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No Christmas gift stays closer to the recipient’s heart for years to come than one made by the giver’s hand.  Whether you are a clever or a clumsy crafter, a little help from the shops at Annapolis Towne Centre can enable you to make something memorable for a special friend, colleague, or family member or for the whole clan.  If your creative spirit leans more toward holiday décor or if it’s your child who is the craftsperson, the Towne Centre has that covered too.

Figuring out what to make is the first and biggest step in crafting gifts or décor, and several shops at ATC offer great ideas for projects of all sizes and degrees of complexity. A stroll through the Annapolis Art Alliance’s Pop-up Shop can provide inspiration and more because its clerks are artists whose work is displayed in the shop, and they can give you advice tailored to your skill level on various projects.  The only risk to visiting the Pop-up Shop is that you might also find some excellent gifts for some of the special people on your list (but hopefully that won’t cause you to abandon your own crafty ambitions).

Image courtesy of Annapolis Arts Alliance

Target offers how-to books for a wide variety of crafts and may be the best place in Annapolis for one-stop-shopping to buy the basics to make pretty much anything.  Target has glue guns, scissors, colored paper, felt squares, artificial flowers, ready-to-decorate wreaths, acrylic and watercolor paints, all sorts of sewing items, and picture frames to show off your photography or artwork.  Target’s endless number of kid-focused craft kits can give a do-it-yourself kind of child the opportunity to make personalized gifts (some of these kits are also suitable for use by busy parents).

Image courtesy of Target

The Paper Source offers the very best quality of paper—not just wrapping paper but pretty paper for projects of all kinds and all colors, including making your own Christmas cards.  If you want to go the simple route—something that you can rightfully say you made but has almost zero risks to the assembly—take a look at the shop’s craft kits for all ages that offer projects ranging from flowers and wreaths and holiday décor to soapmaking.  If making your own holiday cards is too much of a stretch, the store has a beautiful selection of ready-made cards, simple or elegant, funny or romantic, to accompany your special gifts.

Image courtesy of Paper Source

In addition to a wide selection of holiday décor, Bed Bath & Beyond has a large assortment of flower vases and containers both for storing craft materials and for displaying your creations. For example, the store’s assortment of Mason jars provides a just-like-grandma-used-to-make touch to your homemade jams, jellies, or dried bean soup mixes.  Need some pinecones for your project?  Bed Bath & Beyond has them!

Image courtesy of the author

Restoration Hardware can provide knobs and pulls for the crafter who enjoys furniture-making or repairing or if you just want to give your furniture or kitchen cabinets a fresh look.  RH also has some beautiful planters for greenery gifts and baskets that can showcase your creation.

Anthropologie offers decorative ceramic hardware for furniture that is especially nice is you want to provide some pop to your home.  Choose from the store’s assortment of pretty vases to highlight arrangements of fresh or dried flowers.

Image courtesy of the author

A selection of teas arrayed in a basket or on a tray with a pretty teapot and a couple of cups and saucers can allow you to express your creativity and show your appreciation of tea-drinking friends or family members.  The Baltimore Coffee & Tea Company has tea (and coffee) selections to suit everyone’s taste, with or without caffeine.  Moreover, the shop has a lunch counter offering a tasty selection of made-to-order sandwiches, soups, and desserts.  Take this opportunity to relax, get off your feet, have a bite to eat, and pat yourself on the back for being such a thoughtful crafter!

Some might say that around the holidays the best craft gift is an edible one, and Whole Foods has the ingredients for just about any type of cookies, candy, pie, cake, quiche, bread, etc., you’d want to make.  The store also has arguably the best assortment of live greenery and fresh-cut flowers in town, ready for you to arrange and put in a vase for your host or hostess or to brighten up your dinner table or kitchen.

Image courtesy of Whole Foods

So head to Annapolis Towne Centre and get ready for hours of holiday fun!

Thanksgiving is upon us and that means the start to the season of spending time with loved ones around a table covered in classic comfort foods. Although the holiday is filled with good times, preparing for such a feast can be stressful, especially when you’re running all over town to get things done. Luckily, Annapolis Towne Centre makes it easy to get all of your Thanksgiving shopping done in one stop!

Whole Foods

Prepare your fresh feast with some help from Whole Foods. This high-end grocery store prides itself on fresh ingredients and healthy prepared food to elevate any meal. Thanksgiving is no exception. Whole Foods offers bountiful produce to make the classic Thanksgiving side dishes. Organic turkeys are available through pre-ordering or near the butcher section. Be sure to swing by the Bakery for freshly baked pies, cakes and breads to round out your Thanksgiving feast. Although Whole Food carries delicious prepared items and quick alternatives, their fresh produce, meats and other essential ingredients are best used for homemade dishes. Visit the recipe section of their website to inspire your Thanksgiving menu.

Thanksgiving Recipes

Target

Target is a one-stop-shop for many occasions, including your Thanksgiving dinner. To start, Target sells several cookbooks that provide a guide as you craft your menu.

