Wilton nonprofits offer holiday gift ideas that aren’t the norm

Kendra Baker photos
Books, candy, clothes, home décor, and wreaths are just some of the gift-giving ideas Wilton nonprofits are offering this holiday season.

Books, CDS and more

All kinds of books, CDs, DVDs and other new and gently-used items worthy of holiday gift-giving can be found at Wilton Library’s Holiday Book Sale, which began Nov. 24 and continues through Jan. 3, during regular library hours:

  • Monday-Thursday: 10-8.

  • Friday: 10-6.

  • Saturday: 10-5.

  • Sunday: 1-5.

With the help of volunteers, items sold at the book sale will constantly be replaced with new ones and all sales will support the library.

The library’s Giving Tree will can also be found in the library’s gallery, just in time for the Holiday Stroll on Dec. 5. The Giving Tree, which will be up all month, gives people a chance to donate an item on the library's wish list.

“Our annual appeal is now out, so anyone wishing to make a donation to the library would be greatly appreciated at any time,” said Janet Crystal, the library’s marketing communications manager.

Wilton Library is at 137 Old Ridgefield Road.

For more information, call 203-762-3950 or visit www.wiltonlibrary.org.

Old fashioned gifts

From candy, ornaments and calendars to postcards, easels and pottery, the Betts Store at the Wilton Historical Society, 224 Danbury Road, has an eclectic collection of affordable, gift-worthy items.

Committed to supporting local craftsmen and businesses, the Betts Store features locally-made, one-of-a-kind items, many of which are hand-crafted, including a selection of puppets, craft kits, dolls, games and classic wooden toys for children.

There are Wilton-themed items like hand-painted marble coasters with familiar Wilton buildings and books about Wilton, including Bob Russell’s Wilton Connecticut: Three Centuries of People, Places and Progress.

The store also sells items made in other Connecticut towns and surrounding states, like one of its newest additions, Baxter’s Fine Candies.

Handmade in Maine on original 19th Century drop roller and cold-table equipment, Baxter’s Fine Candies are long-lasting hard candies made of pure herbs, spices and fruit extracts and free of corn syrup, flavoring and coloring.

On Friday, Dec. 4, the Betts Store will host a Holiday Shopping Night, from 4 to 7, featuring Prosecco wine and food. The Great Trains Holiday Exhibit will also be open for historical society members.

The historical society is open Monday through Friday, from 10 to 4, and closed on weekends.

For more information, call 203-762-7257 or visit wiltonhistorical.org.

Thrifty finds

The Turnover Shop of Wilton, 98 Ridgefield Road, is a consignment and thrift store with a regularly changing stock of clothing, jewelry, toys, furniture, household items and holiday décor.

During Christmas week, Dec. 21-26, all expired items and white-tagged Christmas items at the shop are 75% off. The shop will be closed on Christmas Day, Dec. 25.

A non-profit corporation of nearly 70 years, the Turnover Shop has “pledged to support agencies that serve the health and education needs of Wilton and our surrounding towns,” according the the shop’s website, with the help of “hundreds of volunteers.”

Proceeds from Turnover Shop — “derived entirely through sales in the shop and the volunteer work of its staff,” according to the Wilton Chamber of Commerce — are donated to the Wilton Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and Wilton's Visiting Nurse & Hospice, with more than $1 million donated to date.

The Turnover Shop’s regular business hours are Monday through Friday, from 10 to 4, and Saturday, from 10 to 1. Donations are always accepted during these hours.

Consignments are taken on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 10 to 11:15. The final public consignments of this year will be taken Thursday, Dec. 17, and the first public consignments of 2016 will be taken Tuesday, Jan. 19.

If Wilton Public Schools are closed because of weather, The Turnover Shop will also be closed. If the schools are on a delayed schedule, the shop will open once volunteers arrive but consignments will be canceled for the day.

For more information, call 203-762-3160 or visit turnovershopwilton.org.

Holiday Market

Cannon Grange kicks off its third annual Holiday Market at Cannon Grange Hall, 25 Cannon Road, on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 10 to 4.

The free event will feature one-of-a-kind, handmade items local crafters and vendors, including:

  • Stationery and cards.

