Bag Lady and Shopping Siren have this image of what Christmas shopping should be. It involves a merry trip downtown with friends, corner carolers dressed as 1800s English folk, hot chocolate topped with marshmallows and whipped cream, a strapping young lad to carry our packages to and fro — if he’s shirtless, so be it — dinner apres and, to cap it all off, a sleigh ride (with more hot chocolate) as snowflakes gently waft from the moonlit heavens. 

Reality involves surfing in our pj’s, eating Moose Tracks straight from the carton and fist-pumping whenever a free shipping offer pops on the screen.   

Ah, Christmas.

We may not be able to reproduce much of our ideal shopping trip. (Alas, strapping young things and Dickensian carolers are woefully lacking this holiday season.) But there is one thing we can do and feel like we’re part of a Norman Rockwell painting. 

Shop downtown. 

It’s fun! It’s festive! It’s close! It’s cold! (OK, that’s more minus than plus, but we bundled up.) And the potential Christmas presents are more unique than the ones we’ve thus far spotted online.

Slowly back away from the Moose Tracks and come fa-la-la-la-la with us. 

* Yankee Candle winter candles, 14.5 oz. jar, Dube’s Flower Shop, $24.99

Dube’s offered several, but we were partial to Merry Marshmallow, a white candle that smelled a little like s’mores crossed with Lucky Charms. We don’t stop in Dube’s often enough — it’s easy to forget they have a Hallmark shop-worthy amount of gift swaggery. 

* Blue desk tree, Dube’s Flower Shop, $3.50

Tiny blue foil Christmas tree topped with a tiny blue star. Perfect size for a desk. Merry up a workspace and ho, ho, ho through the day.

* Fiore oil gift set, The Vault, $25 or $30

And you thought The Vault only sold wine! (Or, uh, was that just us?)

This Fiore gift pack features a selection of the company’s gourmet oils and vinegars — think blood-orange olive oil, pomegranate-quince white balsamic vinegar, white truffle oil, Japanese roasted sesame oil. Five mini bottles in all, price dependent on the kinds of oils/vinegars in the gift set. Great for the chef or foodie. Or, really, for anyone who knows what pomegranate-quince is.

In addition to an olive and vinegar bar, there are racks and racks of beer with great names:

* Slumbrew Yankee Swap ale, 22 oz., The Vault, $10.99

Really now. And it has maple syrup in it. It could be the hit of your holiday party.

* Vintage board games, Compass Coins & Jewelry, $15 each

Forget Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit — there’s Phlounder, Acquire, Twixt and Jumpin! All circa 1962. So you know they’re wholesome.

* Child’s ride-on train, Compass Coins & Jewelry, $189

Vintage-looking ride-on wooden train. Wrap up for your 3-year-old and hearken back to your old Christmas memories. Then let said 3-year-old play with your new iPad as she rides.

* Ethiopian hot spice, 3.5 oz., Mogadishu Store, $5

With both “hot” and “spice” in the name, this red powder made Shopping Siren break out into a sweat just looking at it. Want to spice up your Christmas Day turkey? This, we’re pretty sure, would do it.

* Carhartt men’s mock neck vest, Paul’s Clothing & Shoe Store, $69.99

Rugged sage-green vest with a cotton sandstone duck outside and a sherpa lining. Love for your torso, bad news for your arms.

* Flannel-lined Dickie’s jeans, Paul’s, $39.99

For ice fishing and long walks on the frozen beach.

Bonus: 10 percent off your December purchase at Paul’s. Bonus bonus: Two in-store collies. Take that, Amazon.

* Giant potted poinsettias, Dube’s, $39.50

It is diners-can’t-see-each-other-across-the-table giant. But you probably see too much of each other this time of year anyway, so, win.

* Deer Camp hot sauce, 3 oz., Forage Market, $6

Maine-made in flavors such as Buckshot Blueberry and Big Bore XXX. We do, though, have questions. Like what does the XXX mean in regard to hot sauce? What does bore taste like? Does buckshot work better in blueberry than, say, boysenberry?

Try it; let us know. Photos optional.

* Whole cinnamon, 3.5 oz., Mogadishu Store, $2.99

Virtual LOGS of cinnamon. Drop it in a basket and let it boss the rest of your potpourri around.

Best find: “I heart Lewiston” T-shirt, Forage Market, $30 (short sleeve) or $35 (long sleeve)

So soft. So cute. So very local. All you could reasonably ask of a T-shirt.

Think twice: About skipping the downtown this holiday season.

Even if you have to bring your own hot chocolate.

Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who are fa-la-la-la-freezing) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected]