Holiday Gift Guide: Waited till the last minute?

Holiday Gift Guide: Waited till the last minute?
Simon Pearce’s signature pieces are the Vermont Evergreens. (Photo/Louise Krafft)

By Louise Krafft

It’s crunch time! With only a few days left in the holiday season, stop by an Alexandria shop or two to fill that stocking or grab a gift for your favorite family member. 

Opal Music Studio 

Opal Music Studio at 607 Prince St. has gift certificates of four to six lessons in the instrument of your choosing. The studio, founded in 2008, now offers lessons in a wide array of instruments, including piano, guitar, mandolin, ukulele, banjo, violin, cello, clarinet, saxophone and the oboe. The teachers are all practicing professionals and are well-versed in a broad range of styles and the art of motivating students of all ages.

The studio at 607 Prince St. has gift certificates of four to six lessons. (Photo/Hannah K. Williams)

The studio also offers a piccolo class for young musicians aged 3.5 to 5. This is a small-group class for musicians designed to build a love of music and a strong musical foundation in the youngest students. Children who love music and are excited to start playing an instrument will adore this class. To purchase, email the studio at or call the office at 571-970-2615. 

School of Rock 

The School of Rock is offering an immersion pass, which includes four lessons for $99. This pass is a set of four 30-minute lessons meant to provide an introduction into School of Rock programs. These are in-person only and are available to new enrollments as well as existing students on guitar, bass, keyboard, drums and/or vocals. For more details contact or call 571-376-7625. 


If you’re still looking for something for her, stop by and browse the many holiday gift sets at Bellacara located at 1000 King St. Bellacara, a boutique for fine cosmetic, skin care and hair care products, has been a staple in Old Town for the past 23 years. 

There are many great products to choose from, including Antica Farmacista’s white spruce reed diffuser and scented candle set for $124. Already in a perfect gift box set, this includes a diffuser, candle and diffuser tray. Not to be overlooked are the Kusshi signature makeup bags which range in price from $45. These bags are leak-proof and machine washable with a colorful removable lining and zippers on each side to provide full visibility to your products inside. 

London-based Molton Brown has plentiful gift sets, including the Orange & Bergamot classic hand wash and lotion. For $60, you can get a combined 20 fluid ounces of product to spruce up the winter scents. Molton Brown also offers a floral and aromatic liquid soap set of three for $80, including orange and bergamot; pink pepper; and cypress and sea fennel. 

But if you can’t decide on just one or three scents, Bellacara also sells Molton Brown’s stocking stuffer set of 10 miniature body washes for $50 with a variety of scents, including amber, jasmine, rhubarb and rose, gingerlily and black pepper. 

Family History Intelligence 

A gift for the ages might include a gift certificate for a family history from Old Town resident and former CIA analyst Lisa Maddox’s Family History Intelligence service. Maddox and her team of researchers incorporate your ancestors’ narratives into a custom, private website, creating an interactive family history with a family tree. Relatives can easily share and add to the story. All documents, pictures, maps and data is uploaded onto the site, serving as a library that provides enduring access for families. 

A “preliminary dig” at $50 determines if there is enough available material and data to develop a family history project. Within a week, preliminary research results are made available along with a custom project proposal. You can also purchase gift cards for $50 on their website. For more information, visit 

The Happy Place Gift Bar Boutique 

For a few novelty gifts, stop by The Happy Place at 105 S. Union St. The locally owned shop is filled with holiday themed glitz tops, shimmer shorts, Christmas sweaters, cups, tumblers, sweatshirts, pillows, candles and puzzles to name just a few things. 

Perfect for a young adult, teenager or college-aged students, these gifts are brightly colored and work as stocking stuffers. The Happy Place offers Christmas-specific items or their very own “Happy Face” shop. Between happy face daisy hats for $25, mini tie dye backpacks for $44 and slippers for $25, there is no shortage of products to choose from. 

Simon Pearce 

If you’re looking for a lasting treasure, you might stop by Simon Pearce, located at 721 King St. Pearce, a native of Ireland, relocated to the United States in 1981 and opened a glass blowing and ceramic factory mill. Pearce’s products are inspired by centuries-old Georgian glass-making techniques and cut to perfection. The collection’s signature pieces are the handmade evergreens, which start at $175.

Pearce has a holiday shop, which includes ornaments, evergreens and tealights. The store also offers barware, drinkware, serveware, decor and bowls. 

The Dog Park 

And no forgetting the dog or cat in your life! The Dog Park, located at 705 King St., is an independently owned pet boutique filled with toys, treats, coats, collars, leashes, harnesses and costumes. The shop also carries beds, sweaters, and bowls. 

In addition, The Dog Park has artwork, greeting cards, mugs, picture frames, magnets and other items perfect for your dog or cat loving friend, pet sitter or dog walker. 

Le Vintage Wine 

Le Vintage Wine, located at 1218 King St., is a relatively new business in Old Town, but has made its mark as an accessible wine shop to Alexandrians. Le Vin offers a wide variety of carefully selected wines, beers and cheeses. There is also a big under $20 rack in the shop. Gift certificates are available online, or you can call the store at 703- 647-9802 or email cheers@