Holiday Cheer

UNWRAP SOME

No average Baltimore store

December 07, 2003|By Lori Sears | Lori Sears,Sun Staff

Walk into Maribou, the eclectic new home store on Falls Road, and one thing becomes clear: This is not your average Baltimore shop. And no wonder. It's owned by Palm Beacher Laura Millender, who purchases much of her stock from gift shows in California, Atlanta, New York and shops in Palm Beach.

"The store has a Worth Avenue flair," she says, referring to the ritzy Palm Beach shopping district. But her prices are reasonable. Unique holiday gifts run the gamut from marabou slippers ($32) to penguin statues ($65 and $125) to seasonal gift baskets with items such as martini glasses, candles, tea, jingle bells and candies ($28-$100).

Other new holiday items include berry napkin / candle rings ($3), decorative hanging red shoes ($36), tinsel coasters, hanging tin stars, glass-beaded garland and candles by Seda France and Ellie's Smellies. Best of all, Millender will wrap all your purchases for free.

Maribou is located at 6083 Falls Road in Mount Washington and is open seven days a week. Call 410-377-4881.

Secret Santa goes online

It's a holiday ritual: the dreaded holiday gift exchange, aka Secret Santa. You may do it at work, or you may do it at home. If the drawing-names-out-of-a-hat bit has gotten old, you may want to give the Web site www.DrawNames.com a try.

The new Web site offers you the free service of drawing names for you and then contacting you via e-mail with your drawn name. One user simply signs up the group, and then each member receives a member ID and password.

Members can fill in their wish lists, if they like. Also, Draw Names offers gift ideas based on age and gender, with links to vendors such as Circuit City, Amazon and the Disney Store, where purchases can be made online. Suggestions are also made for free gift-giving and donations to charities, with links.

Visit the Web site for more information.

Deck the halls, stairs and yard

Light up your holidays in a big way with some tips from the Shades of Light company:

* In your front yard, shine a portable outdoor spotlight on your wreath.

* Place mini-lights in plants, on stairway banisters and around the fireplace.

* Wrap garland and lights around chandelier arms.

* Hang Christmas ornaments from the knobs, pull-chains and tops of lampshades.

* Use decorative candles everywhere -- in the windows, bathrooms and bedrooms.

Visit the Web site www.shadesoflight. com for more ideas.

Events

* Tour the holiday-decorated Ladew Manor House (pictured), 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Dec. 14 at the annual "Christmas at an English Country House" event at 3535 Jarrettsville Pike, Monkton. Each room is decorated to the theme of "A Dickens Christmas." Visitors can also purchase boxwood trees, wreaths, topiaries and more. $2-$8. Call 410-557-9570.

* Find Christmas ornaments, art pottery and unusual clay gifts at the "Holiday Show" at the Potters Guild of Baltimore, Meadow Mill, 3600 Clipper Mill Road, through Dec. 24. Hours 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. Saturdays, noon-5 p.m. Sundays. Free. Call 410-235-4884.

Home Front welcomes interesting home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Lori Sears, Home Front, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278, or fax to 410-783-2519. Information must be received at least four weeks in advance to be considered.

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