What’s this? Twinkly lights wrapped around trees? Christmas songs in stores? People with an inherent lack of holiday cheer raging about red coffee cups? We must be nearing December!
It’s a time of rampant commercialism, but don’t fear — by buying local, you can find one-of-a-kind gifts for loved ones while also making a contribution to Lane County’s economy. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite gift ideas for all the eclectic characters in your life. Dive in and see what’s out there.
Track Town Enthusiast
They run the Eugene Marathon every year and know every inch of Pre’s Trail, while you only run if you are being chased.
Swell Bottles can be picked up at Title nine at 5th Street Market (541-343-1574). As the name suggests, Swell Bottles are pretty, well — swell. They can keep 17 ounces of liquid cold for 24 hours or warm for 12 hours. Swell Bottles are available in four colors for $35. With the ability to keep liquid at the perfect temperature for hours, these bottles may be the perfect gift for anyone on your list who drinks liquid.
deFUNKit will keep your runner smelling fresh and clean. deFUNKit, made by a local Eugene company, will remove strong odors and keep those odors away on synthetic and natural fabrics. According to deFUNKit, its product will keep the stink at bay for 20 launderings for $10.95. Visit defunkit.com or purchase it at Eugene Running Company, 116 Oakway Center in Eugene (541-344-6399).
Your favorite runner will love the Led Lenser NEO headlamp which you can order from Mazama Sporting Goods, 1055 Bailey Hill Road in Eugene (541-484-9993). The NEO is lightweight and bright, as well as offering a blinking red light on the rear, allowing your favorite runner to see and be seen from all directions. At 1.9 ounces, the NEO is so lightweight it is barely noticeable. The NEO is also water-resistant, which is important for Eugene runners who don’t shy from the weather.
They turn rolls of yarn into delicate sweaters, but since you don’t know a bind off from a drop stitch, you may not know where to start shopping for your favorite Knit Whit.
Soft Horizons Fibre at 412 E. 13th Ave. in Eugene (541-343-0651) offers beautiful ceramic yarn bowls ($30.50). Yarn bowls stop balls of yarn from rolling away, knotting or becoming a general mess.
If you are looking for something more unique and very Eugene, ask about the lazy Susan yarn holders ($74.95). Soft Horizons Fibre has beautiful handcrafted lazy Susan yarn holders that are made from the 100-year-old tree that used to stand in front of their building.
The Knitting Shop at 2811 Oak Street (541-434-0430) offers a beautiful birch knitting needle set ($86.70) with interchangeable needles from size 4 to 11, including the interchangeable cord lengths. The birch sets are expandable to be customized for each knitter.
Waking up to a brand-new bike for Christmas is a childhood memory for many. Strider Balance Bikes ($99.99) from Bambini, 205 W. 5th Ave. in Eugene (541-485-1222), give the joys of bike riding to children from ages 18 months to 5 years. Strider bikes teach children balance without the worry of learning how to pedal — balance bikes are easier and more intuitive for children to learn, which makes pedaling easier when parents introduce pedals to their kids.
For your favorite miniature car enthusiast or engineer, the Modarri ($24.95-$59.95) car line will keep them busy for years to come (for ages 8-108). The Modarri cars found at Dancing Weasel, 30 E. 17th Ave. in Eugene (541-246-8781), received the Popular Science award “Best Toy in Show” at the North American International Toy Fair in 2014. With an included hex wrench, Modarri cars can be taken apart and rebuilt five ways and combined with other Modarri cars to create custom hybrids.
Squishables take adorable and smooshy to a whole new level. These 15-inch round stuffed animals, found at Elephant Trunk at 5th Street Market (541-342-8548), will fill little ones’ arms with cuddly love.
They have the flowers and tomatoes that everyone envies every year. While you can’t tell a weed from a prize-winning petunia, you still want to make sure they have the perfect gift.
Spoiling a gardener couldn’t be easier at Gray’s Garden Center, 737 W. 6th Ave., Eugene (541-345-1569). You can put together a fun gift pack, including Work Gloves ($6.99), a Barebones Hori Hori Knife ($29.99), Kneeler/Seat ($49.99) and new Fleco Pruning Shears ($69.99). New garden shears are always a welcome gift to a gardener, and with proper care they can last for years.
Aside from that one neighbor who can be seen meticulously clipping his grass every day, no one likes mowing lawns. For those of us less than ecstatic to sacrifice our Saturday mornings to our lawn, the Husqvarna Robotic lawn mower at McKenzie Power Equipment at 4050 Main St. in Springfield (541-744-1776) is the perfect gift. Husqvarna’s robotic mower is basically a Roomba for your yard. It will maintain up to a 1/3-1.25 an acre of grass (depending on the model) in any weather. It will even maintain rough terrain and slopes up to 35 percent with a convenient control panel that allows you to set the mower and forget it. Both silent and environmentally friendly, the Husqvarna is by far the coolest lawn gadget you can buy this year. It does come with a steep price (starting at $1,999.95) which, depending on the depth of your pocketbook, could be totally worth it.
