Just like that, it’s December 19th and the year’s biggest holiday is around the corner. Do you have all of your gifts in order yet? If you do, we applaud you (and please tell us your secret ways), but we would be willing to bet that many of you reading this are in need of some last-minute inspiration.
We’re happy to oblige! Upper East River is in the heart of the historic district and mere minutes from the best shopping in Savannah, so we know a thing or two about the local offering.
Whether your friends and family are easy to please or the types who “have it all” and never seem to make use of your inventive attempts, keeping your search local might be the ultimate solution. When you stick to homegrown brands, products, and places, you’re sure to make one-of-a-kind finds. To get you started, we’ve put together a list of gift ideas and items wholly unique to Savannah.
This holiday …
Give the Gift of Culinary Exploration
We know we aren’t telling you anything revolutionary here, but food and drink-related arrangements are pretty much loved by all. During the busiest time of the year, everyone appreciates some extra yumminess they don’t have to prepare themselves.
If you don’t know someone particularly well, this is a great option, because you can be assured that they will get some use out of food and drink. They will enjoy it, or their kids will, or their extended family will, or they’ll serve it at a party. Someone is going to indulge. And, this is a fun and simple way to show off the place you’re proud to call home.
Here are some of our top picks from Savannah’s renowned cooks and cultivators.
If you’re looking for something to delight children and adults alike, this is it. Who wouldn’t want to get their hands on some of Byrd’s truly famous cookies, all tucked up in a festive and entirely adorable red truck with a pine tree in the back?
This trio of specialty honey varieties includes the famed Savannah brand’s Winter White. It’s only available at this time of year, and having tried it, we can tell you it is worth giving (and getting, so buy one for yourself).
Do you want to give a bit of it all? Look no further than River Street Sweets. This mouthwatering collection actually includes a jar of Savannah Bee Company’s Tupelo, in addition to a bunch of other positively delicious, Southern-inspired goodies. And it’s all wrapped up in a basket the shape of our wonderful state—a perfect gift for out-of-town visitors.
For a coffee drinker, the gift of a new brew to try never gets old. This idea also introduces a few creative, personalized possibilities. Pair one of these seasonal blends from Savannah Coffee Roasters with a mug you’ve chosen for the recipient. Or, if you want to up the ante, give a bag of these beans with a high-end coffee maker.
This veteran-owned local brewery honors the men and women who sacrifice so much to protect our great nation. Grab a six pack (we recommend their signature Savannah Banana Beer), a pint glass or two, and a gift card as a thoughtful gesture for a brew-loving veteran or active service member.
Find a Treasure That Says, ‘I Know You’
Savannah has no shortage of antique shops and unique boutiques. With such a variety of items to be found—from bits and bobs to furnishings and clothing—one can spend a single day shopping and find each person on the list a gift that feels special to them.
Consider matching an unusual trinket with a gift card you know they’ll make use of, for the perfect combination of personal and practical.
Among all of the cool stores this city has to offer, we have a few favorites to recommend.
For the collector of the old-timey and uncommon:
Victory Antiques & Collectibles is known for its incredible inventory of rare items, many of which come with handwritten notes explaining their story. Picker Joe’s Antique Mall & Vintage Market is, as its logo says, “an experience like no other.” It combines antiques from many moments in time with beautiful handmade goods.
For the bibliophile:
Books on Bay is overflowing with gorgeous vintage tomes, and some other quirky, bookish gifts besides. Meanwhile, The Book Lady Bookstore boasts an impressive marriage of modern bestsellers, novelty books, and rare old finds.
For the spa lover:
For the art aficionado:
For the Savannah-obsessed:
Aleksandra’s Gift Shop has got you covered. Elegant but bursting with souvenirs, this boutique has a wide-ranging assortment of possibilities at hand.
Take Them Out on the Town
Sometimes, no gift feels right for the person you have in mind. We’ve got a solution for that too, because when you live in Savannah, there is so much to DO.
Whether a prelude to the holidays or something to look forward to in the postholiday lull, an evening of eats and entertainment spent together makes for a beautiful and individualized gift—especially for the person who “has it all.” If this will be a preholiday festivity, frame or create an ornament out of a photo or ticket stub as a present they can cherish for years to come. If you’ll be treating them after the holidays, design a gorgeous itinerary and wrap it in a bow.
A Christmas Tradition runs at the Savannah Theatre until December 24th and the historic theater’s other shows are always worth checking out, as are the schedules for Savannah Ballet Theatre and Odd Lot Improv.
We hope you found this gift guide fun and helpful, and we wish you luck as you cross everyone off of your list! Don’t forget to grab yourself a little something, too.
Yours truly, the Upper East River team