The pandemic has ensured that this year many more stockings will be hung on the East End over the holidays. Whether you're hunkered down for your first East End winter or are an old-timer innovating traditions in light of Covid-19, here's how to make the most of things.
Chill by the Fire
It's a charming, small-town joy to see firewood for sale on front lawns, and it's not too early to get in on it now and stock up, especially since wood burns best when left to dry. Or, batten down the hatches with a visit to Sag Harbor Fireplace, where wood stoves, fireplace doors, or an outdoor fire pit (handy for outdoor gatherings) will make the elements an excuse to stay toasty. Speaking of which, if you can nab an outdoor heater from Amazon, you'll be lucky, as many East End spots are already sold out.
Pass the Time
A jigsaw puzzle from the Wharf Shop in Sag Harbor or a pristine coffee-table book from BookHampton in East Hampton will spice up shared space indoors with your pod. And if Covid throws a wrench in plans to watch Christmas movies on the couch with friends and family, what about renting an outdoor movie screen? Fairy Tale Long Island rents inflatable ones in a variety of sizes.
Drink in the Warmth
Amagansett Wine & Spirits, Atlantic Wine and Liquor (also in Amagansett), as well as East Hampton's Domaine Franey Wines & Spirits, Race Lane Liquors, and Park Place Wines and Liquors are among the festive purveyors of everything you need to cut your quarantine teeth as a home mixologist. Hot toddy, Irish coffee, mulled wine, eggnog — the works.
Of course, one could put in all the effort for the holidays and then the power could go out, as it is wont to do on the East End. Consider a generator from somewhere like Power Equipment Plus on Springs-Fireplace Road.
Food for Thought
The final word on stocking stuffers/gadgets? Loaves and Fishes Cookshop in Bridgehampton. Plus, less eating out and more festive, home-cooked meals are a great reason to upgrade to linen napkins. Let them eat Le Creuset! Put your feet up, too, and indulge in Round Swamp Farm's lush, packaged, and prepared food, which does well in the freezer, especially when it's pie.
Deck the Halls
Dayton Farms in East Hampton and Charlie & Sons Landscaping in Amagansett are trusty picks for the Christmas tree. Pro tip for cutting down on marital arguments: Buy a disposable plastic Christmas tree bag before setting up the tree. Open it on the floor and place the tree stand on top, so when the time comes to chuck the tree, all you have to do is pull out the stand and pull up the sides of the bag around the tree. There's also Zoom marriage counseling.