Unique gifts that give back to the Montclair community
By JAIMIE JULIA WINTERS
Local nonprofits offer unique gift options for each person on your gift list. A thoughtful donation from a nonprofit organization means that your donation serves a dual purpose. All gifts can also be purchased online.
Here are our top picks.
FOR THE LIVING LEARNER
the Montclair Public Library Adult School offers in-person and online lessons ranging from art and singing to history lectures and language and fitness classes. Donors can go to the adult school website, asm.augusoft.net, to purchase an e-gift card of any amount.
The recipient will receive an email notifying them of the gift, and will then be able to choose from hundreds of courses.
FOR GARDEN LOVERS
The Van Vleck House & Gardens originated as a private 12-acre estate and gardens over 140 years ago and was owned by Joseph Van Vleck Sr. Today it offers a quiet retreat and nature programs and gardening for adults and children. A Van Vleck membership includes discounted prices for nature programs, including birdwatching and gardening, as well as online yoga and meditation series, among others.
For more information, call 973-744-4752 or visit vanvleck.org. Memberships start at $75.
FOR HISTORY LOVERS
The Montclair History Center offers custom map posters from the 1906 Atlas, 1926 tax maps, or 1934 Sanborn insurance maps. You send your address and specify which map you want, and they will select the map from the book that includes your address. For the chef on your gift list, the “Fanny Crane Cookbook” is full of recipes for home-cooked meals. Married to Cranetown’s most prominent citizen, Israel Crane, Fanny was mistress of a large household from 1796 to 1826 and was well known as an accomplished cook and hostess. The recipes were prepared in 18th century style in the Crane House kitchen and have been adapted for use in modern kitchens. Call 973-744-1796 or email [email protected] for details.
FOR HEALTH CONSCIOUS PEOPLE
Give health by becoming a member of the YMCA. The YMCA offers aquatic 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 RCMP FAN
Show your team spirit by donating Mounties clothing. Montclair High School Project Graduation’s spirit shop has some cute fan merchandise for sale, including t-shirts, pajama bottoms, sweatshirts, and sherpas.
Visit the Project Graduation online store, mhs-project-graduation.square.site. Prices range from $15 for a t-shirt to $52 for a sherpa.
FOR CINEMA LOVERS
The gift of a Montclair Film membership includes early access and discounts on tickets to all screenings and hard-to-get festival tickets and invitations to members-only parties. And now Montclair Film is adding the Clairidge to its offerings.
Memberships start at $60 for seniors, $70 for individuals. They include $4 discount tickets at Clairidge, $5 matinee tickets (first weekday showing), matinee rates for Tuesday members $5 all day, and concession discounts.
Gift cards can be purchased for Montclair Film at montclairfilm.org or by calling 973-783-6433.
FOR THE ART LOVERS
A Montclair Art Museum membership includes unlimited admission for one year. Members get unlimited access to virtual programming, including MAM Tours and MAM Conversations, priority registration for all classes, 10% off the Museum Shop, 20% off all classes in adult art and discounts at local restaurants. Memberships start at $35 for students and artists and $55 for individuals. Go to montclairartmuseum.org for more information.
FOR THE ORGANIC CHEF
Support local farmers by providing community supported agriculture through Boxed Organics. Every two weeks, the recipient will receive a box of fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits and eggs from as close to home as possible, keeping local money 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 artisanal products in small batches with high quality chocolate and premium fresh ingredients. They can personalize your order, create custom flavors, design and package with your family or business name. Or pick up the Art Montclair Collection, a partnership with a local artist who has created original artwork representing the Montclair community. The works appear on the packaging of the assortment. Boxes start at $25. Free shipping is offered at Montclair with a minimum order of $25. Go to dolcefederica.com for more information.
FROZEN SWEET TRADITION
Applegate Farm has been serving small, sweet frozen treats since the 1930s. Starting this week, the farm will take orders of glazed turkeys, Santas, bells, trees and wreaths in flavors including vanilla and chocolate, mint pepper, pistachio or mint chocolate chips.
The 4-inch confections are made with the same tin molds used since the farm began making holiday treats 90 years ago. Each piece of ice cream costs $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 offers hundreds of novels and books by Montclair authors, from Dorothea Benton Frank’s novel “Queen Bee” to Lettie Teague’s books on wine to “State Homes of Montclair” by Andrew Wander. For younger 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 watchingbooksellers.com.
FOR BEER LOVERS
For the beer connoisseurs on your list, Montclair Brewery will be delivering flights of beer, an assortment of 12-ounce cans in four different styles. They also have packets of hard seltzer, hard tea, and cider. 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.