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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673

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(at least) 50 under $50


 UPDATED: 12-16-10

"Oh come let us adore" all of the local retail opportunities in the Mad River Valley this holiday season. This year, The Valley Reporter asked local businesses to submit a list of up to five holiday gifts costing less than $50 to be included in the "50 under 50" holiday gift guide. The response was enthusiastic and overwhelming; gifts are highlighted in the order in which they were received, the same goes for the accompanying photos. The "50 under 50" list includes only gifts available for purchase within the Mad River Valley; consider it a map for hunting local treasures, browse, buy and be merry, Santa Claus is not only coming to town, he's staying in town and shopping locally.

Yestermorrow director Kate Stephenson suggests merchandise from the design/build school including tee-shirts, hats and stainless-steel water bottles, all with Yestermorrow's 30th anniversary logo, all under $50. Items can be purchased at Yestermorrow Design/Build School on Route 100 in Waitsfield or by phone at (802) 496-5545.

The Store has several items that qualify for the "50 under 50" holiday gift guide, among them the Kyocera ceramic adjustable slicer, a Vera Bradley mini laptop bag, a Cuisinart mini prep food processor, a Frasier Fir candle and a Le Creuset stoneware au gratin 14-inch dish, all for under $50.

Local writer and poet Ann B. Day has three books from Raven Croft Books available for purchase this holiday season: Poetry Through the Year for 2001, Poetry Journal and Nature of Things are all included in the "50 under 50."

Mad River Veterinary Service suggests giving the gift of health to your pets this year by offering toothbrushes and chicken- and seafood-flavored (fluoride and sorbital toxin-free) kits for $15 as well as canine and feline dental cleaning chews, gently leader collars, ear cleaners and lean treats. Mad River Veterinary also has Home Again pet loss prevention microchips for sale for under $50.

Complexions Day Spa in Waitsfield has several products and services available under the $50 limit including gift certificates, gift boxes and skincare products including Naturopathica plant stem cell serum, a moisture drench gift box, EmerginC multi-fruit cleanser and Naturopathica primrose eye and upper lip treatment. Give the gift of rich moisture-locking body care with Complexion's travel-sized lemon verbena body polish and shea butter ultra-rich body cream. In addition, Complexions has the "Glo Minerals" brow collection, a kit designed to create perfect brows in seconds.

Mad River Glass Gallery in Waitsfield has various ornaments (hearts, winged hearts, pacifiers, saturns, candy canes, orbs) for sale as well as hanging vases, small pitchers, small bowls, ring holders, paperweights and hand-blown-glass bead earrings all available for purchase for under $50 this holiday gifting season.

Eastern Systems in Waitsfield has office supply gifts covered with 500 self-seal #10 business-size envelopes imprinted with a four-line corner card in black or blue ink for sale, as well as 500 self-seal inside tinted double-window envelopes suitable for mailing laser checks and 1,000 one-color business cards on heavy stock using their type and the customer's artwork, all under $50.

Terra Rossa Restaurant gift certificates for any dollar amount will make a great gift for that hard-to-buy-for person. The Warren restaurant is on the Sugarbush Access Road. Mange! Mange!

Mad River Massage in Waitsfield offers a half-hour-long herbal facial massage, natural skin products, Lichen rock bath salts, candles and accessories and Amalia's famous flower calendar all available for less the $50.

Allen Lumber Co. in Waitsfield has an Irwin six-piece speedbor max set, a Estwing 20-ounce rip hammer, a drill driver set, Rugg snow shovel, a 20-foot-by-20-foot tarp, a 13-piece Turbomax drill bit set, a steel folding sawhorse and a Freud 7 1/4-inch 24T Diablo Blade for sale for less than $50. Put anything under the tree with an Allen Lumber gift certificate.

She's got no product, but she does have good ideas - Waitsfield Town Clerk Jennifer Peterson offered up some ideas so great that we quote her directly: "Register to vote for FREE! (Ha Ha!) Or license someone else's dog for him/her. I could go on." We say, do go on, Jennifer.

