Happy holidays. Have you noticed this holiday season is getting a little long in the tooth? Which is to say, “get going, you’re running out of time, OMG you’ve all but failed.” OK, that’s a little dramatic but it is getting pretty late in the gift-buying game, so we decided to help you out.
We went out and found a bunch of creative and thoughtful gifts you can still buy locally. Since it is estimated that Boulder County residents will be spending nearly $90 million bucks on holiday-related items this year, shopping locally is obviously a great way to help boost our overall economy and employment opportunities.
We know, that’s the least of your worries right now with only a few shopping days to go before the clock strikes 12 and you have nothing to give Aunt Sarah but a poem you scribbled on a cocktail napkin on Dec. 24 while drowning your gift-fail sorrows at a local pub.
But don’t despair BW readers, like Dickens’ Ghost of Christmas Future, we have brought you back to the present while there is still enough time to succeed at gift giving. Let our guide be your guide.
We’d also like to take this time to say thank you to all of our readers and advertising partners whose support throughout the year makes it possible for us to continue to be Boulder County’s independent voice for news, arts, culture and entertainment.
So once again, happy holidays from all of us at Boulder Weekly.
Boozik Bamboo iPhone Amplifier ($32)
1625 Pearl St., Boulder, fairtradewinds.net
Give the gift you know they don’t have and help save the world at the same time. Momentum is a store dedicated to selling only fair-trade products, so when you give someone a gift from Momentum you can be assured that someone somewhere in the world was paid a fair wage to produce it. This eco-friendly music amplifier lets you take your music anywhere. At only 9 inches, just toss it in your purse or backpack and turn up the tunes anywhere, naturally.
The French Collection Gift Basket ($80)
Cheese Importers Warehouse
103 Main St., Longmont, cheeseimporters.com
Give a gift that nobody in their right mind could say they didn’t love. Cheese Importers’ French Connection gift basket contains a variety of French treats including, four cheeses, cocktail olive mix, petite toasts, fruit spread cheese accompaniment, French chocolate and candies, a beautiful cheese tray and spreader in an great basket that screams French countryside. But just in case you have other geographic preferences this holiday season, Cheese Importers also has baskets based on Italy, Spain, and closer to home America and Colorado. Gift basket prices range from $30 to $125 and can be shipped anywhere.
2770 Arapahoe Road, Suite132, Lafayette, 720-643-8193
This gift is all about sending a box of love, compassion, support and joy to the LGBTQ people in your life. You can send your message as an “Outbox,” “Sunshine Box” or “Wedding Box.” Whatever the occasion, Esteban at LGBTQ Concierge can help you pick the right box and will hand select just the right items to place in your gift. Every box is unique and filled with one item after another that sends positive messages to your friends and loved ones. Give him a call and get your box on its way in time for the holidays.
Paints, pencils and a how-to book (prices vary)
The Book Cellar
724 Main St., Louisville.
A creative gift for the creatives in your life. Aqua brushes, fine art marker sets, water color crayons and colored pencils are a great gift for anyone who might have a passion for making art. Throw in a book on how to use them properly and you might just launch a career, or at least a fulfilling hobby. Since 2003, The Book Cellar in Louisville has been offering creative gifts like this along with a great hand-picked selection of used and new books. These folks can help you find just the right greeting cards, other art supplies, games and gifts of all sorts.
Richardo’s Decaf Coffee Liqueur (prices vary)
Black Canyon Distillery
4340 Highway 66, Mead, 720-204-1909
Nothing makes the holidays better than Richardo’s tasty combination of rich coffee, creamy vanilla and pure grain spirits, aka Richardo’s Decaf Coffee Liqueur. Creators Rick and Linda started making this fantastic concoction for their friends in Lyons some 20 years ago. It became so popular… well, you can guess the rest of the story. Today, you can get your hands on this fantastic coffee liqueur at just about any well-stocked liquor store in the County. Your friends will love you for this gift.
FOR THE DO-GOODERS: DONATIONS TO NONPROFITS
The holidays are a time to give, and giving to some of Colorado’s far-reaching nonprofits in the name of a family member or friend is a great way to embody the holiday spirit.
