Concord's Holly-Jolly Shopping

Main Street is lined with holiday delights.



Chanel bags at Lilise Designer Resale.

Photo by Susan Laughlin

If Norman Rockwell were alive his next masterpiece might be painted inside a snow globe in Concord, where the office buildings on Main Street twinkle with solitary candles (lights of life) and sidewalks team with rosy-cheeked shoppers and giddy storekeepers.

What's a Minotaurus? The answer can be found at Imagination Village, 9 N. Main St., where you'll find smart toys for smart kids. You'll find the newest in Lego games (Minotaurus, $24.99), science building kits, family fun classic games (Go to the Head of the Class, $17.99) and a brilliant line of building projects from the Red Toolbox company.

Bona Fide Green Goods, 35 S. Main St., is an earth-friendly "department store" that takes great pride in presenting "green goods and socially responsible products." The wooden laundry racks (in a variety of shapes and sizes) named after places in New Hampshire are irresistible and wisely priced. The hand-woven colorful baskets from Ghana (museum quality) are sturdy and affordable. Look for infant wear, personal care items, pet products, composting kits and more.

Gondwana & Divine Clothing, 13 N. Main St., is where you will be able to knock a lot of names off your holiday lists. This boutique caters to the woman who doesn't know the word boring when it comes to style. Look for yummy tunics, flattering swing dresses from Cut Loose in great colors ($69.95) and tons and tons of fabulous scarves and accessories. Something for all ages here from mixed & matched socks to sophisticated eyeglass readers!

Things Are Cooking, 74 N. Main St., is like being in a kitchen featured on The Food Network. Look for the classic Lodge cast iron collection, the La Creuset bakeware line (in gorgeous new colors), Cuisinart, KitchenAid and other quality kitchen appliances. Spreaders, ice cream scoops and just about anything that belongs in a kitchen drawer makes a great stocking stuffer. The aprons in fun fabrics make a great gift ($19.99).

All that glitters and delights can be found at Capitol Craftsman and Romance Jewelers, 16 & 18 N. Main St. The Bernardi Sparkle collection is totally amazing and worthy of an Oscar appearance. The pieces are metal surfaces that have been cut to reflect light, giving each piece the illusion of strands of diamonds. The two-toned necklace for $144 is so smashing your friends will be ROFL when they discover there's not one diamond in the necklace! (Yes, please).

Bravo Boutique, 97 N. Main St., is where women shop when they are invited to the White House or for tea with the Prince of Wales (4 real, txt me)! Owner AJ Silva has taken all that is fashionable and fantastic about Madison Avenue and plunked it down on Main Street in Concord at affordable prices. Look for slimming day dresses from Kessley ($114), cocktail and eveningwear and more including artsy and textured coats from Dislay Paris ($258). Custom designs on request!

Stop that pity party, the answer is yes. You deserve it and, yes, you can afford it. Lilise Designer Resale, 113 Storrs St., features drop-dead designer fashions that will have you reaching for your smelling salts. Here is where you'll find Chanel handbags, Louboutins (without a scuff in that red heel), scarves from Hermes, Mary Francis bags and designer fashions hardly (sometimes never) worn. The $29 never-worn Cole Hahn leather slip-ons "were," ahem, a steal.

Butter's Fine Food and Wine, now on 249 Sheep Davis Rd. (Rte. 106), is the one stop for all your holiday cheeses, wines and gourmet food items. This year's bestsellers are the double cream Fromager d'Affinois ($16.99 lb.) and the vintage (aged 5 years) Gouda ($22.99). The store now carries "Forever Boards," which are made of reclaimed Corian from old kitchen counters converted into cheese and cutting boards. Paired with a spreader, a nice hearty cheese and beautifully wrapped, it'll make for a much-talked-about gift!

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