Gift guide: Completing your Christmas shopping in Lancaster County in any price range

If you’re still in the midst of your holiday shopping, we’re here to help. LNP’s feature writers have compiled a list of gift ideas in seven different categories. All can be purchased locally, and they are priced at three different levels:

$ = $10 and less  |  $$ = $10 to $25  |  $$$ = More than $25

So, if the intended recipient of your gift is interested in art, theater, music, gardening, food, home goods or religious items, you should find some inspiration here.

+7  liz hess notecards

Giclee notecards from local artist Liz Hess feature a winter scene with her trademark red umbrella. 

$: Artist Liz Hess has a collection of archival, giclee notecards taken from her original paintings. They are $4.50 each or $4 each if you purchase five or more. Liz Hess Gallery, 140 N. Prince St., 717-390-7222.

$$: Jeremy Friedly’s beautiful blown-glass Christmas ornaments and shot glasses, $25 each, would make a special Christmas gift. (He also sells glass candy canes for $12.50). Mio Studio, 154 N. Prince St., 717-394-6662.

$$$: Red Raven Art Co. offers 5-by-7-inch giclee prints by gallery artists for $65 and 8-by-8-inch prints for $80. They are ready to hang or be placed under the tree. Red Raven Art Co., 138 N. Prince St., 717-299-4400.

Faith and values +7  nativity

Nativity sculpted by Joanne Eschrich. 

$: Ever wonder what frankincense smells like? You can purchase an ash catcher box and 10 sticks of frankincense for $10 at Stauffers of Kissel Hill Home & Garden Stores. Bayberry and evergreen scents also are available.

$$: Looking for a gift that displays the symbol of Christmas and can be worn daily? LifeWay Christian Store on Plaza Boulevard offers a necklace with five engraved charms depicting the Nativity scene. Cost is $19.99.

$$$: Hallmark offers Holy Family Figurines and a creche Nativity scene sculpted by Joanne Eschrich, who has been with Hallmark since 1981. This rendering of the Nativity made of porcelain, resin and punched metal includes two figurines in the stable.

The creche reads: “In the birth of a child, the hope of the world.” Cost is $34.95.

$: Looking for a tasty stocking stuffer? You can give the gift of a ready-to-prepare pasta dinner made with ingredients sold by local companies. A four-serving package of the small, roundish pasta orecchiette — Italian for “little ear” — is available online from Lancaster’s The Herb Shop ( for $2.95. The Herb Shop also has a stand at Lancaster Central Market.

Package the pasta as a Christmas gift along with a bottle of marinara, pomodoro or spicy arrabbiata pasta sauce, made in small batches from family recipes by Cortazzo Foods, a Lancaster specialtyfood and catering company. A bottle of sauce is $6.99 online ( The sauces are also available at some area grocery stores.

+7  Lancaster Homebrew wine

You can learn to make 29 bottles of your own wine at Lancaster Homebrew.


Last year, Cortazzo raised enough charitable donations, mainly through sales of its sauces via its Everyone to the Table campaign, to pay for 13,610 meals for those in need through the Lancaster County Council of Churches.

$$: Want to share the taste of Lancaster County with loved ones in other cities? There are plenty of options at this price point to send a packaged selection of local treats. The Jam & Relish Kitchen at Kitchen Kettle Village sells a Jam Box gift pack of four 10-ounce jars filled with locally made strawberry preserves, seedless blackberry jam and more. And Kitchen Kettle’s Best Sellers Butters Box includes apple, pumpkin and sweet potato butters.

Both four-packs are $16.99 and can be ordered online at Kitchen Kettle Village is located at 3529 Old Philadelphia Pike in Intercourse.

$$$: If there’s someone on your gift list who might be interested in learning how to make wine, you might want to consider buying a gift card for an in-store winemaking class at Lancaster Homebrew, 1920 Lincoln Highway East. The company offers three different wine workshops that include the use of equipment, personal instruction, bottles and personalized labels. The winemaking student leaves the class with about 29 bottles of wine.

You can buy a gift card for one of three different workshops: the Island Mist Series (for sweet, fruity wines) for $175, World Vineyard class (table wines) for $210 and Selection Series (premium table wines) for $250. Gift cards are available at

+7  tillandsia

You can find tiny air plants for $3-$7, or giant ones like this for $25-$40.


$: Every good garden starts with good soil. Give a soil test kit to detect if an area’s suited for a vegetable or flower garden before planting. Kits from Penn State Extension test for things like soil pH and lead levels. You can pick up a test kit for $9 from the Lancaster office. To learn more, call 717-394-6851 or email

$$: Give your gardener a head start on spring planting with a heated seed mat. Warming seed trays boosts germination, and the mats can be used year after year. The best deal we found was a mat for $19.99 at Ken’s Gardens (locations in Smoketown and Intercourse), but they can be found at many garden centers.

$$$: “It” plants like fiddle-leaf figs and Chinese money plants can cost $50 or more. Air plants (or tillandsia) look edgy, alien and sculptural. They’re easy to care for, too, and don’t require soil. You can find a giant air plant for $25 to $40 at garden centers like Stauffers of Kissel Hill Home & Garden Stores and Ken’s Gardens. You can add a few tiny air plants, which cost $3 to $7 at many greenhouses.

