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Patch's Guide to Local Gift Giving in Wilmette

Many of us think we know how to stuff a stocking, but few of us know how to pull it off in that deeply satisfying way. Luckily, Patch put together a guide to local gift giving that's sure to please.

As your holiday cash is floating around, it's only fitting that some of it make it's way back into the communities we know and love.

Sure, you can shop online or find deals at the big chain stores, but this Christmas, consider shopping locally. The person you're buying for will appreciate it, and so will the local merchant. It's like giving two gifts at once.

Here are our ideas for Wilmette's most interesting local gifts this year.



If you're keeping an eye on the little ones in your family, surely you've noticed it: Timmy's tendency to bang rhythmically on the flat screen television. Sally's tuneful screaming. Those are signs of musical talent that must be nurtured. Karen Tobias can turn a 'smash everything' toddler into a 'play the ivories delightfully' young child, or at the very least get them on the road to it.

Great Local Gift: Piano lessons. Price varies by skill level and child's age. Call for details.



Maybe those same TV smashers and screamers would be happier with their names in lights. Here at the Wilmette Theatre they can start training to achieve those dreams. It's isn't just a place to see the Oscar contenders, you can also be trained in the fine art of on camera acting. They offer classes for children and adults.

Great Local Gift: Commercial intensive workshop with an actual casting director, $150.



It's one thing to give a toy, but it's quite another to give a toy that gives back. Kids who get into science early have a respect for it the rest of their lives. Let your child get a 900x closer look at their world.

Great Local Gift: A microscope set, $90.

Small Creatures

Everything your little monster doodles goes right up in the place of honor on the fridge. There are, of course, other ways to get their work  in front of your friends without being that parent. Hire a local graphic designer through Etsy to put your kids art to unique use.

Great Local Gift: Have your child's artwork turned into an invitation or used on any sort of stationary. A great way to surprise your spouse or child, $50



Someone in your life enjoys wine. The obvious way to go would be to choose a wine bottle for them. A fine gift, but why not think a step further and get them a fine, personalized decanter?

Great Local Gift: A 10" cut crystal monogrammed decanter, $201



There's tons of olive oil out there, but when it comes to the majority of it, you're wasting your money on an inferior product. At Convito, the staff specially chooses the highest quality olive oils from the finest restaurant kitchens overseas and makes them available here in Wilmette.

Great Local Gift: 6-year-old balsamic vinegar with natural natural pear flavor from Modena, Italy for $24.99

With all the gifts we're busy buying for individuals, it's easy to forget one recipient we shouldn't: the entire family. Create some amazing memories, have fun and learn some new skills together at the Centennial Ice Rink.

Great Local Gift: Ice skating lessons, $53-99 per person. Call for details.

denise wray December 22, 2010 at 02:51 PM
I just recently found a store on Ridge & Lake Aves. in Wilmette call She Beads. I picked up some beautiful beaded key chains for stocking stuffers. She also does custom orders.
Andrea Hart December 22, 2010 at 03:48 PM
Thanks, Denise, for the tip!

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