Updated: Nov 15, 2021
Home for the Holidays has taken on a whole new meaning in 2020 and figuring out gifts for loved ones this year may pose a challenge. So, without further ado, here's the 4Squares 2020 List for Creative Gift Giving in these exceptional times.
As the saying goes, "Food is love," and luckily for Medford residents, there are plenty of food options, many a hop, skip, or point-and-click away.
Goldilox Bagels on Winthrop Street offers virtual gift cards delivered to your loved one's email for pre-ordering a weekend treat, fresh from the oven.
Surprise the coffee lover in your life with a gift card from one of Medford's cafes: Coffee to-go is available at Tamper on Boston Avenue and Mystic Coffee Roasters in Medford Square. Or treat your loved ones to breakfast-to-go from Dempsey's in Haines Square or a breakfast sandwich from Magnificent Muffin in West Medford.
Travel restrictions got you down? Orchestrate a Parisian escape with a trip to Colette Bakery on Main Street in South Medford for a Parisian getaway with authentic French pastries (the chocolate croissants are divine!). The Danish Pastry House is another international option, featuring European butter cookies and signature danish pastries like Thebirkes or Kringles that melt in your mouth. They also make a seasonal yule log, or Bûche de Noël, with tiny marzipan mushrooms, that is as charming as it is delicious.
In South Medford, treat yourself - or someone else - to the tastes of Brazil with cakes or a flan from Oasis Bakery. Satisfy your wanderlust and your sweet tooth by popping in to Arthur’s Pastry, “Home of the Cannoli” or picking up a gourmet Italian cookie tray from Modern Pastry.
For the Home Cooks in Your Life
Even the most avid home cook has found themselves in a food rut now and again. Why not surprise them with an e-gift card for grocery pick-up and delivery from Neighborhood Produce in Ball Square? Choose from locally-sourced dairy, meats, and bulk grain items, which the staff pack up for you to pick up!
Family Dinner is another creative option for feeding the crew, especially for the vegetarians, pescatarians, and paleo folks in your life. Subscriptions are flexible and include week-to-week payment options, and the staff is available to help folks create a combination of products for your eating and cooking style.
Gifts for Kids (from one to 92!)
Whether you're stuffing stockings or spinning dreidels, 4GoodVibes has plenty of options for surprising the children in your life. Plush toys, coloring books, and (our favorite) Kid Grab bags make for a fun holiday gift exchange. For the bigger kids, choose from painted and etched-glass artwork to a whole line of Medford-themed pillows, signs, decorative bottles, and coffee mugs.
Have a fashionista in the family? Check out jewelry made by Medford's own Sarah Beardslee of Beads by Beardslee. Sarah handcrafts earrings, bracelets, brooches, and necklaces, each piece designed to make the wearer feel special and have their well-being in mind. Bookmarks, beaded utensils, and even beaded mask chains are also available via her website, www.beadsbybeardslee.com.
Books and Toys
Books are always a great option for gift-giving and Medford Public Library has come to the rescue this season with their weekly Virtual Book Sale on Thursday mornings at 9am. Can't wait until a Thursday? How about a $10 Grab Bag? You choose the genre and give some general guidelines, and librarians choose the exact items and schedule pick up.
Feel like browsing is a better option? The Book Rack in Arlington remains open by appointment for in-person shopping, and also offers curbside drop-off and pick-up for trading in books and picking up new ones.
And of course, no holiday is complete without toys, so be sure to check out Medford Family Network’s Virtual Toy Swap. Drop off will be December 1-3 at the MFN from 9am-4pm, and all toys and treasures will be posted on December 13th at noon on the new Facebook MFN Toy Swap page!
The Gift of An Experience for The Whole Family
While a physical gift is often appreciated, opting for an experience is a welcome change and something loved ones can enjoy beyond the holiday season.
The Stone Zoo in nearby Stoneham is currently hosting its iconic Zoolights event, which has been modified for social distance safety. You can also purchase a membership to enjoy the zoo with family year-round, which also permits entry to Franklin Park Zoo in Jamaica Plain.
For the nature-lovers on your list, a donation to Friends of the Fells is a terrific option. The Friends continue to offer winter and spring programming with guided hikes, including the Winter Solstice Hike, Forest Explorations, and their signature Babes in the Woods walk for the littles.
What are your gift ideas for the season and beyond? Showcasing opportunities to enjoy what New England living has to offer is one of the ways I help homeowners love the way they live in Medford. Reach out and share your ideas!