At only $0.27 a pound, the beautiful basalt birdbaths at Lane Forest Products, 3409 Franklin Blvd. (541-345-9085), may be easier on the pocket book. For $45, you can snag a good-sized birdbath, perfect for any Eugenean’s garden. If you are looking for something a little quirkier, you can buy an unusually shaped “Pot Rock” for $.37 per pound, to be used in the landscape outdoors or as a planter to make a fun indoor display using succulents or annuals. You can also get a decent sized rock for $10 and plant a fun arrangement.
Their home is straight off of Pinterest. Every knick-knack is a perfect reflection of their style. Infuse their perfection with a little of your own this year by picking a great gift for the holistic homemaker.
The Volcanic Ash Namaste Jizo from My Spirit Garden ($29.99) at Down to Earth, 532 Olive Street in Eugene (541-342-6820), is a lovely and welcoming statue that is weatherproofed for both indoor and outdoor use. The statue, made from raw, natural, sustainable materials, is traditionally seen as a protector of children, women and travelers, and as a guardian of the soul.
The Beyond Borders Haitian Metal Art ($24.99) is made from recycled 55-gallon steel drums. These beautiful sculptures are great for the home or outdoors. They are made by artisans under Fair Trade Certified conditions, and each piece is cut, decorated, shaped and smoothed by hand. You’ll see the imprint of the artisan’s name proudly hand-chiseled in each piece of art.
Illuminate their home with The Spaceman ($50) online at alampdesign.com or at Heritage Dry Goods, 861 Willamette Street in Eugene (541-393-6710). Created by Eugene local Erol Chandler, this small accent lamp is the perfect addition to any home. A rounded walnut hardwood base supports a chrome half-dome bulb that reflects light outward and downward for amazing ambient light perfect for a desk or side table.
A Tropical Salvage wooden bowl ($49), hand carved in Indonesia from wood salvaged from illegal logging operations by free-trade Indonesian workers, is a welcome piece to display in your loved one’s home. The bowl with graceful lines and stunning colors, along with furniture pieces and teak vases, can be found at Mosaic Fair Trade Collection, 28 E. Broadway in Eugene (541-344-4000).
Your favorite foodie’s blood is a solid mix of truffle oil and sea salt. Food is their language and the perfect way to their heart this holiday season.
Beer is an easy go-to, especially here in Eugene. The Growler Guys at 472 W. 7th Ave. in Eugene (541-653-8425) offer a fabulous gift pack for the beer drinker in your life. For $34.99, your giftee will receive two craft pint glasses, a 64-ounce growler, two Growler Guys coasters and a free fill certificate. A few tastes of dozens of local beers and a nice growler fill will brighten anyone’s holiday season.
A piping hot Just-Like-Mama’s Crawfish Pie from Fisherman’s Market, 830 W. 7th Ave. in Eugene (541-484-2722), pairs nicely with that ice-cold growler. The crawfish pie made quite the impression on Guy Fieri when he stopped by Fisherman’s Market last year for an episode of Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. Fisherman’s Market also offers box combinations of its food, frozen and ready to defrost and eat, starting at $89. Fill their hearts while you fill your foodie’s fridge this holiday season.
Make sure to save room on your list for dessert. Toadstool Cupcakes in downtown Eugene or on campus (607 E. 13th Ave.; 541-505-8009) has the perfection confection for the gastronome on your list. Toadstools are the original truffle cupcake, which combines a moist cake base with a ganache-covered creamy filling top. They are simply the epitome of decadence. The tiny toadstools will run you $2.25 a piece or $24.75 a dozen. With flavors like Coconut Snowball, Chocolate Cabernet, Confetti Cake, German Chocolate, etc. you are sure to find the perfect match. I’d suggest grabbing one for yourself — you deserve it.
Perfectly coiffed from head to toe, they are always on the cutting edge of fashion. Surprise them with luxuries found here in Lane County that will pamper them in perfect style.
Snuggled up by the fire, The Euphoria Chemise by Tia Lyn ($49.95) at ChaCha’s Boutique, 325 Main Street in Springfield (541-953-5920), will have her feeling fabulous in this environmentally friendly Modal and exclusive two-tone lace. She will be comfortable enough to curl up by the fire with a good book and supported enough by the built-in bralette to greet carolers at the door. This gorgeous piece can be found in beautiful silver or mint and has matching panties to create a lovely set. Available in sizes small to 3X.
