Treasures to be found online, in stores

Third story in series includes striking gifts (like a Steinway) that can't be bought online

Barb Johannesen appreciates the convenience - and the safety - of being able to shop for Christmas gifts online. She also enjoyed the opportunity to stop in a few shops in town as she worked on the third installment of The Hinsdalean's gift ideas series.

"It was so great to be out and see the world again," she said.

Christmas at the Johannesen household is usually a big event, with Barb and husband Jim typically hosting dozens, including their six children, ages 24 to 32, significant others and extended family.

"This time I think we'll have five or six of us," she said. "Our kids that aren't living in the area won't come because they'd have to stay with us."

The holiday typically is a two-day event, with lasagna on the menu Christmas Eve, a large Christmas Day breakfast and a dinner featuring ham and turkey. This year will be quite different, Barb said.

"It's really hard to adjust to that because we've never been apart from our children on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day other than our son, who sometimes is with his in-laws. We're never alone," she said.

But in this season of gratitude, she has plenty to keep her spirits up.

"We're just really grateful that everyone is OK," she said. "We have a newly engaged daughter. She's getting married in April. I'm hoping next year will be better."

First, however, comes this Christmas, and the gift ideas Barb found at a dozen Hinsdale stores. Here's her list, in her own words.

• For unique gifts, Yankee Peddler never disappoints - and that's saying something, considering the shop will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2021. Daughter Tara will receive an adorable pewter angel figurine, hand painted in Bavaria. Yankee Peddler, $110

(purchase in store)

• I'm dreaming of a white centerpiece for our holiday dining table. The gorgeous Winter Wilds floral arrangement, consisting of lilies, roses and mini carnations, with pine cone accents, will put the whole family in a festive mood. Phillip's Flowers & Gifts, $99.95

• Fashion-loving daughter Kendall would love to add the Miu Miu black leather crossbody to her newfound collection of designer bags. Kelsey Resale Boutique, $299

• A new shop, Favorite, provides plenty of ideas for a friend who has everything, including a uniquely beautiful earring and necklace set made from piano wire in gunmetal, silver and gold finishes.

Favorite, necklace $72, earrings $54

(purchase in store)

• When thinking of style, niece Nicole comes immediately to mind. She'd have fun accessorizing with a charcoal gray fedora with metallic bands by Hat Attack. Red E Mas, $228

(purchase in store)

• If you've not tried gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, you're in for a treat. I bring the mega circles of gooey deliciousness to parties, and guests always ask who made them. Wish I could take credit. Sweet Ali's Gluten Free Bakery, $2.99 each

• Travel restrictions have meant I've seen too little of sister Tricia this year. I'd like to send her a gift she'd really love, and I found it yesterday: a ruby red ombre Orciani shoulder bag, in buttery soft Italian leather. Sweet William, $725

(purchase in store)

• A Shelley Kyle scented candle with delicate gold motif would complement the elegant décor of friend Olga's home - and its purchase helps support local women entrepreneurs. The Work + Shop, $36

(purchase in store)

• A feminine black cheetah print Show Me Your MuMu blouse will be a welcome addition to daughter Melissa's closet, for both casual days and evenings out.

Alixandra Blue Boutique, $124

• Niece Grace, a soon-to-be college grad, would love having some bling to wear to her first full-time job with a sparkling one-quarter carat diamond pendant set in 14K rose gold. Karat Jewelry Group, $480

• Our "micro" Christmas Eve celebration will not be without its traditional cocktail shrimp tray. A two-pound tray feeds 10-15 people - more than we'll have in attendance - leaving tasty leftovers to enjoy on Christmas Day! Burhop's Seafood Store, $69.95

• Pianos have evolved since childhood friends and I tapped out "Heart and Soul" on keyboards. Steinway's Spirio/r is a magnificent high resolution player piano, offering live performance capture and playback as well as recording, editing and livestreaming. Son Brian, a musician, would be thrilled to have this amazing instrument in his home. Steinway, $118,900

(purchase in store)

Author Bio

Author photo

Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean