CT  06905
View map »


Sponsor: SilverSource
Telephone: 203-273-2218
Contact Name: Laura Roberts
Website »

More information

Favorite memories, reminders and images of home are on display at the City of Norwalk Parking Authority’s Maritime Garage Gallery. “Memories Of Our Town,” features art in a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203- 831-9063
Contact Name: maritime garage gallery
Website »

More information

Nikon Small World  exhibition runs July 29 - October 29, 2017 at Bruce Museum This exhibit showcases the top 20 award-winning photographs of the 42nd annual Nikon Small World...

Cost: $10 adult,$8 senior/student, under 5 and member free. Free on Tuesdays to all

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Website »

More information

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

A weeklong celebration of art with programs for all ages and fine art for sale. Related Programming: Saturday, October 14 - Sunday, October 22: Green Art Show Sunday, October 15: Gallery Talk...

Cost: See details for each program

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext.115
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Favorite memories, reminders and images of home are on display at the City of Norwalk Parking Authority’s Maritime Garage Gallery. “Memories Of Our Town,” features art in a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203- 831-9063
Contact Name: maritime garage gallery
Website »

More information

Nikon Small World  exhibition runs July 29 - October 29, 2017 at Bruce Museum This exhibit showcases the top 20 award-winning photographs of the 42nd annual Nikon Small World...

Cost: $10 adult,$8 senior/student, under 5 and member free. Free on Tuesdays to all

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Website »

More information

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

A weeklong celebration of art with programs for all ages and fine art for sale. Related Programming: Saturday, October 14 - Sunday, October 22: Green Art Show Sunday, October 15: Gallery Talk...

Cost: See details for each program

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext.115
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

Join us for a free tour of our permanent collection which includes European and American paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs, as well as a group of African, and Pre-Colombian objects. The...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Bellarmine Hall
Fairfield University
1073 North Benson Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

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On Thursday, October 19, 2017, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm,  Fairfield County Wedding Concierge will hold their first networking event for the Fairfield County bridal vendor community at Bespoke...

Cost: $10 in advance and $15 at the door

Where:
Bespoke Designs
5A Sconset Square
Westport, CT  06880
View map »


Sponsor: Fairfield County Wedding Concierge
Telephone: 203-864-5084
Contact Name: Gayle Szuchman

More information

Favorite memories, reminders and images of home are on display at the City of Norwalk Parking Authority’s Maritime Garage Gallery. “Memories Of Our Town,” features art in a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203- 831-9063
Contact Name: maritime garage gallery
Website »

More information

Nikon Small World  exhibition runs July 29 - October 29, 2017 at Bruce Museum This exhibit showcases the top 20 award-winning photographs of the 42nd annual Nikon Small World...

Cost: $10 adult,$8 senior/student, under 5 and member free. Free on Tuesdays to all

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Website »

More information

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

A weeklong celebration of art with programs for all ages and fine art for sale. Related Programming: Saturday, October 14 - Sunday, October 22: Green Art Show Sunday, October 15: Gallery Talk...

Cost: See details for each program

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext.115
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join all of your favorite Star personalities for Star 99.9 and Western Connecticut Health Network Pinktober's Bosom Ball Friday, October 20 at The Westport...

Cost: $25

Where:
The Westport Inn
1595 Post Road East
Westport, CT  06880
View map »


Sponsor: Star 99.9
Contact Name: Steve Soyland
Website »

More information

Favorite memories, reminders and images of home are on display at the City of Norwalk Parking Authority’s Maritime Garage Gallery. “Memories Of Our Town,” features art in a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203- 831-9063
Contact Name: maritime garage gallery
Website »

More information

Nikon Small World  exhibition runs July 29 - October 29, 2017 at Bruce Museum This exhibit showcases the top 20 award-winning photographs of the 42nd annual Nikon Small World...

Cost: $10 adult,$8 senior/student, under 5 and member free. Free on Tuesdays to all

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Website »

More information

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

A weeklong celebration of art with programs for all ages and fine art for sale. Related Programming: Saturday, October 14 - Sunday, October 22: Green Art Show Sunday, October 15: Gallery Talk...

Cost: See details for each program

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext.115
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

A weeklong celebration of art with programs for all ages and fine art for sale. Related Programming: Saturday, October 14 - Sunday, October 22: Green Art Show Sunday, October 15: Gallery Talk...

Cost: See details for each program

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext.115
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

Saturday, Oct. 21   Innovation Day, 1 – 5 p.m. Discover, Dabble, Do-It-Yourself at Wilton Library’s annual Innovation Day! Join us for a festival of making, creating and demonstrating....

Cost: free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

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