I shivered as I hurried along South State Street on a recent Saturday afternoon, eager to get inside one of the warm shops. Still accustomed to mild fall temperatures, I left my house unprepared for the brief snow squall that descended on Clarks Summit shortly before my downtown jaunt. My hands were warm stuffed inside the pockets of my coat, but I could feel my ears turning red from the cold.
“I could use a new winter hat anyway - maybe I’ll find something in here,” I thought as I entered Sonia’s Contemporary Clothing/Kidazzle/The Drapery Shop.
A small display of crocheted headbands with soft fleece lining caught my eye. I chose one that matched my coat and headed for the counter, where the proprietor, Sonia Wysochanski, was chatting with another customer and demonstrating a product that looked something like Silly Putty.
The small storefront at 320 South State Street houses three businesses in one, with a mix of women’s and children’s clothing and accessories, toys and window treatments. The shop is one of many in downtown Clarks Summit that make great spots for holiday shopping.
As I wrote here last week, I believe most if not all of a robust Christmas shopping list can be fulfilled in a single afternoon in downtown Clarks Summit. I also promised some gift ideas and tips. The following is a sampling of the ideas I received from shop owners and employees during my recent downtown window shopping trip.
■ The “Silly Putty” at Sonia’s turned out to be Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty, a fun stocking stuffer for the kids (and maybe even some kids-at-heart) on your list. It comes in several varieties, all of which are non-toxic. There are glow-in-the-dark, magnetic, metallic, heat-sensitive and sparkly options, to name a few.
■ Don’t forget to stop at Jon Stopay Candies, 103 South State St., for some sweet goodies to help fill the stockings. The business’ “world famous” peanut butter chiffon, for which it is best known, is a good place to start.
■ At Pure Suds Co., 320 South State St., you’ll find a room full of bath bombs in a vast array of scents, from chocolate peppermint truffle to Hungarian lavender and from peony-pink grapefruit to rainbow cupcake. These are the perfect size and shape to drop in the toe of a stocking.
Just for fun
Older kids and adults will appreciate the Living Royal socks at Lady Jane Boutique, 312 South State St. This footwear is soft and fun with all sorts of prints to choose from.
For the kids
■ One of my first stops was at Willow’s Sunshine Boutique, 116 Depot St. The new business offers lots of choices both for young children and their mothers. One of the store’s most popular children’s items is its customizable stuffed elf dolls. This can be made to order with your child’s name written on the front. It is a perfect size to put in a stocking, wrap as a standalone gift, or include in a Christmas Eve box along with pajamas, hot chocolate mix and a book or movie.
For the young mother
■ Willow’s also offers a line of essential oil products, T-shirts, gift certificates and more products geared toward young mothers.
■ In addition to the bath bombs, Pure Suds Co. offers natural soaps, organic shea butter, gift certificates and more. Not sure which ones she’ll like best? Select a variety of items and arrange them in a basket or gift bag.
■ If you know her sizes and tastes in style, you can’t go wrong with a new sweater or fashion accessory, and Lady Jane has you covered. The vegan leather handbags are one of many great accessory options.
■ The Artisans Image, 543 South State St., has a lot of great choices for the men on your list. From watches, to knives, to wooden pens, you’ll find a broad assortment here.
■ Your bearded friend may appreciate a bottle of Hudson Made beard and shave soap, available with some of the brand’s other products at NOTE Fragrances, 312 South State St.
Certificates and experience gifts
■ Customers can create their own custom fragrances at NOTE Fragrances. Gift certificates for this experience are available. And while you’re there, be sure to browse the handmade products from local artisans. It would be difficult not to find something there for at least one person on your list.
■ A gift certificate from Renaissance Body Art, 126 Depot St., may be the perfect choice for the person on your list who can’t get enough tattoos and piercings.
■ Jaya Yoga, 320 South State St., offers gift certificates for classes, and also has a selection of yoga mats, shirts, bracelets, artwork and more for sale.
■ Sign up the creative person on your list for a class or event at Abington Art Studio, 208 Depot St. This business offers art and pottery classes for both kids and adults.
I wish I could list every single business in the downtown district and all the great gift ideas to be found inside. There are many worthy stops I haven’t even mentioned - the restaurants and cafes, barber shops, Everything Natural, Stately Pet Supply, The Golden Coast, the Jewelry Room and more.
But I would quickly run out of space if I kept going.
Instead, I hope this will inspire readers to embark on a scavenger hunt-style trip of your own and see how much of your list you can cross off right here in the Abingtons.