  • Pressed flower items.

  • Fine and antique jewelry.

  • Nod Hill Soaps.

  • Knitwear, accessories and purses.

  • Photography, pottery and artwork.

  • Boxwood trees, wreaths and floral arrangements.

There will be food and refreshments for shoppers to enjoy, as well as a two-hour visit from Santa beginning at noon.

Ample parking will be available at Cannon Grange Hall, which is located directly across from Metro-North’s Cannondale Station.

Cannon Grange 152 Inc. is a Wilton-based organization that seeks to provide community service, fellowship and family activities.

For more information, call 203-762-1900 or visit cannongrange.org.

Wreaths and animals

People of all ages are welcome to decorate a wreath at Woodcock Nature Center during its Family Wreath Making Day on Saturday, Dec. 12, from noon to 4.

The nature center will provide an array of natural materials like dried flowers, grasses, nuts, fruits, berries and cones for visitors to use to customize their balsam holiday wreaths.

Wreaths cost $40 each at the door and attendees of Woodcock’s Ladies’ Night events can receive a $10 discount. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served.

No reservations or pre-purchase is required, but those planning to come with a large group should contact Woodcock Nature Center ahead of time.

If you’re looking for a unique gift for the animal-lover in your family, Woodcock’s animal adoption program may be what you’re looking for. The nature center offers adoption plans for most of their animals.

Information and pricing for this year's adoption program are currently being updated.

Woodcock Nature Center is at 56 Deer Run Road.

For more information about adopting an animal, email Woodcock’s animal care coordinator at naturalist@woodcocknaturecenter.org or call 203-762 7280.

For more information, email wnc@woodcocknaturecenter.org or visit woodcocknaturecenter.org.

Gifts that support local businesses

If you’re looking for a simple gift that also supports local businesses, the Wilton Chamber of Commerce’s Wilton Gift Certificate is ideal.

Wilton Gift Certificates are redeemable at any chamber member business and can be purchased at the Village Market, the Riverbrook Regional YMCA, Fairfield County Bank and chamber office at 86 Old Ridgefield Road.

“It’s a great, great program that we’ve been able to establish,” Janeen Leppert, former Chamber of Commerce executive director, said during the League of Women Voters’ June 16 meeting.

“Believe it or not, since its inception, over $500,000 worth of gift certificates have been sold,” said Leppert, “and that’s money that stays right here in town.”

The Wilton Chamber of Commerce is a professional, non-profit corporation whose mission is to advance Wilton’s commercial and civic interests.

To learn more about the chamber and its member businesses, call 203-762-0567, email info@wiltonchamber.com, or visit wiltonchamber.com.

Stay at Home memberships

Stay at Home in Wilton membership cards are a great way to get a loved one the services he or she needs.

Celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, Stay at Home in Wilton offers seniors basic household services like minor home repairs, help with pets, filing and computer assistance; transportation to doctor appointments, shopping or social events; a referral service for tradesmen, and other services that have been vetted by the organization.

These services are offered to Stay at Home members for an annual fee of $360 per year for an individual, and $480 per year for a couple.

For information on purchasing a membership card, call 203-762-2600 or 203-778-1081, or email atdeb@shwil.org.

To learn more about Stay at Home in Wilton, visit stayathomeinwilton.org.

Certificates for education

Those looking to give a gift of personal enrichment may want to consider a Wilton Continuing Education gift certificate.

Valid for any class offered in the Wilton Continuing Education catalog, the gift certificates never expire and a simple gift card code allows the cardholder to utilize any or all of the amount given at any time.

To purchase a gift certificate, visit bit.ly/continuingedgift.

To learn more about Wilton Continuing Education and its programs, call 203-834-7694 or visit wiltoncontinuinged.org.

Garden Club note cards

The Wilton Garden Club is offering sets of note cards, with 10 to a set, that feature images of pressed flowers and leaves from the club's Herbarium. The note cards are available in the Wilton Historical Society's Betts Store.

"It's a great gift which supports two great institutions," said Allison Sanders, secretary of the Wilton Garden Club.

Click here to learn more about the club's Herbarium.