Made in America Holiday Shopping Challenge: 5 Last Minute Gift Ideas

Last minute shopping is inevitable, especially during the holiday season.  The last few months of the year seem to fly by. One day you’re eating Thanksgiving dinner with your family, and the next day you wake up and it’s Christmas Eve.  How did that happen?! Don’t panic, I have compiled a list of five last minute gift ideas or “go to” gift ideas for when your timing is a little too close for comfort.

Whether time has slipped away, a friend invited you to their holiday party last minute, or you need a gift for a co-worker you don’t know well, there is something on this list that will work for any person in a pinch.

1. Wine

Wine is the perfect go-to gift during the holiday season. Hosts love when you bring a gift that they can share with their guests during the party. It’s something that is useful, and won’t end up collecting dust on a shelf. Not only do most people enjoy a good bottle of wine, it only takes a few minutes to pick it up at the store. If you want to make the wine more meaningful, try to remember if you have heard them talk about their favorite type. If not, pick out your favorite kind and introduce it to them! Try to buy from a local winery whenever possible (this is, afterall, a Made in America Holiday Shopping Challenge). Wine from Vermont’s Putney Mountain Winery and Shelburne Vineyard would make great holiday gifts.

2. Chocolate

Who doesn’t love chocolate? Chocolate is a great last minute gift idea for everyone! Many chocolate companies have already helped you out by festively decorating their packages, so you won’t even have to wrap the gift. Take a look at Lake Champlain Chocolates‘ seasonal assortments. This Vermont based company makes their delicious chocolates without preservatives, and you can taste the freshness! Also, go to your local food co-op to see what your area has to offer. You may be surprised to find you have a hidden chocolate gem in your state too!

3. Candles

The winter season is a popular time to have candles lit around your home. Many people like having scented candles this time of year to get into the holiday spirit. The extra light on a dark winter evening also gives us a warm and fuzzy feeling. To avoid making your candle look a little generic and like a last minute gift, buy it locally. People like knowing the source of their gifts, and knowing that it was made close to home is an added bonus. Many local artisans create candles that can be personalized, or come with American made accessories to jazz up the gift. If you’re looking for a Vermont based company, Carved Solutions ships their candles out within 48 hours. Vermont Soap & Candle and Way Out Wax have a variety of scents and candle styles to choose from as well.

4. Ornament

An ornament is a great gift for the holidays. Ornaments are easy to find (check the label for made in USA) and they are something that people will keep for years. They come in a large variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. This gift is great for someone you know really well, because you can get something based on an interest or hobby.  Or, it can be good for someone you don’ t know well because you can get something a little more seasonally related, like a snowflake, that will be an addition to their decorations annually. Ornaments are also versatile-not only are they hung on Christmas trees, but they can be hung on an office cubicle wall or placed in windows! Danforth Pewter, a Vermont based company, handcrafts beautiful holiday ornaments that would make a special gift.

5. Gift Certificates

A gift certificate to a local business is an excellent gift; last minute or not. No one will think any less of your creativity because going to a free movie, or getting a free meal is welcomed by everyone. You can get a gift certificate to the person’s favorite local store, a bookstore, a coffee shop they frequent daily, a nice restaurant, the movie theater,  a museum, a fitness class…the options are endless! When we purchase a gift certificate we are supporting local business, and helping the local economy.


Now that you have five last minute gift ideas, get off the computer and get to a store– you’re running out of time! Let us know in the comments if you have any last minute gift ideas, or share them on our Facebook.

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Green Christmas Tips


Tips for a Green Christmas

Bing Crosby had it all wrong when he sang “White Christmas”. I’d like to think that your days will be much merrier and brighter if all of your Christmases are GREEN! Sustainably green, that is. Enjoy your holiday and give back to nature and to our economy by celebrating a “Green Christmas”.

Your Green Christmas Tree!

Ditch the artificial tree this year and opt for a natural evergreen tree. Many artificial trees are made in China, contain harmful chemicals and once they lose their shape or luster, it’s off to the landfill they go. Buying a cut tree brings a festive aroma into your home, looks better than any fake tree could ever look and acts as a natural bird feeder after the holidays are over that you can place outside. Better yet, try starting a new tradition this year and buy a potted evergreen that you can plant in your yard after Christmas!

Give Green!

Get out of those Walmart lines and support your local business! Or make your friends and family something rather than buying it. Recycled and reused gifts can also be nice ways of sharing vintage presents. You could also give a gift of membership- try a gym membership, guitar lessons, theater tickets or spa day certificates at local venues. A gift of membership saves wrapping paper and reduces driving! Any way you decide to give, just think about your gifts impact on the environment and how you can make small changes to give greener. If you’re thinking of buying American-made to support your local economy, check out our American-made Holiday Shopping Challenge.

Reuse Wrapping and Packaging Materials!

As tempting as the pretty wrapping papers at the department store may be, think about how many resources are waste by just wrapping paper and packaging materials alone. Try using old newspaper comics, fun cereal boxes or real popcorn instead of packing peanuts. Get creative!

Sustainable Decor!

Your green Christmas tree deserves some green Christmas ornaments. I found this great resource on everythingetsy filled with tutorials on making your own ornaments. Also, check out her green gift buying guide. It will certainly inspire some greener ideas for your decor and your gifts.

Let me know what your green Christmas ideas are here in the comments or on our Facebook page! And may all your Christmases be GREEN!

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

American Made Christmas Shopping has begun
Douglas and Manjula sneaked out of work to check out the American made Christmas gifts at Brattleboro’s Vermont Artisan Designs today.

