Thanksgiving came early this year and so did the snow (and the snow kept coming and coming!) That equates to extra time for shopping. Normally, that means making trips to the mall in South Portland or to the outlets in Freeport, Kittery or North Conway.
To make your 2018 holiday season more enjoyable, my suggestion is to shop local. We often overlook all of the wonderful merchants, artists and non-profits that we have living in and around Lovell. Not only will the recipient be pleased but by buying local, you will be supporting our local economy.
Here are some ideas:
* Lots to choose from at the Harvest Gold Gallery in Center Lovell. Custom designed earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings and much more. Inside their large gallery is a wide variety of American-made art work (much of it local) that will brighten every home. Bill and Lynda can be reached at 207-925-6502. Visit their website here.
* You need to check out all the great things that Brent Legere is creating at the Lovell Box Company. The list of products continues to grow but still includes the wonderful, one-of-a kind boxes and crates (perfect for wine, beer, storage, produce, etc.) made from pine on the family land. Have an idea for a custom design, Brent would be happy to make something from your own specs. Check out his Facebook page here or call him at 207-432-2900.
* How about taking that old couch with the ragged threads to HEIRLOOM UP for some updated upholstery? How about some custom throw pillows to add some style to your existing furniture? Visit Martha Livingston's shop at 222 Main Street in Lovell Village. She can help you with design and fabric choices and then do a fantastic job of bringing your favorite chair or couch back to life. Is your pontoon boat looking tired? Martha can help spruce it up with new seat covers! Call her at 207-595-1539.
* Find a great selection of lumber, paint, nuts and bolts, mulch, wood pellets, pet and horse feed, propane, garden supplies and much more at the Lovell Hardware Store at 411 Main Street. If they don't have it, they will order it for you! Wouldn't your talented home carpenter friend appreciate a gift certificate? Call 925-9053 for hours.
* Can't find a friendlier family than the Wards from Stow! Justin and Jenn's 'Off the Grid' Fly Away Farm is now firmly established in Lovell and the surrounding area. It may not be the best time of year for fresh produce but there is a great selection of handmade jewelry, bags, t-shirts and don't forget the delicious eggs, pork, honey and maple syrup. Visit their website here or give them a call at 466-7352.
* Karl's Auto Repair is located at 118 Cushman Pond Road in Lovell. Get rid of that winter grime inside and out for your special person's car with an auto detailing package from Karl. Call for more information at 928-3132 or visit Karl's Facebook page here.
* Hilltop Handspun, located in North Lovell, is owned and operated by fiber artist and designer, Lucy Rogers. Lucy enjoys creating and selling had-made yarn to hand knitters and fiber and roving to hand spinners and felters. The yarn and spinning fibers are made from alpaca mohair, wool and angora fleeces that she hand selects from Maine and New England fiber farms. Many of her designer yarns are hand spun and a number are spun at a local mini-mill on a fleece by fleece basis. Beautiful colors in the yarns, which are inspired by the local mountain environment, come to life during the hand dyeing process in Lucy's kitchen. Here is a link to her webpage where you will find yarn and kits for sale.
* Pietree Orchard. Located on top of Waterford Road in Sweden, this Orchard is a great place to shop for local produce, pies, flowers, doughnuts, jams and outstanding pizza! The 'Pick-Your-Own' season is over but there is lots to choose from in the store including some fashionable hats and shirts. Plus they are great contributors to our local community. Visit PietreeOrchards.com for more detailed information. 647-9419.
* How about a Gift Certificate to some local eating establishments?
1) Rosie's Lovell Village Store. What better place to eat the counter and catch up on local activities. Stop in or call Rosie at 925-1255.
2) The Center Lovell Market. Open on a year-round basis for great food, coffee, a bottle of wine, gasoline and some sharp looking hats and shirts. Great pizzas! 925-1051.
3) The Stow Corner Store. An original menu, great portions, a very warm environment and a local institution to boot! Checkout their Facebook page here for updates on specials and hours. Don't miss the award-winning chili and seafood chowder! Worth a visit for that alone. 697-2255.
4) The Wicked Good Store. Be sure to try out some great food at the new store in town! 925-9087. Visit their Facebook page here.
5) AJ's Everything Store at 409 Maine Street in Stoneham. A small convenience store upfront and a nice restaurant out back. Great food at great prices! Plus, music with a variety of local bands on the weekends. Visit their Facebook page here. 928-2454
6) The Old Saco Inn. It does not matter what season it is, the Old Saco is the place to go for great food and drinks in a fairy-tale setting on the banks of the Old Saco River. A new and expanded menu and dining hours and plenty of private rooms for an extended stay. Good access to the snowmobile trails. Visit their website here. 925-3737
7) Ebenezer's Pub. Who would ever think that America's Best Beer Bar in here in Lovell. On the second green of the Lake Kezar Country Club, the pub also has easy snowmobile access to their front door during the winter. Visit their Facebook page here. Hours vary according to the season so be sure to call first. 925-3200.
Still can't figure out what to give to someone who has everything? How about a gift in their name to some of our local organizations? The Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library, Lewis Dana Hill Memorial Library, Lovell Historical Society, Brick Church for the Performing Arts, Greater Lovell Land Trust, Kezar Lake Watershed Association, Sweden Food Pantry, Lovell's United Church of Christ, Sunshine Backpack Food Program, or Lovell Friends Helping Friends (winter fuel assistance for the needy)!
Please let me know any omissions or additions to this list.
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to All!