It’s our favorite season here in the MassOpera “offices”. We have decorated, hung stockings, lighted menorah’s, and started meal planning for dinners and pouring cocktails for “Zoom Nights In”. Also – regardless of 2020 being for the most part crap-tastic, ‘Tis the Season for shopping – and bringing joy to our loved ones! Or ourselves – no judgement over here if it’s time to buy yourself a little something nice!!
We enjoy being helpful, and in that spirit, the MassOpera Elves have compiled a list of our favorite gifts that we think you will also enjoy!
Kristin Fahning, Director of Social Media Content: I highly recommend the Body Back Buddy for anyone who might need a massage! This amazing product can be found online or at Dick’s Sporting Goods for $30!
Cassie Loverling, Director of New Works: I love to shop at local stores for holiday gifts (especially now!). She writes: One of my favorite stores is Black Ink, located at 101 Charles St. in Boston, offering “unexpected necessities.” Folks might be more familiar with their now-closed Harvard Square location. They have such a variety of unique gifts for all ages, which you can check out on their Instagram @blackinkboston. It’s a special woman-owned business that thoughtfully curates everything from paperclips and handmade greeting cards to slinkies and Edward Gorey puzzles . One of my (and my nieces’) favorite activities is their paint-by-sticker books, that showcases masterpieces, musicians, animals, and more.
Etsy is also AMAZING. My new quarantine hobby is embroidery, and Etsy has been keeping me well-stocked! Being a long-time crocheter, I felt comfortable diving into another string based art form, but wanted some guidance to get started.
Enter budgiegoods.com who has partnered with wonderful Lisa Congdon, an amazing illustrator and author, to bring her designs to embroidery. I love the whimsical, modern take of these designs. To make the process even easier, budgiegoods has created kits you can purchase, which include everything you need to start! The kits can be gifts themselves, or you can try your hand at making them and gift the finished results! Here are two beginner-level options: Poppy Patch and Critters
Bonus: She also offers cross stitching kits like Brightside. Additionally, Lisa Congdon offers many products on her site including THIS MUG, that I just NEED some days
Daniel Ryan, Co-Artistic Director: Check out my video below for my favorite gift ideas! Check out these websites for more information: www.Manitobah.com; www.theGenaBranscombeProject.com
Brynn Pulver, Director of Operations and Administration: I have the perfect gift: The Velvet Coloratura Cape from byVinnik. The Velvet Coloratura Cape from byVinnik is one of the most versatile pieces of clothing I own! I can wear it to snuggle up on my couch at home, to work, or for a special occasion! The velvet cape comes in original length or petite, is a one size fits all piece, and comes in a plethora of colors. My personal favorite is the “Stevie” in a basic black crushed velvet because I can pair it with everything I own. It’s soft and snuggly, but luxurious and beautiful. By purchasing clothes from byVinnik you are supporting a fellow singing artist who created her own fashion line, and at the same time buying high quality and ethically produced fashion that is made to order, so each piece is one of a kind!
Christie Gibson, General Director of OperaHub and Co-Director of the New Opera Workshop: My absolute must have this year is The Miracle Blanket. Which while it isn’t a holiday gift per se, is my go-to gift for anyone who might have an expectant parent on their list! The Miracle Blanket can be found at Target for $30.
MassOpera Founder and Co-Artistic Director Dana Varga: My favorite gift this year was a Ruth Bader Ginsberg Collar necklace – perfect for anyone ready to take on women’s rights! There is plenty of RBG jewelry and Pins to choose from as well as products and collections dedicated to essential/healthcare workers, Black Lives Matter, and Women in Science – just to name a few.
In addition to some great collections each day from now until December 24th, DissentPins.com will be donating $500 to a local food bank chosen by of one of their customers. Also, 100% of profits from the Essential Workers products are donated to organizations supporting essential workers. RBG Necklaces can be found at Dissentpins.com for $20
Alisa Cassola, Director of Content Marketing: One of my favorite gifts, modeled below on my very own personal feet, and also photographed with fellow canine opera lover, Nala, are the most comfi-est of knitted slipper boots. These are not made to go outside, but still have a thin and soft leather padding that keep my feet warm on these cold and blustery days. Also – they go with any outfit. I got these awesome boots (with matching knitted gloves!) at Busch Gardens in their Canada Pavilion – However, similar knitted boots can be found at Kohls, Target, Amazon and Etsy for about $30!”
Carla Maniscalco-Giovinco, Director of Productions: I cannot live without this item and it is absolutely my favorite gift this year: My Mini Milk Frother! I use it for everyday! These frothers can be found at retailers like Amazon or Target for about $20
Sarah Ryman, Director of Individual and Corporate Giving: My all time favorite gift that I would like to suggest are these Moose mugs from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. To ensure you will have the “hap hap happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap danced with Danny f’in Kay” or so that you can be part of the “Jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.” Moose Mugs can be found at Target or Kohls for $15 a piece.
We hope that we have given you some last minute gift ideas for yourself or your loved ones. Of course, you can always consider a tax deductible donation to MassOpera as a wonderful gift that will support the Arts Community! Whatever you decide, we at MassOpera wish you the very best Holiday Season and the Happiest New Year!