El Comité de Longmont
455 Kimbark St., Longmont, elcomitedelongmont.org
El Comité de Longmont is a grassroots organization that improves the social justice, education and economic status of the Latino and non-Latino people of Longmont, Boulder County and surrounding communities. El Comité also facilitates communication and understanding between Latinos and non-Latinos in the community. The organization provides bilingual comprehensive case management, civic and community engagement, healthy lifestyle and chronic disease prevention courses, adult education instruction and more.
Global Greengrants Fund
2840 Wilderness Place, Suite A, Boulder, www.greengrants.org
Global Greengrants Fund is one of the leading organizations in the world supporting local efforts to protect the planet. Through its unique grantmaking model, GGF funds projects to advance solutions and strategies that will best fit local needs, providing grassroots leaders the resources to make their ideas a reality. Focusing on climate justice, healthy environments and communities, local livelihoods, right to land, water and resources, and women’s environmental action, the nonprofit has granted more than 11,000 projects in 168 countries since 1993.
Out Boulder County
Out Boulder County, P.O. Box 1018, Boulder, outboulder.org
Out Boulder County educates, advocates and provides services for and on behalf of Boulder County’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities. They provide a number of ever-evolving youth programs, such as the youth film project and Boulder Trans Youth Group, both for those 13-18, as well support groups, grassroots campaigns, creative groups for those aged 18-25 and the newly formed LGBTQ People of Color Program.
Colorado Haiti Project
908 Main St., Louisville, coloradohaitiproject.org
Since 1989, Colorado Haiti Project has been supporting community leaders and community-driven programs in agriculture, education, health, economic development, and water and sanitation in Petit Trou de Nippes, Haiti. Founded on Haitian vision and leadership, the nonprofit works to create a prosperous, healthy and empowered population. While the country has been hit hard by natural disasters in the last decade and is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, the Colorado Haiti Project is fueling locally led progress in rural Haiti.
6105 Monarch Road, Longmont, philanthropiece.org
Philanthropiece Foundation empowers changemakers around the world to co-create resilient communities. The scholarship program empowers the people of Chajul, Guatemala, a region that is still suffering more than 20 years after the end of the country’s 36-year civil war. Money from the program helps people obtain college degrees, improve public health and develop ethical leadership. The community bank program in Baja California Sur, Mexico, is allowing many people in the state to save for the first time, strengthening the future for themselves and their families. The youth global leadership program connects young changemakers with local leaders and social entrepreneurs to help them make meaningful change throughout their lives.
Adventurist Backpack Co.
Based in Denver, adventuristbackpacks.com
If you’re looking for a tangible gift but still want to make a lasting impact, consider Adventurist Backpack Co. Launched in September 2017, this Denver-based company only makes one product so far: the Adventurist Daypack. However, for every backpack it sells, Adventurist donates 25 meals to families in need through the nonprofit Feed America. In just a few months, the company has provided more than 9,000 meals. It all started when husband and wife cofounders Kelly Belknap and Matilda Sandström were traveling through Europe and would load up their daypacks with food from local grocery stores, cook meals and give them away to anyone they noticed needed it along the way. Now, giving back is an integral part of their business, and the Adventurist Daypack is a great gift for any traveler, all the while helping out families in need.
FOR THE KIDS:
Little Liberty children’s puzzles ($44)
1468 Pearl St., Boulder, www.libertypuzzles.com
Liberty Puzzles’ unique wooden jigsaw puzzles are fun for the whole family, but the Little Liberty series features larger pieces, easier for little hands to handle. Each puzzle contains dozens of hand-drawn pieces intricately cut into the shapes of characters, animals and geometric designs, which makes fitting the pieces together even more fun. Whether it’s a scene from your favorite nursery rhyme or a holiday image to put together over the break from school, these one-of-a-kind puzzles make the perfect gift. (Ages 4+)
Jet Plane Kite ($25)
Into the Wind
1408 Pearl St., Boulder, intothewind.com
There’s nothing quite like flying a kite — watching it take off, dip and soar out in the fresh air. The Jet Plane Kite from Into the Wind is best for beginners, as it climbs high into the sky without all that expensive jet fuel. The design makes this kite stable and easy to fly, in both light and strong winds, perfect for little tots just learning the joys of flying their first kite. Plus, it comes with a handy case, perfect to store in the car for some impromptu kite-flying.
