Last-minute gifts

A couple of gift ideas you can still pick up even though the holidays are right around the corner


In the midst of all the holiday festivities, it’s not uncommon to let a couple things slip your mind. Being faced with the thought of not having a gift for someone you care about at the very last minute can cause some panic, but fret not — here are a few gifts you can still snag when in a bind.

Downtown Boulder Gift Cards

Gift cards can come in handy for avid shoppers. Downtown Boulder Gift Cards can be purchased online or in person at the Downtown Boulder, Inc. office or at the Visitor Information Center. The gift card can be used at more than 180 businesses in downtown Boulder, including retail stores and restaurants.

A $50 gift card entitles customers to a buy-one-get-one-free admission coupon from the Ice Rink at One Boulder Plaza. Similarly, customers who spend $100 or more will receive an Ice Rink coupon and a “Downtown” beanie.

This gift card offer lasts until Jan. 4. Downtown Boulder Gift cards can be purchased in amounts ranging from $10 to $2,000.


Wine is a popular choice of beverage around the holidays and at dinner parties. Manuel Sanchez, owner of the West End Wine Shop on Pearl Street, says red wine is a common choice to bring to someone else’s home, particularly in the winter months.

“I would look for medium- to full-body cabernet or shiraz,” Sanchez says. “Most people prefer domestic wines to show support for some of the local businesses and local wine makers in California, Washington or Oregon.”

When it comes to white wine, however, it may be a gift that’s a little more personal. A buyer should know the type of white wine the host or receiver would like, Sanchez says.

Price is another feature to look out for when presenting a bottle of wine to the host of a house.

“Generally, $10 to $15 as a gift to go to somebody’s house is acceptable,” Sanchez says. “I like the Cannonball brand, made in Napa, Calif., which makes [chardonnays] and sauvignon blancs. It has a good price range, between $15 and $20, and it has a nice package; that’s one brand that I like.”

Sanchez says he is also a fan of wines made by Castle Rock Winery, which are made in the state of Washington. Castle Rock produces a variety of wines, including cabernets, merlots and pinot noirs, with prices ranging from $10 to $12.

All of these wines are available at the West End Wine Tavern, located at 777 Pearl St., Boulder.

Holiday greeting cards

They say pictures say a thousand words, so why not give a festive greeting card to a loved one? Using pen and watercolor designs, Heartstrings Card Company owner Kristin Sheldon designs her cards with cartoon drawings paired with short and sweet phrases.

Heartstrings Cards are sold in sets of 10 cards with envelopes. The cards are 4¼ inches by 5½ inches and are sold at $10.50 per set. These cards are available at various locations in Boulder, including Pharmaca on Broadway, Boulder Nordic Sport and Boulder Cycle Sport. Heartstrings Cards can also be purchased online at


No holiday season is complete without the sweet accompaniment of chocolates. At Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory on Pearl Street, there are boxes of assorted chocolates just for the holidays. Priced at $19.95, this decadent box of chocolates holds everything from chewy caramels to butter creams, along with Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory’s signature White Bear pecan-and-caramel patties. Boxes of fudge are also available for $14.95 per pound.

At Piece, Love & Chocolate on the west end of Pearl Street, owner Sarah Amorese recommends buying the six- or 12-pack boxes of house chocolates at $2 per piece. Amorese says that customers who come into the store have more than 60 different choices to choose from.

“Our salted liquid caramels are the most popular,” she says. “They come in our eco-love box, which is primarily red and has hearts on top of it.”

Gourmet marshmallows that Piece, Love & Chocolate sells could be a great topping for hot chocolates, Amorese adds. These marshmallows come in different sizes with seasonal flavors. December’s marshmallows are available in salted caramel, peppermint and chocolate. Other quick gifts that can be grabbed from Piece, Love & Chocolate include peppermint barks and chocolate-covered nuts and espresso beans.

Cooking classes

If there is a certain gourmet in your life who loves spending time in the kitchen, a gift certificate to a local cooking class might be just the right thing. Simple Spoon Cooking Classes offers courses for people with varying levels of cooking expertise. Classes are an hour long and are taught based on themes such as Cocktail Party and Happenin’ Latin. All classes are $65 per session.

As for aspiring little chefs, Stir It Up Cooking School offers cooking classes for ages 5 to 16 as well as for adults. Children can participate in after-school, weekend, holiday and school break programs. Kids get the chance to bake, cook and even work on some gardening. Classes are offered at $26 per session.

Fresh flowers

A carefully crafted bouquet of flowers can brighten up any home.

Locally owned and eco-friendly Boulder Blooms creates floral arrangements for the different seasons as well as for specific occasions. Their winter collection ranges from $48 to $150 and features festive flowers like deep red roses and poinsettias as well as bright green ferns, occasionally with seasonal flourishes like fresh cranberries. For a brighter feel with a softer feminine look, check out the Femme collection, made up of big bright daisies and pastel-colored flowers. These bouquets are priced from $69 to $135. Boulder Blooms also provide deliveries for orders placed on the same day. Visit for more details and information.




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