Even if you’re like me and have been looking forward to the holidays ever since the clock struck midnight on Thanksgiving, there is no escaping that moment of panic when you realize that Christmas is just days away and you still have gift shopping to do! Luckily for Boulderites, our town is ripe with opportunities to find meaningful, unique local gifts for your friends and loved ones even if you’re guilty of a little procrastination this holiday season.
Grocery Store Gold Mine
Between stocking up on the essentials before friends and family come over for the holidays or picking up the ingredients to treat yourself to an indulgent holiday dinner, my money is on the majority of Boulderites having to make at least one more trip to the grocery store between now and this weekend. Boulder’s grocery stores and markets are hotbeds of delicious and unique local products, so take a moment during your errand to peruse the aisles and look for gift-worthy treats from local companies.
Make your own sweet and salty-themed gift basket with Boulder Canyon chips and Missy J’s truffles, put together a sample pack of Justin’s Nut Butter‘s many flavors, add some heat to the holidays with Winking Girl! salsa and sauces, or give the gift of warmth and coziness with Celestial Seasonings tea or liquid cacao from Cholaca. These are just a few of the huge variety of under-the-tree-worthy local products you’ll find in your store’s aisles, so get creative and make the most of that grocery errand.
Bundles of Beer
I’d likewise put money on one last liquor run being on Boulderite to-do lists before the holiday weekend. Whether you’re stopping by your favorite liquor store, like Hazel’s Beverage World or Liquor Mart, or popping into your favorite brewery for a growler fill and a pint before festivities begin, take the opportunity to pick up a gift for the craft beer lover in your life in the form of some liquid cheer. Breweries like Walnut Brewery, Avery Brewing Company, Upslope Brewing Company, BRU Handbuilt Ales, Boulder Beer Company, Twisted Pine Brewing Company, Wild Woods Brewery, and oh so many more of our county’s finest are great places to pick up brews, gift cards, and brewery swag ahead of this weekend. Go ahead and treat a loved one to some “hoppiness” over the holidays.
Pearl Street Presents
Downtown Boulder and Pearl Street Mall are absolute sure bets where your last-minute gift perusing will undoubtedly pay off. Stop into Peppercorn and choose from their vast cookbook selection for the foodie in your life, then swing into Savory Spice Shop to pick up some of the fixings required for a couple of the recipes therein. Support local businesses like Liberty Puzzles and the Boulder Book Store or support local artists by browsing the creative selection of ornaments, greeting cards, and much more at Art Mart and Bliss. Give the gift of local deliciousness by popping into Piece, Love & Chocolate, Organic Sandwich Company, Cured, or any of the other many amazing eateries and restaurants downtown.
There truly is something for everyone downtown and along Pearl Street Mall, making it a place where your precious last-minute time will be spent wisely. You can find a full list of Downtown Boulder shopping opportunities here and dining options here. Downtown Boulder gift cards, which can be used at the majority of downtown businesses, are also available for purchase.
From Your Computer
Don’t have time to venture out and wander or peruse now that we’re into the eleventh hour? There are also plenty of great gift options available at your fingertips online. Check out GiftRocket for an easy yet creative way to essentially give the gift of cash. Check out deals in the Boulder area on Groupon, specifically in the Food & Drink, Things to Do, and Beauty & Spas categories, to give the gift of a unique Boulder experience. A gift certificate to a ticketing website, such as StubHub, is likewise an opportunity to experience a night out in Boulder, perhaps at a CU Boulder basketball game, a concert, and more. These are all convenient, thoughtful gift-giving options you can take care of from right behind your computer screen without even having to take off your favorite fuzzy holiday slippers.
The Gift of Giving Back
Give the particularly meaningful gift of giving back to the community and those in need this year by supporting some of Boulder’s numerous charities and non-profits. Whether you want to contribute to Boulder’s local culture, support those who are less fortunate, or give back in any way in between, donating to a charity is a wonderful way to spread holiday cheer.
Purchases of the annual Boulder Star Card go towards the Boulder Chamber’s upkeep of this local holiday symbol, while a donation to Harvest of Hope helps to feed the hungry. From supporting the Boulder region of Team Rubicon (a national veteran-run disaster relief organization) to the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado, Boulder County to the Humane Society of Boulder Valley and countless other charities and non-profits in between (you can find a list here), the gift of giving back is meaningful, personal, and vital to supporting a strong local community.
So take a deep breath, Boulder, you’ve got plenty of time! Good luck with your last-minute shopping, and happy holidays!