Look to local businesses to fill Christmas stockings this year — the most memorable gifts can come in the tiniest packages.
Bougie Booth Designer Boutique
If the person on your list likes designer fashion, visit the Bougie Booth Designer Boutique in Creekside Station in Winchester. Granted, some items might need a bigger Christmas stocking to fit them into, but there are smaller items that could easily slip into the toe as well as the wider top area of the stocking.
Stephen Sopko, who owns the store with his wife Karen, placed two stocking stuffers on the shop’s countertop: a women’s Gucci bracelet watch for $600 and a men’s Citizen watch for $450-$500.
The Citizen watch, he said, is eco-friendly and uses incandescent or sunlight instead of batteries. “So these use solar, and you never have to open the watch.”
Also on display on the counter was a $1,800 Gucci bag.
“This is near-perfect, a display model. Brand new, the purse would be $3,700,” he said, explaining that everything in the shop is brand new with the exception of some of the higher-end pieces.
In addition to watches and jewelry, Bougie Booth carries designer purses, wallets, sunglasses, clothing and shoes.
Sopko looked around the store and named some of the designers they carry, including Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Gucci, Yves St. Lauren, Patricia Nash, Rebecca Minkoff and Tory Burch. The store also will be selling Frys shoes and boots.
“We’re not going to have everything they carry because we are not trying to be a Tory Burch, we’re not trying to be a Michael Kors,” he said, adding that the store only has a couple of like pieces so that there aren’t 50 people walking around carrying the same bag. “We go with a couple of pieces and that’s it.”
He pointed out a small pink leather crossbody bag by Patricia Nash that could easily fit into a stocking.
“Look at the thickness of the leather,” he said, holding the bag up. “That’s a bag that you will have for a long time.”
He said buying a Patricia Nash bag is a good way to get into designer fashion without having to pay several hundred dollars.
“People that go into Patricia Nash stay with Patricia Nash because of the quality of the bag,” he said, adding that the bag is discounted at $125. It normally costs around $195.’’
The store is offering a 15% holiday discount through Dec. 23.
If You Go
• Location: 3111 Valley Ave., Unit 108 in Creekside Station, Winchester
• Online: https://www.bougiebooth.com
Lantz’s Pharmacy and Gifts
Lantz’s Pharmacy and Gifts has hundreds of gift ideas to fill everyone’s Christmas stocking, but be warned, it might take more than an hour of happy browsing to see everything.
Elaine Fields, who owns Lantz’s Pharmacy and Gifts in Stephens City with her husband Anthony Fields, pointed out some gift ideas.
“As far as kids, the Beanie Babies are popular. For men, Duke Cannon,” she said.
The Duke Cannon items could fill a stocking full of soaps, shampoo, beard wash, and lotions.
“For women – Vera Bradley, we have Pandora. Possibilities are endless as far as women go,” she said.
The store has two rooms full of Vera Bradley bags and accessories, and at the back of the store is a counter set up for Pandora jewelry.
If You Go
• Location: 5015 Main St., Stephens City
• Online: lantzspharmacyandgifts.com
Belle Grove Gift Shop
Those looking for gifts by local artisans should stop by some of the gift shops at local historic sites and museums.
The Museum Shop at Belle Grove Historic Plantation near Middletown, which is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., has stocking stuffers for everyone as well as locally crafted Christmas tree ornaments, said gift shop manager Kelynn Clem.
“We have all kinds of ornaments here on the trees. A lot of them are local. We have a glass artisan right here in Middletown that makes the ornaments," she said.
“In terms of other stocking stuffers, we will have the Belle Grove spice tea. It’s in a burlap bag with the spice tea that you can make at home,” she said, noting that the tea is made by museum volunteers.
Other stocking stuffer recommendations include locally made jewelry, wine cork stops, candles, homemade fishing lures that were made from wood picked up from the Belle Grove property, and Belle Grove whiskey chocolates, which come in a two-piece or 12-piece box.
If You Go
• Location: 336 Belle Grove Road, Middletown
• Online: bellegrove.org
Jean’s Jewelers, located in the Royal Plaza Shopping Center in Front Royal, has gifts that can easily snuggle into the toe of some lucky person’s stocking.
Owner Jean Plauger said she has several new pieces of jewelry by designers from across the country.