American Made Christmas Gifts

We drew names for our Secret Santa gift exchange here at Vermont Woods Studios today.  Christmas, Hanukkah and the holiday season are always pretty festive in our office.  This year we’ll again be focusing on promoting the idea of giving American made gifts to each other and to our families and friends.

You may remember that last year we launched a Made in America Holiday Shopping Challenge.  We asked our friends to pledge to buy American made gifts– to look at the tags on everything they bought for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and other holidays and to choose the ones that were “American Made”.   We found it wasn’t a new idea around here.  In fact most people told us they go a step further and purchase only locally made gifts, handmade gifts and items that support people and businesses in our community.  Anyway, we  had so much fun with our project last year that ABC News caught wind of it and came to Vernon to film a segment about it for World News with Diane Sawyer.

Vermont Made Gifts

So this year we wanted to carry on with the tradition.  Heather Barrett has posted some great American made gift ideas on our Pinterest Board and Facebook page.  Jump on board and share your own finds with her– we’d love it.  You’ll see that we’re leaning pretty heavily towards Vermont made items, but certainly not exclusively.  I do find that Vermont’s warm winter wear always goes over pretty well on a cold, snowy Christmas morning though.  Johnson Woolens, Turtle Fur and Vermont Flannel are favorites in my family.

Local Handmade Gifts

This weekend we have several local craft fairs to shop our way through.  One is the 17th annual “Home for the Holidays” craft fair with 50 local vendors at the Vernon Elementary School and another is the 14th Annual Cotton Mill Open Studio and Holiday Sale in Brattleboro, VT.  Hope to see you moseying your way through one of them.  Our friends and neighbors who’ve been crafting all year long in preparation for the holiday season are depending on our support!  Let the shopping begin.


This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Contemporary Cable Bedroom Furniture | Wood and Metal Design
With it’s creative combination of wood and metal, the Contemporary Cable Bedroom Furniture set is a best seller among interior designers looking to furnish renovated industrial spaces that are now upscale apartments and condos.

Metal and Wood Furniture Design

We introduced our eco-friendly Contemporary Cable Collection just a couple weeks ago but this high end, modern metal and wood furniture is already becoming a best seller.  Customers shopping for a unique blend of Vermont style craftsmanship and sophisticated urban design are studying this furniture set.  They like the clean look, the inlaid aluminum accent bars and the braided stainless steel drawer pulls.

Metal and Wood Furniture | Modern Bedroom Set | American Made in Vermont
This handcrafted Contemporary Cable Bedroom Furniture Collection features real solid cherry wood construction, aluminum accent bars inlaid into drawer fronts and braided stainless steel drawer pulls.  The combination of wood and metal is a creative solution for interior designers looking to add warmth to renovated industrial spaces and loft apartments.

Warm Wooden Furniture Meets Renovated Industrial Factory Spaces

One of our designer friends found this solid wood furniture to be the perfect answer for clients who are moving into a renovated factory space in Montreal.  Their luxury apartment has concrete floors and exposed metal duct work suspended from an 18 foot tall ceiling.  The owners wanted high end, natural wood furniture to warm up their space but they also wanted to incorporate some of the post-industrial character of the room.  The combination of solid wood, aluminum inlays and stainless steel cable drawer pulls in the furniture set brings the whole design concept together.

Contemporary Cable Bed | High End Wood and Metal Furniture | Sustainable | Handmade
The combination of solid cherry wood, a natural hand-rubbed oil finish and braided stainless steel lines across the headboard and foot board of the Contemporary Cable Bed pulls together typical wood and metal design elements of renovated industrial factory spaces.

Green Design Considerations

The fact that the Contemporary Cable Collection is built with sustainably harvested wood and finished with a natural hand-rubbed oil was also important to these home owners.  They had made conscious decisions to go green in their selection of a renovated dwelling that was part of a neighborhood revitalization project.  So handmade, natural furniture fits into the green lifestyle they are embracing.

What do you think about this metal and wood furniture?  Would it fit into your bedroom design?

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Shaker Furniture: Moving, Shipping and Delivery
Sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun when this customer sent us a nice note about how her Shaker furniture was delivered so professionally by our shippers. Our shipper is an award-winning executive moving company that also ships fine furniture for Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Vermont Woods Studios. We include this service in the base price of our furniture (Free Shipping).

Last week we received an enthusiastic email from a family in California thanking us for the great job our moving company  did with the delivery of their Vermont made Shaker bedroom set:

“I wanted to let you know what a wonderful experience I had with your movers. I had one of your beds shipped to my vacation home in the Sierras. Because the road is very steep and winding, the shipper needed to bring the bed in a special shuttle, the cost of which they covered.  Also, I wasn’t able to be present at the house at the time a driver was available to make the delivery, and was able to arrange to have a concierge service meet the driver and let him into the house to assemble the bed. The shipper offered to reimburse me for the cost of the service (up to $75).

I was told by the concierge that the driver was very professional and efficient. He arrived on time and handled all the details of moving and assembly. It was a pleasure to purchase furniture from you and to work with such an excellent shipper.  Thank you so much!         Best Regards,   Debbie D

We love hearing your Vermont made furniture stories and reviews, whether they’re about the delivery experience or the good times you share around the dining table with family and friends.  Keep ’em coming!  You’re helping us make our systems better.  In this case, the comments went to straight to our shipper where the driver and his manager reviewed them together (maybe someone will even get a well-deserved raise).  Other comments have helped us improve the quality of our Shaker furniture and the logistics needed to get it from the forest to your living room.

So help us Movers and Shakers by sending in feedback about your new Vermont handmade furniture.  Use the comments section below, email us or connect using our Facebook.  Thanks in advance for your feedback!

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.