Sleighing the Holidays in Alexandria

Sleighing the Holidays in Alexandria

Last-minute gifts; pilot delivery program for local shoppers.

Mosaics by Maria Illingworth are available at the Del Ray Artisans Gallery.

Mosaics by Maria Illingworth are available at the Del Ray Artisans Gallery. Photo contributed


The Christmas Attic is ground zero for holiday shopping in Old Town.


The Shops at Mount Vernon are a good source for holiday gifts, including educational gifts that tell the story of slave life at Mount Vernon.


Alexandria Cupcake offers free delivery year round.

You’ve made your list and checked it twice. Even if you aren’t already one of the 57 percent of shoppers who have started their hunt for holiday gifts, you can relax. Local businesses across the city offer shoppers a selection of gift ideas sure to please even the Grinch on your naughty or nice list.

With Christmas Eve falling on a Monday, shoppers get an extra weekend to shop for family and friends. And new this year is a pilot program offering delivery service from several Old Town Boutique District merchants.

Referred to as Boutique Express, seven participating merchants will offer free same day delivery on orders over $50 placed by phone. Delivery is available through Dec. 21 to City of Alexandria addresses and Alexandria addresses in Fairfax County. Stores include The Hive, The Shoe Hive, Bishop Boutique, Bellacara, Red Barn Mercantile, Penny Post and Monday’s Child. Call each retailer for more information.

Alexandria Cupcake on King Street offers free delivery year round and will include your business card or brochure if requested for corporate gifts.

“We do a lot of delivery for corporate clients,” said owner Adnan Hamidi. “We can take your order by phone, wrap the cupcakes with a bow and deliver locally. We are also the only local pick up location for jelly cakes from Shuman’s bakery.”

For those who like to walk the streets of Old Town and Del Ray, many shops offer gifts with handmade and Alexandria-centric items. In Old Town, one-of-a-kind handcrafted gifts can be found at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, including textile gifts like colorful scarves, wraps, sweaters and capes. Unique pottery and images of local scenes are also available in a variety of mediums. You can pick up some hand painted note cards or give a gift certificate for a family or pet portrait.

The Old Town Shop on South Union Street carries a variety of items designed to highlight Alexandria and its history as a port city. Gift items range from clothing to historic maps and food items from the Old Town Farmers Market.

In Del Ray, the Del Ray Artisans Fine Art and Fine Crafts Holiday Market features works from local artisans including handmade pottery by Stephen Lally. The final weekend for the Market is Dec. 14-16. Visit for details on hours.

An often overlooked source of holiday gifts is The Shops at Mount Vernon. Combine a shopping trip with a visit to George Washington’s Estate and lunch at The Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant.

For something different, check out the gift shops in Alexandria’s local museums. And school bookstores, like those at T.C. Williams High School or nearby colleges, often have interesting gifts for students along with logo-ware for your favorite alum.

Gift certificates for dance or acting classes are available at The Little Theatre of Alexandria or purchase a season subscription to one of Alexandria’s many performing arts organizations like The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra or MetroStage.

With 11 shopping days left until Christmas, there is still time to get your holiday shopping done while checking out the many local shops and restaurants the city has to offer.