Concord's Midnight Merriment

Unwrap Concord during this special holiday shopping event

Candy canes, hot chocolate, carolers, jingle bells and laughter are just a few of the holiday essentials to be found when the Capital City turns into twinkle town this year during Concord’s annual Midnight Merriment, set for December 6. Under the single white candles lighting Concord businesses along Main Street (Lights of Light), the sidewalks below become flowing magical carpets whisking buyers in and out of warm and welcoming local shops.  

Not able to deliver a memorable gift this year in person? Why not send a fabulous basket from Caring Gifts, 18 N. Main St., one of Concord’s most loved stores for nearly 25 years. The shop on the corner offers thoughtful, caring and custom beautiful gift baskets that deliver the “wow” factor.

Get the family dog ready for the holidays, which might mean a bow or two for those fluffy ears. You’ll find great grooming prices and expertise at Bark Now, 237 S. Main St., which overflows with all things related to pets from food to fun. You’ll get a chuckle at the large assortment of holiday outfits and sweaters for dogs of all sizes.

Sugar plum fairies adore Show Hoppers Dance Boutique, 65 S. Main St., a magical dance store chock full of leotards, little ballerina outfits, colorful tutus and lots of frilly and sparkly items. Look for artsy decorative dance pointe shoes, mirrors (decorating a ballerina room?), bun holders, hair bands (stocking stuffers) and so much more. Many items can be custom made and personalized.

Susana's Sewing Studio offers feminine, edgy clothing.
Photo by Melissa boulanger

Susana’s Sewing Studio, 26 Warren St., offers women’s clothing that is artsy, comfortable, daring, feminine, edgy and totally fabulous. (Think roaring fire in the fireplace, soft music and oo la la.). The clothing is romantic, lacy (with a touch of vintage) and all about the lagenlook, which means layering. Look for dresses, tunics, leggings, vests, hats, blouses and tops that are one of a kind.  

Books, toys and tea await holiday shoppers at the new Gibson’s Bookstore and Café in the newly built “Love Your Neighbor” building, 45 S. Main St. Here is where you’ll find a large assortment of best-selling books, Christmas classics, local authors (look for Rebecca Rule’s, “The Iciest, Diciest, Scariest Sled Ride Ever”) and hard-to-find titles (which will happily be ordered). The toy section rivals the North Pole. In addition, you’ll find yummy sweets, piping hot chocolate, exotic coffees and silky teas from True Brew Café.

Environmental “elves” love Bona Fide Green Goods, 35 S. Main St., which caters to those who seek healthier lifestyles. Look for the Happy Light (SAD) from Verilux (out of Vermont) for $89. You’ll find safe baby products, clothing and soaps, kitchenware (no plastic!) and unique items including wooden baggie dryers ($19) and bamboo eating utensils.

Show Hoppers Dance Boutique is a dance shop full of fun items.
Photo by Melissa boulanger

This holiday season why not make it personal? Jewelry, that is. Book it to Bead It!, 146 N. Main, and let your imagination soar. Look for high-end glass beads, Swarovski crystal, African brass, sterling, shell beads and all that is needed to make your own jewelry. The staff is exceptionally creative and helpful and will have you knocking off your holiday list in no time. Another great spot for personalizing a gift or for the glass art hobbyist (or wannabe) is Detailed Stained Glass, 24 Pleasant St. This is where you’ll discover unique one-of-a-kind glass ornaments, decorative hanging glass birds, paperweights and anything you might need (ask Adelina) to enjoy the craft of stained glass.

The newly reopened Viking House, 19 N. Main St. (thanks to Sue McCoo, owner of Capitol Craftsman and Romance Jewelers) is a treasure chest for moms and teens who gush over Vera Bradley handbags, lunch bags and accessories. The new layout includes wide aisles, glittery jewelry cases (Trollbeads galore) and a wonderful assortment of fine dinnerware and linens from Scandinavia and pottery and gifts from local artisans.

Don’t leave town without a visit to the Soup Gallery, Capital Plaza. Put your feet up and indulge in a steamy bowl of artisanal soup and a lovely glass of wine. (The entrance is behind 54 Main St.) This culinary delight continues to amaze both locals and visitors with its eclectic menu, commitment to all things local and its warm and cozy atmosphere.

Holiday hugs to Tina Smith who has taken over Bravo, 97 Main St., which carries some of the most darling and daring dresses for every occasion you’ll find this side of Boston. Also, a sparkly champagne toast to Ellen Lessard of Lilise Designer Resale, 113 Storrs St. (one of the best consignment stores in New England), who has expanded her store and has become the company to provide a showroom for the NH Department of Corrections, GraniteCor Industries, which make master craftsman furniture.

Lastly, special wishes go out to all retailers across the state who, through good times and bad, still weather the storm, sponsor community events, wrap the gifts for free, take special orders and keep the lights on for cherished customers who need a pick-me-up when those dark gloomy winter days set in. You are the glue that keeps a community together.

Shop local!  



Categories: Features