A visit to Charleston is the perfect time to do some holiday shopping for friends and family. Choose from specialty food items, arts and crafts, jewelry and other items completely unique to Charleston. We’ve selected a few favorites for our Holiday Gift Guide we think would make great presents. And be sure to pick up a little something for yourself!
The Charleston Shucker Oyster Knife is a must-have for any oyster shuckin’ aficionado. Use this knife so you’re all set to spend more time eating steamed and raw oysters and less time shucking. Price: $32 (included engraving on both sides of the blade and shipping). Add a Charleston Shucker Holster for an additional $5. Fish fillet knives and gift sets also available. Order online at charlestonshuckerco.com.
JK Designs is an interactive handmade jewelry company in Charleston where customers can select their own gemstones for a truly one-of-a-kind piece. Earrings, rings, bracelets and necklaces are available. Price: $25-$250. Find JK Designs at the Charleston City Market in downtown Charleston.
Local artist Mary Edna Fraser, a master of the ancient medium of batik, transcribes aerial perspectives of the earth onto silk. She photographs the terrain seen out the window of her grandfather’s vintage airplane and creates vibrant and colorful works of art that are collected and exhibited worldwide. Fraser’s work, “Charleston Runner,” part of the permanent collection of the Gibbes Museum, can be purchased as a silk charmeuse scarf in the museum’s store. The museum store also carries two other scarves featuring Fraser’s “Edingsville” and “Selenga Delta” batik works. Price: $175. Purchase at the Gibbes Museum Shop, 135 Meeting St. in downtown Charleston (gibbesmuseum.org).
What happens when Uncle steps on an ant hill? The ants in his pants make him dance, of course, and his dancing skills become famous around the world. From award-winning author and silhouette artist Clay Rice comes the rhyming tale of an accidental hero. “Ants ‘N’ Uncles” is filled with scenes from countries and cultures around the globe. This lively, silly story is sure to delight children and parents. Rice’s landscape scenes and children’s illustrations are sought after by collectors worldwide, and his work is on permanent display at the South Carolina State Museum. Price: $16.95. Available at Buxton Books, 2-A Cumberland St. in downtown Charleston, and online at familius.com.
This pendant is fashioned after Charleston’s majestic Angel Oak Tree located on Johns Island. Dacuba’s Fine Jewelry also carries rings, earrings, bracelets and charms inspired by the ornate gates found throughout downtown Charleston. Price: Pendant $19 – $59, Rice Bead Necklace $39 – $47. Available at 84 N. Market St. in Charleston (dacubasjewelry.citymax.com).
Element Candles are handcrafted in Charleston with 25 unique candle varieties. Each all-natural candle burns for about 50-70 hours. Because they are made with soy wax and wood wicks, you get a solid burn with no tunneling or wax left over. Price: White candles are $30, and black candles (with 50 percent more fragrance oil) are $35; votive candles are $10. Element Candles are available at Maris DeHart, 32 Vendue Range in downtown Charleston, and online at elementcandles.com. Also look for the candles at the Charleston City Night Market and at the City Market on Sundays.
At Deep Water Vineyard on Wadmalaw Island, you’ll find vines filled with muscadine grapes, a fruit native to the Southeastern United States. Those grapes are turned into authentic muscadine wine – five different labels from four varieties of grapes. Pick up a few bottles for friends or as a holiday party hostess gift. Deep Water Wine is available at retail locations around the Charleston area and at the vineyard; see deepwatervineyard.com for details (tours and tastings also available).
Take home a bag of grits so good they are served in some of Charleston’s finest restaurants. At Geechie Boy Grits, Greg Johnsman uses historic working mills to create white and yellow grits plus Jimmy Red Cornmeal. Geechie Boy Grits are available online and at a number of retails locations around Charleston; see geechieboymill.com for details. Or stop by the farm and market on Edisto Island.
New York Times bestselling author and Charleston area resident Mary Alice Monroe has released her first holiday novel, “A Lowcountry Christmas.” In the book, Marine Taylor McClellan returns home from Afghanistan to his financially-stressed family. Taylor’s struggle with PTSD and his family’s lack of understanding further strain the holiday spirit. Through the miraculous gift of a service dog, Taylor and his family are lead on a journey to rediscover their strengths, family bond and the true meaning of Christmas. Available at bookstores and online; visit maryalicemonroe.com for more information.
What man doesn’t need a fish belt buckle that doubles as a bottle opener? Hook N Hide buckles are handcrafted in Charleston by Tom Mauldin, outdoorsman and artist. Choose from the bull dolphin, Mako shark, rainbow trout, redfish, tarpon or sailfish. The buckles are made of tumbaga, a mixture of different metals including brass, copper and gold, which gives each buckle a rustic and attractive patina. Price: $90-$120. Available at select retailers and online at hooknhide.com.