It´s Christmas Eve and you’ve done it again. You’ve put off shopping until the last minute, and now you’ve lost the chance to order gifts online, make a homemade anything, or even drive around to stores. Well, we’ve compiled a list of suggestions to help you fill those empty stockings dangling over your fireplace, saving Christmas in the nick of time.
Toys: It is Christmas, after all. You may think you’ve outgrown such childish things, but a visit to Into The Wind on Pearl Street would bring out the kid in anyone. With boxes of wind-up gizmos, shelves of rubber bouncy balls, and almost every kind of toy imaginable, great stocking stuffers abound. This ought to be your first stop when shopping for the kids, but toys this cool could please at any age.
Local Beer: This one is for the grown-ups. Coloradans love their microbrews, and a bomber of local beer wrapped in ribbon makes for a happy surprise on Christmas morning. Avery’s Maharaja or its Hog Heaven barley wine — both too pricey to drink every day — make excellent stocking-stuffers, as would beer from any of Boulder’s worldclass breweries. Liquor Mart stocks an entire aisle of stand-alone bottles, so you can find the perfect brew to fit any taste. Just don’t mix up the stockings.
Hiking Books: Holiday gifts usually skew toward the winter season, neglecting the warmer months and the outdoor activities that go with them. For the fair-weather sportsmen out there, swing by the Boulder Book Store and pick up Contemplative Hiking Along the Colorado Front Range, which explores the wisdom in hiking while discussing the flora and fauna along Colorado trails. Or you can stick to the local best-seller, Best Boulder Region Hiking Trails — but your hiking friend may already have it. While you’re there, grab some foreign-language dictionaries, or get somebody started on the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo craze.
Chocolate: This one doesn’t need an explanation. If you’re looking local, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory offers a wide selection of mouth-watering treats like fudge, cocoa, caramel apples and boxes of assorted chocolate, with candy packages for any budget. Gourmet candy never disappoints.
iPod Shuffle: Perfect for an active town like Boulder, this music player caters to the gym-going crowd, but works great for long car rides to the mountains or a casual stroll through campus. With a price tag of $49 at the Apple Store, it’s a fairly economical choice as well, and small enough to get lost in the bottom of that stocking.
(Useful) Gift Cards: The common fallback for stumped holiday shoppers, gift cards have a reputation for being lazy gifts. But the useful ones, like cards for iTunes and Starbucks, tend to get spent before they can be lost or forgotten. Who wouldn’t like some more music or a good cup of coffee? They’re available in the check-out line of almost any supermarket, and you can bulk up the gift’s size by wrapping it with some candy, conveniently stocked adjacently on the shelf. Voila! It’s a Christmas Eve miracle for the procrastinating shopper.
And remember, always buy the best thing you can within your particular price range. Cheap becomes trash, but the nicer stuff always sticks around. Don’t buy someone a mediocre pair of shoes, for example — buy really nice socks (another great stocking stuffer.) Good luck!