Locally Grown

Last Minute Local Holiday Shopping
2010/12/21, 8:06 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

If you are like me, and have a large beard, people expect a lot from you around this holiday time of the year.  Yes, it is time for that mythical fat bearded man whom allegedly invades your home and brings you presents while leaving your family and belongings safely planted right where you left them to visit you and do all those things, and possibly eat your cookies.  Many children in the US believe in this system (others believe that brightly lit trees simply poop out presents upon reaching full maturity on the night of December 24th), and I see the way children stare at my beard while it is out shopping for my family, their eyes telling me that their minds are trying to grasp why this Santa looking man is shopping in the same store as their parents.  In time they will figure out what anyone old enough to be reading this knows already, the real story of holiday gift giving: Santa is broke, has been for a while, and we adults have to cover for him until that glorious day when he gets his sh*t together and pays us all back with a few freebies)

This is for the adults who have managed to stick themselves into the mire of the last minute shopping frenzy, whether it be through laziness, being too busy, or financial hardship.  I sympathize with all of your situations, I have been there.  You adults who have decided to go out into the bumper car world out there have a few options.  You can either risk your life and vehicle (possibly your sanity) to enter the Big Box Gauntlet, or you can shop at a locally owned business.  You all know that buying generic gifts elicits generic responses.  “Oh, thanks for the video game…I guess you didn’t know that I already have a time-management problem,”  Or “Thank you for the eight slice mega toaster, I guess you didn’t know I was recently diagnosed with Celiac disease.”

Don’t let this happen to you!  You only have 2.76 days of shopping left, use your time wisely by shopping at a locally owned business.  The gifts you find there will be much “cooler” than grabbing one of the No-Friendo Wee’s off the stack of 100 and delivering it to your loved ones.  Here is a list of a few local spots/Ideas to shop locally.

  • Gift cards from one of your favorite local eating/drinking spots such as Cafe Di Scala, Alba, Azalea, Sbrocco, Django, Cosi Cucina, Tally’s, Mars Cafe, Ritual Cafe, etc.
  • AllSpice – 400 E Locust St, DMZ – Specialty herbs, spices, oils, vinegars…and gift sets.  I buy all of my specialty spices here.  A food lovers dream.
  • Kitchen Collage – 430 E Locust St, DMZ – Everything the cook in your life has wanted is in this store.  If it isn’t, they can order it for you.  I shop here, you should too.
  • Rasmussen Bike Shop – 301 Grand Ave, WDSM – You all know I bike, and you probably have a cyclist or aspiring cyclist in your bubble.  This is my go-to shop for parts, bikes, repairs, sports nutrition, snow shoes, accessories, etc.  Everything from Carbon Fiber bikes on the high $ end, to t-shirts, bike bells, and other accessories on the lower $ end.  Give your loved one a gift that promotes their health (and cycling is a great way to burn off those giant Des Moines- sized portions, right Wini?)  Shop at Rasmussen.
  • Tandem Brick – 2722 Ingersoll Ave, DMZ – Good place for quirky or arty gifts, or to shop after eating at the Datebook Diner’s favorite spot, Star Bar.
  • Domestica – 321 E Walnut St #150, DMZ –  If you want to get mad cool points, shop here.  Amazing hand made gifts for home, body, kitchen, etc.  I was just looking at their web site and found something for my sister-in-law and for my office.  It is really that easy.  I will be visiting the shop today.
  • Back Country – 2702 Beaver Ave, DMZ – Awesome place for outdoor gear, clothing, and accessories.  Forget Sheel’s, shop local.  They can reportedly gift wrap a yak.
  • For the discerning adult, buy them a tab at their favorite liquoring hole.  This may take some work, as many times bartenders don’t know full names unless your friend is a true regular.  The best way to expedite this is take them out for a drink at their favorite bar, while they are not paying attention (bathroom, conversation, juke box), tell the bartender that you would like to buy a tab for your friend.  Then get them a small card, or even make a card on a bar napkin to stay in theme, telling them of your liver cuddling act of holiday cheer.  Very Classy

This is by no means a complete list, but these are places that I personally have shopped or will be shopping at in the next two days.

Well, out of time.  I need to get to Domestica and Kitchen Collage to complete my Santa Bail Out.

The Cook


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[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Samuel Auen. Samuel Auen said: Locally Grown: Last Minute Local Holiday Shopping/The Real Story Of Santa: http://wp.me/pE2qf-6f […]

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I bought my husband a big mug for tea at From the Heart of Iowa. Very kitschy stuff there, but it is locally-owned, and much of what they sell is made in Iowa too.

Comment by desmoinesdem

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