Happy New Year! What an amazing year it has been. Shopping during the holidays was a delightful challenge as pedestrians thronged Main Street. My husband Tom and I especially liked the availability of local items we could purchase for out-of-town visitors, like the 1772 Ellicott City coasters we got at EC Pops (along with bags of incredible chocolate sea salt popcorn, of course.) I hope you voted for your favorite decorated window. There is still time—you can vote until Jan. 1 and when you do, you will be entered into a drawing to win a $100 gift card to your favorite store or restaurant in the historic district. Drop your vote off at the Visitor’s Center. I haven’t visited Syriana yet, in the building formerly occupied by Ellicott’s Country Store, but my husband has. He reports that it has some very unusual gift items—he bought a beautifully decorated wooden box—and also some interesting food items. So you can shop and snack in the same place. Across the street is the Artists’ Gallery at Taylor’s Collective, at the corner of Main Street and Columbia Pike. I talked to gallery manager Cindi Ryland and she tells me that most of the space is now occupied by artists but there are a few spots still available. It is having a holiday show right now, “The Gift of Art,” through Jan. 7. This show includes wooden objects, cards, ceramics, jewelry, paintings and photographs—treat yourself!