This weekend millions of people will travel to spend the holidays with family and friends. AAA estimates that 93.3 million Americans will take to the roads this holiday season, indicating that peak travel times beginning Saturday December 22nd could mean long lines at gas pumps and rest stops, and leave travelers eager to start their holiday celebrations stuck in traffic. Suffice it to say that traveling for the holidays is already a source of stress, and if you happen to be one of those many people who still have gifts to purchase, you could certainly use an elf or two to help ease your mounting holiday anxieties.
Short on elves? Well, we hear they are otherwise engaged this time of year, but we can certainly simplify this process. If you’re traveling off the Eastern Shore for the holidays, why not take gifts with you that represent where you come from? And if that place happens to be Ocean City, MD, where millions vacation each year, we’re willing to bet your nearest and dearest would appreciate presents that remind them of their favorite vacation memories, the whole year through.
Below is our list of unique gifts that represent life on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. If you live here and plan to take these things elsewhere, it feels really good to be able to buy local, (and you don’t have to worry about whether that last minute gift you bought at 2am off of Amazon will arrive for Christmas morning, even with the rush shipping!) If you live here and are staying home for the holidays, these items are wonderful additions for anyone finding gifts under your holiday tree. Happy holidays, and happy shopping from ShoreBread!
The first stop for anything locally handmade, or indicative of our region should be Bungalow Love in Berlin, MD. It’s a one-stop shop for exceptional gifts for men, women, and children. From handmade purses and children’s clothing, to jewelry, artwork, and even terrariums, owner Heather Layton has an artist’s eye (look for her handmade gifts), and chooses items you’d want in your own home, let alone to be used as gifts for those closest to you. Our picks for Maryland Eastern Shore-related gifts?
|1. Gift a true Ocean City, MD fan with an Adirondack chair made completely out of up-cycled historic Ocean City Boardwalk wood. Your gift recipient may not be able to walk the boardwalk they love year round like a local, but he or she can sit on a piece of authentic history in their own backyards. (As a side-note, there is an Ocean City Boardwalk Reconstruction Project currently on-going. The wood removed during this project is what is up-cycled in this furniture).|
2. Erick Sahler Serigraphs: Know someone who loves the iconic businesses of Ocean City? Sahler’s pieces are originals, and signed, even without the frames.
Check out this article about Shaler's work for more info: Local Artist, Erick Sahler
|3. Boardwalked – ‘Ocean City memories on a piece of Ocean City history.’ From the same mind-set as the inspiration behind the Boardwalk Adirondack chairs, these pieces of art are actual photographs of Ocean City Boardwalk staples, placed upon a canvas made from up-cycled Boardwalk wood.|
|4. We may be well past the days when a shave and a haircut cost two bits, but that shouldn’t mean any man in your life doesn’t deserve that same barber shop treatment at home. Layton has cigar boxes at the ready-to-be-filled, with an up-cycled coffee mug, shaving brush, soap, and aftershave in a variety of scents that quite simply draw you closer, ahem. The soaps and aftershave in the kit are all from Soapamoke River, a company on the Eastern Shore who drew inspiration for their name from the Pocomoke River. Their soaps feature names and illustrious tales from Eastern Shore folklore. Some soaps are felted, providing natural exfoliation for a population that may not deem such things necessary, but will surely credit you for their new-found youthful glow…or not. Our pick? Blackbeard's Cove: The infamous pirate Blackbeard often sailed the calm waters of the Chesapeake. He used Smith Island as a resting place during his career so often that a part of the island still bears his name. This scents is warm and spicy with heavy notes of cinnamon and makes us think of buried treasure just waiting to be found.|
1. The Friday Berlin, MD Farmer’s Market has greens, eggs, baked goods, flowers and greenery, organic winter vegetables, and many other items you need to make your holiday meal complete. But, if you want to make a statement and bring back a traditional Eastern Shore holiday staple, it’s got to be the oysters. If you happen to take R-Dad oysters home for the holidays, it may indeed become a new family tradition.
To learn more about R-Dad Oysters or the Berlin Farmer's Market, check out these articles:
|2. Fisher’s Popcorn. Since 1937 the Fisher family, who still owns and operates this business, have been popping the notable caramel, butter, and cheddar-flavored corn stemming from their original post on Talbot St. and the Boardwalk, Ocean City.|
|3. Want to take those famous Maryland steamed crabs with you? Crabs-to-Go on rt. 50 in Berlin has a nationwide ordering and shipping system in place. But again, if you happen to be traveling to points north, west, or south, call ahead and they will prepare them for your departure.|
|4. Dolly’s Candy is an Ocean City staple. Since 1910 Dolly’s has been making their saltwater taffy and other delicious candied treats. Have someone with a sweet tooth on your list? Dolly’s is the original purveyor of Ocean City sweets.|
What to Get the Person Who Has Everything?
|1. The Perry Cabin Inn in St. Michaels, MD is home to the Chesapeake Bay’s Offshore Sailing School. Courses offered in a variety of plans. Perfect for the just retired person, or someone who would love to undergo a new adventure.|
|2. If you have the capability of gifting someone an ideal, quintessential, Eastern Shore vacation, Ocean City Reservations is your connection. Book a loved one a short stay at their favorite OCMD hotel. Best part abotu Ocean City Reservations? They throw on added bonuses when you book; coupons, gift certificates, and package add ons.|