Expensive gifts are nice, but it’s the thoughtful gifts that you keep forever. My parents never could afford to buy me the pony I asked for, but for years my mom, who was a flight attendant, found me horse figurines from her travels around the world. I still have them — hand-carved wooden ponies from Sweden and Brazil, hand-painted steeds from England, sit on my shelves.
Maybe because of that, or maybe because writers are always broke, I love to give thoughtful gifts that don’t have to break the bank. And while I hate the bright lights and hectic rush of holiday shopping, I do love to go new places and chat with the people who made the objects I’m thinking about buying.
At Eugene Weekly ‘tis always the season to shop locally, but what with the ongoing pandemic, the supply chain crunch and retailers in general struggling these days, it’s really time to focus on supporting our neighbours — and when it comes to holiday shopping, our neighboring makers and sellers.
So there’s a resolution to my anti-shopping quandary, and that’s wandering through local holiday markets with no real agenda beyond making my friends and family happy, and having a nice, safely masked, conversation or two.
Want to stay close to town? Check out the annual Saturday Market Holiday Market, the Weihnachtsmarkt at Old Nick’s Pub and the Whiteaker Winter Market, all in Eugene, or head to Springfield for the Washburne Café’s Makers Market, all in this issue.
Want to wander farther afield? There’s the Coburg Holiday Market and the South Valley Farmers Market Outdoor Winter Market in Cottage Grove. Or take a rural drive and you can buy local products at places like Pleasant Hill Feed and Farm Supply off Highway 58 or Camas Country Schoolhouse Bakery and Store near Junction City.
Check out the local markets and makers listed in this issue and make someone happy. And if you’d rather not go out at all, think about a gift certificate to a local restaurant or retailer. Nothing says the season of giving like a beer from Gratitude Brewing or spices and tinctures from Mrs. Thompson’s Herbs, Gifts & Folklore. Or give an experience — museum memberships are a year-round gift.
Don’t see your favorite maker or maket in our 2021 Gift Guide? Send us a letter to the editor (Letters@EugeneWeekly.com) and tell our readers about them! Want to donate to a nonprofit or buy a book by a local author? No worries, EW’s Winter Reading is Dec. 2 and Give Guide is Dec. 16.
Wondering what to get me for Christmas? Well, you can always contribute to support EW so we have more pages to write about local businesses!
Or buy me that damn pony.