At first glance, holiday shopping options in Sherman for family and friends can appear to be quite limited. Our quaint and rural town is not about having tons of commercial buildings and streets lined with endless rows of boutique shops and national retailers.
However, if one looks closer, Sherman certainly does offer “something for everyone” and there are plenty of in-demand organic, home-grown, free trade, and locally handmade products to be discovered along with several other neat and original finds for the one-of-a-kind people on your holiday shopping list.
For coffee lovers, the Sacred Grounds coffee shop just opened its doors. Coffee roaster and owner, John Rich, has a passion for pure, certified-organic coffee and he only buys coffee beans from fair trade sources all over the world. Stop in and say “hi” to this enterprising Shermanite and buy some premade gift baskets with coffee samplers and coffee accessories. Mr. Rich is also offering 10% off everything in the store until New Year’s Day. Holiday Blend, Mexican Chiapas, and Ethiopian Yirgacheffe are the top sellers, so far!
The Sherman IGA certainly gives shoppers the “home for the holidays” country experience. Owner, Mike Luzi, will special order anything. It’s also easy to grab a handmade fair trade basket and create your own gift basket by filling it with local, organic, and international specialty foods. The popular farm-fresh Arethusa eggnog is now available for a limited time. “Just in for the holidays” are poinsettia plants, Christmas cacti, and Amaryllis and Narcissus growing kits for the “green thumb” along with holiday decorations like wreaths, swags, and kissing balls. There’s also a new shipment of nicely embroidered “Sherman” sweatshirts and baseball caps along with a full kiosk of 50 gift cards, including an IGA gift card option.
Sherman’s charming gift shops are top on the list for many holiday shoppers. Barrie Sachs, owner of Happy Rainbows, is an herbalist and she can mix up a great tasting tea with natural, healing ingredients. She carries many local artisan products such as jewelry, chimes, crystals, and crystal singing bowls. Many children like the semi-precious stones and gems for their collections and they find the chocolates irresistible. Organic cat nip and soothing sound boxes are perfect gifts for cats and dogs, too.
The Sherman Historical Society’s Old Store never disappoints and is always decked out in its holiday glory. There’s something for everyone young and old with a plethora of gifts to choose from such as holiday ornaments, ceramics, handmade jewelry, and children’s gifts. Kimberly Taylor, owner of Crystal Visions, carries crystals and semi-precious stones, and has nice selections of spiritual collectibles and essential oils.
Hair by Susi is running a “20% off full foils special on Thursdays” until the end of January and she has a nice holiday gift selection, too. The Wet Brush, a children’s detangle brush, is all the rage. Colorful scarves and elegant and versatile pashminas are perfect for fashionistas. Owner, Susi Funk, also carries a trendy jewelry collection by Caron Designs, a local jewelry designer.
Three farms in Sherman are continuously up to something epicurean. White Silo Farm and Winery offers an assortment of premade gift baskets for wine connoisseurs. They carry holiday favorites like sparkling red raspberry and sangria packs for parties. There is plenty of award-winning mustard for sale, too. In addition to farm produce and a CSA program, Strawberry Fields Farm is offering strawberry jam, strawberry and rhubarb jam, pink champagne jam, and maple syrup. There are festive holiday wreaths available, too. Happy Acres Farm offers several options for buying their grass-fed beef over the holidays including gift boxes, cow shares, and a winter CSA program.
Continuing with the “Taste of Sherman” theme, two restaurants in town offer gift certificates that are perfect for foodies and they also make great gifts for teachers, friends, and family in the area. An American Pie Company gingerbread man or other sweet treat goes well with a gift certificate. Combine a gourmet Italian food basket or Italian Pandoro Christmas cake with an Amore Restaurant gift certificate. Another “old standby” is a nice bottle of wine or a case of artisan beer from Sherman Wine and Spirits.
For those who appreciate the performing arts, there are tickets available to see the Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland production at the Sherman Playhouse, which is playing until the end of December. The Sherman Jewish Community Center (JCC) is having its next Musical Jamboree near the end of December and the Sherman Chamber Ensemble has a few local performances lined up in January for The Best of Baroque. For aspiring musicians, Hank Milligan Music is offering one free music lesson per interested student for piano, guitar, or drums and he teaches students of all ages and all levels.
What’s more, there are four “go-to” places for buying artwork off the walls from talented local artists. On display at the Sherman Library until early January is fine art photography by Judith Fecco. Webster Bank features stunning photography works of art by Cynthia Newlin O’Connor. A young and aspiring photographer, Max England, has works shown at both Webster Bank and American Pie Company. White Silo Farm and Winery is featuring landscape photography by Judy Cerrato until the end of the month.
If it’s the holiday spirit of giving you’re after, then consider donating to a local non-profit in your name or someone else’s name as the ultimate present. It’s simply amazing how many good causes there are in Sherman. Out of a few dozen to choose from, some of these will surely lift the spirits of those who are going through hard times: Friends in Service Here (FISH) provides transportation to medical and therapy appointments and loans health care equipment, the Matthew 25 Project provides nutritious meals and distributes thousands of dollars in energy assistance to seniors and neighbors, and Hungerford Place is Sherman’s Food Pantry.
Holiday hours vary by store and business. Happy Acres Farm is by appointment only during the winter months. Be spontaneous and take a quick drive or stroll to town whenever you’re in the mood to shop for the holidays. Unique, “only found in Sherman” finds are everywhere.
Should you like to bring a “little of Sherman” to out-of-state folks, then mail your gifts from the Sherman USPS location to support their business. Popular this season are the Charlie Brown, Elvis Presley, Paul Newman, Harry Potter, and Ingrid Bergman stamps. Holiday greeting cards and boxes are also available.
Story and Photos by Alicia Sakal, Citizen News 12/9 Edition.