Are you ready for the holiday season? Spotsylvania Towne Centre is! With festive concerts, an iceless skating rink and Santa Claus himself in residence, they have everything you need to get in the holiday spirit and get a few gifts marked off your list. Mandy Smith, marketing director for the Spotsylvania Towne Centre, gave us the lowdown on upcoming events, gift ideas and more!

STC LogoWhat holiday activities does Spotsylvania Towne Centre have in store this year?
We have some favorite holiday traditions like the Concert in Lights and the Iceless Ice Rink! During the month of December, we will have several festive concerts, including “Tuba Christmas” and Spotswood Baptist Church’s choir and orchestra. On December 16, JCPenney Salon is hosting a Cute Cuts and Crafts event in the food court. You won’t want to miss it! Visit our website ( for a complete list of our events and details.

What are this year’s hottest Christmas gifts?
Anything personalized! The trend of more personalized gifts is definitely here. Things Remembered is an excellent store for these special items. They have so many different kinds of gifts that can be engraved. Think: watches, picture frames and even purses. Personalization just makes your gift a little extra special.

Can you give us a few ideas for unisex gifts? I know many of us have Secret Santa parties this year!
A lot of people don’t know this, but HomeGoods has a gourmet food section. One year for my dad’s birthday, we made him a “Taste of Italy” gift set. We bought him pasta, sauce, capers, an apron, etc. You can really go crazy at HomeGoods! Plus, their prices are amazing! If you’re a Costco member, they have a huge wine section. Sometimes they even have wine gift sets.

I am in a teacher gift rut! What are a few fun, outside-the-box ideas for teachers and other helpers in our lives?
This is a hard one, because you don’t want to just give them a “dust collector.” I feel like you can’t go wrong with Hickory Farms’ gourmet food gifts. They have nice premade gift sets, or you can make your own set. I also think teachers appreciate something cozy and comfy! Slipper socks, a blanket, a warm scarf or a nice pair of gloves…. simple things that make you feel happy and warm.

Are the mall hours different in December?
We have extended mall hours starting Black Friday through December!

Let’s talk stocking stuffers. Are you team candy or team small gifts?
I’m so excited that we have See’s Candies this year! Their candy would make a great stocking stuffer. If you’d rather do small gifts, you can always find fun little things at Claire’s, Icing and Go Games!

So, both!

BooksWe love the rule of five for gift giving! You give your kids: Something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read and something to share (like a game). Which are your favorite stores to shop for books and games to gift?
For books, you have to visit Books-A-Million! Books-A-Million has music, movies, books, tech and more. Plus, they have games and toys! As far as a game goes, I’d get a video game from GameStop. The Lego games are two-player and they’re a ton of fun to play. This year Go Games has a big store next to Justice. They have a ton of different board games for children and adults.

FrancescasWhat are a few of your favorite gifts for under $10, $20 and $30?
Francesca’s has clothing, but they also have a great gift section with whimsical art and fun, reasonably priced items. I can always find great gifts in Hallmark’s clearance section. Charming Charlie’s is the perfect place for gifts and everything in the store is under $50.

What are you hoping to get under the Christmas tree this year?
I love books! I would be happy to get a stack of books under the tree.

Be sure to check out our live-chat Ask The Expert with Mandy Smith this month on our Facebook Page! Watch our social media platforms for details.

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