Kendama Fade-Out ($12)
Lost Marbles Toy Store
435 Main St., Longmont, lostmarblestoystore.com
Kendama is a traditional Japanese game that may appear simple at first, but don’t be fooled. The basic idea is to toss the wooden ball, attached to the hammer-like handle by string, in the air and catch it on each of the cupped surfaces. While some of the surfaces may be easy to balance the ball, it also features a hole at one end to catch it on a spike. Promoting hand-eye coordination in the process, the game can be played indoors on a snowy day or on-the-go.
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls Volume 2 ($35, $64 for gift set)
Pitter Patter Children’s Boutique
931 Main St., Louisville, www.pitterpattershop.com
Written in fairy-tale form, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls Volume 2 features 100 new stories inspired by the life and adventures of extraordinary women from Nefertiti to Beyonce. The book tells the tales of real women, past and present, who have succeeded despite all odds and whose actions have changed the course of history, accompanied by illustrations from 70 different female artists from around the globe. Purchase the box set to also get Volume 1, which features women such as Joan Jett, Frida Kahlo, and Venus and Serena Williams. And let’s be real: This bedtime story book is not just for girls, despite the title. Rebel boys stand to gain just as much from these inspiring tales.
Lafayette, 720-309-5269, zavygreen.com
If you need to shop online but still want to support local businesses, head to zavygreen.com for a wide range of eco-friendly kids items, like eco-dough from Eco-kids. Made with all natural ingredients like plant, fruit and vegetable extracts, this five-pack of dough features earthy colors perfect for little fingers to mold, shape and build with, all without the risk of toxic chemicals and additives.
FOR THE FOODIES:
Drinker’s Guide to Colorado ($24.95)
Available at most liquor retailers and bookstores around town, drinkingcolorado.com
What do you get the craft drinker in your life? Brewery-themed ugly sweaters? Skate decks with their favorite beer blazoned on the board? A rare beer? No, nope, nada. Instead give them a challenge with a little education: the Drinker’s Guide to Colorado. This handy manual not only lists all currently operating breweries, brewpubs, cideries, distilleries, meaderies and wineries in Colorado, it also comes with tips on what to try at each location, glassware tips, production breakdowns and explanations on changing Colorado liquor laws, which might help shed a little light for those who emigrated to this fine state. Oh, and there are about 70 coupons in the back that amount to roughly $400 in free beer. If that doesn’t get them outside their drinking routine, nothing will.
CU Growler ($19.99)
Available at cubookstore.com
We’ve all been there; you try a one-off beer at your favorite brewery and love it so much that you must have more. But the growler you have in the car sports the logo of a rival brewery, or worse: it’s the logo from a professional sports team that should be embarrassed to show their face in public. You could skirt the issue by buying a new growler from the brewery, but what are you going to do with all those growlers rolling around in your trunk? Answer: simplify. Support our state university and head over to the bookstore, where they sell a 64-ounce glass growler painted with the school’s iconic logo. Not only does it free you from choosing sides with brewery loyalties, you can say you’re enriching the world via your beer drinking by promoting CU’s world-class symphony, engineering department or theater productions. This handsome growler will turn a head or two as you ask for a fill.
Colorado Gift Box ($100)
1825 Pearl St., Suite B, Boulder, curedboulder.com
You don’t need to be a foodie to enjoy the offerings at Cured. Their well-curated selection of craft meats, cheese, jams, crackers and much more is sourced from producers locally and around the globe. The folks at Cured understand the importance of eating and drinking well, and giving a loved one a gift box from the shop is one way to share that love of food and drink. Take their Colorado gift box, for instance. It includes two local cheeses, salami from curing company Elevations, local crackers, peach-jalapeno preserves cured in-house, JoJo’s Pueblo Pepper Sriracha, Bjorn’s Colorado Honey and a chocolate bar from Cultura. If all that local artisanship isn’t what you’re looking for, browse Cured’s very wide variety of gift boxes and, trust us, you’ll find something.