$: Your house may smell like “ocean waves” thanks to that air freshener you just sprayed, but that might not be a good thing. Numerous studies have found that artificial air fresheners can have adverse health effects on a significant number of people — about a fifth of Americans, according to a 2016 University of Melbourne study. The study also found that “fewer than 10 percent of air freshener ingredients are typically disclosed to the public.” So when it comes to freshening your home, choose a healthier alternative, like stovetop potpourri.

+7  Ellicott & Co. pennant

Take a little Lancaster along wherever you go. 


You can make your own by mixing and matching ingredients from the section below and then simmering a handful in a pot of water on the stove. You’ll get several batches out of one purchase, so your price per gift will be well under $10. And since you probably have some of these ingredients around the house, the end result could essentially be free. Wrap up a few handfuls in a bag, tie on a bow, and add a tag with directions.

Ingredient ideas include spices such as cloves, cinnamon sticks, whole anise, ginger and bay leaf; fresh sprigs of herbs like thyme, rosemary, basil, sage or mint; peels from oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes and apples; extracts of vanilla, orange, almond or lemon.

$$: Make Dec. 25 a banner Christmas morning — literally. Those triangle-shaped felt pennants familiar to souvenir hunters and college students seemed to disappear for the last decade or so but, in a surge of nostalgia (and just because they can look cool), they’re back. You can display your hometown pride with an American-made “Lancaster, PA” pennant by Buffalo, New York-based Oxford Pennant. They’re available locally at Ellicott & Co., 45 N. Market St., so no matter where you live, you can take a piece of Lancaster with you.

$$$: Maybe Mom and Dad are getting ready to downsize, or your sister has finally saved up enough for her dream kitchen renovation, or you simply want to choose new paint colors for your house but can’t make up your mind. A little design advice can go a long way toward making these things easier and creating a final result that makes everyone happy.

A consultation with a professional can be a welcome way to alleviate the stress that can come with major house projects. At Henrietta Heisler Interiors, 217 W. Walnut St., $250 gets you about two hours of professional guidance that can prevent missteps that cost time and money.

$: Lancaster singersongwriter Tyler Burkhart’s new album “Lost Days” is available on Bandcamp as a name-your-price digital download. Burkhart’s lo-fi dream pop is thoughtful and sweet, making it accessible for in-theknow alternative music fans and casual listeners alike.

+7  tyler burkhart

Tyler Burkhart's new album, "Lost Days," is available on Bandcamp. 

The site has a gift option that allows you to email a download link to your lucky recipient. Get it at tylerburkhart.

$$: Now Listen Here, audiophile Matt Early’s Queen Street boutique, is best known for its big-ticket stereo systems. But the shop also has more affordable gifts for a music lover. Early recommends a set of coasters made from recycled vinyl records. A pack of six is $20. Now Listen Here is located at 317 N. Queen St.

$$$: Faith Hill and Tim McGraw have reprised their popular Soul2Soul Tour. Each musician performs a set from their solo catalog with lots of husband-and-wife duets sprinkled throughout the show. The pair’s Giant Center show in Hershey on June 12 is sure to be one of the hottest events of the summer, so give a loved one something to look forward to over the dreary winter months by snagging tickets early.

$: It’s tough getting theater seats for anywhere near $10 in most theaters. But our local colleges offer fine productions — some way beyond fine — for $10 or less.

+7  fulton theatre at night

Tickets to a performance at a local theater, like the Fulton, make a great gift -- plus, you give the added gift of anticipation. 

Here are some titles coming up in 2018: — “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” and “Rat Tales” at Elizabethtown College. Tickets are $7. — “Radium Girls,” “Anything Goes” and “Sin” at Millersville University. Tickets are $10. — “Romeo and Juliet” and “Act a Lady” at Franklin & Marshall College. Tickets are $10. — “Mary Poppins” at Lancaster Bible College. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for kids and students.

$$: Often the theatrical shows that come to The Ware Center cost $15 to $18. Some of the shows coming next year include “The Merchant of Venice,” presented by the People’s Shakespeare Project, and “The Man in the Arena,” a one-man show about Teddy Roosevelt, featuring Derek Evans.

$$$: Devoted theatergoers would adore season passes to their favorite theater. At Fulton Theatre, you can see all six mainstage productions for anywhere from $108 in peanut gallery heaven to premium weekend seats for $306. At the Ephrata Performing Arts Center, both flex and standard season passes are $175. Both theaters also offer a variety of other packages.

This story was compiled by LNP staff writers Kathy Daminger, Earle Cornelius, Mary Ellen Wright, Erin Negley, Jennifer Kopf, Jenelle Janci and Jane Holahan.

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