The holidays are steeped in tradition everywhere, but Charleston is a city where tradition is a part of every day life. The classic elegance of the Holy City can be seen throughout the holiday season. Gifts that reflect the classic yet eclectic style of this southern city of style make the perfect present this season. Whether gifts that give back through the Historic Charleston Foundation, South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston Art Collective, Junior League of Charleston or homegrown gifts that support the local community from Artisan Meat Share, Charleston Hooker, Croghan’s Jewel Box or Harry Barker there should be something for everyone on your list.
The women of Sweet Charleston Designs create jewelry inspired by the sweet grass baskets of the Lowcountry beautifully preserving the art form in a different medium. The Hamlin Sound Collection features a Custom Embossed Pewter Cuff (retail price $75), earrings (retail price $65) and pendant (retail price $40) available at the Historic Charleston Foundation (HCF) shop. Proceeds from all items purchased from the HCF shop will help preserve and protect historic buildings and landmarks within the city.
Sweet grass basket weaving began in South Carolina in the 17th century when West African slaves were brought to America to work on plantations. Using the marsh grass artisans weave intricate basketry. Today the art form is threatened as marsh grass is less available, artisans are passing on, and even imported knockoffs are prevalent. Another local company that is bringing attention to the sweetgrass tradition is Harry Barker, a luxury pet supply line based in Charleston, for every item purchased from the Sweetgrass Basket Collection a portion will be donated to the International African American Museum in Charleston including the Sweetgrass Basket Dog Food Storage Canister (retail price $52). Animals and owners alike will love these sturdy stylish products.
From the marshes to the waterways Charleston is a peninsula city. The South Carolina Aquarium celebrates the relationship to water and the conservation of its inhabitants. The perfect gift for any child can be found at their gift shop. The Aquabot 2.0 Fishbowl with robotic fish (retail price $24.99) is a fun choice.
From fun to festive donning dapper attire is an art in Charleston. The Turkey Feather Bow tie (retail price: $120), a local product, available at Croghan’s Jewel Box is the perfect way to preen for the holidays. The ties are crafted from feathers found on hunting property in the Charleston Lowcountry and transformed.
The Charleston Art Collective comes together to support local causes. This December and January ten percent of proceeds from works sold will benefit the East Cooper Community Outreach. In the spirit of the season gift the Angel of Hope (retail price $75) or the tranquil Beach Breeze (retail price $125).
For the aspiring grill master the handmade Charleston Hooker Grilling Set (retail price $79.99) available at Wonderworks is the ultimate essential. The grilling set includes a Charleston Shrimp Zipper, Charleston Butt Grabber, and Small Charleston Hooker. Each tool expertly crafted from local James Island Cherry wood.
Holiday parties are planned. The hostess gift is always a manners must. Rewined candles, crafted in Charleston from recycled wine bottles, make the perfect circe. The seasonal choice, Wine Under the Tree (retail price $28), will illuminate the occasion.
Every cookbook collection should include the Junior League of Charleston‘s Charleston Receipts cookbook (retail price $19.95). For decades hostesses have consulted this so-called bible of Junior League (JL) cookbooks. The oldest JL cookbook in print in America, a portion of proceeds go to support community programs like Backpack Buddies at the Lowcountry Food Bank.
Traditional tea is an integral part of European life, but made way into the South through the plantations of old. Today America’s only tea garden Charleston Tea Plantation, located on historic Wadamalaw Island, is the home of American Classic Tea. The Charleston Tea Plantation Tea Chest (retail price $34.95) contains an assortment of these locally grown teas to taste.
Finally, for the foodie try the Motherboard (retail price $50) or Medium Meat Platter (retail price $80) from Artisan Meat Share. Acclaimed Cypress Chef Craig Diehl‘s latest venture offers award-winning charcuterie and freshly butchered meats for pick up at the new location. Diehl works closely with local and regional farmers to present the highest quality product and support the community.
Charleston offers homegrown gifts that give back not just to charities, but the community itself. A thriving city bustling with charm and tempered by refinement, Charleston stands alone in its southern style. Share the delights of this destination with those on your shopping list.