The hours of daylight may be shrinking here in Virginia Beach and Norfolk, but social engagements are keeping our evenings warm and bright this time of year. Before you slip into your favorite ugly holiday sweater and head to the next party on your planner, grab one of these perfectly simple gifts that best matches your host or hostess.
The foodie = cheeseboard + local cheese Cheese cutting boards are fun and practical; they store flat and generally work in any kitchen and for any style or taste. Pair the board with a round or two of Virginia locally crafted cheese, if you can find some. It’s a perfect complimentary gift and can be a great conversation starter if you’re just getting to know your host better. Taste Unlimited , Commune, or any of the many local Farmers Markets offer great selections of cheeses to choose from!
The casual partaker = beer cozies + local brew (or coasters + local wine) For those who have recently moved, you may already be excited about the prospect of checking out one of the many local Hampton Roads breweries or the quirky little winery just outside of town. Make it a dual-purpose visit by planning a much-needed rekindling date with your sweetheart (or a friend). While you’re there, stock up on some bottled provisions to give as gifts. Many wineries and breweries have great little gift shops that sell items such as wine charms, coasters, and drink cozies. Here are a few of our local favorites Mermaid Winery, Williamsburg Winery, Backbay Farmhouse Brewery, O’Connor’s, The Veil
The socialite = festive serving tray + fresh locally brewed coffee A great holiday party gift does not have to be expensive to be appreciated. When you’ve been invited to a party where you don’t really know the host very well, a safe choice may be to stick with something disposable or consumable. A delicious coffee blend from local favorite Three Ships Coffee Roasters makes a practical and thoughtful gift that a host can enjoy themselves or share with guests. Partner this with a fun and festive seasonal serving tray or some cheerful napkins and paper plates from our favorite Norfolk party supplier, Jollity & Co. Your host will appreciate your thoughtfulness and practicality.
The naturalist = succulent centerpiece + diy potpourri kit It can be a challenge to spend quality time outside this time of year, with cooler and wetter weather and darker evenings. This gift of live plants and fresh spiced citrus aromatherapy will bring a welcome feeling of warmth and life into any home. Keep it simple—succulents are a great choice because of their low-maintenance ease. Gather items for a simple potpourri kit, such as an orange, cloves, star anise, and cinnamon sticks, and tie them neatly in cloth or a small cinch gift bag. Stop by Plant Bar or Anderson’s Garden Center for more great ideas!
The bibliophile = lush throw blanket + seasonally scented candle For your book club’s holiday gift exchange, a luxurious and snuggly throw blanket is a perfect choice—the kind that makes you want to indulge that inner voice and stay snuggled up all day turning digital or tangible pages. Add a cozy candle for ambiance, and you’re all set. (For healthier air, the newer flameless LED candles are pretty convincing!) Local favorite bookstores in Virginia Beach include AFK Books & Records and in Norfolk Beacon Books of Ghent.
Some of these gifts are also great excuses to scope out a new territory here in HRVA if you’ve recently moved, or, if you’re due to PCS soon, a welcome chance to savor the specialties that you’ll miss from this place you’ve called home. So, go ahead and grab something for yourself, too!