December 1, 2021

Holiday Shopping at Historic Sites: 2021 Gift Guide

As we near the bright and bustling holiday season, here are some highlights from the National Trust's Historic Sites' online shops for you to explore. From reproduced Bauhaus ornaments to motorized subway sets, repurposed keys from antique typewriters to copper-encased leaves and branches from the grounds of the Edith Farnsworth House, the Historic Sites offer quite an eclectic collection of gifts for all to peruse and enjoy.

For even more gift ideas, check out the retail pages on each the website of each of our historic sites.

Editor's Note: This year as you peruse our gift offerings from National Trust Historic Sites across the country, we encourage you to take the time to learn about our sites' full histories, and their initiatives to further share the lives and experiences of all. Some of the places in the list below are sites of enslavement, and any purchase you make will further support their work to tell the full American story at these places. You can learn more about that work in the six-part series Reconsidering Celebrations at Sites of Enslavement.

Photo of a stone interior decorated with four holiday trees and various white and gold-themed ornaments, lights and ribbons.

photo by: Clifford Pickett/Lyndhurst

Holiday Trees at Lyndhurst Mansion in Tarrytown, New York.

1 Modernism fans may enjoy Modern in the Middle Chicago Houses 1929-1975 by Susan Benjamin and Michelangelo Sabatino. Featuring the Edith Farnsworth House, this book explores the often-overlooked role that the greater Chicago area has played in the development of the modern single-family house.

2 For those interested in artists and art history, check out the signed copies of Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios by Valerie Balint that Chesterwood is offering. Celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Historic Artists' Homes and Studios program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, this is the first guidebook that explores these spaces, which are located across all regions of the United States and are open to the public to visit.

3Perfect for adults, students, and children alike, these flashcards are designed by Jerald “Coop” Cooper, the founder of Hood Century Modern. Hand-drawn and the first in a planned series, these flashcards highlight the Modern architecture around us that's hiding in plain sight.

Photo of man sitting on yellow couch with words "Hood Century Flashcards" written across image in large pink letters.

photo by: Hood Century Modern Flashcards/Hood Century Modern

For the Modernist fan in your life, check out these flashcards from Hood Century.

Image of twelve hanging ornaments made from painted wood in various geometric shapes (cubic, triangular, rectangular, spherical) and painted in red, green and blue.

photo by: The Glass House

These bright and festive Bauhaus ornaments are reproductions of the ornaments that architect Johannes Gabriel designed around 1930.

4If you're shopping for someone who loves clean lines and Modernism, check out these cheerful Bauhaus Ornaments. Handcrafted in Germany and reproduced to scale and color, they were originally designed by German architect Johannes Gabriel around 1930 while he was a faculty member at the Bauhaus Dessau School.

5For jewelry and pottery pieces, look no further than Acoma Sky City's gorgeous collections in their online shop. Pendants, bold ceramic bracelets, mixed stone necklaces, and painted wooden pieces are all on show in their jewelry collection, and their stunning geometric pottery pieces are handmade by local artisans. Learn more about Acoma pottery here.

6President Lincoln’s Cottage is offering a custom holiday ornament that symbolizes President Lincoln’s iconic black stovepipe hat, complete with little slips of paper peeking out of it that feature passages from the Emancipation Proclamation and quotes from President Lincoln himself. Learn more about the ornament here.

7This year, the White House Historical Association is commemorating the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson through this year’s Official White House Christmas Ornament. These ornaments are classic and collectible, and proceeds go to supporting the White House Historical Association (which operates the Decatur House).

8For children who are into trains, automobiles, and all things motored: check out this Motorized MTA Train Set from The Lower East Side Tenement Museum. It comes with three MTA subway cars, sixteen pieces of track, and when turned on it runs complete with lights and sound. You could even pair it with Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure: A TOON Graphic by Nadja Spiegelman, a book about a young boy named Pablo who has to navigate New York City by himself after getting separated from his class on his first field trip to the big city.

9Looking for fresh material to read with children, preferably with an educational undertone? Monument Maker: Daniel Chester French and the Lincoln Memorial by Linda Booth Sweeney (illustrated by Shawn Fields) tells the story of how Daniel Chester French taught himself to sculpt and later became the creator of the most iconic statues in the country.

Photo of a boxed New York City subway train set that has three silver and white motorcars on show, and the words "Motorized subway set with light and sound" across the box.

photo by: Lower East Side Tenement Museum

This motorized New York City subway set is perfect for those who are interested in trains and building kits.

Photo of three loose keys (from antique typewriters) representing the letters Q, R and T, sitting on top of an page of text from a book.

photo by: The Woodrow Wilson House

These antique charms are repurposed from antique 1920s—1940s typewriters.

10For young bibliophiles, check out this personal library kit from the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. It houses old-fashioned library circulation tools (date stamp, ink pad, self-adhesive pockets, check-out cards, and more) for children to catalog their own home libraries with.

11Shopping for a writer, charm collector, or a fan of antiques? The President Woodrow Wilson House is offering sterling silver key charms that are recycled from typewriters used in the 1920s, '30s, and '40s. Call the Woodrow Wilson House directly at (202) 792-5804 to order or learn more about these unique pieces.

12These gingko leaf pins are perfect for those who love nature. Each pin consists of a leaf that was collected from the grounds of the Edith Farnsworth House and then encased in copper through a process called electroplating.

13In the same vein, if you're shopping for a nature-lover, why not consider gifting them a plant or tree? You can order live trees from Drayton Hall, specifically: lemon trees, southern magnolia trees, and olive trees, all of which come with care instructions. Check out Drayton Hall's full range of garden products here.

14If you're looking for stocking stuffers or other small items, check out this Mini Surprize Ball from the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, which contains four surprises wrapped in between layers of crepe paper. For more ideas, peruse the Lower East Side Tenement Museum's own holiday gift guide here.

15For local and small business-sourced teas, coffees, chocolates and spirits, look no further than Belle Grove's online shop, which houses all of these and more. James Madison's Montpelier's online shop also offers an array of local fruit butters, syrups, jams, teas, and baking mixes, which make great stocking stuffers and host gifts.

By purchasing any of these products, you'll be supporting the National Trust Historic Sites. Check out other ways you can support preservation as you shop, travel, and play.

Donate Today to Help Save the Places Where Our History Happened.

Donate to the National Trust for Historic Preservation today and you'll help preserve places that tell our stories, reflect our culture, and shape our shared American experience.

Emma Peters is the Associate Manager to the Chief Marketing Officer at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. A history graduate, she is constantly humbled by the way past lives and societies can alter the way we consume the present.

The Mother Road turns 100 years old in 2026—share your Route 66 story to celebrate the Centennial. Together, we’ll tell the full American story of Route 66!

Share Your Story