Holiday Shopping for the Agoraphobic

So there I was, standing in line at Filene’s on Connecticut today, and I swear I must have gotten the trainee cashier. I hadn’t eaten lunch yet and it took so long that by the time I was done my hands were shaking so badly from low blood sugar that I could barely sign the receipt. Usually I do all my holiday shopping online, but I got a late start this year and I’m running out of time to wait for shipping. So what’s a crowd-hating, mall-disdaining, DC-based shopper to do?

Anyone who has been reading Metroblogging DC for any length of time knows about, but might forget, the many fine open-air markets available in and around DC. Excellent for the shopper who needs to pick things up and hold them before deciding as well as the person who can’t stand a big crowd in an enclosed space. In addition to the Holiday market mentioned earlier today, there’s Eastern Market, the Georgetown Flea Market, the Clarendon Antiques Market, etc. I’ve found some terrific photography gifts at such places, and there’s usually an array of other interesting things to be found as well. You never know, you might just be supporting a Metroblogger in the process.

There’s the ever popular White House Christmas Ornament. We mentioned these last year- they’re great for like, grandmas and stuff who are oh-so-proud of their progeny who have moved to Washington. I can just hear my own grandma saying, “Oh, my granddaughter got that for me on her lunch break. She works just near the White House, you know…” Anything that gives Grandma bragging rights at the bridge club is an excellent gift.

And then, of course, you can make your own damn gifts. Photojojo has a great guide on photo-related gifts this year, and of course Flickr has a selection as well, in addition to a huge Creative Commons-licensed pool of images you can use if you’re not a shutterbug. Might I suggest the Metroblogging DC Flickr Pool as a starting point?

As for me, well, I’m still not done, so now I’m looking for your suggestions. What are your favorite less-crowded places to look for gifts locally?

1 Comment so far

  1. Mik (unregistered) on December 19th, 2006 @ 9:07 am

    I hate malls, with a passion, anything I can purchase online I do. For Nans and Grammies though, I try to purchase touristy thimbles and silver-plated spoons. For local friends who enjoy a pint or two, gift certificates to Four Courts, or some such place is a great idea, or instead of a gift certificate, a creative way of inviting them out to dinner, such as a computer generated I.O.U a meal type of dealio. That way, you can enjoy your favourite restaurant together with the company of good friends.

    I’m a big fan of pens, and when I say ‘pens’, I mean fountain pens and inks, so although I abhor Fahrney’s over on G Street, they usually have cool gifts, as does Paradise Pen over in Tyson’s (the one in Pentagon sucks big, hairy donkey balls). The Papery over in Arlington (Clarendon) is a pretty neat shop, and I believe there are a few similar shops all over Georgetown, and in odd places such as P Street.



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