Once your recipes are selected, head over to the grocery section of the megastore to find everything on your list. Target offers a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats, but it’s also a reliable place for quicker options. You will find classic, familiar brands such as Kraft’s Stovetop, Mrs. Smith’s pies and Idahoan mashed potatoes that warms the heart and stomach. Since it’s hard for anyone to complete a trip to Target and only get what’s on the list, be sure to stroll through the seasonal home decor aisles for those final festive touches.

Thanksgiving Recipes

Beverages

No Thanksgiving meal is complete without some adult beverages! After shopping for recipes and ingredients, add some beer and wine to your dine. Check out these local favorites in Annapolis Towne Centre.

  • Bin 201 Wine Sellers specializes in little known bargain wines, collectibles, and low yield vintners. All types of wine drinkers will find something that delights both their palate and wallet to accompany their holiday meal.

Thanksgiving Recipes

  • Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant has an exceptional variety of upscale wines. From sparkling to sangrias, Cooper’s Hawk will satisfy all of your wine needs for Thanksgiving and year-round with their all-inclusive wine club membership.

Thanksgiving Recipes

  • Gordon Biersch is conveniently located in Annapolis Towne Centre for the beer lovers at your Thanksgiving feast. Fill up a few growlers of their various beers on tap to enjoy while watching football during the day and that will take you through the meal.

Thanksgiving Recipes

Annapolis Towne Centre has it all no matter your budget and cooking ambitions. They have the recipes, tips, and ingredients to make a delicious meal for your special guests this coming holiday! Take advantage of the Towne Centre’s complimentary valet parking to make the most out of the holiday season.
Valet Hours:
November 29-December 1
December 6-8
December 13-December 24
Hours: M-Sa 11pm-8pm, Su 11am-6pm

 

Blog written by Kristin Dyak.

In the dark ages of the last century, expectations were low for anything more than a tablecloth and food as the décor on the Thanksgiving table.  Pops of color were the sweet potatoes and cranberries.  The baking turkey provided the mouthwatering scent—assuming Mom or Grandma didn’t let the pan of boiling potatoes run dry.

Decorating the dinner table is now an art known as “tablescape.”  The task is to view the tabletop as a canvas ready for a personal touch that will set the tone for the meal, provide conversation starters, and subconsciously make the food taste even better. If you Google “Thanksgiving tablescapes,” you’ll see a style spectrum bound at one end by a more formal look with neutral colors—grey, brown, gold, silver, and the palest of blue—and pops of dark green, and at the other end by the bright fall colors of a country-style Thanksgiving, with infinite variations in between.

Annapolis Town Centre provides everything the modern tablescaper needs to create a pleasing ambiance for Thanksgiving dinner. The proximity of its stores and restaurants and free parking mean that you can roam from shop to shop without stressing about time, running to feed the meter, or wondering where to get lunch.

Bed Bath and Beyond is a great place to start, regardless of where your tablescape vision falls on the spectrum.  You will find cloth or paper table linens and napkin rings that provide the basis for a fine Thanksgiving table. Pinecones and placemats shaped and colored like fall leaves are great for a traditional style. For a more formal style, maybe it’s time to upgrade your table settings. Check out the stores wide array of china patterns, glassware, and utensils.

If you are going for a traditional look, stop into Whole Foods for bright fall flowers and a pumpkin or two. Wine goes well on any Thanksgiving table, and Whole Foods’ wine team helps you choose by highlighting 24 best-in-class wines on their shelves. Also, look at the brightly colored baskets for holding wine, bread, or cookies. Across the street, Bin 201 provides additional wine selections and guidance on pairings.

Anthropologie has something for every tablescape.  For bright colors, take a look at the eartenware pottery. And if, as A hostess, you look forward to dressing up for dinner, Anthro has a gorgeous array of dresses, jackets and shawls.  For a more formal style, look at the gold-etched wine and water glasses and dried flowers in muted colors that would contribute elegance into a centerpiece.  Consider the scented candles throughout the store that would blend with the scents of cooking to create a warm atmosphere for your guests.

For bright, showy dried or artificial flowers to use in a centerpiece or garland, head to Target.  Check out their Thanksgiving-themed table linens and conversation pieces—dishes, trivets, pillows, etc.  If you envision tapered candles for your table, Target is the place to buy them.

Three shops, Smyth Jewelers, Great Gatherings, and Paper Source offer surprises that might be the very thing to complete your table.  Smyth and Great Gatherings both offer Maryland-themed ceramicware—after-dinner coffee and tea belong in mugs featuring the Chesapeake Bay!  Great Gatherings has Thanksgiving-themed serving plates on sale; Smyth has an excellent stock of silver-plated tableware to spark up any neutral color palate and will be receiving new Thanksgiving merchandise as the date grows nearer.  Paper Source is the place to go for place cards in any and all colors and for paper centerpieces.

Don’t miss the pop-up shop near Paper Source.  You’re bound to find something there for Thanksgiving – ranging from bright colored earrings to handmade pottery pieces from the work of the 29 Annapolis Art Alliance artists exhibiting there—and the selections change all the time.

Blog written by Jane Green.

All images courtesy of the author.