CaryCitizen Holiday Shopping Guide

Story by Lindsey Chester, official shopper of CaryCitizen.

Cary, NC – We are big fans of our local independent retailers and try to support them with our dollars whenever possible. This year Cary welcomed lots of new boutiques and businesses and many of these will be excellent Holiday Gift-Giving resources. Here’s our CaryCitizen Holiday Shopping Guide.

What’s on your holiday shopping list? Children’s gifts, party wear, greeting cards and something for that hard to please Dad?  We’ve got you covered with our guide to buys you won’t find at the mall.

Teacher Gifts

Have some stockings to fill? A teacher gift to purchase? Head over to Chocolate Smiles, on West Chatham Street Downtown. A longtime CaryCitizen favorite, they hand-make all their chocolate including some of the most decadent truffles I’ve ever eaten. Teacher will love them.

Chocolate Smiles’ handmade truffles

At Great Harvest Bread on Maynard near High House, you will find homemade goodness in every bite. Try their Cinnamon Swirl bread as a gift for teacher and your child may just get an A. It’s a bargain at $7.25.

My Girlfriend’s Closet in Downtown Cary opened this past summer. Although they are known for their clothing consignment, they have some truly novel bracelets called Serenity Strands with a price point under $20 which allows you to buy one for teacher and one for yourself too!

My Girlfriend’s Closet stocks Serenity Strands bracelets, a great gal pal gift

Custom Holiday Cards

Custom cards from The Green Kangaroo, give 25% back to the community

After you’ve squared away teacher, it’s time to order some Holiday cards. The Green Kangaroo on Chatham Street in Downtown Cary will help you create something truly unique. You can order online or make an appointment with owner Kristen Klett. Her team will put a creative spin on the holidays to make your greetings memorable. This year she is offering free postage with every order and 25% of all purchases are donated back to our local community.

Home Decor

Patience Brewster ornaments at Garden Supply

As seen in our recent story, you can’t beat Garden Supply on Old Apex Road for over-the-top great Holiday decor. The store is inspiring and has everything you need form prelit trees to unique on-of a kind Patience Brewster ornaments to give, or collect for yourself. These are priced from $20-$40 each.

Carolina Pottery on North Harrison also has a wide array of home decor items that change continually throughout the season. Housed in the former Sam’s Club, they literally have acres of items to look through.

Hostess Gifts

Personalize these Scout bags with a monogram at Pink Alli.

Are you obsessed with monograms? Pink Alli in Stonecreek has the answer with a wide assortment of insulated tote bags that they will monogram for free. Best of all? The distinctive wrapping the store does for all their customers. They stock a wide assortment of Lolita glassware, and cocktail napkins, drink mixes and other sassy gifts your friends will love.

In Downtown Cary you can find some hostess gifts from these fine retailers: Purple Polka Dot, A Perfect Piece, Cute Buttons and Vintage Vogue. Browse around and tell them CaryCitizen sent you!

Party Wear

Luscious Couture hits all the holiday trends with this one party dress: Lace, pink, and sequins.

Looking for something special to wear to a party that won’t break the bank?  Luscious Couture, a new store in Saltbox Village, has the dress for you , priced under $100. Doll it up with some pearl jewelry and you will be the hit of the season.

The Little Black Dress with the surprise at the back from Kristen’s

At Kristen’s in the Arboretum, try this more conservative Little Black dress with the surprise in the back. The sequined back makes this little number truly special. Priced around $100.

Weston Wear’s tulle dress available at Peachy Keen

A recent addition to the retail scene is Peachy Keen, located in Harrison Point at NE Maynard and N Harrison. Sisters Karly and Jen Hanken have teamed up with their Mom, Donna, to provide a unique shopping experience. They have lots of party dresses including the tulle dress from Weston Wear modeled here on Karly.

 Unique Children’s Toys

Science Safari is one of the only stores in the area to stock real microscopes

Wishing you could find truly unique toys? Science Safari offers a wide range of science-based toys that you won’t find anywhere else. From Tooba Links using connectors and recycled cardboard tubes ($25.95) to real word microscopes with quality optics priced $80-$200- you won’t be bored with the items you find in this Cary standby in Saltbox village.

Brilliant Sky Toys in Stonecreek has a wide array of unique toys and puzzles and they wrap your gifts free. They opened a second location last year up in the Brier Creek shopping area. Newest items include $10-$20 iPhone accessories for the plugged in Cary Tween.

The Sports fan

Railhawks Ultimate Fantasy Experience gift package

The Carolina RailHawks have an Ultimate Fan Package for the sports enthusiast that can’t be beat. Your soccer fan will get the full player experience when they wear a personalized team jersey to walk out on the field with the RailHawks team for the coin toss, and kick out the first game kick. Then head to the president’s box to watch the game. The package includes a full week of soccer camp with the pros to complete the official experience.

That Someone Who Has Everything

Carolina Pottery has a wide selection of well priced wine and accessories

You can never have too much wine- and openers and other accessories don’t last forever. They also have the benefit of being unisex gifts. Carolina Pottery has not only a wide assortment of wines, but all the accessories to go with them, most priced under $20.

Firefly Laser, invented by Cary residents Richard and Sarah Redpath of Parhelion

Here’s something we can bet they don’t have- a Firefly Laser  light created by our very own Cary couple, Richard and Sarah Redpath of Parhelion. Priced under $50, this laser light “gadget” can be used as unique party lighting,  room mood lighting or used outdoors when camping or even to light your backyard. It inspires endless creative uses.

Opulence in Saltbox has gifts for men too!

Is Dad difficult to buy for? Try Opulence in Saltbox Village. What’s old is new again with straight edge razors and shaving gear with old world charm. High quality items he will use for years to come. There are shaving soaps and lotions too.

Over by Fresh Market, The Wilderness House has dressed up Dansko shoes to keep your feet comfortable, even if you’re standing all night at a party. Their hand made scarves make great gifts for your girlfriends. In the same shopping center, At Ease has artisan-made funky jewelry that retails for about $20. They have a sister store in Raleigh, and owner Carol Daley has converted the cary store to an outlet. Everything is on sale , 50% every day, but all sales are final.

That Special Someone

Bamboo & Cotton PJ’s and a cozy bed jacket will keep her feeling loved from J’Alane’s

In the Arboretum I found some of the coziest gifts a Mom could want from J’Alane’s. Comfy PJ’s made from a blend of cotton and bamboo fiber, promises to keep you cool if you’re like me and get a little warm when you sleep. Like to read in bed, but you get chilly? Top off those pj’s with this adorable bed jacket- so pretty you’ll end up wearing it out, and its washable. Purchase the matching slippers for $15 and mom is set on Christmas morning.

Stonehaven Jewelry opened a few months ago on Academy Street and specializes in hand crafted jewelry. But bring your credit card, these pieces are investments. Put one of Ron’s rings on your wish list and maybe your husband will surprise you.

Chocolate Smiles

Green Kangaroo

Luscious Couture

Firefly Laser

Carolina RailHawks

Garden Supply