"Really pretty pendants, unique, different. We don’t carry what the mall carries – everything in my store is different,” she added as she set up a display of a $4,165 genuine ruby and diamond necklace and matching $4,625 ring and $3,550 earrings.
“We sell high-end designer diamonds,” she said, noting that diamond jewelry and designer items are top sellers during the holidays.
She pointed out a new white gold and diamond paperclip necklace with matching earrings designed by Allison Kaufman of Los Angeles. The necklace is $3,000 and the matching earrings are $3,240.
Jean’s Jewelers also offers less expensive gifts that can go into a stocking.
“Watches are always popular. We sell watches like crazy. It amazes me the watches that we sell,” Plauger said. "They are going to start at $100 and go to $2,500. We have Bulova, Citizen, Caravelle, Wittnauer.”
The store also carries Rembrandt charm bracelets and charms. A bracelet with two charms, she said, would run around $140. Charms are around $20 each.
Jean’s Jewelers will have special prices on items starting the day after Thanksgiving and throughout the month of December. The first sale, she said, will be on watches, clocks and giftware.
“Then, when we get into the next week, we do our precious stones, which is what you see here – this is considered precious – your emeralds, your rubies, your sapphires, your tourmalines.”
Diamond jewelry will be on sale the last two weeks of the special holiday pricing campaign.
If You Go
• Location: 413-C South St. in the Royal Plaza Shopping Center, Front Royal.
• Online: jeansjewelers.com
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The Vine and Leaf
The Vine and Leaf, located in the Royal Plaza Shopping Center in Front Royal, has stocking stuffers that will please the palates of those who love wine, gourmet chocolates or artisan teas.
Owner Craig Laird’s cafe offers a wide variety of wines in his wine and tea bar, including the Beaujolais nouveau, an early red wine made from gamay grapes that is released by French winemakers each year on the third Thursday of November.
“We definitely have that, and it goes wonderfully with the Thanksgiving and Christmas meals,” he said, noting that he also stocks Winter Mountain Red as well as ports and sherries, champagne and sparkling wines for the holidays,
While only one bottle of wine may fit into a stocking, there’s plenty of room for The Vine and Leaf artisan teas and chocolates.
“We also have a wonderful selection of naturally made fudges and gourmet chocolates as well as over 100 varieties of loose-leaf teas, which makes wonderful gifts for Christmas time,” Laird added.
The Vine and Leaf has been open for seven years, with the first three years in downtown Front Royal where Laird’s other store, Royal Oaks Computers, is located.
“We have a nice little cafe menu of artisan salads, soups, panini, flatbread pizzas,” he said. “We also do wine tastings; we serve wine and serve tea.”
If You Go
• Location: 477 E&F South St., Front Royal
• Online: thevineandleaf.com
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Stokes General Store
For those who love the outdoors, Stokes General Store in Front Royal stocks plenty of small items for stocking stuffers.
The old-fashioned general store has a huge inventory of socks, gloves, T-shirts, and a variety of hats and other outerwear that can be folded or rolled up and added to a stocking. One item that’s already packaged small in the store is the Hello Mello Cuddleblend cowl neck tops. The Cuddleblend lounge pants are sold separately.
For children, check out the tiny cowboy boots and colorful Minnetonka moccasins. Part owner Andy Stokes said those are good sellers and he is getting ready to order some more.
"Another good seasonal thing, we have a lot of fur-lined moccasins for the ladies ... we sell a lot of those," he said.
Stokes said his store sees a lot of construction workers - the working man - who need cold weather items.
"We have a lot of cold weather gear, that's for sure," he said, noting that when the weather is cold, people come in and buy knit hats and gloves.
Candy and sharp cheddar cheese are popular seasonal items at Stokes General Store.
"We do a whole lot with the Christmas candy and the sharp cheddar cheese this time of year. That's two of our big seasonal things. You know, the gum drops, chocolate-covered peanuts, chocolate-covered peanut brittle," he said, explaining the candy is bagged at the store.
While you might want to save the cheese for appetizers, a stocking gift of candy is sure to bring a smile when opened.
"Candy is all various prices - we probably have the best prices in the valley - that's why we sell so much of it," he said.
If You Go
• Location: 533 E. Main St., Front Royal
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StokesGeneralStore