Holiday Gift Guide 2020: Keep gatherings and shopping small this season

Holiday Gift Guide 2020: Keep gatherings and shopping small this season
(Graphic/Lyvian Sieg)

By Lindsey Sullivan |

A lot has changed this year. COVID-19 guidelines in Virginia have recently restricted gatherings to 25 people or less, and this could put a damper on upcoming holiday celebrations with friends and family.

But whether you’re gathering virtually or in person, you may still be looking for the perfect gift to give to your most treasured loved-ones, and what better way to say “I love you” than with a hand-picked item from one of Alexandria’s own small businesses?

Alexandria shops have a lot to offer. Below are some of our top picks for gifts that will support small business. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for more ideas in our Holiday Gift Guide series.

Made in ALX

This botanical print “kit” bag is hand-made by Garden Home, a small-batch, woman-owned company in Alexandria, and is avail- able for purchase on the Made in ALX website. (Photo/Made in ALX)

If you’re nervous about shopping in-person but are in the market for hand-made gifts, look no further than Made in ALX, a brand new virtual maker’s market featuring a variety of locally crafted goods.

The website is a one-stop-shop that is sure to have something for everyone, including candles, clothing, cards, jewelry, prints and more.

Beth Lawton, co-founder of Made in ALX alongside Lore Burek, launched the online business in early November out of a growing community interest in supporting local businesses since the start of the pandemic.

“We thought this would be a good way for people to find and support local artists, shop locally and online safely, and keep money in Alexandria,” Lawton said.

Vintage Mirage

Unique vintage jewelry is available at Vintage Mirage, a consignment clothing and accessory store in Alexandria owned by Elinor Coleman. (Photo/Vintage Mirage)

If the person you’re shopping for this holiday season enjoys designer fashion and vintage clothing and accessories, Vintage Mirage has much to offer.

With consignment clothing and jewelry from the 1860s to today, Vintage Mirage has well-loved items, including one-of-a-kind semi-precious and precious jewelry, scarves, purses, hats, coats, gloves, belts, high-end scarves, blouses and gowns.

From now until the end of the holiday season, get free gift-wrapping with any purchase of $20 or more. Online shopping is also available at, and by spending more than $25, use the code vintage10 for 10% off your purchase.

“Our whole mission has always been to offer a very large range of items to the public; to find a new home for the items that have already been loved,” owner Elinor Coleman said.


Hand-made leather “catch-all” trays are a popular gift item at Serafino in Old Town. (Photo/Serafino)

For fine leather goods and accessories, stop into Serafino in the Midtown section of Old Town, where owners Liz and Hassan Tehrani offer hand-selected products from small family-owned workshops in Italy.

Serafino features larger items like leather bags and backpacks as well as smaller gift items like wallets, keychains and other accessories. One of their most popular gift items, Liz Tehrani said, are their leather catch-all trays available in multiple colors and shapes.

Now through the holiday season, Serafino is running a donation drive to collect gently used purses for Penelope’s Purses, an organization that seeks to empower homeless women in the D.C. area by providing them with a purse filled with essential items.

Shop in person or on their website at Get up to 50% off certain items during their Black Friday sales, and get free home-delivery when you shop online.

Acme Mid Century and Modern

These Japanese wood-cut animals are another popular holiday gift item available at Acme Mid Century and Modern. (Photo/Acme Mid Century and Modern)

If unique home goods are what you’re looking for, Acme Mid Century and Modern might have just what you need. Acme offers an array of vintage and modern furniture and household items such as lamps, barware, accessories and art.

Pierre Paret, owner of Acme, said one of Acme’s most popular gift items is their small Japanese wood-cut animal figures by Senshukai. A more affordable option, Acme offers over 20 different versions of these unique animal wood-cuts.

Other popular items at Acme are their smaller vintage lamps and a lemon-juicing sculpture that resembles a rocket-ship.

Get 20% off all vintage items during Acme’s Black Friday sales, and shop in person or online at

Hops n Shine

Some people prefer gift-giving through experiences over tangibles, and Hops n Shine is offering just that.

Hops n Shine offers holiday card-making, ornament-decorating, gingerbread house making and cookie-decorating activities at the restaurant for families to participate in while they eat.

Throughout the holiday season, Hops is also offering a virtual “12 beers of Christmas,” “8 Whiskeys of Hanukkah” and a monthly craft-brew subscription featuring exclusive beers from local breweries.

“The big thing about Hops n Shine is that we are big on experiences, so the craft-making and the holiday cards, it’s something more than just going to a restaurant,” C.J. Cross, managing partner at Hops n Shine, said. “For families right now, they are craving this kind of thing — an activity for the kids to do, and the parents can relax for an hour or two.”

Old Town Sock Co.

Fun socks are the perfect holiday stocking stuffer, available at Old Town Sock Co., which offers more than 1,500 different prints, patterns and designs of socks in-store or online. (Photo/Old Town Sock Co.)

Add some fun to holiday stockings this year with unique socks from Old Town Sock Co.

This sock shop in Old Town features a variety of fun and affordable sock options for all your stocking-stuffer and gift-item needs.

With more than 1,500 prints, colors and designs, you’re sure to find the perfect pair to give to someone special this holiday season. Shop in-person or online at


The Hive

The Hive is currently offering a specific line of gift options, including advent calendars with pins, charms, stamps and other goodies. (Photo/The Shoe Hive)

Maybe the person you’re shopping for loves keeping up with the latest fashion trends. If so, The Hive and The Shoe Hive have a variety of gift options including designer apparel, shoes and accessories.

These twin boutiques in Alexandria’s historic shopping district provide clothes and shoes from popular brands such as Rag & Bone, Tibi, Golden Goose and more. They are currently offering a specific line of gift options as well, including advent calendars with pins, charms, stamps and other goodies and smaller, more affordable options like jewelry, mugs and journals.

Shop The Hive and The Shoe Hive in-person or online at

Whether it’s hand-made locally crafted goods or a fun family experience you’re craving, spend your holiday shopping in Alexandria’s own small businesses this year, and spread holiday cheer to your loved ones while supporting local businesses too.