For the fella in your life, snag a Kent Messenger Bag from Will Leather Goods ($395). According to Will Leather Goods, the first leather bags were carried by men in the Greek and Roman empires, so they are an ode to the history of leathercraft by using only the highest grade vegetable-tanned leather and the most steadfast construction methods. While an average bag takes 75 steps on a factory line, a Will bag takes an average of 159 steps. You can fill the bag with the Grady Travel Kit for an additional $85.
Long locks will love the Wooden Hair Stick ($10) from Sweet Skins Organic Apparel, 782 Blair Blvd. in Eugene (541-543-7195). A simple two-prong hair stick made from sustainable dark Sono wood will twist locks up and keep them secure all day, while looking perfectly fashionable.
Eugene is wonderful place to move to, and every year a lot people immigrate to our great city. Welcome the newbies this year with the things that are so very Eugene.
Started in 2009 in the Whiteaker neighborhood, Off the Waffle has quickly become a standard here in Eugene. Its unique Liège waffle with or without toppings is the perfect Eugene breakfast food. Off the Waffle offers its Liège waffles frozen for later enjoyment at home. A six-pack runs $12. A nice stocking full of waffles would make any transplant or native Eugenean happy.
You are not a local until you’ve been to Cafe Yumm! It’s a Eugene baptism of sorts. The classic Yumm! Sauce ($4.75 for 8 ounces) is a standard here in Eugene. Fill that newbie’s stocking with some of our local flavor or send some to a friend looking for a taste of home.
For a free gift for a new transplant or a fun idea for a longtime resident, the Eugene Ale Trail Passport is downloadable at eugenecascadescoast.org. Collect eight stamps from the eight participating breweries (including Ninkasi, Oakshire and Hop Valley) in the Eugene area and earn a 32-ounce mini growler. Then journey up to the Brewers Union Local 180 in Oakridge and earn the bonus 16-ounce stainless steel cup. No purchase is necessary at the local breweries, but I’d suggest sharing a pint or two at each stop. When you’ve completed your tour, head to the Adventure Center at the Lane County Visitors Center at 3312 Gateway Street in Springfield to collect your prize.
For the University of Oregon die-hard fan, a pair of Apple Green Nike Oregon Receivers Gloves ($30) from The Duck Store on the UO campus are a perfect fit. The Nike Receiver gloves have silicone-tipped fingers for added grip, and both left and right hands have inductive fabric to allow you to use your touch-screen devices without de-gloving in the cold, all while allowing you to put your hands together to create the Classic Oregon “O” logo.
You’ve scratched your head for hours trying to figure out the perfect gift and it’s now the eleventh hour. A gift certificate is a great way to gift without having to read your giftee’s mind.
Delivered Dish (previously Pony Express) is the perfect gift certificate to buy for your favorite gamer, student or new parents who can no longer easily leave their house. From Cafe Yumm! to sushi to beer, Delivered Dish will hook up your favorite shut-ins with a warm meal without having to leave their homes. Find gift certificates at delivereddish.com.
That person who has been amazing to you all year long deserves a little treat at Bello Day Spa, 2746 Shadowview Drive in Eugene (541-345-0551). From boozy pedicures to relaxing massages and manscaping, Bello has your loved ones covered with a day of well-deserved rest and relaxation.
If you can’t think of anything to get them because all you want to do is stare into their eyes while talking about philosophy over a hot cup of coffee, a gift certificate to Wandering Goat, 268 Madison Street in Eugene (541-344-5161), is the perfect gift.
Last on your list shouldn’t be your pampered pups. They’ve spent the past year keeping feet warm, fetching balls, sleeping in all day and, of course, being stoked when you arrive home from work.
Spoil your dog with Not for Dogs Only Treats from thehealthydogstore.com or Long’s Meat Market, 81 E. 28th Ave. in Eugene (541-344-3172). Created by a local couple for their dogs Seven and Kaya, Not for Dogs Only combines local ingredients from places like Glory Bee Foods, Willamette buckwheat flour and Red Ape cinnamon to make their organic, gluten-free treats. A 10-ounce bag of Banana Lavender Bones will set you back $9.89 and will make your pup’s belly very happy this holiday season.
Green ($21.95-$28.95), found at The Healthy Pet (2777 Friendly Street, Eugene, 541-343-3411), is a feeder shaped like a tuft of grass to turn your dog’s meal into a challenging exercise. Simply scatter food across Green and your pup has to push the food out through the “blades of grass.” The result is a prolonged eating time that reduces the risk of gulping and bloat. Green is made of hard phthalates-free plastic and can be used outside and cleaned in the dishwasher.