Christmas is quickly approaching, but don't fret if you haven't finished -- or started -- your shopping. You can still find many great gifts without even leaving the neighborhood.
One of my personal favorite ideas is the Politics and Prose Book-a-Month Gift Program. Each month, your loved one will receive a new hardcover or paperback book personally selected by Politics and Prose staff, who identify a book based upon the recipient's interests. Enrollment in the program is free, and costs are the price of the book plus shipping, charged to your credit card each month.
Chevy Chase Gallery is located on the same block of Connecticut Avenue as Politics and Prose. You might want to consider having that old wedding photograph, the college diploma tucked in a drawer, the finger-painting hanging on the fridge or other personal memorabilia professionally framed for a loved one. The store's owners Bill and Jackie do all the framing on site and will work with you to find the perfect glass, mat and backing. Most orders take two weeks to complete, but some items can be rushed.
In Tenleytown, you'll find Hudson Trail Outfitters. Get a Gear Card for the outdoor enthusiast in your life, and let him or her select from a large stock of bicycle equipment, camping gear, canoe/ kayak gear, knives and tools, outwear and snow sports equipment.
Next door to Hudson Trail Outfitters, you'll find Middle C Music. Middle C carries a large selection of sheet music, as well as guitars, music equipment and concerts on DVD. Middle C also offers music lessons in guitar, piano, woodwind and brass, percussion, string and voice for those aged 6 and older. This could be the perfect gift for someone in your life who is considering rediscovering an instrument he or she gave up years ago, or for someone who has always wanted to learn.
A good bottle of wine always makes a great gift. You'll find Calvert Woodley Wines & Spirits located about a block north of the Van Ness-UDC Metro Station. You'll also find a knowledgeable staff able to recommend a bottle of wine to match any taste, budget and occasion. Pair the bottle with a set of wine glasses from Pier 1 Imports, located at nearby Van Ness Square.
While you're shopping in the Van Ness area, don't dismiss your local grocery store Giant for Christmas gifts. Giant has a wide selection of magazines for sale, and subscriptions are something your loved one can enjoy all year long. Giant sells the magazines you'd expect, such as People, Sports Illustrated and Time, but the store also carries a surprisingly large selection of architectural, food, health, news, music and photography magazines, including Acoustic Guitar, The Economist, Runner's World, and Scientific American. You'll be able to find a magazine for almost anyone. If you can't, Giant also sells gift cards for Home Depot, The Gap and other retailers.
And to help your loved ones meet their New Year's resolutions, you can always give them a Gold's Gym Van Ness gift card, redeemable for personal training sessions.
Good luck as you complete your Christmas shopping, and happy holidays to all of our readers!