With the remaining shopping days until Christmas, you could just keep jockeying for parking spots and keep standing in endless box-store lines with your cart full of stuff.
You could. Or you might remember that beneath the clawing clamor for today-only lightning deals, a marketplace of beautiful, quality, locally made gifts is here too. And that there are local artisans who put heart and soul into their craft, who ply their trade honestly, who are your neighbors.
In Windsor alone, the maker tradition is alive and well. Several craftspeople, many of them home-based, offer a variety of thoughtful gift possibilities—large and small, edible and very much non-edible, and in a range of price points.
Show your support for a community’s local economy and consider putting some of these Windsor-made products under the tree:
You haven’t held a snow globe until you’ve held one of these. These exquisite objects are, in fact, pieces of art, and they’re all designed right here in Windsor. For over a decade, CoolSnowGlobes co-owners, Liz Ross and David Westby, have been producing snow globes that now are being sold...around the globe.
Carl Goulet, baker and pastry chef, has been making his signature cookies since 1992, starting out with a table at the farmers’ market. Nowadays you can find Covered Bridge Cookies all over the Upper Valley, and usually a nice variety. Lots of folks swear by the chocolate chip cookies (and who wouldn’t?), but the Maple Shortbreads are pretty special, too.
Let’s hear it for the people who find beauty in things that have seen better days. Robin Ploof is one of those people, and her talent is in reclaiming, refurbishing, and reimagining old furniture and home decor. With gorgeous new coats of paint and tasteful, personal touches, Ploof does more than salvage these pieces. She elevates them.
Emery Morse and Sandy Connolly of Windsor make a great team. As they say on their website, Emery is the creative woodworker—of cutting boards, serving trays, picture frames, puzzles and games—and Sandy “promotes the heck out of everything.” You might have seen them at craft fairs in the area, but if you missed them there, contact them through their website to order.
Yes, it’s every bit as enchanting as it sounds. Moira Hershey hasn’t been at it long, but her handmade, mineral-rich and herb-infused “bath bombs” are clearly the work of a sorceress at the height of her powers. Follow the Crystal Witch’s Instagram for spellbinding pics and GIFs, and message her for info on how to capture these soothing charms.
If it can contain poured wax, it can be a candle. At least that’s Becky Stern’s feeling on the matter, and she’s been filling reclaimed votives, teacups, and vintage jars with melted soy wax and an assortment of essential oils (Island Coconut, Lavender Cucumber, Lilac, Strawberry Shortcake) to produce a truly unique line of scented candles.
Tucked away off Main Street in Windsor, glassblowers Lada and Lanka are quietly producing delicate gifts for nearly every holiday and season, from glass-blown hummingbird feeders to jack o’lanterns. Christmastime is tree ornament time, and wow are these things lovely. Colorful and sort of entrancing, no two ornaments are alike. So buy a bunch.
Along Route 5 South, in an unassuming green building, New England’s top-rated bacon is cured, packaged, and sold. You can’t believe it either...until you’ve fried some of those strips up yourself. Make Christmas brunch extra special this year, and then try to resist the maple-cured ham, the andouille sausage, the hickory-smoked pepperoni, somebody please stop me.
Main Street in Windsor!
Stop in at Friends & Company, Image Works Studio, Boston Dreams, WinCycle, and a handful of other stores in downtown Windsor to shop a variety of curated merchandise. And when you’ve worked up an appetite, stay local and fuel up at Windsor Station, the Windsor Diner, or a little further up Route 5 at Frazer's Place, where you can buy your tree, too, if you haven't already!
Special thanks to Riley White for her help compiling this list of Windsor craftspeople.