It goes without saying: this year has been, well, different, to say the least. Many would even call it rough.
With the upcoming holiday season, stores around the country are hoping people will still spend money during the most festive time of the year — which in 2020 may not feel as merry.
In Georgetown, shopkeepers are doing their part to make sure they are there for us during these difficult times. Here are just a few of the stores and boutiques offering options to make sure we have a safe yet fun, cozy yet rewarding, holiday season.
1419 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Ifat Pridan, owner of Wisconsin Avenue boutique LiLi The First, has a collection perfect for staying at home this season. Called “Holiday at Home,” the featured items are “easy but festive tops to make someone feel comfortable but still stylish,” she says. The tops include lots of holiday-friendly sparkle, shine and plaid, but they’re looser, comfier and great for hanging out at home.
If you’re sick of your endless uniform of sweats and T-shirts, you’ll want to check out this collection. LiLi The First is open for walk-in customers, private appointments and curbside pickup, also offering free shipping. The “Holiday at Home” collection is available online, too.
3231 P St. NW
If you have a history lover on your gift list this year, Ella-Rue sells Eight & Bob Eau de Parfum. The gender-neutral fragrance has an interesting background — it was former President John F. Kennedy’s signature scent. According to Vanity Fair, JFK met Eight & Bob creator Albert Fouquet in 1937 and became impressed with his scent. The future president asked for a bottle and Fouquet included an infamous note with the gift. It read: “in this bottle, you will find the dash of French glamour that your American personality lacks.” Kennedy later requested eight more bottles, plus another for his brother Robert (hence “Eight & Bob”).
Ella-Rue offers local delivery within Georgetown and shipping, so you never have to leave your home. In addition, co-owner Alexa Johnson notes that the store can gift-wrap and send the fragrance with a personalized holiday card.
1514 Wisconsin Ave. NW
This family-owned Georgetown boutique, specializing in women’s clothing, Mexican folk art and unique gifts, has not forgotten about our holiday tables. While we’ve been advised not to celebrate in large groups, your immediate family deserves a sophisticated, gorgeous holiday table.
Samantha Hayes Gushner, owner and creative director of the Phoenix, recommends the beauty and craftsmanship in handbuilt pieces by ceramicist Elizabeth Benotti. “Benotti’s [ceramics] will bring the look of a well-curated home to your Thanksgiving table,” Gushner says. “Each finger, impression, brushstroke and etching is evident and carries the story of its production, evoking the stories and traditions you bring to your holiday.”
Benotti’s items are available both in-store and on the Phoenix’s website.
1647 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Antiques shop Pillar & Post curates a collection of art that includes paintings by modern British artists and antique prints and engravings. Daphna Peled, shop owner, tends to carry lots of one-of-a-kind items. However, there are plenty of options in stock from the British brands the store features.
Holiday scents are particularly comforting this time of year, bringing us back to a more “normal” time. With more of us at home, being surrounded by festive scents can restore a sense of calm. Peled recommends her Stoneglow Nutmeg Ginger & Spice Cracker Gift Set for this very reason. It includes two mini candles and a mini diffuser, packed in a festive box.
“Being home with family also means more time for cooking,” Peled says. “Pillar & Post has some lovely holiday cooking accessories such as oven mitts, tea towels and ceramics.” She specifically mentioned her Sophie Allport Partridge In A Pear Tree oven mitt, calling it a popular choice for the cook in your family.
The shop was also featured in Better Homes & Gardens for carrying Daylesford Organic, a uniquely English brand with a farm in the British countryside. “Their Ledbury glassware range is festive enough for the holidays, but also casual enough to use any time of year,” Peled says, adding: “These jugs are perfect for keeping drinks handy.”
3232 P St. NW
Owner Carolyn Wasylczuk quoted Edith Sitwell when asked to contribute to this story, saying: “Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire; it is time for home.”
Wasylczuk loves talking tea, calling it the perfect thing to tame a restless mind, calm an upset stomach, ward off colds and breathe life into a good letter. Having a hot cup of tea with a friend or family member is easy to do virtually with apps like Zoom or Skype.
Just Paper & Tea has plenty of options to make the perfect cup of tea, like infusers, tea makers and teapots. Wasylczuk also recommends Vahdam teas for this upcoming holiday season, in flavors like Maharaja Breakfast, Turmeric Spiced and Himalayan Green.
1663 Wisconsin Ave. NW
There’s nothing like cozy cashmere when it comes to feeling warm and relaxed all winter. T&U’s luxurious cashmere throw is a great choice for those intimate nights at home. Or, if you do have to venture out, give the shop’s organic cashmere gloves a try.