This holiday gift guide was published in the December 2008/January 2009 edition of Treasure, the Idaho Statesman's features and lifestyles magazine. To read more Treasure stories from the December/January issue, visit IdahoStatesman.com/Treasure.
How will your holiday gifts be remembered this year? You can help create lasting memories for your loved ones by giving gifts that become experiences. For instance, encourage the bike commuter in your life to continue cycling through the winter months by giving arm or leg warmers, or gloves. Here are some ideas that soothe the soul.
Just say "ahh," relax and take a deep breath. Everyone has a different way to chill out, whether it is through cooking, a soothing bath or massage. It's easy to help the people in your life stay cozy and calm with help from these soothing treats and comfort-creating items.
Cheers, at 828 W. Idaho St., Boise, is packed with gifts that will bring a smile to anyone's face. It is one of the few stores in Idaho that sells products from Crane, the oldest paper company in the United States. "Our currency is printed on Crane, so everyone has Crane paper, whether they know it or not," says Cheers owner Paula Forney.
Personalized stationery is a timeless gift, and it is something many people are reluctant to buy for themselves, Forney says. Crane stationery is made from 100 percent cotton, so it is good for the environment, too. Personalizing stationery takes about 10 days from the time it is ordered until it arrives at the store, and the cost is 25 cents per card, in addition to the cost of the notecards themselves. This pack of 25 notecards and 25 envelopes (inset) is $29.
Ruby Lou is packed with stylish clothing and shoes, but don't miss this boutique for some comfort-giving gifts. Ruby Lou recently moved to a new location: 164 E. State St., No. 110, in Eagle.
B.ella socks ($19) are plush, plenty cute and are available in cashmere and wool blends.
Holiday-related headaches will disappear with help from these "retro" ice bags ($14), by Gal Pal, and they can be used hot or cold.
Forget about chilly hands with these stylish fingerless gloves ($54-$84), made by Boho by Moe Munroe. R
Flying M serves up a fantastic cup of coffee, but it is also a smart destination for quirky, cutting-edge gifts. Located at 500 W. Idaho St. in Boise and 1314 2nd St. S. in Nampa.
Grenware, a company from Georgia, helps you serve up food eco-savvy style. These bowls are made from bamboo, straw, coconut and rice hulls. They are also biodegradable. Available in large ($13.50) and small ($8.50) sizes at Boise and Nampa locations of Flying M.
Get inspired to serve up home-cooked meals with help from "Dinner At Your Door: Tips and Recipes for Starting a Neighborhood Dinner Co-op" (Gibbs-Smith Publisher, 2008). Locally written by Alex Davis, Diana Ellis and Andy Remeis, the book suggests joining forces with your neighbors to make meals and save time and effort (and, while we're at it, be kinder to the planet). The book features 60 recipes, plus full-color photography of Boise's East and North ends. Suggested retail price is $19.99, and it is available at Flying M Coffeehouse, Rediscovered Books, Vista Book Gallery, The Boise Co-op, Foxtrot Style for Living, Barnes & Noble and A Novel Adventure.
Have you hugged your monster today? These dolls from Monster Factory ($42) come with different names and personalities ("Buddy is surprisingly deep ...").
Beau Monde Boutique, 52 N. 2nd St. in Eagle, is packed with products that inspire relaxation and comfort.
These trout-inspired gifts by Pylones are great for the office or home: stapler ($12.50), letter opener ($12), memo holder ($5.75), bottle opener ($12.50) and more.
Feed your soul and pack your kitchen with charming gadgets by Pylones: large grater ($32.50) and small grater ($20), rolling salt and pepper shaker ($18.50 each), rice bowls ($82.50 for large bowl, $28 for small bowl).
Beau Monde Boutique also offers Oh-so-soft robes ($126.50) and throws ($130) from Barefoot Dreams. They are so luxurious you'll want to spend the day curled up on your sofa.
