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9 quick last-minute gift ideas for folks around Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg Ornament

Why not add a little Fredericksburg charm to your Christmas tree this year? A silver and blue ornament designed by a local teacher depicts the city’s skyline. It’s available for $27.50 at the Fredericksburg Visitor Center and Heather Boutique.

Locally-made bourbon

A. Smith Bowman, the distillery in Spotsylvania off Route 2, offers a selection of locally made bourbon, whiskey, rum, vodka, and gin, along with glasses, barbecue sauces and other treats for the person on your list who has an appreciation for spirits.

Craft Brews

Though several craft breweries are in the works in the region, two are already open and selling their brews: Blue & Grey and Caroline County’s Rusty Beaver. Take a growler home to share around the tree or with Christmas dinner.

Flavored Popcorn

The Popcorn Bag, in Fredericksburg, has expanded its already vast flavor selection for the holidays. Pick up a tin of pumpkin spice, apple pie or peppermint mocha-flavored popcorn for your co-workers and they’ll make 2013 end on a happy note.

Theater tickets

Instead of trekking up to D.C. or down to Richmond, bring your theater lover to Riverside Dinner Theater in Stafford for Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. The show runs through Jan. 4.

 Support your local award-winning authors

Howard Owen is also The Free Lance-Star’s editorial page editor.

Howard Owen recently released the second book in his Willie Black series, The Philadelphia Quarry. It’s the sequel to Oregon Hill, which won the North American Hammet Prize, for a work of literary excellence in the field of crime writing. Steve Watkins has penned several award-winning novels as well. His most recent book is called Juvie: A Novel. You may recognize Watkins’ name-he authored a three part series about a local Marine and his family and their struggle through multiple deployments, PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury. If you’re lucky enough, you may be able to find a signed copy in one of the downtown bookshops.

Museum Membership

You’ve probably driven past it a few hundred times, but may not have taken the time to go in. The Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center downtown offers memberships. Not only does the membership get you free admission, but there are discounts available to members in the gift shop and exclusive member-only events and receptions throughout the year.

 Donate to a local nonprofit

Regional nonprofits are always in need of donations. Pick your (or a family member’s) favorite local organization and make a donation in someone else’s name. Some ideas: Friends of the Rappahannock or the Fredericksburg SPCA.

Send a care package to someone serving

Not everyone makes it home for the holidays, including our men and women in uniform. The USO puts together care packages year round and for $25, you can send one to someone serving overseas.

Here’s to a safe and peaceful holiday season!

- Compiled by Robyn Sidersky