You have been listening to Christmas songs since Halloween. Like me, you most likely cringe when you walk into Walmart and those sleigh bells are ringing and a jing ting tingaling too. Given that, I feel it’s safe to reveal my own research into some truly unique gift ideas. I am always seeking out the bold and the quirky, the one-of-a-kind and off-the-wall. Shopping this time of year can be a drudge.
For those of us who like to sprinkle our resources locally, may I suggest doing that first. There are so many gift stores and art galleries in the Erie-Crawford County area. The Erie Art Museum gift store, Glass Growers, Geary Studio Seven, Kada Gallery, Ungaro Gallery, Campbell Pottery, to name a few. Check out Showcase in the Erie Times-News any Thursday for a complete listing. Artists and artisans abound.
But if you decide to expand your search to the Internet, here are some of my finds and favorites.
- How about some pick-pocket proof underwear? No joke. For the traveler in your subset, the Clever Travel Companion has come up with nifty looking under-drawers complete with hidden pockets to stash your cash.
- Check out Uncommon Goods for some fun stuff. It’s home of the F-bomb paperweight and the all-in-one wine and shot glass (you flip it over).
- Etsy showcases artisans with some of the best jewelry, art, and handcrafted works out there. (Some artists are willing to individually custom make jewelry for you, too.)
- For goofy gifts that make funny stocking stuffers, check out Perpetual Kid, home of bacon candy canes.
- Vat19 proclaims to have be the purveyors of the most “curiously awesome” gifts, including the famed wooden necktie.
- Feel like supporting impoverished communities around the world by purchasing Fair Trade? Check out the Fair Trade Federations Holiday Gift Guide 2012 for some really nifty and affordable gifts for kids, pets and adults, as well as unique tableware from Africa, Indonesia, and countries you most likely will never visit. 10,000 Villages also offers Fair Trade items.
- For the environmentally conscious, Environmental Working Group (EWG) is offering a gift bag chockfull of goodies, including reusable canvas lunch bag, Klean Canteen stainless water bottle, To-Go-Ware stainless steel food carrier, $50 worth of coupons for organic foods and a bunch of other stuff. The $135 price is almost entirely tax deductible and you help a good cause.