Turkey Red Wheat Lineage Seeds ($12)
Available at select stores in Boulder County, including Moxie Bread Co., Alfalfa’s Market and Basta, lineageseeds.com
So you’ve got a foodie with a green thumb on your holiday list, do you? Thrill them with sustainably raised turkey red wheat from Lineage Seeds. Lineage Seeds preserves species of edible crop that have been threatened in the decades of mismanaged agriculture that has befallen our country, and they focus on species that thrive here on the Front Range and in Boulder County. Their turkey red wheat was a variety brought over by Mennonites who settled in Kansas. It thrives on the high-altitude plains, and whomever you gift this tin of seeds to is going to get a kick out of growing this ancient grain, milling it and serving it to guests in pastas and breads.
Chef’s Choice Pizzelle Pro Pizzelle Maker ($50)
1235 Pearl St., Boulder, peppercorn.com
You heard it here first: pizzelle makers are in; mostly because pizzelle and their waffle-cookie kin are pretty popular themselves. Making them at home is one way for people to set their home culinary chops apart from the rest. Batters of flour, eggs, sugar, butter and choice of flavorings are put onto one of two griddles in the Chef’s Choice Pizzelle Pro and out come crisp, sweet and buttery wafers. Traditional pizzelle are made with vanilla or anise flavoring, but whomever you gift this delightful little appliance to can just go bananas with it.
Robin Chocolates Collections ($10-$50)
600 S. Airport Road, Longmont, robinchocolates.com
Robin Autorino is a Boulder County treasure, producing artisan chocolate treats out of some of the finest chocolate available in the world. In her Longmont shop, Autorino produces chocolates that are works of art. For those with a sweet tooth on your shopping list, you could do worse than giving a box of Robin Chocolates’ treats. Available in sets from four to 24, pick out flavors from blackberry sage to rosemary caramel to port wine reduction. The six-piece holiday set, available for a limited time, includes candy cane, cranberry vodka lime, figgy pudding and spiked eggnog flavors. Just be sure to pick some up for yourself while you’re shopping at Robin Chocolates; their holiday boxes tend to lose a chocolate or two if they sit in the house too long.
Instituto Frasca per il Vino ($225)
Frasca Food and Wine
1738 Pearl St., Boulder, frascafoodandwine.com
Do you know a budding wine connoisseur? Would they be interested in learning the finer points of tasting from a Master Sommelier? If so, a wine class at Frasca Food and Wine would be a once-in-a-lifetime treat. Master Sommelier and Frasca Owner Bobby Stuckey leads a two-hour class that focuses on a specific wine region, while providing a tasting flight of some of that region’s best wine. Included in the classes are a breakdown of the region, its terroir, history and the opportunity to ask Stuckey whatever questions pop up. This year’s classes will focus on Champagne, Burgundy and Southern France, and each class occurs only twice. Classes start in January and run until March, so book now.
FOR THE FRIEND WHO WANTS TO SAVE THE PLANET:
Titanium Spork ($10.99)
2685 Pearl St., Boulder; 1745 Main St., Longmont; 100 W. South Boulder Road, Lafayette
Plastic cutlery may be convenient, but it can take up to 1,000 years to decompose once tossed in the trash. Considering the 100 million pieces that Americans throw away each day, that’s a lot of relatively permanent trash. Reusable sporks can be easily tucked in a bag, backpack or purse and whipped out when needed — an easy way to help your eco-friendly pals make an impactful day-to-day difference.
Bamboo Socks ($15)
1468 Pearl St., Boulder, cariloha.com
Everyone gifts a pair of socks in their lifetime. Why not pick out a pair made from one of the most renewable resources on the planet? Bamboo, from which these socks are weaved, doesn’t require pesticides or chemical fertilizers, and continues to grow even after it’s harvested. Bonus: aside from being softer than you’d ever imagine, these socks are odor-resistant, moisture-wicking, hypoallergenic and anti-static.
Wild Lines Calendar ($30)
1048 Pearl St., Boulder, alpinemodern.com
Featuring 12 detailed, hand-drawn works by award-winning environmental activist and artist Jeremy Collins, this calendar doubles as art and an organizing tool. Each month includes notable dates in environmental activism and mindful action prompts, and once 2018 is over, the calendar doesn’t get thrown away — it’s built to be repurposed as wall art so you can continue to enjoy Collins’ wild, inspiring landscapes for years to come.
MiiR Reusable Bottle ($33)
935 Pearl St., Boulder, topodesigns.com
With water fountains and filtered sinks all over the place, there are few excuses left for using plastic water bottles. This leak-free, reusable bottle retains both heat and cold, but what really sets it apart is more than its sleek design. MiiR partners with global nonprofit organizations and pledges to supply one person with clean water for every bottle sold. So, you can feel twice as good gifting this bottle.
