T’was the month before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even the louse that won’t shop until the night before Christmas, causing shop owners to tear their hair out and skewed statistics about poor consumer spending and the economy stalling.
Thanksgiving morning I browsed through the Santa Cruz Sentinel Gift Guide. I made a long list of the great goodies I’d like people to get me. I have A, B and C lists. If you give me a hint of your plan for me, I’ll know the price range for your gift…or not.
Chocolate is always good. A gift certificate for Chicken mole, a glass of Pinot Grigio, a hot fudge Sunday, yummy truffles and a cup of thick hot cocoa, the Sofia, at Chocolate, in Santa Cruz, will do just fine.
Since you’re right next to Bookshop Santa Cruz, you might step inside and squeeze a few books in your bag for me. Something by a local author perhaps. Hardbacks are acceptable. I might read them twice or re-gift them.
As the in-crowd knows, I love to chew, not chop garlic. Big Bucks gift certificates for Soif, Gabriella’s and Ristorante Avanti are always appreciated. Don’t limit yourself to just one. Three is not a crowd!
I like to drink my carbohydrates. Vino Cruz, right by MAH, is a super place to taste and buy wine. I prefer whites: Hunter Hill’s Sauvignon Blanc, Bargetto’s Pinot Grigio. I’m less familiar with reds, but Silver Mountain has a mean Alloy and Salamandre’s Primitivo is delicious.
No time to winery hop? Shopper’s Corner has a fine selection. I can always leave a list of my favorites there. Groceries and gifts, one-stop-shopping. What a concept! Shopper’s is close to The Buttery (don’t skimp on the pecan sandies,) and the Chardonnay office for sailing tickets.
The Artisan’s Co-op has a plethora of items to choose from. You can go wild. I don’t mind. My friend, Home Stager, Patti Brady says, “Less is more.” I say, “More is more.” Remember, I can always re-gift.
Many Hands Gallery is a place where I drool a lot. Go there and treat your eyes. Just avoid the soggy spots on the carpet! I love Cheri Lewis’s playful jewelry line, Mama’s Little Babies.
Annie Glass is perfect because I’m so special.
Nothing wrong with gold. Diamonds are friendly. Aptos Jewelers, in the Rancho Del Mar Shopping Center has gems to choose from. Speaking of Aptos, The Café Sparrow is one of my favorite rural restaurants. Don’t be shy. I’m a big eater.
A month of yoga classes with Jazzercise’s Abbi Hartsell at the Seabright roller-rink is a moving idea. She makes me work my abs off to deserve calories. She held a class Thanksgiving morning, asked for five dollar donations. All proceeds go to the 2nd Harvest Food Bank. Good for the Food Bank. Good for me.
As long as we’re being heart-warming, don’t forget hand-dipped candles from the Homeless Garden Store, same location as last year, across from the Rittenhouse building on Pacific Avenue.
Facials, a massage, hair cut, manicure, pedicure are all welcome. As are gardening, house cleaning, a chef for a year. Tickets to the Nickelodeon, Del Mar Theater, Rio Theater and Kuumbwa are hits. Soaps from Bonny Doon Farm make great stocking stuffers. My knee socks will hold about a dozen, well….my thigh socks.
I love local art. My walls have space for anything by Glenn Carter. Stop by my office to get a sense of my taste: Stacy Frank, D. Hooker, Wendy Aiken, Aaron Johnson, Bridget Henry, wire sculpture by Wendy Ballen, just to name a few. Use your Open Studios Catalog/Calendar for their contact information, or call me. I will gladly supply addresses, directions and suggestions.
Not on my list: A bicycle tire repair kit, rakes, shovels or gardening gloves, cutlery, cookbooks or dust buster. No toothbrushes. I get them from my dentist for free. And- No fruitcake!
Thinking. Thinking. On third thought, no need to be anal about this shop local business. I’m going to need a new dishwasher, washer and dryer in the near future. Exceptions can be made for shopping at big box stores for gifts like these. Besides, we do have a local Sears and Best Buy. Major appliances are definitely on my A list.
Well folks, you get the idea. This should get you started. If you get stumped, call me. I’m always willing to help.