‘Tis the season … for an overwhelming sense of terror when it comes to gift-giving.
What does my brother-in-law even like?! I guess I saw him play basketball one time three years ago…
Did we give my dad wireless headphones last year?
Is Aunt Margaret even still alive??
The pressure and those questions are all too familiar — it’s hard to come up with gifts for everybody in the family. So I present to you, dear readers, a Rhode Island gift guide sure to help you find that perfect gift. Many of the places I suggest also offer gift cards, which is a simple and thoughtful way to make someone happy.
Giraffes + Robots: Giraffes + Robots is “pop art that makes you smile.” They offer big, colorful prints, often revolving around RI landmarks and staples, like the Superman building and Autocrat Coffee Milk. It’s super cheery, original artwork that you can purchase in the retail hallway of the Hope Artiste Village open every Saturday from 9am until 2pm during the indoor farmers market, or on Etsy at etsy.com/shop/giraffesandrobots
Made In Warren: As soon as I learned about Made In Warren, I stopped buying any type of greeting card from bigger chains. I love their one-of-a-kind of greeting cards from local artists that revolve around much more personal connections to the area. But on top of that, Made in Warren sells art that’s made by local artists – including amazing seasonal pieces. Check them out at 476 Main Street, Warren
Frog and Toad: Frog and Toad is a brick-and-mortar that provides roughly a million amazing potential gifts, including clothing, tote bags, stationery, stickers, pins and more. Looking for a Del’s Truck Ornament? An RI coloring book? A planet Hoth pennant from Star Wars? This place rocks. 795 Hope St and 713 Westminster St, both locations in PVD
Swamp Yankee Rock and Roll Art: Got a friend who’s into punk rock or rock and roll? Pete McPhee is the artist behind Swamp Yankee, and he’s created tons of amazing prints for The Dropkick Murphys, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Social Distortion, The Toasters and The Pilfers, as well as events like the Made On Honor market, Record Store Day and various Narragansett Beer events. Great for the rock and roller in your life! Grab ‘em at swampyankee.weebly.com
The Comedy Connection: This comedy club is historic. Marc Maron, Pete Holmes, Tracy Morgan and more have come through the East Providence club, and in just the past year or so, Aziz Ansari, Anthony Jeselnik and Kevin James have all dropped in. With a constant slew of great comedians in an excellent, supportive room, give the gift of laughter with several options for great upcoming shows including Big Jay Oakerson, Dan Soder and Robert Kelly. Purchase gift cards at ricomedyconnection.com
I can’t make this list without highlighting the amazing Rhode Island food scene in our Tiny Tim-sized state. Introduce a loved one to their new favorite place with a gift card to one of these super tasty options!
Rhody Roots: Super high-quality, upscale diner food. New American meets an incredibly thoughtful and unique take on the classics — the poutine, the bolognese, the grilled peaches! 511 Main St, Warren
Tallulah’s Taqueria: You can grab someone a $15 gift card to Tallulah’s and give them the gift of the best three tacos they’ve ever had. Be THAT kind of Santa Claus. 146 Ives Street, PVD
Hometown Poké: Do you know that there are some poor bastards out there who don’t know about poké? Find the sushi lover in your life and expand their horizons. 185 Camp St, PVD
Borealis: If you know someone who loves good coffee, this is the option for you. The oatmilk latte. ‘Nuff said. 250 Bullocks Point Ave, Riverside.
PVDonuts: I think the move is to show up at Christmas with an armful of seasonal donuts to put a smile on any frosty face. I don’t know their December menu yet, but their November menu included a Pumpkin Chocolate Chip, a Baked Apple Pie and a Brown Sugar Sweet Potato donut. Pick up a dozen or two, and be the star of the party. 79 Ives St, PVD
Rhode Island Red Food Tours: Pick up a gift certificate for a warm-weather food tour for the foodie in your life. Or if patience isn’t their strong suit, hook them up with a Flicks and Fare on Washington Square winter experience. They’ll check out three different cozy taverns in Newport and then settle in for a flick at the Jane Pickens theater.