Last minute gifts that last a lifetime … or longer


So many gifts exchanged during the
holidays scarcely outlast the wrapping paper and big bows they came packaged in,
and their broken and discarded pieces meet their festive wrappings in landfill.
This year, consider giving gifts that last — tokens of love and friendship that
will be cherished well beyond this holiday season.

For the children on your list, look for classic
books rather than a high-tech video game that risks becoming outdated before the
child outgrows it.

“Books are great gifts for kids,” says
Stephanie Schindhelm, the marketing and promotions manager for the Boulder
Bookstore. “Get them a book that they really love and they’ll read it over and
over. It gets them thinking and their imaginations going. And the classics are
great because they’ll go back to them again and again and see different

Schindhelm and other Boulder Bookstore
staff suggest books like Ender’s Game,
To Kill a Mockingbird and anything by
Roald Dahl.
She also suggests
books by Shel Silverstein and Dr. Suess. Both authors have new collections out
this year, Every Thing On it (Silverstein)
and The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost
(Dr. Suess).

A simple piece of jewelry is another sustainable
choice, and one that oftentimes becomes embedded with sentimental value.
Boulder is home to many local artists who specialize in unique and custom
jewelry craftsmanship.

Or, give a living gift. Cut flower
bouquets, while quite beautiful and an easy gift to pick up, wilt quickly and
are tossed away. Consider, instead, giving someone a plant. Roxy Walker, the
assistant manager at Sturtz & Copeland, says that fruit-bearing trees are
very popular this time of year.

“They smell fabulous and then they’ll
bear fruit,” she says. “Plus, they’re totally doable indoors and they’re not that
hard to care for.”

If you’re on budget and have a green
thumb (or have a friend with one), many plants, like jade, can be easily
propagated and replanted. Well cared for plants can live for decades and,
perhaps, even outlast us all.

Finally, it’s said that memories last a
lifetime, so consider giving someone a gift that will create one. Take someone
horseback riding or climbing. Even better, gift someone with an educational
experience. Teach a child to ice skate or give them the gift of guitar lessons.
Enroll a budding chef in a cooking class or give the wine lover or beer geek on
your list an elaborate tasting experience. We’re fortunate to live in a
community that boasts a wealth of talented people who earn their livings by
teaching others their craft. So, this year, perhaps a gift without a bow, like
an educational experience, is the way to go — and one that isn’t sold out!