Eugene Weekly : Procrastinators Gift Guide : 12.17.2009


Procrastinators Gift Guide

The Soundtracks of Our Lives

Stocking Stuffers Oregon CDs for gifting (and getting)

Goldmines at the Groceries Unexpected places to find perfect gifts

Home Cookin, New Pacific Northwest cookbooks


Goldmines at the Groceries
Unexpected places to find perfect gifts
by Katie Wilson

You are the worst procrastinator ever. In all the history of procrastinating, you are the oft-mentioned extreme: the Hitler, the Beethoven, the Vietnam War. You’ve put off holiday shopping until the last two days before Christmas. The malls are crazy, and you’ll be lucky if anything you order online arrives before next December. Also, you’re heading out of town today to spend part of the Christmas week with family. 

Well, here’s how to 1) shop last-minute at unexpected places and, by doing so,  2) avoid all the other foot-stomping, bone-crushing, glazed eyes last-minute shoppers.

The story: It is late morning. The cold winter sun is sailing the skies. Women dressed in multiple layers of 100 percent cotton harem pants and v-neck shirts cross the streets. Motorists become confused at four-way stops, run yellow lights and barely avoid hitting cyclists who are riding without helmets or reflectors the wrong way up a road that doesn’t even have a bike lane. All is well in Eugene. 

Your car is packed with people and suitcases, but you’re not even out of the driveway before your mom calls wondering if you could pick up an extra can of soup and a few pears for the family dinner tonight.

So you stop at the locally owned and operated Capella Market (2489 Willamette St.).

Under the cloud-painted, blue sky ceiling, you find not only the soups and pears but also gift ideas. The first obvious idea is a food basket. With Capella’s delightful array of produce, cheeses and teas, it is possible to purchase the contents of the best food basket in the world in less than 15 minutes. 

As for the actual basket, we’ll get to that later. 

Capella also carries hair/skin/face/body products, all affordable, all good-smelling, all impressively packaged. Just add wrapping paper. Or you could buy wine — Capella stocks more than 550 wines and has discounts on mixed wine six-packs and cases. 

You pile back into the car. But — oh no! — Alexander has forgotten his toothbrush. Thankfully, you are taking the longest route ever to the highway and are now on 19th and Agate. You stop at Tom’s Market, across from the McMenamins. In addition to a toothbrush, you find the Winnie the Pooh hair brush kit (complete with assorted hair bands), $2.99, perfect for a niece, daughter, young cousin or the aunt who collects these sorts of things. 

Again, there are gift/food basket possibilities here. Tom’s caters more toward the cheap-beer swilling, up at heathen hours, in need of cigarettes or chips, forgot their toothbrushes, need a breakfast/lunch/dinner fast sort of crowd: college students. So make a college student gift basket, or pick through the selection of winter hats and gloves in the back corner of the store. 

Minutes later … Finally! You’re on the highway, speeding and forgetting to use your turn signals. Then it hits you. Your car is full of food and frenzy for the entire family, but you forgot something for your mom. How could you? You jerk.

You stop at a rest area just in time for a stroke of brilliance. You’ll make a wreath! A wilderness wreath! You resourceful devil.

You race around the rest area, gathering fallen branches, leaves and lichen. With a few deft twists, the branches become a wreath. Toilet paper from the restroom is transformed into a ribbon and bow. You decorate liberally with organic debris, and — yes! — you have a wilderness wreath. 

Gather a few more branches and you’ll have enough to make the basket component of all your food baskets. Basket weaving: the constructive way to keep kids occupied on long car trips.

Proceed in peace, my child, up the interstate. 

Happy holidays.





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