Morningside offers holiday gift sets that make great hostess gifts, and they're a sure hit with anyone who loves high-quality bath products.
The Simple Originals holiday set features hand soap and lotion and is available in Tomato Blossom and Linden Flower ($19.99); Simple Originals body butter in Linden Flower ($9.99); Originals body wash and bubble bath, available in Apple Pear and White Tea Ginger ($11.99); Lumiere caddy set in cranberry ($19.99); and cranberry body butter ($6.99). Holiday gift sets available through www.morningsideproducts.com. Boise native Hollis Brookover started Morningside in 2004, and some Morningside products also can be found at selected Treasure Valley Albertsons.
Other gift resources:
Discover holiday-themed items and home decor at Casa Bella Interiors, 316 W. State St., Eagle, 938-6130.
Give someone a great reason to curl up with a good book at Rediscovered Bookshop, 7079 Overland Road, Boise, 376-4229, or Vista Book Gallery, 1116 S. Vista Ave., Boise, 336-3011.
Create a custom bath gift set with products from Camille Beckman, available at the Camille Beckman Rose Cottage (where you can also go on a factory tour) at 175 S. Rosebud Lane, Eagle, and several other area stores (find a store at www.camillebeckman.com).
Wrap up your gifts in style and find fabulous cards and gifts at Paisley Roberts, 237 N. 9th St., Boise, 345-5015. Bonus: The gift ribbon you buy at this shop can be reused on gifts for years to come.
You can also give relaxation with a gift certificate to Mystique Salon and Spa, 936 Vista Ave., Boise. 336-8020.
GIVE TO THE ENVIRONMENT
Your eco-friendly gift is not only kind to the environment; it can also decorate a home, hold the contents of a shopping trip and be stylish, too.
Dragonfly products are both stylish and environmentally friendly. 414 Main St., Boise.
Light up the night with the Soji solar lantern, available in nylon ($18) or silk ($25). Or check out Aurora Glow solar glass string lights ($49).
Look stylish and stay warm with bamboo tights ($20) and socks ($8) by Hot Sox.
Think locally and look great in an organic cotton shirt ($50) by local company Xylem Elements. Dragonfly.
Cheers, 828 W. Idaho St., Boise, also can help you celebrate the holidays without leaving a large carbon footprint, thanks to its eco-minded gifts:
If you need a container for hard-to-carry items like work papers, notebooks or magazines, check out the BoxTote ($30) from Seattle company OBLONG. The tote is recyclable and made from laminated, water-resistant paper.
Give books that encourage green living: "Eco-Chic Weddings," by Emily Elizabeth Anderson ($12.95) and "Green Chic: Saving the Earth in Style," by Christie Matheson ($12.95).
Holiday greeting cards ($14.95) from Compendium are made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled fiber, and the back of each card features an environmental tip.
Wrap your gifts with recycled holiday paper ($8) by Fish Lips. The paper is printed with soy-based inks.
Celebrate the year to come with a poster calendar ($28) by Jordy Blueprints, printed on recycled paper.
Inspire smart shopping with this canvas tote ($14.95) that carries the clever message "Canvas. Because plastic is SO last year."
Other gift resources:
Shop for gifts at your favorite garden center.
And for a gift certificate idea, give a year's membership to the Idaho Botanical Garden, www.idahobotanicalgarden.org.
GIVE THE OUTDOORS
Ah, the great outdoors. One of the greatest perks to living in Idaho is the many opportunities the state offers for outdoor activities. Winter is no exception, and your gifts can keep the fun coming all winter long.
Idaho Mountain Touring, 1310 Main St., Boise, has the right gear to help bike commuters ride through the winter months.
Carry your gear in these roomy bags by Chrome, and your gear will stay dry inside, thanks to the waterproof liner: messenger bag ($140) and backpack ($130).
Keep gear dry in a waterproof Axiom pannier ($146.99). Pair the pannier with a bike rack ($45) by Bontrager.
