Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 11-19-2020

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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THE VALLEY BREEZE | HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE 2020 13 Has your mom spent this year talking about finally starting a garden or has your best friend said they want to start learning how to make bread from scratch? When planning what gifts to give your loved ones this holiday season, take those comments as hints and get something to help start them on a new hobby or activity, especially if it's one that will pass the time when we're stuck inside this winter. Here are just a few examples, from helping them start an indoor garden to learning a new musical instrument. Get gardening For the aspiring green thumb in your life, you could buy a few plants to help them start a new indoor garden. Succulents are a great place to start, says Darcy Muir, manager of Northland Farm and Garden Center in Cumberland, since they're usually smaller plants that you can place on tabletops. "They don't require a whole lot of watering," she said, adding that Northland also sells a big selection of pottery.If it's an herb garden they're looking to start, buy (or make, if you're crafty) a planter and start them with some basics, such as basil, rosemary, thyme, mint, or whatever you think they'll cook with the most. Get cooking Speaking of cooking, if there's some- one who wants to start experimenting with the culinary arts but doesn't know where to begin, getting them supplies and/or cookbooks tailored to their inter- ests is a great place to start. If they want to start making bread, you could give them a sourdough starter and a Dutch oven. For wannabe grill masters, buy them a grilling tool set, complete with skewers, tongs, and basting brushes, and a set of marinades. If pizza's more their speed, get them a pizza stone and cutter. For true begin- ning cooks, consider buying them a cast iron skillet, a knife set, bakeware, or even a customized apron and oven mitts. Get creating Learning a new instrument is a great way to keep busy this winter, and one that's suitable for a beginner of any age is a ukulele, says Rick Verfaille, owner of Rick's Musical Instruments in Cumberland. The starting price for one of these instruments is $35, he said, adding that ukuleles have "been hot for a while." Other beginner instruments include recorders and harmonicas, and since more people have been staying home, Verfaille said, he's noticing more guitars and keyboards selling. In addition to, or instead of buying an instrument for your loved one, you can also purchase instruc- tional books to help them get started. Depending on your budget, if you have a loved one who wants to get into pho- tography, you could buy them a camera; for a less expensive gift, you could buy them a book of photography tips or a fun strap for their new camera. If they want to start painting, buy a few canvases, paints, and brushes, or if knitting or crocheting is their new obsession, buy some yarn and needles to get them going. Check out local stores, such as Rick's, Luca Music in North Providence, Ryco's Creative Sewing Center in Lincoln, and Wood Items and More in Greenville, rather than heading immediately to the big box stores or ordering gifts online. Get outside Not all hobbies have to be done indoors, even in winter. Snowshoes are a great gift for the outdoor adventurer in your life who doesn't want to stay cooped up inside but might not want or be able to hit the ski slopes this year. For the people on your list who want to start a new outdoor hobby in the spring, why not get them started early with some new equipment: fishing rods, binoculars for future birders, rollerskates, which are making a comeback, hiking boots – the list goes on. Get some R&R While not technically a hobby, self- care is something everyone should be Give the gift of 'can do' this holiday season By MELANIE THIBEAULT Valley Breeze Staff Writer SUCCULENTS are a great and easy gift for an aspiring green thumb to start an indoor garden this winter. See CAN DO, Page 23

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