Fact: The holiday season is the best time to gather with family, reminisce about the good times, and share a hearty meal in the company of those you love. Another fact: The holidays are about loot. Getting it, giving it, wrapping it up until your fingers bleed from giftwrap paper cuts. Unraveling a brown paper package tied up with string is one of life’s greatest joys. This year, we’re giving you a jumpstart on grasping that oh-so-material happiness for yourself, with more than 75 great gift ideas, large and small, to prove you don’t have to spend a lot to give something special. But, we wouldn’t complain if someone left that shiny Mercedes on our curb with a bright red bow. (For the full list, grab a copy of C-VILLE, on stands now!)
Dubova musical instruments
For your picker, Crozet resident Michael Dubovsky handcrafts acoustic guitars, mandolins, and banjos, all custom-designed and one-of-a-kind.
Starting at $1,500
RIDE IN STYLE
‘10 Gary Fisher Simple City 8
For the bicycle commute: The ‘10 Gary Fisher, with a butted-aluminum frame and an internally geared Shimano drivetrain, will get you to work in style. Use the gas money you save for a trip to Hawaii.
$699, Blue Wheel Bicycles
(977-1870, 941 Second St. SE)
Help the family document its clan in a fun, fresh way. Here are three ladies capturing family magic in the area.
Cat Thrasher (catthrasher.com) offers a family-oriented session called Fab 5 Day. $85 gets you a five-minute photo session, with five to 10 high-resolution digital images, and $5 worth of sweets (for the kids).
Sarah Cramer Shields (cramerphoto.com) offers one- to two-hour portrait sessions for $600. You’ll get a DVD of all high resolution photos and the rights to use and print all photos, plus an online web gallery to view, purchase, and share the images. And, for the holidays, she will knock $100 off the price.
Marcy Drewes (marcymayphotography.com) provides one-and-a-half to two hours of active shooting time, post-processing on all final images, and a DVD of edited, high-resolution photographs in both color and black and white for $300.
Imagine waking up in the lap of luxury at Hammocks House, a three-bedroom north of Charlottesville with a private pool, built-in outdoor Weber grill, and 29 sets of French doors.
From $385 per night, staycharlottesville.com
Local graphic designer Chris Conklin handcrafts his Vintage Swings out of sturdy, dense white oak and then finishes them in marine-grade varnish to withstand the elements. Get a single, double, or tire variety.
From $175, vintageswings.com
DRIVE AWAY HAPPY
Mercedes-Benz SLS McLaren
If you’re not gifting a Mercedes this Christmas, clearly you don’t love someone enough. This SLS McLaren is just plain sexy (and, O.K., it has cool features like wing doors that swing upwards to open!).
$195,795, Brown Automotive
(817-3380, 1381 Richmond Rd.)