See and be seen with help from front or back LED lights ($35) by Bullfrog.
Therma Fleece arm warmers ($24.99), leg warmers ($44.99) and headband ($14.99), by Pearl Izumi, will help keep riders warm. Shoe covers ($39.99) are made for cycling shoes to keep them dry on wet days, and windproof gloves ($39.99, above) are a must. All by Pearl Izumi.
Orvis can help you get your favorite fly fishing enthusiast geared up with its latest and greatest products. Find Orvis products at Anglers, 7097 Overland Road, Boise.
Stay dry with the Pro Guide 3 Waders ($349, right), which feature double-weave fabric and seams in the back of the legs for longer wear.
Anyone who will spend all day casting can appreciate the super-light Helios fly rod (below). How light? Try 2 and one-eighth of an ounce for an 8-and-a-half-foot 5-wt, and 2 and three-eighths of an ounce for the 9-foot 5-wt (both rods priced at $755).
The Battenkill trout reels ($179-$198, below) are designed to handle those lighter-weight rods.
Need another fun gift certificate idea? Roaring Springs Water Park passes are sure to please. 884-8842; www.roaringsprings.com.
Treats for the eye; beautiful things to admire and inspire. Art, jewelry and other objects lovely enough to light up a room (and the face of the lucky recipient) are available all around the Treasure Valley.
The Black Pearl, 50 N. 2nd St., Eagle, is filled with work from local artists.
Nampa artist J. Amber Conger creates jewelry, sculpture and other pieces under the name Refinerii. Conger's jewelry can be found at The Black Pearl, where you'll find tiny light bulbs or computer chips transformed into lovely necklaces and earrings (pictured above: necklaces, $38.50, left, and $35, right).
Handblown glass by artist Filip Vogelpohl includes wine stoppers ($25-$45, pictured below center) and home decor items, such as one of his impressive chandeliers ($4,400). More of Vogelpohl's work can be seen at his gallery, Boise Art Glass, 530 W. Myrtle (6th and Myrtle) in Downtown Boise. For more information, go to www.boiseartglass.com or call 345-1825.
Glass wine stoppers, above ($25-$45).
Ruby Lou has beautiful jewelry, clothing, accessories and more. The boutique recently moved to a new location: 164 E. State St., No. 110, in Eagle.
This wallet by Hobo ($94-$138) is both pretty and practical. It unfolds to reveal plenty of pockets and compartments to hold everything you need for a night on the town.
Know an arts enthusiast?
Buy him or her a pass to the Boise Art Museum or tickets for Shakespeare: Boise Art Museum, http://boiseartmuseum.org. 345-8330. Idaho Shakespeare Festival, www.idahoshakespeare.org. 336-9221.
Flying M offers gifts with beauty and function. Located at 500 W. Idaho St. in Boise and 1314 2nd St. S. in Nampa.
There is a certain Zen-like quality to the Terramundo Money Pot (above, $39). Deposit your coins in this attractive pot. It can hold up to $500 in dimes, nickels and quarters, but removing your change is a one-way process: You have to break the pot to get your money out. The pots have been used in Italy for more than 2,000 years (you can see examples of the pots in the British Museum), and according to tradition, you must make a wish while smashing it. Then you can use the broken pot to hold plants or candles.
These bowls are easy to hold, with a shape that is made to fit your hand, and they look beautiful on display, too. Baby Buddha Bowl ($20) and Udon Noodle Bowl ($30) are available at the Boise Flying M location.
Other gift resources:
Is there anything more beautiful than music? Shop for the musician in your life at Old Boise Guitar Company, 515 Main St., Boise, 344-7600; or The Record Exchange, 1105 W. Idaho, Boise, 344-8010.
Encourage someone to create a work of art at Handmade (for yarn, classes), 118 E. State St., Eagle, 938-8341; and Handmade Too (art studio and classes), 60 S. Eagle Road, Eagle, 939-3705.