Unique gifts that give back to the Montclair community
Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash
By JAIMIE JULIA WINTERS
Local not-for-profits offer one-of-a-kind gift options for everyone on your gift list. A thoughtful gift from a nonprofit means your gift does double duty. All gifts can be purchased online, as well.
Here are our top picks.
FOR THE AVID LEARNER
The Montclair Public Library’s Adult School offers in-person and online classes ranging from art and singing to history lectures and language and fitness classes. Gift-givers can go to the adult school website, asm.augusoft.net, to purchase an egift card in any amount.
The recipient will receive an email alerting them to the gift, and can then choose from hundreds of classes.
FOR THE GARDEN LOVER
The Van Vleck House & Gardens originated as a 12-acre private estate and gardens more than 140 years ago and was owned by Joseph Van Vleck Sr. Today, it offers a quiet retreat and nature and gardening programs for both adults and children. A membership in Van Vleck includes discounted prices to nature programs including birding and gardening, as well as to yoga and meditation series online, among other things.
For more information, call 973-744-4752 or visit vanvleck.org. Memberships start at $75.
FOR THE HISTORY LOVER
The Montclair History Center offers personalized map posters from either the 1906 Atlas, 1926 tax maps or 1934 Sanborn Insurance maps. You send in your address and specify which map you’d like, and they’ll select the map from the book that includes your address. For the chef on your gift list, the “Fanny Crane Cookbook” is loaded with recipes for home-cooked meals. Married to Cranetown’s most prominent citizen, Israel Crane, Fanny was mistress of a large home from 1796 to 1826 and was well known as an accomplished cook and hostess. The recipes have been prepared in the 18th-century manner in the Crane House kitchen and have been adapted for use in modern kitchens. Call 973-744-1796 or email email@example.com for more details.
FOR THE HEALTH-CONSCIOUS
Give the gift of health with a YMCA membership. The YMCA offers aquatics and exercise programs. Call the Park Street branch, 973-744-3400, or the Geyer Family branch, 973-783-7640, or visit montclairymca.org.
FOR THE MOUNTIES FAN
Show your team spirit by giving Mounties wear. Montclair High School Project Graduation’s spirit shop has cute fan items for sale, including T-shirts, pajama bottoms, sweatshirts and sherpas.
Visit Project Graduation’s online store, mhs-project-graduation.square.site. Prices range from $15 for a T-shirt to $52 for a sherpa.
FOR THE FILM LOVER
The gift of a membership to Montclair Film includes advance access and discounts on tickets to all screenings and to the hard-to-get festival tickets and invitations to members-only nights. And now Montclair Film adds the Clairidge to its offerings.
Memberships start at $60 for seniors, $70 for individuals. They include $4 off tickets at the Clairidge, $5 matinee tickets (first weekday showing), $5 all-day Tuesday member matinee pricing and concession discounts.
Gift cards can be purchased for Montclair Film at montclairfilm.org or by calling 973-783-6433.
FOR THE ART LOVER
A membership to the Montclair Art Museum includes unlimited admission for a year. Members get unlimited access to virtual programming, including MAM tours and MAM Conversations, priority registration for all classes, 10% discount at the museum store, 20% discount on all adult art classes and local restaurant discounts. Memberships start at $35 for students and artists and $55 for individuals. Go to montclairartmuseum.org for more information.
FOR THE ORGANIC FOOD CHEF
Support local farmers by giving the gift of community-supported agriculture through Boxed Organics. Every other week the recipient will get a box of fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits and eggs from as close to home as possible, keeping local dollars in the hands of local farmers.
Each pickup also includes recipes. Pickups are at Elm Street in Montclair. There is a $35 membership fee, and boxes start at $35. Go to boxedorganicsnj.com or call Melina Macall at 973-910-0708 for more information.
FRESH CHOCOLATE, YOUR WAY
Dolce Federica creates small-batch, artisanal products with high-quality chocolate and superior fresh ingredients. They can customize your order, creating custom flavors, design and packaging with your family or business name. Or get the Art Montclair Collection, a partnership with a local artist who has created original artworks representing the Montclair community. The artworks appear on the packaging of the assortment. Boxes start at $25. Free delivery is offered in Montclair with a minimum order of $25. Go to dolcefederica.com for more information.
SWEET FROZEN TRADITION
Applegate Farm has been serving up sweet little frozen holiday treats since the 1930s. Beginning this week, the farm will take orders for ice cream turkeys, santas, bells, trees and wreaths in flavors such as vanilla and chocolate, peppermint, pistachio or mint chocolate chip.
The 4-inch confections are made with the same pewter molds used since the farm started making the holiday treats 90 years ago. Each ice cream piece is $5.95, and the farm has a 48-hour turnaround. Call 973-744-5900 to order.
For the book lover on your list, Watchung Booksellers carries hundreds of novels and books from Montclair authors, from Dorothea Benton Frank’s novel “Queen Bee” to Lettie Teague’s books on wine to Andrew Wander’s “Stately Homes of Montclair.” For young readers there’s “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” illustrated by Daniel Kirk, and “My Africa Vacation” by Ozi Okaro. For a full list go to watchungbooksellers.com.
FOR THE BEER LOVER
For the beer connoisseurs on your list, Montclair Brewery will deliver beer flights, an assortment of 12-ounce cans of four different styles. They also have hard seltzer, hard tea, and cider packages. Co-owners Leo and Denise Sawadogo opened the microbrewery in 2014. For about 14 years Leo has been brewing batches of beer in his home and gifting bottles to friends and family. Orders can be placed at montclairbrewery.com.