Why would southern New Hampshire be our third pick? It’s tax free, baby! Tax free. But that is not all the area has to offer. Southern New Hampshire, Nashua specifically, is about 45 minutes from Boston’s Logan Airport and 20 minutes from the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, 15 minutes from the Mall of New Hampshire and about 10 minutes from the outlet mall in Merrimack.
New England in December is typically chilly and festive. Downtown Nashua offers some unique and wonderful shopping options. Scontsas Fine Jewelry and Home Decor has gorgeous jewelry as well as beautiful home decorations. Beckonings offers home decorations as well as special gift ideas. Stop at WineNot and get expert assistance to pick out the right wine for your celebrations. Shop
Shop Fortin Gage Flowers and Gifts for that perfect floral or home decoration. If you want a natural theme for your holiday decorating stop at Collins Flowers for garlands and greens. Maybe you are shopping for your man. Dick’s Haberdashery has been stylishly dressing men for years. Looking for that perfect holiday dress? Try Fresh Boutique. Spend time in Designwares finding an outfit you will enjoy wearing, plus the accessories to pull it all together. Another great thing about New Hampshire, the liquor stores offer very affordable alcoholic gifts.
Still looking for that perfect place to shop? How about the Christmas City, Bethlehem, PA. Stay at the historic Hotel Bethlehem and enjoy the charm of the city as you walk a festive Main Street to local shopping. Or stay at the Sayre Mansion Bed and Breakfast, which is on the other side of the river, and offers a lovely, relaxing atmosphere. The area abounds with many other hotel and bed and breakfast options. And of course, you are there for the shopping!
The Moravian Book Shop, which holds the title of the oldest book seller in the U.S, has everything from books to gourmet food, candy, and awesome gifts. Even Santa visits the Moravian Book Shop, along with Charles Dickens great grandson, who regales audiences with a rendition of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. You might delight in a “Ghosts of Christmas” candlelight tour. Spooky, but so seasonal!
These are just a few of the fun shops to peruse. And the city is so excited about Christmas! There are events going on daily AND there is a Christkindlmarkt! The Bethlehem version is inside large tents and offers a mix of traditional German shopping, food and fun, plus local artisans. The Kathe Wohlfahrt store displays a sampling of the thousands of ornaments, German pyramids, smokers, candle arches, and nutcrackers. Makes me want to go just thinking about it! Bethlehem has it all and it is an hour out of Philadelphia. Bethlehem is a great place to visit, explore, eat in (try Edge or Mama Nina’s Foccacheria or Fegley’s Bethlehem Brew Works for just a few ideas), shop in or stay in!
Now, on to our top choice, Chicago. Three outlet shopping malls, a Christkindlmarket, several other markets that run in early December, “The Magnificent Mile” with all its upscale shops, The 900 Shops with Gucci, Montblanc, Coach and Michael Hors for example, the Shops at North Bridge offering 50 shops such as MAC, Louis Vuitton and Nordstrom to name a few, Water Tower Place, Andersonville known for its diversity and boutiques, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square and all its German charm, Roscoe Village for baby shopping and vintage clothing, Wicker Park/Bucktown offering high-end antiques and fashion icons, and West Town where you can browse through thrift shops, furniture and antique stores, and an architectural salvage warehouse. Wow! Plus, Chicago has fabulous places to eat. Walking “The Magnificent Mile” is a holiday extravaganza of lights and inspiration. Whatever you are looking for, whoever you are struggling to find that special gift for, you can find it here. Inspiration abounds! I get dizzy reviewing the possibilities.
Don’t Wait, Christmas is almost here!
Five great places to visit. Five great places to find the perfect gift or just enjoy the season. Sip hot chocolate or gluhwein at a Christmas market, have dinner at a bistro, walk your feet off in a big city, or sit and take in the visual beauty of Christmas. Whatever you choose to do, take a moment to breath and enjoy! It is never perfect, but it is a chance to pick up that little something to let someone know that you care. Think outside the box this year and get creative! Maybe pick up a little something for yourself. Have a very Merry Christmas and remember those that make your life a little easier. Fa la la la la!