Gifts That Give Twice

You can feel doubly good about buying holiday gifts when you’re also supporting the work of Maine nonprofits.

1
For the Fine-Arts Aficionado

There are many ways to appreciate art, as the Portland Museum of Art shop demonstrates. You can wear it: socks inspired by the architecture of the Charles M. Payson building ($23.95). You can play with it: colorful, temporary animal tattoos ($14.95 for six) borrow from Blue Savanna, a painting by the late Georgetown artist Dahlov Ipcar. And you can linger over it: The Collection: Highlights from the Portland Museum of Art ($24.95) puts the museum’s most significant works right on your bookshelf. 7 Congress Sq., Portland. 207-775-6148.

2
For the Sailor

Satisfy a sea lover and support Maine Maritime Museum with a Sea Bag tote sewn from repurposed sails and printed with the museum’s burgee logo ($169.95). Boating buffs may enjoy a ball cap or T-shirt (from $18.95) adorned with the museum’s most famous vessels, from the newly restored Mary E schooner to the Wyoming. The museum’s collection of nautical books includes the excellent new Down East: An Illustrated History of Maritime Maine ($29.95). 243 Washington St., Bath. 207-443-1316.

3
For the Home Decorator

When Rachel Desgrosseilliers, executive director of Museum L-A, discovered 600-plus hand-drawn bedspread designs in the back of a dump truck, she rescued them and had them cataloged. Today, shoppers can support the museum, which tells the stories of Lewiston-Auburn mill workers, by purchasing tote bags ($29.95), Melamine plates ($24.95), phone cases ($31.15), or art prints (from $29.95) reprinted with these historic designs. 35 Canal St., Lewiston. 207-333-3881.

4
For the Rockhound

The gift shop at the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum sparkles with jewelry made by 17 artists, including a pendant with .45 carat tourmaline from Mt. Marie set above a western Maine mountain range rendered in sterling silver ($292) and a split-shank ring with green tourmaline from Jeff Morrison’s Havey Mine in Poland ($1,530). For a truly out-of-this-world gift, check out the sterling-silver meteorite cufflinks ($225). 99 Main St., Bethel. 207-824-3036.

5
For Lovers of Handmade

The Island Institute store Archipelago helps support crafters in Maine island- and working-waterfront communities. Keep baby toes warm with hand-knit wool and acrylic Maine Boot Booties ($42). Delight a hostess with a handmade glass starfish ($40) or bright lobster buoy glass ornament ($34) by Benjamin F. Coombs. Or check out Funky Rock Designs’ cairn candlesticks ($56 each) with natural stones collected from New England’s coast and rivers. 386 Main St., Rockland. 207-596-0701.

6
For the Gardener

Maine Farmland Trust fills its gallery with artworks that celebrate agriculture, like farmyard woodcut holiday cards by Anna O’Sullivan ($10 for a dozen) and the catchy, sing-along children’s book A Farmer’s Life for Me, by Jan Dobbins ($11). While there, ask about protecting your own rural piece of Maine as a gift to future generations. 97 Main St., Belfast. 207-338-6575.


Meadow Rue Merrill

Meadow Rue Merrill is a Down East contributing editor.