How can we spread holiday cheer this year without spreading germs, too? See below for our guide to gifts from our sparklingly beautiful local stores, followed by a list of ways to donate time and treasure to organizations that help those in need in our city.
We’ve put the community calendar aside until a better month for bigger gatherings.
Local Gift Guide: Editor’s picks
The perfect package for the nerd on your list: A mask that won’t fog up eyeglasses ($15), a vintage book (and help selecting it) and the gift they didn’t know they needed — MacBath literary soaps etched with famous quotes! One choice we felt strangely drawn to was the black soap with a circle of golden runes carved into it — identical to those on Tolkien’s “one ring” ($7). Suffragette City and My Dead Aunt’s Books, 5132 Baltimore Ave.
For barflies who find the evenings long: New hobby supplies! Stones, large enough to carve a bust out of, are on a manager’s special sale at Artist and Craftsman Supply, $1/lb soapstone, marble or limestone. Embroidery hoops ($3). Any kind of sketchbook you can imagine ($5 to $30). Jewelry making supplies, origami paper packets, and more! 4902 43rd St.
Somebody due for some coal this year? Need to give a gift to someone who is not doing their part to slow the pandemic? Give one that sends a message: Champion spray disinfectant ($9) or Lysol wipes ($8.50). And for a serious offender, an automated hand sanitizer dispenser ($24.50). Hyattsville Vacuum Service, 5221 Baltimore Ave.
Get their hands in the dirt, or at least in the clay. Buy your screen-saturated teens and kids handbuilding and wheel throwing pottery classes! $200 to $300. Material Things, 4531 Rhode Island Ave., North Brentwood. firstname.lastname@example.org
For the friend with the tips on how to look good on Zoom: Diamond stud earrings from Fleisher’s Jewelry. $215 to $2,550. Did you know Fleisher’s also carries a stunning collection of one-of-a-kind gold and silver rings, designed by City Councilmember Robert Croslin? $300 to $1,500. Sterling silver jewelry designed and cast by local artist Richard Brown is available, too, including a pin in the shape of a cicada. $95. A New Year’s gift? Yes, the cicadas are coming in 2021. 5200 Baltimore Ave.
For those who are tired of looking at the same four walls: Brighten an interior with a gift from Will’s Decorating, the new interior design supply store in town. Everything from Frida Kahlo-inspired embroidered throw pillows ($69) to paint and wallpaper — even peel-and-stick flooring! 5122 Baltimore Ave. Or buy supplies for DIY redecorating from Tanglewood Works. Alcohol ink tile kits will help your loved ones add psychedelic swirls to suitable surfaces. $30. 5132 Baltimore Ave. Sadly, the alcohol in the kit is all in the ink, a problem easily remedied next door at Sangfroid Distillery, 5130 Baltimore Ave.
For burnt-out parents of small kids: Buy a block of time out of the house and do something uninterrupted: a one-on-one or a two-on-one workshop in screen printing from Pyramid Atlantic. $168 to $258. www.pyramidatlanticartcenter.org/workshops. 4318 Gallatin St. Pairs well with outdoor masked babysitting. Priceless. Gifted by only the truest of friends.
For anyone else left, and when you need a little treat for yourself: Franklins Restaurant, Brewery and General Store has a dizzying variety of gifts, many in the $10-$25 range. Need hula hoops for socially distanced outdoor play dates? A taco holder shaped like a unicorn? Biden socks? Beer? Cookie cutters? A big tin of dominoes? Some kids’ umbrellas, for when they have to go outside even though it’s raining? Chocolate to eat when they are out there? Look no further! 5123 Baltimore Ave.
Wrap it up and throw in a stocking stuffer. Shizen handprinted 100% recycled wrapping paper ($6) and gift bags in bright colorful patterns ($3-$4) from Artist & Craftsman, which also has a huge array of ribbons and yarn to tie it all together. And while you are back there, pick up mini snow globes ($5), your choice of 60 separate species of tiny rubber animals ($1), and some NeeDoh addictively squishy stress balls, in sparkly or cats ($3). 4902 43rd St.
Where to donate, volunteer and get help
Toy Drive: Donate new toys, wrapping paper, clear wrapping tape, gift bags, new clothes and new books to support a “toy store” in Langley Park where families in need can pick out gifts for their children on Dec. 12 and 19. Prince George County Mutual Aid, Audelia Community Response Team and Silver Spring Takoma Park Mutual Aid are teaming up to host the drive.
Drop off your toy donation in person at 8300 Carroll Ave, Takoma Park on Tuesdays, 12:30-3:30 p.m. or Thursdays, 3-7 p.m. Contact Camille Galles, email@example.com, for more ways to help.
Meals on Wheels needs drivers. Meals on Wheels of College Park serves senior and homebound clients throughout College Park, Greenbelt, Riverdale, Hyattsville and Beltsville. Deliveries are Monday through Friday, 10:30 a.m. (or earlier) to 1:00 p.m. Volunteers needed for any/all days. Safety and hygiene precautions in place. Sign up to volunteer at https://www.mealsonwheelsofcollegepark.org/volunteer/. Donate at www.mealsonwheelsofcollegepark.org/donate/.
Hyattsville Aging in Place (HAP) helps Hyattsville residents age 60 and older and those with disabilities stay in their homes and remain active in the community. To keep seniors and HAP volunteers safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19, HAP currently limits services to delivering groceries and supplies and providing friendly check-in calls, information and referrals. HAP welcomes Hyattsville residents over 60 who need assistance, and those of any age who want to volunteer. hyattsvilleaginginplace.org/get-involved or call 301.887.3101.
National Alliance on Mental Illness Prince George’s County offers free virtual support groups and education programs for people living with mental illness and for people with a loved one experiencing mental illness. Register at namipgc.org/online-support-group-registration.
Hyattsville now has more than one Blessings Box, free-standing pantry cabinets where you can pick up food if you need it, or donate nonperishable items if you are able. The Blessings Box on 43rd Ave. between Jefferson and Hamilton streets is a project of Girl Scout Troop #6899. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The new Blessings Box at 6800 Adelphi Road is a project of University Christian Church, on whose property it is located.
Saint Jerome’s Café provides a free lunch-to-go every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for those in need. 5205 43rd Ave. Table set up outside the rectory in the lower parking lot; please wear a mask. Since March, meals have been provided by local restaurants. Donations can be sent to the address above by check made out to St Jerome Catholic Church, with “Saint Jerome Café” in the memo line. The café will also distribute winter gear, including blankets and clothing (warm clothes, coats, hats and mittens, etc.) Donations of new or gently used clothing, especially men’s, are needed and can be dropped off in the church vestibule. Shoes and new, packaged underwear are also needed.
Greater Riverdale Cares & Route One Communities Care ask you to help our neighbors in need and our local family-owned restaurants that are providing them meals. Your donation will pay for nutritious meals for neighbors facing food insecurity. Local participating restaurants include Hyattsville’s own Shortcake Bakery and Emerita’s Papuseria. Donate at gf.me/u/x4bmfa.
St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church’s food pantry is open every Tuesday from 10 a.m. until the food runs out. 7501 Adelphi Rd. The pantry is primarily drive-through, though walk-ups are welcome. Cars line up as early as 7:30 a.m. Due to a five-fold increase in families served, the pantry needs funds. Please contribute at gofundme.com/stmarksfoodpantry.