And from Fayston's alpine guru Al Hobart comes the following offerings:  Weatherproof manual Carving Turns Made Easy ($15) and DVD Complete Carving Made Easy ($20). Hobart, you know, is the founder of GMVS. Buy them both for $30. He's in the phone book, y'all. And, free shipping and handling if you mention The Valley Reporter. So there. Say it loud and say it proud. The Valley Reporter.

Not to be outdone, Al's better half, Jane Hobart, proud member and supporter of the Mad River Chorale, suggests the gift of music, song and holiday cheer. The Mad River Chorale and Young Singers Chorus of Vermont will offer a Christmas Eve concert on December 23 at Harwood with an orchestra including the VSO Brass Quintet. Tickets are $15, $13 and less for kids.

Vermont-grown Christmas trees and many unique custom decorated wreaths are among the under $50 gifts at the Mad River Garden Center in Waitsfield. Jen Soucy reports that poinsettias make a great hostess gift as well as holiday bulbs and pottery, plus gardening books and a number of styles and colors of bird feeders, holiday ornaments and decorations.

Margaret Hyde at The Hyde Away in Fayston suggested a gift certificate at the local eaterie but also suggests a $50-or-under gift of "22 Tacos on Taco Tuesday (including tax)." We like that. Does it come with an accompanying gift certificate for Weight Watchers or a local gym?

And, from our friends on the hill, Sugarbush reports in with a list of gear to be had for $50 or less at the Adventure Gear Shop. Your Ulysses S. Grant will get you gift cards, Scott Locket gloves or mittens, Sugarbush sweatshirts. Vermont handmade wool hats, Scott ski goggles and a Sugarbush weekender puzzle.

The Red Hen bakery in Middlesex has Ibex wool hats with great ear coverage and a visor, Red Hen T-shirts made with organic cotton/hemp and are clay dyed, along with cycling caps and stainless-steel coffee cups and water bottles. Red Hen has Panettone, a variety of cookbooks, and a "make your own gift basket" option where shoppers can bring their own basket and get assistance filling it with Red Hen products and Vermont products like wine, cheese, jams, Panettone and gift certificates.

Valley Rent-All in Waitsfield has a number of gifts under $50 including a Toro single stage deluxe snowblower cover, Carhartt hats, gloves and socks, women's Carhartt sweatshirts, men's Carhartt flannel-lined pants, Stihl orange or camo hearing protectors, safety glasses, and a Stihl chainsaw case. Carhartt!!!

The Collection in Waitsfield has "Buckyballs," a magnetic desk toy that's hard to put down, DaVinci bracelets with five interchangeable Pandora beads, an Idol Hands finger guitar, Solemate Socks for adults and children, and a bag of Birnn chocolate truffles made in Vermont, all for under $50.

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail guidebook makes a great gift under $50; it provides route descriptions of the 740-mile inland paddling trail tracing historical travel routes across New York, Vermont, Quebec, New Hampshire and Maine. In addition, the NFCT has trail maps for sale, the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail is divided into 13 maps. The maps are waterproof and user friendly. Items can be purchased at the Waitsfield office located at Route 100 and Bridge Street in the Waitsfield  House (across from the library) or online at www.NorthernForestCanoeTrail.org.

From Canus, purveyors of good smelling things, potions and lotions, comes of the offer of a gift set. We like the goat milk soap people!

Curves of Waterbury is offering the gift of fitness with a membership with a free month for $49. 

The Barn Door 
restaurant at the 1824 House has gift certificates available for dinner.

The Bradley House in Warren has a collection of hand-hooked 100 percent wool pillows designed by Vermont artist Laura Megroz. An all wool rooster throw, Country Glass cheese platter made in Vermont of recycled glass, a Danforth Pewter purse mirror that is beautifully decorated in many styles and colors and comes with a flannel or organdy pouch all for under $50. Also, the Bradley House has matted photos of local landscapes and animals by Vera Resnik and the famous "chicken tee shirt" available for purchase for less than $50.  Vermont artist Laura Megroz. An all wool rooster throw, Country Glass cheese platter made in Vermont of recycled glass, a Danforth Pewter purse mirror that is beautifully decorated in many styles and colors and comes with a flannel or organdy pouch all for under $50. Also, the Bradley House has matted photos of local landscapes and animals by Vera Resnik and the famous "chicken tee shirt" available for purchase for less than $50. 

