Margot C. Lester
â€™Tis the season to give. And not just to the people on your list, but also to local businesspeople. Rather than a nicely wrapped gift, all they want is your business. And if youâ€™re like me, thereâ€™s still shopping to do, and, invariably, somebody accidentally (no, really) left off your list. Here then is a list of last-minute gifts from local producers and purveyors that donâ€™t scream â€œoops!â€:
â€¢ A day of pampering: Give your guy (or gal) a day of beauty/grooming with a Beehive (102 E. Main, thebeehive-salon.com) gift certificate. Consider a cut (starting at $40), maybe a color (starting at $60), plus a deluxe mani/pedi ($83). Oh, and donâ€™t forget the kids: manis ($15) and pedis ($20) for the under-12 set. Open till 7 on Dec. 23.
â€¢ Pottery with a purpose: Local potters will host â€œA Clay Centre Christmas,â€ a sale to benefit Doctors Without Borders, Afghan Sister School Partnership, the Orange County Rape Crisis Center and Wounded Warriors. Held at the Clay Centre (402 Lloyd St., claycentre.com) on Dec. 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the event features ornaments, serving items and jewelry. Among the artists participating are Tracy Broome, Carolyn Doyle, Kristin Esterley, Barbara Higgins, Charlotte Pamplin, Pat Saling, Amy Smoker and Betsy Vaden. Call 967-0314 for more information.
â€¢ Foundation garments: The cocoaâ€™s not the only thing that should be warm this holiday season. Grab some ladiesâ€™ silk long underwear ($38.50 for a top or bottom) or some Darn Tough socks made in the USA of merino wool ($15/pair) from Townsend Bertram & Co. (Carr Mill Mall, tbandc.com) Open Christmas Eve until 5.
â€¢ Green giving: No, not cash. Something from or for the garden from Dickinson Garden Center (1510 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill), like a verdant house plant or flowering bulbs, yard implements, statuary or wind chimes. Thereâ€™s even an outdoor chess/checkers table ($119). Open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Christmas Eve.
â€¢ Something silky: Go a little glam this yuletide with a gift from Carrboro-based Mitziâ€™s Fine Silks of Thailand (mitzissilks.com). Mitzi Powell sources the finest silks from Thailand for everything from clutch bags and ties ($24.99) to photo albums ($49.99) and menâ€™s shirts ($54.99). Order by Dec. 22 and it can be delivered on Christmas Eve.
â€¢ Good eats: If itâ€™s true that nothing says lovinâ€™ like something from the oven, then a gift certificate from one of our excellent local eateries like Taqueria Tres Amigos (tresamigoscarrboro.com) or Locopops (ilovelocopops.com) is a great last-minute present. For an added touch, get a to-go order to accompany the card. At Acme (acmecarrboro.com), for every $100 you spend on gift certificates, youâ€™ll get a $20 certificate to boot!
â€¢ Out of Africa: Pittsboroâ€™s French Connections (178 Hillsboro St., Pittsboro, french-nc.com) has loads of multi-colored Senegalese baskets and hampers, â€œyard art,â€ French fabrics, African beads and more arts and crafts.
â€¢ Calendars for conservation: The 40th annual Eno River Association calendar ($13.95) sports a then-and-now theme showcasing the evolving river and the communities that line its banks. Proceeds benefit the ERA. A list of retailers can be found at enoriver.org/calendar/calloc.htm.
â€¢ Hope for the Holidays: Weaver Street Market (all locations, weaverstreetmarket.coop) has created a list of gifts to give and give back. When you purchase any of the items, including some great wines, a portion of the sale price will be donated to the Cooperative Community Fund. The fund donates annually to local organizations working on sustainable agriculture, hunger and malnutrition and other issues.
â€¢ Fit(ness) for a king or queen: The folks at Balanced Movement (304 W. Weaver St., #103, balanced-movement.com) have pulled together special holiday packages to foster wellness. The Yoga Package ($80) includes a private session and equipment. For the person on your list who wants some hands-on help, try the Personal Training Package ($95): a one-hour consultation and resistance bands or a stability ball. The Life Coaching Package ($75) includes a one-hour session with a coach and a journal. Or give an antidote for holiday stress: the Massage Package ($95) includes a one-hour session and some take-home stress reducers.
â€¢ For the person who has everything: Glom onto this gift for the very-most difficult to shop for: Cherry wood tongs ($15.95) from Kitchenworks (University Mall, kitchenworksinc.com). Handmade inÂ Kentucky, these little wonders fold flat for easy storage. Adorn your package, or your tree, with cloisonnÃ© ornaments ($5.95 – $15.95) shaped like frogs, dolphins, seahorses, fish, alligators, grasshoppers, lobsters and more. Open till 6 p.m. Christmas Eve.
As long as weâ€™re talking local shopping, remember that the Town of Chapel Hill offers free parking on Saturdays throughout December (itâ€™s always free on Sundays). However, the Wallace Deck and Rosemary-Columbia lot will start charging at 5 p.m. Meters and other lots remain gratis.