By Anath Hartmann
With the holidays right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about gifts for family and friends. But instead of the same old scarves and sweaters, why not make this year a bit different and consider unique presents with D.C. ties? We’ve gathered a few ideas to make the process easier.
■ Rachel Pfeffer: Jewelry and accessories
This D.C.-based designer hand-makes all her goods, which range from earrings and bracelets, to tie pins and cufflinks. Pfeffer’s pieces are understated, elegant and simple, high-quality and clearly lovingly crafted. In 2014, they caught the eye of superstar Beyoncé, who posted an Instagram shot of herself wearing Pfeffer’s beautiful Honeycomb Necklace. The piece, a recycled-sterling-silver section of honeycomb, boasts a detailed bee charm attached as though recently landed. The piece is still available for sale on Pfeffer’s website, for $72. It’s a great pick for necklace wearers of all ages, and at a total length of approximately 18 inches, can easily be layered with a shorter necklace. It’s also offered as a hanging charm.
We also love the D.C. Flag Cufflinks, small, solid-silver pieces featuring the District’s stars and stripes ($112). rachelpfeffer.com
■ Shakesprints: Greeting cards and fine-art prints
For sale at Georgetown’s stationary store Just Paper and Tea starting Nov. 30, Shakesprints’ posters and greeting-card box sets make truly unique gifts. Reproduced from a family heirloom, they are 1876 chromolithograph reprints of Shakespeare’s complete works, with scene quotations. The original was gifted to company co-founder Crispin Clarke by his grandfather. Clarke is a St. Albans School alumnus whose mother worked at the Washington National Cathedral and whose father still lives in the District.
Each greeting-card box set contains 10 cards and envelopes depicting scenes from five Shakespeare plays, including “Romeo and Juliet” and “The Merchant of Venice.” The sets are available in both full color and black-and-white, and would make an excellent holiday present for the literary buff in any family. Box sets will be available at Just Paper and Tea for about $25 each. shakesprints.com
■ Dr. Howard Bennett: “The Fantastic Body: What Makes You Tick & How You Get Sick”
Chevy Chase Pediatrics pediatrician and Washington Post columnist Howard Bennett’s new book, released just this month, is an entertaining, informative and sometimes gross read for kids, teens and even adults. Bennett has written numerous other children’s books, all with medical themes and designed to take the “sting” out of visiting the doctor.
At 240 thick, full-color pages, “The Fantastic Body” is the longest yet. It includes clear, color pictures and diagrams to make explanations of various bodily functions easily understood, and it even contains some fun do-it-yourself-at-home science experiments. Bennett’s book is available in hardback for $13.51. amazon.com