Treasures to be found in Hinsdale shops

HJWC president finds gifts to keep friends, family warm and happy over the holidays

Hinsdale's Michelle Riley is looking forward to the start of the holiday season.

She and her family will be at the Hinsdale Christmas Walk Friday night. Then, on Sunday, she'll don her holiday leggings to run in the 5K Jingle Dash. This is the inaugural year for the fundraiser, sponsored by the Hinsdale Junior Woman's Club.

Riley, a public relations specialist, went to her first Juniors meeting shortly after she was transferred to Chicago from LA in 2003 and a friend suggested they join together. The friend backed out, but Riley enjoyed the group.

"This was a great thing, an outlet for me to get to know people in town that I wouldn't get to meet otherwise," she said.

Riley is now in a new job (senior vice president, public relations leader at Merge) and is no longer just a member of Juniors. She's the club president.

December is a busy month for Juniors, which will present holiday gifts Dec. 11 to more than 300 clients of HCS Family Services during its Gifts of the Season event at Grace Episcopal Church.

A few weeks later, Riley will celebrate the holidays with family. She said she's looking forward to creating some down time in the midst of the hectic season - "being able to take a minute to relax and enjoy time with family."

She visited 13 stores with The Hinsdalean Monday, picking out items that would make great gifts for friends and family for this article, the second in a four-part series on holiday gift ideas available from Hinsdale merchants.

Next week's shopper is Danielle Tusk, president of the Hinsdale Auxiliary of the Infant Welfare

Society of Chicago.

• a Coffee Club subscription, with a 12-ounce bag of regular coffee, a 12-ounce bag of special origin of the month coffee and a 4-ounce bag of blended coffee each month, is perfect for her coffee-loving sister-in-law, also named Michelle Riley. "She and her husband are very adventurous in their coffee. They love trying new things," she said. Café la Fortuna, $34.99 a month

• a 500-piece Ohio State puzzle will keep her mother-in-law, Jean, busy on long winter days. Hinsdale News Agency, $19.99

• Riley's 11-year-old son, Tom, has two interests represented on his wish list: sports and Christmas decorations. The silver and blue nutcracker with faux fur-trimmed cape and hat is the perfect addition to his collection. Yankee Peddler, $49.95

• Seattle weather makes Mackage's "Cory" waterproof champagne bomber with a removable blue fox fur hood, insulated waist pockets and rib knit hems a great choice for step-mom Nancy. Sweet William, $890

• a letter "C" studded with diamonds (.10 carats) on a 16- to 18-inch adjustable chain will add a little sparkle to 9-year-old daughter Caitlin's Christmas outfit. Karat Jewelery Group, $390

• a holiday sampler with Chex mix, mixed nuts, chocolate-covered almonds and Reindeer Crunch popcorn is the perfect gift for fellow exec board members of HJWC. Toni Patisserie & Cafe, $23.95 each

• sister Lesley, who just moved back after working in a government job in Qatar, can snuggle up in a gray and navy faux fur adjustable scarf. "She hasn't seen cold weather in a long time," Riley said. J.McLaughlin, $78

• any hostess would be thrilled to receive a 6-inch double-stemmed speckled white and plum orchid, which will retain its beauty long after the holidays are over. Phillip's Flowers and Gifts, $99.95

• a black-handcrafted chiffon halter-style "Winona" midi dress, with a rainbow metallic clip dot motif, elegant high neckline and adjustable self-tie belt, will make a statement wherever Riley wears it this holiday season. Lepa Boutique, $450

• best friend Megan can cozy up in an animal print ivory and blush Newbury Kustom blanket. "She's another Seattle girl," Riley said. Alixandra Blue, $66

• step-dad John will enjoy some healthy snacks - and some special treats - in a fruit basket with nuts and chocolate. The Fruit Store, $100

• a soft, cranberry acrylic wrap with faux fox fur trim will keep Aunt Anne warm and fashionable over the holidays. Favorite, $120

• Riley chose a Nikola Toplev acrylic titled "Landscape Bright Light" for her husband, Jim. The two are in "pandemic decor updating," she said with a laugh. Expressions Gallery of Fine Art, $8,800

Author Bio

Author photo

Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean