We’re less than two weeks from Christmas, and it’s crunch time for all of those who, like I, are chronic procrastinators. Fortunately, we here at The Hill is Home are Here To Help. If any of the people on your shopping list live in D.C., used to live in D.C., or want to live and/or visit here, we have a list below of lots of items and ideas for you to pick through. Good luck!
1. A tourist in your home town
What better gift to give to someone that loves D.C. than a way to learn more about their city? Several local tour operators have tours that go way beyond the usual Mall Monuments tour. DC by Foot and Washington Walks both offer lots of tours that even the most hardened D.C. history nerd will learn something from. Or maybe tickets to the Phillips Collection or any other of the museums in D.C. that aren’t free.
2. Learn more – books and maps
The number of books that have been written about D.C. is truly long, and a large selection of them can be found at Capitol Hill’s own book stores: Riverby Books (who will also sell you gift certificates) and Capitol Hill Books. To be recommended are books by local authors Garrett Peck, Tim Krepp, Canden Schwantes, John DeFerrari, John Muller and the late, lamented Cindy Janke. There are also lots of local authors, for instance Louis Bayard or Gene Weingarten. And if you’re really hard up, there’s always this hack.
Or stop by the Eastern Market Flea Market on the weekend. There’s always interesting local stuff to be found, not the least Jim Tam and his maps.
3. DC-themed gifts
But the best source of DC-related presents are to be had at our local merchants.
Groovy has lots of local-themed and/or locally-created items: Cards, calendars, framed vintage postcards, I particularly liked the coasters with local scenes on them. And then there’s J Chocolatier upstairs to round out your present.
Looking for something for the pet-owner in your life? Try Metro Mutts who have White House and Capitol shaped plush toys, cookies, and even dog t-shirts to keep your four-pawed friend amused.
I’m sure others will mention the awesome Hill’s Kitchen in their write-ups, but they also have lots of DC-related stuff: Cookie Cutters, glasses etched with the outline of D.C., plates (which you will find only here!) cocktail napkins, cutting boards (also in the shape of D.C.). There are also some locally produced food-stuffs here: Bitters and pickles, for instance (they do not, I believe, recommend mixing these two) And while they’re not made in DC, there are chocolates with D.C. pictures on them.
And then, there’s Labyrinth. If their huge selection of games and awesome staff weren’t enough to get you there, the great D.C.-related stuff will do it. There are sliding puzzles with D.C scenes on them, a wooden puzzle created especially for Labyrinth where you have to fit various D.C. landmarks onto a board (this puzzle was designed partially by Kathleen, owner of Labyrinth, making it a doubly-local item) There are also games designed by locals, one of which (and also currently a hot seller at the store) is called Between Two Cities, one of whose designers lives on the Hill. And then there are the puzzles, whether traditional or 3-D puzzles of the White House and Capitol.
A new entrant is Lab 1270 across from Union Market, and particularly the Time Off clothes they sell. See, for instance this shirt, just the thing for a proud resident of Ward 6! For some more DC-centric shirts and merchandise, check out Claudia’s holiday guide from last year.
The best about these stores, though, is the folks there: Just ask them for help. They won’t steer you wrong.
4. The D.C. Sports Fan
Another possibility is to find new gear for the D.C. sports fan in your life, whether to replace the baggy t-shirt or grimy baseball hat, or to find some new piece of gear you didn’t even know, there’s an online store. Whether you’re shopping for a Nationals, Capitals, Wizards, Mystics, or D.C. United fan, you’ll find something that they need (Note: D.C. United just changed their logo, adding the D.C. flag to it, so that will be particularly appreciated this holiday season). And if you may not want to wear a certain team’s name but still want to show pride for your home team, Sneekis‘ t-shirts and sweatshirts have you covered.
So – there you have it. I’m afraid I don’t have the time to go out and actually, you know, go shopping for you. But there’s no longer any excuse not to find something for the D.C.-lover in your life.