Friday, November 29, 2013

Ten Locally-owned Stores that Make Holiday Shopping Fun

Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday, the response of local businesses to the big box stores' Black Friday. Here are ten locally-owned shops I visit every holiday season.

A great place to look for unique holiday items is the gift shop at the California Museum, where you can buy interesting stocking stuffers, holiday decorations, and hostess gifts.

One of my favorite gift shops is Collected Works, located on Freeport Boulevard just south of Sutterville. They are stocked with all sorts of fun Christmas merchandise but they also have jewelry, toys, and other items with great gift potential. Collected Works has a second store downtown on L Street, right across from the Capitol.

I love the gift shop at the Crocker Art Museum. So many cool things to buy -- jewelry, objets d'art, books, cards, calendars, toys -- I rarely come away empty-handed, although sometimes I discover that the only presents I've bought are for me!

I can't let the holiday season pass without at least one trip to Old Sacramento, where my visit is not complete without stopping by Evangeline's, specializing in toys, costumes, greeting cards, magic tricks, and gag gifts. I can almost guarantee that someone on your shopping list wants to find something from Evangeline's in his or her stocking!

Every time I walk into the Gifted Gardener, at the corner of 18th and J, I wish that I was, in fact, a gardener. Alas, I have neither the talent nor the patience for tending the soil. Fortunately, one doesn't have to actually be a gardener to enjoy holiday shopping at this lovely little store, where they sell, in addition to gardening supplies, yard accessories, bird feeders, and a variety of outdoor-themed art works, both practical and decorative.

Ladybug Ladybug on J Street is a fun little shop, offering greeting cards, holiday decorations, stocking stuffers, and quite a nice collection of craft kits for kids.

Mixed Bag at 24th and K has become everyone's go-to place for fun stocking stuffers, festive decorations, and interesting cards and gift wrap. I know I'll be there at least a time or two before the holiday season is over.

Their upside down Christmas tree is gone, but PeraDice, located on 24th Street between I and J in Midtown, is still a great place to find stocking stuffers and unique Christmas items. Seriously, who wouldn't want an apron that says, "Dear Santa, I can explain!"?

Visions of Eden in Old Sacramento is another fun place to shop locally for the holidays, especially for the women on your list. Jewelry, handbags, scarves, and body care products are just some of the must-have merchandise you can find there.

For someone with so little artistic talent, I really enjoy shopping at University Art, located at the corner of 26th and J. Not only do they have art supplies for serious artists, but they have a nice selection of gifts, cards, picture frames, and creative toys for kids.


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