Holiday Gift Guide: Searching for that unusual last-minute gift

Holiday Gift Guide: Searching for that unusual last-minute gift
Graphic by Sasha Kochurova

By Louise Krafft

Still looking for a few last-minute gifts to put under the tree? Gift cards from local restaurants, spas, yoga studios or exercise facilities are tailored for last-minute shopping. Many places even offer special discounts on packages, such as 10 car washes or eight spin cycle classes. If you prefer to hand someone an actual gift, rather than a gift card, below are a few suggestions for unusual last-minute gifts. Remember, shopping local helps the entire city. Happy Holidays.

The Old Town Shop

Take a stroll down to South Union Street and peruse the offerings at The Old Town Shop, the only area business to feature a variety of local, curated artisan products – that are also offered at the Old Town Farmers’ Market – in the section of the store called “Locals’ Alley.” In addition, the Shop has created custom-designed “OTX” and Old Town Alexandria-branded merchandise.

Other gifts include gourmet food, books, collectives and hospitality gifts for tourists and residents. “The Port” is the section of the store that promotes the history of Alexandria, known as The Port City, with a representation of 12 state mile markers to depict the historic importance of the area.

The Old Town Shop is located at 105 S. Union St. Hours are Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Donna Lewis

“Our best, your better” is the trademark of Donna Lewis, who has been dressing customers for 16 years in the heart of Old Town. Donna Lewis, hidden within an ivy-walled courtyard on Cameron Street, is laden with his and hers dress, casual and yoga-wear clothing, shoes and accessories. The shop’s signature style is “rooted in the hand-crafted excellence of European bespoke, infused and updated with an expanding class of luxe global and American-made complements.”

Donna Lewis is located at 309B Cameron St. in the Norford Court. Hours are Monday to Friday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The Drinkable Globe

“The Drinkable Globe,” the third tome penned by local author Jeff Cioletti, is an entertaining and informative read for those interested in the origins and culture surrounding spirits – the drinkable ones.

“Drinks are culture. They’re part of the fabric of just about every country in the world and the best way to get to know a new place is to get to know what people are drinking there,” Cioletti said.

“The Drinkable Globe” is usually on the shelves at Barnes & Noble but is currently out of stock. It is available in Arlington at One More Page Books, located at 2200 N. Westmoreland St. Hours are Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday noon to 5 p.m. and Christmas Eve 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Imagine Artwear

Since 1988, Imagine Artwear has featured the best in contemporary American crafts. Imagine sells sophisticated clothing, jewelry and accessories made exclusively by American artists. The boutique is a gallery dedicated to displaying the talents of weavers, painters, surface designers, jewelers, potters, glass artists and furniture makers. Two of the holiday window displays feature entries from this year’s ManneqART Challenge. Imagine Artwear is located at 1124 King St. Hours are Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Home on Cameron

Home on Cameron combines Todd Martz’s interior design studio with a retail store. The store features a curated collection of upholstery include Lee Industries furniture and Martz’s designs that include custom dining, console and coffee tables crafted by a local DC cabinetmaker, art by established and emerging artists, antiques, couture chandeliers, lamps, colorful ceramics and even wooden toys and dog items. The eclectic collection of items, new and vintage, come together for Martz’s design showcase groupings.

“Color is Good” is one of the main design themes behind the store. Starting with neutral groupings, Martz shows how color may be used in different ways and intensities.

Home on Cameron is located at 315 Cameron St. Hours are Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m.


Have you remembered everyone, including your four-footed companions? PetSage carries a wide assortment of dog and cat toys, beds, caves, climbing trees and treats. In addition, PetSage offers an array of holistic pet products through its online and brickand-mortar store. Staff carefully select lines and product based on quality controls, sourcing and traceability.

PetSage is located at 2391 S. Dove St. in Alexandria. Hours through Dec. 22 are Tuesday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The store will be closed from Dec. 23 through Dec. 26.