It was Small Business Saturday 2017, I had a few hours to kill all by my lonesome, and had finally settled the ongoing battle in my brain about what to buy my mom for Christmas — that would actually mean something — this year. It was 1:45 p.m. and I wasn’t ready to go home at all, because my kid was happily playing at his uncle’s house for the afternoon and suddenly I had all this guilt-free time to use however I wanted. (Moms, you know this rarely happens.)
So, what to freaking do? I ended up in a Starbucks drive-thru in hot pursuit of a Peppermint Mocha (whole milk, no whip) that would fuel whatever I decided to do, which clearly, would not be taking an afternoon nap at my very rarely quiet home. I was up to something.
I’ve seen the advertisements for a local gift shop on television since moving here in 2011. Some have told me, it’s a “must see,” because of the things I love — Lilly Pulitzer, Kate Spade, Mantrabands, and other gift-y things. “You should check out Wit’s End,” people said. “They have a lot of stuff you would love,” they said.
It hit me as I took my first drink of peppermint mocha. I would drive up to Wit’s End in Clifton Park, N.Y. Why not? “I’m sure it’ll be a fun, cutesy little gift shop of sorts,” I thought to myself as I punched in the address on my phone.
I spent the next three hours browsing, and actually getting lost inside, Wit’s End Giftique. THREE. FRICKIN. HOURS. I could have spent another two easily. Another thing I could’ve spent a lot more of is money. Multiple floors and themed rooms full of every “gifty” thing you can imagine made me feel way off-kilter, but like, in a good way. Caffeinated and happy that it was officially socially acceptable to be in the holiday spirit, I eyeballed and pawed at like a thousand things.
Lordy Jesus, there’s even a coffee cup room. And the Christmas ornaments — whatever you enjoy in life, there’s an ornament for it. Mac & cheese fan? Got you. Into tools? Three different hammer ornaments to choose from. There’s a wall of classic-style glass balls and onion-shaped ornaments organized in ROYGBIV. The only thing missing from the geographic/travel-themed display was a West Virginia ornament, but I had to let that slide because, well, evidently West Virginia is not its own state.
The deeper I got into this store, Wit’s End, the more I started thinking about how great the name actually is. Like when you’re completely clueless as to what you should buy for a person, when browsing Amazon doesn’t even work, you come to Wit’s End as a last resort and you.will.find.something. And once you experience this place, you know to go there first, the next time you’ve gotta gift-give.
I found everything! For anyone and everyone. And myself! But I walked out of there punch-drunk, even though I don’t really know what punch-drunkenness feels like. I imagine it must feel something similar to walking around thousands of cubic feet of a million gifty things that you can buy, all under one roof, in the company of a zillion fellow shoppers who also love gifty things. I resisted the urge to buy all of the Knick knacks, beverage containers, jewelry, designer notebooks and cheese boards I admired for myself, send a ton of “hint, hint” photo texts of these various items to my husband for gift inspo. I decided to post this story today in honor of his venture to that very store, in search of the gift hints I sent him three weeks ago. I just hope he makes it out of Wit’s End on his own two feet (with a purchase or seven in his grasp, of course!)
Merry crazy holiday shopping season to all… y’all only got 8 days left.