Succulent (varying prices)
Urban Garden Center
619 N. 96th St., Lafayette, urbangardencolorado.com
Nothing like a little green to imbue a room with sustainable energy. Succulents are not only user-friendly, but they help conserve water, all the while filtering air and removing toxins from indoor environments. Studies have shown indoor plants can boost mood, concentration and productivity levels, so you can bank on your loved ones thanking you big time for this gift.
Used Colorado Cookbook (varying prices)
Trident Booksellers and Cafe
940 Pearl St., Boulder, tridentcafe.com
Peruse the shelves of Trident for a used copy of a Colorado-centric cookbook. Learning how to use local ingredients and in-season products sends an environmentally savvy ripple effect through everyday life for years to come. By snagging a used book, which are in great shape at Trident, you’re also conserving production of new materials and goods.
FOR THE MUSIC LOVER:
Original pressing, Either/Or, by Elliott Smith ($60)
Bart’s Record Shop
1625 Folsom St., Boulder, bartsrecordshop.com
Director Gus Van Sant loved Elliott Smith’s third album, Either/Or, so much that he incorporated three of its tracks into the Good Will Hunting soundtrack, propelling Smith into the international spotlight. While the album never charted in the U.S., critics have called it Smith’s best work, made all the much more bittersweet by Smith’s death in 2003. This is an original pressing at a great price.
Music lessons (prices vary)
Fuzz Music Studios
463 Main St., Suite 200-202, Longmont, fuzzmusicstudios.com
Whether your music lover wants to learn how to play a wind, fretted, orchestral or percussion instrument, take vocal lessons or study audio production, songwriting or music, Fuzz Music Studios in Longmont is the place to be. Fuzz provides professional one-on-one instruction as well as group classes, chambers and ensembles in beautiful studios with hardwood floors and vaulted ceilings. Lessons are personalized to fit each student and their specific needs, leading to more success and more fun.
Original acrylic painting on canvas of the Grateful Dead’s From the Mars Hotel, by Mark Serlo, approximately 28×40 inches ($2,200)
1505 Pearl St., Suite 101, Boulder, posterscene.com
For the Grateful fan who has it all, there’s nothing like an original piece of art — by a local artist, nonetheless. Boulder resident Mark Serlo has been designing posters for PosterScene since the turn of the century; an employee discovered him selling his art outside of the Fox Theatre. In this piece, Serlo recreates the cover of the Dead’s seventh studio album, 1974’s From the Mars Hotel. The real Mars Hotel was a derelict flophouse in San Francisco, once home to Jack Kerouac and previously used as a location in David Bowie’s promo film for “The Jean Genie.” Actual footage of the demolition of the Mars Hotel is in The Grateful Dead Movie. This is a huge, one-of-a-kind piece, meant to color a home studio, living room or office.
David Bowie: A Life, by Dylan Jones ($28)
Boulder Book Store
1107 Pearl St., Boulder, boulderbookstore.net
Obviously leaving to prepare a better dimension for the rest of us when our time comes, David Bowie left this mortal coil on Jan. 16, 2016. When you find yourself wondering how you’re still living on this planet without the Starman, you’ll find comfort in author Dylan Jones’ new book David Bowie: A Life. Editor of GQ magazine, Jones collected interviews from more than 180 of Bowie’s friends, rivals, lovers and collaborators, some of whom have never before spoken about their relationship with the beloved star. Woven into those interviews is never-before-seen material from Bowie himself, too, drawn from a series of interviews Jones conducted with him over the course of two decades.
Vintage Pioneer SE-50 White 2-Way Ohm Stereo Headphones with Case ($65)
Little Horse 2
820 Main St., Louisville, littlehorsevintage.com
Cue up the White Album, plug these pretty babies into your hi-fi and drift away to a different time. These late ’60s headphones are in mint condition and deliver a warm sound that rivals today’s high-quality cans. There are volume controls on each earpiece, allowing you to control the volume in the right and left channels independently of one another. This is but one of the zillion audiophile treasures to be found at one of Little Horse’s two locations, so block off an hour or so to bum around these shops.