The Three Mountain Cafe in Waitsfield has many different thermal mugs, bagged coffee, Lake Champlain Chocolates, ski boot mugs, Vermont items as well as small antiques that all qualify for the "50 under 50." Plus you get to see Julie and Paul, always a bonus.

offers six boxed sets of Choose Your Own Adventure books (published here in Waitsfield) that are great gifts for young readers. Many people aren't aware that the series is produced by a small creative team here in The Valley. They are offering 20 percent off list prices through December 21. Locals are welcome to place orders online and then either pick up at their offices (49 Fiddler's Green) or have orders shipped. 

The East Warren Community Market
has plenty of gifts under $50, including some that start at $5. The market has handmade ornaments for $5, Vermont Ice Cider wine for under $30 and many more wines under $10. Valerie urges shoppers to purchase comestibles for those on their shopping list! The market is making up some gift baskets and hostess baskets as well.

One of our favorite shopping Mecca's, The Warren Store, reports soooo many gifts under $50 that the paper is not large enough to list them. Indeed. Here are a few, Hanky Panky undies in ornament boxes for $18, puppets of all kinds, socks for $10, a stuffed dog for $39, Mad Bomber Hats for $40, SmartWool baby booties for $17.95, Red Pistol hats, candles, wine, exotic food items, antique topographical maps of The Valley and Warren and Waitsfield, and much, much more. And, don't forget, you can always buy someone a very swell lunch for under $50 at The Warren Store.

Clearwater Sports
in Waitsfield has a list that just won't quit. No editorializing here, just the facts maham, and here they are: Acorn Gala Slipper, Adventure Joe and Jane, Black Diamond Spot LED headlamp, Camelbak Hydration Pack, Darn Tough Socks, eGear Jolt Light USB, FlyLow Ridge gloves, Hestra Isaberg Mitten Kids, IceTrekkers MSR Denali Tyker kids' snowshoe, MSR Pocket Rocket, Patagonia Atom Pack, Patagonia Capilene 2 Baselayer, Patagonia Synchilla gloves, Sherpa Jaaro Micro Fleece, Sherpa wool hats, Sigg water bottles, Thermarest Z Lite sleeping pad, winter outing books.

Phew, that was so sporty, Valerie is tired and hungry. So next:

The Big Picture Theater and Cafe in Waitsfield where we can relax in front of a movie and eat popcorn. The theater has two tickets and popcorn gift certificates for under $50.

Still thirsty? Head to the Waitsfield Wine Shoppe where wine baskets for $49.99 have been prepared for those who love libations. And there are beer baskets to be had as well for $39.99. Good champagne and other bubblies also available here.

The Singing Spindle Spinnery in Duxbury has a host of gifts in the under $50 range. Owner Carol Collins reports she has wool craft kits for felting, spinning and weaving which range from $5 to $29. She has small handmade felted balls - $4 each (great for cats, boys, girls, everyone, great Christmas tree ornaments!) and large felted soaps - $12 each ss well as hand-crocheted hats at $25, $35, $45 and baby booties (hand-crocheted with some hand-spun yarns) - $16 to $19.95 each pair.

Geri Procaccini at Mad River Travel will make you up some travel gift certificates in many denominations, including $25 gift certificates! Let's go TSA!!!

Charlotte Potter Designs offers jewelry in a variety of price ranges, including earrings that are to die for. (Valerie is allowed to dangle her prepositions sometimes you guys, cut us some slack - we've been shopping for days.)

At Sweet Pea Natural Market and Cafe, owner Carin Fredette reports that every cook and hungry wanderer will be happy with a gift card. On a more personal note, Sweet Pea offers bath salts, holistic bath and massage oils, incense and candles, eco-friendly banana leaf plates and  many small fair trade, handmade gifts along with locally made soaps and lotions are a great stocking stuffers.

Further south on Route 100, Boysenberry in Rochester has many handmade Polartec fleece baby gifts including blankets, jackets, pants, baby buntings, hats and mittens - - all under $50. For adults, Boysenberry has a selection of vests, scarves, hats and mittens under $50 and well as fleece throws. See before you make the drive: www.boysenberryvt.com.

And in that neck of the woods, don't delay, get your Huntington House Inn gift certificate today. Yum, Yum!



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