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Win The Holiday Season With Local Gifts You Might Not Have Thought Of

Struggling with gift ideas for friends and family? It seems like every year when the holiday season approaches we wonder the same thing: How can I come up with gifts that are unique, thoughtful, and not the same old things everyone gets year after year?

This holiday season, skip the Amazon gift cards and get something truly special and different for those on your list. Whether it's your significant other, a parent, or even just a close friend, buy them something that speaks to their heart.

You can find a wide variety of gift ideas from the following local shops that are all close to Saratoga. And if you happen to pick up a little something for yourself while you're at it, we won't tell.

A Variety of Sweet Maple Products

maple products in a basket

Upstate New York is known for its maple products, and Rathbun's Maple Sugar House Restaurant in Whitehall has the best of the best. They're not just a restaurant - although definitely grab a delicious bite to eat while you're there - they also sell a variety of excellent maple products.

You can purchase pure maple syrup in gallon, half gallon, quart, or pint sizes, maple sugar candy, maple cream, and they also have gift boxes available.

Local Art & Handmade Items

items on display in a store
Photo credit: Martha Starke

Valley Artisans Market in Cambridge is an artisans cooperative where people can buy handmade items by local artists like paintings, glassware, wood carved items, stationery, fiber art, and more. There is a separate area in the back of the building that features a gallery displaying the work of various artists.

You can purchase a one-of-a-kind, high quality gift at Valley Artisans Market while supporting the local art community at the same time. It's a win win!

Comics, Collectibles, Games & Pop Culture

people in a comic store at a table
Photo provided

Do you have a game geek on your shopping list? Visit the Freakopolis Geekery in Whitehall for comics, board games, role-playing games, action figures, coloring books, and more merchandise ideal for gaming enthusiasts. You can find items relating to Dungeons and Dragons, Star Trek, and so much more.

Slate Items From the Slate Capital of the World

slate clock with moose image
Photo provided

Did you know? Granville is considered to be the Slate Capital of the World, thanks to its rich history and important contributions to the slate industry. Make a stop at the Slate Valley Museum and you can find a number of items made from slate right in their gift shop that would be excellent presents for anyone on your list.

In addition to slate products, they also carry children's books relating to immigration and the culture of immigrants who settled in Slate Valley. If you have a kid on your list to buy for, this could be a great opportunity to educate them on the local area. You could also give the gift of actually going to the museum, with a gift certificate.

Quaint Country-Style Home Decor Gifts

home decor gifts
Photo provided

You can find a plethora of home decor gifts and women's apparel at the charming As Time Goes By shop in Hartford. They carry a large amount of Christmas-themed merchandise ranging from gloves and mittens to decorative items to adorn the home with for the holidays.

This is one of those shops where you're never quite sure what you'll find, so you'll have to pop in and give it a look for yourself!

Books on Local History & More

woman and dog in bookstore

There's more than one reason to buy local for the bookworm on your list. Battenkill Books in Cambridge not only sells the current bestsellers, old classics, and more varieties of books that most shoppers are looking for, they also carry a large selection on local history and the surrounding area. And, they have a number of books that would be perfect as gifts.

Local Honey & Other Bee Products

honey products in a store

Located just east of Saratoga Springs in Greenwich, Betterbee is a popular destination for beekeepers, gift shoppers, and crafters. Their store sells a large selection of gifts, including Betterbee hand creams, honey soaps, beeswax candles, local honey, honey straws, and much more. Products are available in store and online for ordering.

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