Special heart for holidays in Hinsdale

Hometown a strong foundation for first shopper in series highlighting gift ideas in town

Hinsdale's Jim Prisby relishes raising his own brood in the community where he grew up.

The village native is husband to Lisa and dad to Andrew, pursuing a career in medicine; Christopher, studying construction management at Purdue University; and Sarah, a senior at Nazareth Academy.

He's also kept his professional life close to home, operating Caprio Prisby Architectural Design firm with his partner right in the downtown. Jim also serves as a historic preservation commissioner.

"Family Christmas tradition is, and has been, Christmas Mass at St. Isaac's, followed typically by the Polish traditional dinner on Christmas Eve at my parents' house," then "Christmas morning breakfast at home enjoying gifts with the family."

As a child, Prisby remembers driving back from Christmas Eve at his grandparents' house and making a special tour through The Woodlands to see the luminaria display.

"Everybody did them back then in that part of town, and it was pretty impressive," Jim related.

Also impressive were the gifts he found for family and friends at about a dozen stories in town in the first of this four-part series.

• Jim's parents are in need of some new furnishings after their Florida home took a devastating hit from Hurricane Ian. "They had 19 feet of water," he said. To help with the oceanside renewal, an eglomise/bronze crab sculpture with claw extended, like it was plucked from the beach, is a inspiring symbol seeming to reach out for fresh hope in the wake of tragedy. Trumeau, $300.

• With the temperatures sinking, thoughts turn to warm outwear. A gray Moorer wool coat that is both wind-resistant and water-resistant is Jim's wish for his own winter protection. Burdi, $2,970.

• Jim's business partner's newborn grandson may not quite be ready for a wooden Janod Crazy Doggy Cart, but should be by this time next year. My Sister Kate, $85.

• Jim's wife, Lisa, is sure to leap over the addition of this lovely white deer sculpture to the family's trove of holiday table decorations. "She'd probably put it on our buffet in the dining room, in front of the mirror," he said. "She likes deer." Phillip's Flowers & Gifts, $99.95.

• A jewelry store can be a head-spinning spot for the bling-challenged. With a little guidance, Jim selects a 1.3-karat diamond pendant on a white gold chain for Lisa to wear to all the holiday parties. Razny, $3,260

• Picasso's "Head of Man" drawing hung in Jim's Hinsdale office would be sure impress his clients. "Picasso was very influential and his art was very different from what people were doing at the time," Jim said. Acquisitions of Fine Art, $39,500

• It's bad form to show up at a party empty-handed. And Jim knows the perfect libation for the season's festivities, namely a four-bottle pack of Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen. The trick will be keeping the caps on until party time! Hinsdale Wine Shop. $19.99

• For the party host who's also a neighbor, a stylish ceramic Hinsdale ornament with charming evergreen trees makes a nice memento of good times enjoyed - especially if it's presented hung around a bottle of wine. Hinsdale News Agency, $12.99

• When Mother Nature allows, the Prisbys like spending time outside. The 27-inch round stainless steel Solo Stove Yukon wood fire pit would a great addition to gatherings with family and friends. "My kids sometimes want to sit in the backyard in the middle of summer and the fall," Jim said. Fullers Home & Hardware, $599.

• Bluetooth Hypergear headphones are a perfect gift for all Jim's offspring, whether the purpose is gaming, listening to tunes or studying for the MCATS. "I could get those for all the kids," Jim said. Verizon, $90

• Daughter Sarah is a star of the stage and spends considerable time reading over scripts to learn her lines. The Mina table lamp by Sean Lavin will give her the light she needs while also making a statement with its sphere of pure optic crystal resting on a marble base. Might it eventually find its way into a college dorm room? Circa Lighting, $528

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean