The Covid-19 pandemic has hit everybody hard, but none more so than small business owners. Small businesses account for half of private sector jobs and small business owners are much more likely to participate in local activities and donate to school fund-raisers and sponsorships. In fact, of every dollar spent locally, 67¢ stays within the community.

Garrett County has seen a variety of new retail establishments this past decade and you can find everything from toys, games, apparel, outdoor equipment and more without leaving the mountaintop. Each of our communities offer several shops with a unique array of goods for you to enjoy.

Schoolhouse Earth, located along Rt. 42, and one of the area’s oldest shops, has a variety of items and something for everyone on your gift list. You’ll find holiday decor, jewelry, a nice children’s section, apparel, soaps and lotions, stationary, linens and more Both Schoolhouse Earth, and its sister store, Gourmet to Go at the Fort in McHenry, has everything you could need to stock your kitchen…and your pantry. They have a large selection of dip and soup mixes as well as marinades, mustards and more…perfect for gift giving or entertaining at home.

Bear Creek Traders, located in Market Square, also has many great gift ideas. This year they are offering ski gloves for just $9.99, cashmere scarves for only $19.99 and Deep Creek Lake Sherpa pullovers for $29.99. Be sure to check out their Holiday Open House December 11 – 13 for even more specials. As always, they offer a full line of Deep Creek Lake souvenirs, gift wrap and greeting cards, toys for all ages, items from Vera Bradley, Life is Good and Willow Tree, shoes from Tervis and candles from Kringle, Swan Creek & Milk Reclamation.

Christmas Chalet, located along Rt 219 across from Uno’s, is the area’s most complete year-round Christmas Shop. Featuring over 60 themed trees to shop from, you’ll find holiday collectibles from Jim Shore and Old World Glass, Dept. 56 Village pieces, toys, puzzles and so much more. Be sure to stop by their Holiday Open House the weekend of December 5 & 6 showcasing some great specials and gift card giveaways. Next door at The Tourist Trap you will find a large selection of unique Deep Creek Lake t-shirts, hats and more plus kids apparel, jewelry, candles, flags and more.

If you are looking for stylish yet affordable women’s clothing be sure to stop at Cashmere Clothing at the Fort in McHenry. You’ll find attire for work, play, relaxing and more as well as jewelry and other fun accessories. With sizes ranging from small to 3x, there is something for every woman on your list.

Wine and spirits also make useful gifts and you can find great savings at McHenry Beverage Shoppe this month. They have a wonderful selection of wines from all around the world as well

as your favorite liquors. You can enjoy 10% off beer, liquor and cigars every Wednesday in addition to 15% off wine.

Don’t forget, Zip’eez Convenience Store also has a large selection of wine and spirits and will deliver to your doorstep. You may also want to check out Fireside Wine Shoppe, located on Glendale Road. The shop is open only by appointment but once inside you will find a finely curated selection of wines to grace your holiday table.

If you are looking for activities for the kids this holiday season, stop by Deep Creek Pottery. They will be open Saturdays from 11 – 4 or by appointment. They have new pottery for sale, take and make mosaic kits and some great Christmas gifts all packaged perfectly for giving.

The gift of food is always appreciated. If you or somebody on your list is tired of cooking, consider a gift card for one of our local restaurants. This year UNO is offering $60 gift cards for $50. They will also give a voucher for a free pizza with every $40 Ultimate Gift Card Purchase (good for Arrowhead, DC Uno, Honi-Honi and Garrett 8 Cinemas). These gift cards will be available for purchase at all four of those locations until December 31, 2020.

The folks at MoonShadow want you and your family to EAT REAL FOOD so they are inviting you to give the gift of delicious scratch made foods with their emailable gift cards. Their entire menu is available for carry-out and can be found online.

For a more meaningful gift, you can find unique items and antiques and Blue Moon Antiques in Grantsville. They are offering a 20% discount on all merchandise through December 31st. From antique ornaments to collectibles, a gift from here will be unlike any other.

The gift shop at Penn Alps is a not to be missed stop in your holiday shopping. They feature handmade items from area artisans including those housed in nearby Spruce Forest Artisan Village. Pottery, stained glass, handmade soaps, beautifully crafted quilts…this is a shoppers paradise.

While in Grantsville, stop by HIll Top Fruit Market and purchase the ingredients to make your very own customized gift basket (or visit The Farmers Market in Oakland). With 900 varieties of candies, local jellies, apple butter, snack mixes, fresh produce and more…you can satisfy anyone on your list. (Read more about this longtime local business in our Business Spotlight starting on page 34).

Downtown Oakland is celebrating the season as well with their Annual “A Great Small Town Christmas” promotion, although it looks a bit different this year. Instead of Soup and Santa, you can find Santa on the Front Page Stage each Saturday from 11 am to 2 pm, where you can drive by and wave. Their Post an Elfie promotion will take place from Dec. 5 – 19. To participate, post a selfie onto Facebook of you and an item purchased at a participating Oakland shop. It helps promote the community and gives you a chance to win some awesome prizes.

The shops in Oakland are wearing their Christmas finery and you will find so many unique items there. The newest shop, Gean&Olive is so excited for their first holiday season in downtown Oakland. You can email them to set up a virtual “safe” personal shopping experience and they can curate the perfect gift box for the holidays for your personal and corporate gifts. They have a wide selection of artisan products for foodies, fashionistas and a wonderful selection of local made products mainly by women entrepreneurs. Email for information.

Other specialty shops in downtown Oakland include the Book Mark’et & Antique Mezzanine featuring all the current best sellers for all age groups and genres. Their children’s section is a joy and you can find wonderful toys and books for every age reader in your family. They also feature a good selection of books for Young Adult Readers and you’re sure to find something for your bookshelf as well.

Favorite Things Gift Shop, located on the corner of Alder and Third Street has a wonderful selection of clothing and gifts for the babies and toddlers in your life. You will find Thomas Kinkade Limited & Open Edition artwork, Zac Kinkade artwork, Irish gifts, as well as Wild Wings art and decor.

Nobody decorates for Christmas like the Painted Cupboard. This year they have outdone themselves with their holiday displays of wooden trees, fun snowmen and flameless candles. You will find something for every corner of your home as well as wonderful smelling candles, potpourri and wonderful dips. Next door at The Chic Shack, there is a wonderful selection of ladies accessories including the latest designs in purses, jewelry, sweaters and scarves.

The gift of art never goes out of style. With the cancellation of most festivals in 2020, our local artists have suffered with decreased sales as well. You can view the work of many of our local artists at The Gallery Shop in downtown Oakland now open Thursday – Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. You can also shop their artwork online at

Of course, baked goods are a special treat we all look forward to during the holidays. Too tired to bake? Call Annie’s Country Kitchen for all your holiday baked goods. They have cookie trays available, cash and carry and special orders as well as pies, cakes and more just like Grandma used to make. Last day to order is December 20th!

The Rolling Pin in Accident, Traders Coffee Shop and Shop ‘n Save at the lake also offer a wide variety of baked goods sure to please any sweet tooth. Special orders are always welcome but pre-ordering is suggested.

Other popular gifts are the holiday gift tins from Copper Kettle Popcorn Factory. You can visit their shop at the lake (next to Lakeside Creamery) or shop online at

One thing we’ve been short on this year is experiences but you can always think ahead to 2021. Consider a gift certificate to Himalayan Salt Cave and Spa. You and your friends and family can make plans to enjoy the area’s only true salt cave after a wonderful massage by one of their technicians. They also have a large selection of essential oils available for sale.

In Friendsville, Appalachian Valley is well-known for their pure, high quality essential oils. They offer oils for blends and for fragrance, as well as carrier oils, even an all natural insect repellant. They also offer CBD oils made on site and quality controlled in Friendsville. Their shop is open every Saturday but you can also go online to shop at They offer free shipping for orders over $35.

One of the county’s newest businesses is Meadow Mountain Farm, which specializes in growing the hemp also used in CBD products. You can find several of their latest developments on their website at where you can purchase premium CBD oils handcrafted to help with exercise recovery, stress control and sleep support. Mention The Lake-Front Magazine to receive 25% off your first purchase!

For more information on these businesses, refer to our Shopping Guide beginning on Page 72 and our Directory of Services on Page 78. Most shops offer online ordering and curbside pickup so you can shop from the comfort and safety of your own home. This year, more than ever, small business needs you to SHOP LOCAL!