Shop local for the perfect holiday gifts

Hinsdale merchants have great items for shoppers who come in to the store or buy online

By Pamela Lannom

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The Hinsdalean’s annual gift ideas series always begins with a shopping trip around town between yours truly and a willing volunteer. I’ve been shopping with my co-workers, leaders of Hinsdale’s nonprofit agencies and members of the village’s economic development commission.

This year, however, with COVID-19 infection rates climbing, spending an hour or two visiting a dozen stores with a different person each week didn’t seem to be the most responsible plan.

And so we did the next best thing.

This year all of our shoppers will be perusing gift ideas from the comfort of their own homes. We enlisted former contributing columnists (and Hinsdale residents) to serve as our shoppers, and first up is Michelle Crowe.

The beauty of asking a writer to complete this task is the list she turns in is polished and ready to publish.

So, in Crowe’s own words, here are her suggestions for holiday gifts from 13 merchants in town. If you’d like to click directly on the links we’ve provided, just read the article online at

• My mom is super stylish and her go-to items are cashmere sweaters and pearls. The gorgeous strand of Black South Seas Baroque Pearls from Fine Gold Manufacturing will be so pretty on her. Fine Gold Manufacturing, $2,700

• My niece Claire will love the Lune + Aster Swipe + Celebrate Lip Gloss Set. The colors are so pretty and I like the empowering message behind their names: Champion, CEO, Changemaker, Vlogger and Entrepreneur.

Blue Mercury, $40

• An epic group chat with my three best friends from college has been a real sanity saver this year. They are each getting a BudhaGirl Chamonix 5 bracelet set in amethyst. Lepa Boutique, $148

• I’ve been friends with this gallery’s director, Tom, since high school and he’s watched my son, Jeffrey, grow from a slightly shy 5-year-old to a towering freshly minted teenager. Jeffrey is really into sports and we loved watching “The Last Dance” in the spring. He also listens to a lot of rappers from Chicago. The incredible black and white photo (24” by 36”) on metal, “Chicago River — Wrigley Building” by Jeff and Jason Lewis, is something he will think is cool now and hopefully will keep forever. Acquisitions of Fine Art, $1,050

• C.J. Grad is the most talented jewelry designer with the best eye for gemstones. The mint tourmaline earrings will look great on my sister and she can wear them to play tennis or out for wine with her friends (she lives in Florida and they still do that there). Caffray Jewellers, $1,950

• This is my fourth year as a member of the Hinsdale Auxiliary of Infant Welfare Society of Chicago. We collect baby gifts and take them down to the Angel Harvey Family Health Center so when someone needs something, staff can make sure they have it. What a wonderful surprise a pair of sassy and supportive walking shoes will be for a little girl. Kinga Shoes, $87.60

• My nephew Henry always picks the funniest and least appropriate cards. He will love “The Encyclopedia of Immaturity.” My Sister Kate, $19.95

• A devoted group of four of us have kept our book club going on Zoom this year. Those monthly check-ins have been good for everyone’s soul. I’m sending the other three women a charming Tuilerie Bag by Iosis to carry their books. Yves Delorme, $175

• The cute pom hat and plaid scarf in the Let it Snow Gift Set will make my cousin Lisa happy and keep her warm in the Michigan winter. Vintage Charm, $62

• The mister lost 100 pounds this year and will look great in a Holebrook Mans Zip Sweater. Stockholm Objects, $375

• Everything they make at Toni Patisserie is amazing. All three generations of our family are huge fans of the white chocolate mousse cake, $38.95 served with raspberry sauce. Toni Patisserie, $38.95 cake, $6.95 sauce.

• I would love to gift myself several place settings of Rosenthal Butterfly Garden by Gianni Versace. I’ve always loved the over-the-top pattern, and I dream of hosting my favorite friends in town for lunch with lots of wine when we can gather again. Char Crews, $625 for a five-piece place setting.

• My friend’s gift exchange is the highlight of the season. This hooded cocoon faux fur jacket would be a shoo-in for most stolen item of the night. Trousseaux, $40

Next week: Part 2 continues with guest shopper John Bourjaily.

Author Bio

Author photo

Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean