Well before Halloween, Sylma Cabrera, owner of the Pure Soul boutique on Bridge Street, put a big, festively decorated Christmas tree in the front window of her shop. Step inside and you’ll be greeted with the fragrance of Frasier Fir, to transport you instantly to Christmas morning.
“We have to push forward and embrace the holiday,” Ms. Cabrera said, echoing a sentiment many of us have felt in recent weeks.
2020 has been a difficult year and many feel worn down by the pandemic, the lockdown, the economic toll and the divisive election season. What better antidote than jumping into decorating for the holidays — maybe entering the Shelter Island Action Alliance contest that will benefit your neighbors?
And there are so many options for shopping local. Get those endorphins surging by thinking about what a special Christmas gift will mean for someone you care about.
In Pure Soul, there are Christmas-themed decorations and gifts, along with unique costume jewelry and accessories. Ms. Cabrera’s fashion offerings are generally loose, flatteringly draped apparel, perfect for at-home celebrations or dinner at a local restaurant. Some items are on sale. The store will be open on weekends through Thanksgiving.
Mary Lou Eichhorn’s Cornucopia is a source for gifts by Island artists and crafters, from Carol Wilson artworks to handmade knits and holiday chocolates. Ms. Eichhorn enjoys interacting with shoppers to help them choose the perfect gift. Shelter Island-themed pillows and hostess gifts may be a good choice for families who have recently become full-time Island residents.
The Historical Society’s Havens House Store is open Wednesdays through Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Additional Holiday Shopping Days have just been announced: Friday, Nov. 27 and Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020, the store will stay open to 4 p.m.
It is always accessible online as well. Popular local artists like Lora Lomuscio, Megan Hergrueter and Stephanie Sareyani and others have works for sale. Holly Cronin has bottled the fragrance of Winter in the Woods to give a room an instant Christmas aura. Jigsaw puzzles of Island maps and a painting of the South Ferry of long ago; books by local authors; pottery and glassware help make Island holidays unique.
Food gifts are a great idea, especially comfort food. You might put together a basket of pastas and sauce from Marie Eiffel Market, where there’s also a selection of French specialty items. Vine Street Cafe has packaged many of their signature sauces and organic food products for sale in their market. And speaking of food, a gift certificate to one of the Island’s restaurants and food shops would offer a welcome special meal for the recipient to enjoy while supporting our Island businesses and their staffs.
This is Part One of a two-part guide to holiday shopping on the Island.