Holiday Shopping in Concord

Concord’s Main Street is back and beautiful

No other Main Street in New Hampshire deserves happy caroling shoppers more than our state’s beloved capital city, Concord. The shop owners here have had their sidewalks ripped out, their parking spaces bulldozed, their storefronts blocked off and more — all to make this little piece of the world more welcoming. Put on your Santa hat, hike up the limit on your credit card and get in to the holiday spirit. Retailers are rolling out the red carpet and they’ll happily pose for selfies.

Kristin Kennedy could own a shop on Newbury Street or Fifth Avenue. Lucky for you, she has opened her own jewelry box, Kristin Kennedy Fine Jewelry Design, on Warren Street. Walk in and discover the perfection of real gold, and the undeniable desire to own it and wear it. You are worth the investment (and so are your grandchildren when it’s time). Forget mistletoe this season; anything from Kristin Kennedy will have you smooching until Valentine’s Day. Commissioned work is welcome.

Stroll in to Little River Oriental Rugs whether you need an exceptional handmade rug or not, because it is here where you’ll feel the love. Owner Tressa Kosowicz has a mission: to help Afghan women refugees earn a living. Rug-making is what they do, and each finished piece is a work of art and testament toward empowerment. The rugs here are an investment that will last much longer than current paint colors and trendy fabrics. The rule of thumb is to buy the rug, and then let the furniture and décor happen.

Chickadee Lane Interiors is a delightful and inspiring new home décor and gift shop bursting with holiday ideas for sophisticated gift givers. Look for unusual tree ornaments, holiday swag, decorating ideas, chalk-painted furniture, wall clocks, toss pillows, candles, hostess gifts and more. One item from this shop may be all you need to have a room in your home “pop.” The oils by artist Donna Harkins are sure to hit a soft spot in your heart.

Candy canes, ribbon candy, soft, chewy nuggets of “yum” and more are just inside the doors at Granite State Candy Shoppe. You will find all kinds of assorted handmade candies here in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Honestly, is there anyone who wouldn’t love a decadent five-pound box ($99.98) of chocolates? Select your own assortment of chocolate-covered nuts and chewy centers and never worry about those nasty creamy centers again.

Truly, is there anyone on your holiday list that wouldn’t enjoy a new cooking utensil? Things Are Cooking offers only the best when it comes outfitting a cook’s kitchen. Popular this season is the Vitamix blender, which comes in two sizes and offers something for everyone in the family — smoothies, healthy shakes, soups and tipsy cocktails. Look for colorful Le Creuset cookware, KitchenAid mixers and kitchen gadgets you didn’t know were ever invented.

Fabulous Looks Boutique is all about classic clothing with a kick. If there is a working woman on your list (could that be you?), then this is the place to get the wardrobe up to date. This boutique carries an enormous line of Joseph Ribkoff, which is becoming more and more the go-to label for trendy women. Other delights include Frank Lyman (dresses with textures including splotches of leather) and Clara Sunwoo, known for artsy prints. The big look this year is anything with big buttons, whether decorative or functional.

Ruffles, bloomers, romance and a truly unique style is what awaits you at Susana’s Studio. The owner creates her own label and carries a curated line of “like-designers” mostly from Europe. Look for unusual patterns, textures, fabrics and all things feminine. If you want layers, there is no better place to come and no better person to direct you than the owner, Susana. Look for hats, shoes, as well as accessories. This is the place for the woman who dares to be different (and sexy).

Gondwana & Divine Clothing Co. has become a downtown anchor store. For more than 20 years this shop has carried more than 100 lines of clothing, jewelry and accessories that offer women of all ages a secure sense of their own beauty.  Here is where you will certainly find something that makes you feel alive and wonderful, from slacks and sweaters to cocktail and the office. This is a happy place that sparkles with fairy dust.

Bravo Boutique is like a BFF: dependable, honest and full of secrets. Tina, the owner, knows who is wearing what to what event, and will not sell a double to anyone else. If you need extra time because of a special occasion, then it’s yours for the asking. Almost everything can be custom-ordered and tailored, so no worries. The accessories are so fantastic you might find yourself buying something to match a necklace or pair of earrings.

Pass the scallops wrapped in bacon and take another sip of the bubbly, holiday entertaining has never been easier than now, thanks to Wellington’s Marketplace on Main Street. Wines, cheeses, soups and more fill this little nook. But there’s more. Wellington’s is fast becoming the caterer of choice in town and there’s a good reason — their presentation and attention to delicately prepared (timing is everything) food can’t be beat. Hopefully, there’s still time to book them.