Peace on Earth and good presents to all.
Flora Fauna Series, Flying Anvil Designs (flyinganvildesigns.com)
Feminine and delicate, Flying Anvil’s Flora Fauna Series is made of 100 percent recycled sterling, hand hammered and forged in Julie Jerman-Melka’s studio in Fort Collins. The necklaces hang like lazy branches studded with polished stones and white topaz, and her earrings perch like tiny aspen leaves. The pieces are a beautiful mix of earthy and urban, and we think that they are perfect accessories for the modern Colorado woman. $160–$440.
Buy at: The Berry Patch, Niwot
Stone Ranch Fleece, GoLite (golite.com)
Let’s not forget to be practical this time of year: a gift that keeps your loved one all warm and snuggly during the winter months is the gift that keeps on giving. GoLite is always good for this kind of present, and this year, we suggest you check out the high-performance Stone Ranch Fleece, which is great for a nice day of snowshoeing as well as an afternoon of shopping. It’s made of 100 percent recycled materials and it’s also available for men (so don’t be all jealous). $105
Buy at: Boulder Running Company, Boulder
Lariat, Cowboy’s Sweetheart Studio (cowboys-sweetheart.com)
In the good ol’ days (ie. the days before fashion was invented), the lariat was used to wrangle woolly cattle or rope a stray filly. Today, it’s a super adorable accessory created by Boulder’s Cowboy’s Sweetheart Studio. With a small, reinforced loop at one end—it’s called a hondo—a chain or leather rope passes to form a loop, creating a lovely, sexy necklace. A balance of Western style and Boulder casual, Cowboy Sweetheart’s hand-made lariat-style necklaces are made with sterling silver, leather, freshwater pearls and/or semiprecious stones. $85–$115
Buy at: Ohm Salon + Gallery, Lyons and Christine Marguerite Designs, Boulder
Botanical Rejuvenating Oil, Tilvee Eco Ethical Skincare (tilvee.com)
Who says holiday gifts can’t be functional? This spot treatment heals scars, burns, wrinkles (don’t mention that in the card) and sun damage. It’s 92 percent organic with 18 nutritive plant oils and extracts. Plus, this Golden-based company supports sustainable, organic and fair-trade agriculture. $29
Buy at: Vitamin Cottage, Lafayette and Longmont
Fiona, Wallaroo Hats (wallaroohats.com)
There are hat people, and non-hat people. For the former, check out the hats created by Boulder’s Wallaroo—especially this feisty little vixen of a chapeau that they call Fiona. Made from angora (80 percent) and nylon, the brim creates a fedora-style that can be dressed up or down. Each new Wallaroo hat delivers UPF 50-plus sun shield. $40
Buy at: Adorn, Longmont and Timbalier, Lafayette
Orange Coconut Polish, La Ishá (la-isha.com)
There’s only one way to wash away the stress, dehydration and fatigue that come with the holidays: scrub very, very hard. This sugar-based polish exfoliates and softens dry skin. It’s a perfectly relaxing way to make your skin hydrated and glowing, and no sandpaper needed. $5
Buy at: Changing Seasons Acupuncture Clinic, Boulder
Swimsuit Bags, Q Teaze (etsy.com/shop/churesky)
Chicks usually don’t care what they look like at the gym (the normal ones anyway). Still, nothing beats an accessory that helps gym-going gals to get from here to there in style. Enter the swimsuit bag by Crested Butte entrepreneur Carolyn Huresky. With a laminated lining, this little bag lets you transport your sopping wet suit without getting everything else damp. $29
Buy at: Online only
Margarita Clutch and Belt, Annie O. (annieoboutique.com)
Annie O. is all about social responsibility: working with female artisan cooperatives around the world to empower craftspeople and supporting fair trade practices. And we respect the local company for that attention to sustainability and responsibility. But the reason we totally adore them (and their Peruvian weavers): Their products are super fierce. Funky and a bit retro, these purses, belts, scarves and more are inspired by Peru’s traditional embroidery techniques, colors and aesthetic. The Margarita is a solid, good-size purse made of sheep’s wool embroidered with flowers and a gorgeous horn handle. Clutch, $130. Belt, $89. Buy at: Common Threads, Two Sole Sisters and Blue Skies, all in Boulder
Custom Skis, Folsom Custom Skis (folsomcustomskis.com)
Whether he’s a pro or just an enthusiastic amateur hitting the slopes every weekend he can, Folsom will build a ski to fit him specifically and make sure the look reflects his (or her) personal style. Folsom makes only around 200 pairs each year, ensuring that their craftspeople dedicate serious time and concentration to each ski they build. Their skis are designed to last, come with a full two-year warranty and are made right here in Colorado using environmentally sustainable methods and materials. Custom skis, custom prices.
Buy at: Go online, fill out a profile and you will be contacted.
Pull-On Down Bootie, Sierra Designs (sierradesigns.com)
Cold toes are no laughing matter, and a solid pair of slippers is pretty much a prerequisite for living in Colorado. But hand a man a pair of fluffy bunny slippers and he might never forgive you. Enter the down booties from Sierra Designs. These folks make sleeping bags good for up to -30 degrees, so they understand how to keep things warm. And their heavy-duty non-skid sole means that your guy can get outside to warm up the car or get the mail without incident on icy days. $50
Buy at: Backcountry Escapes, Longmont and American Wilderness Gear, Niwot
Access Waist Pack, Ultimate Direction (ultimatedirection.com)
OK, we’ll admit it: it’s a fanny pack. But it’s a super cool fanny pack that’s sure to impress the trail-loving guy in your life. It holds a 20oz BPA-free water bottle, has 25 cubic inches of storage space inside its zippered pouch, and has a portal for your ear bud wires to come out. Add to that the fact that it’s made of lightweight mesh and an ultra-wicking antimicrobial fabric and you’ve got maybe the coolest fanny pack ever. Just call it a waist pack and you’ll be fine. $28
Buy at: REI locations
Cargo Cache Bike Trunk, Otivia (otivia.com)
Why didn’t we think of this? Just like the cargo carrier on top of your car, this is a hard-sided trunk for your bike. The solid, heavy-duty plastic protects your gear from wind, sun and rain damage while keeping everything out of view of prying eyes. It’s big enough to hold a laptop or a bike helmet, and its innovative locking design makes it impossible to remove from your bike without the key. Perfect for road warriors and daily commuters alike. $89
Buy at: McGuckin Hardware, Boulder
Double Diamond Whiskey, Downslope Distilling (downslopedistilling.com)
There’s little more manly than sipping a nice whiskey, straight up or on the rocks, and we’ve got the perfect bottle. Double Diamond by Downslope Distilling in Centennial is made in the Irish tradition with malted barley and rye. It’s aged in medium toast casks before being blended into an astonishingly smooth whiskey with notes of vanilla, honey, spice and wood—the perfect warm-up for a cold night. $35
Buy at: Daveco Liquors, Thornton or Superior Liquors, Superior
Write Anywhere Pen, Inka (writeanywhere.com)
For the man on the go, this is the Swiss Army Knife of pens, the one to keep with you at all times. This stainless steel or titanium pen is engineered to write in all kinds of conditions—under water, at any altitude, in extreme temperatures and at any angle. It stores snugly in its own case with a convenient O-ring for attaching to your keychain, backpack or briefcase. The whole thing was designed by an optical engineer in Boulder to be the only pen you’ll ever need. $17.99 (stainless steel) to $49.99 (titanium).
Buy at: McGuckin Hardware, Boulder
Dino Adventure Toys, Sprig (sprigtoys.com)
Sprig Toys has gone from a little Fort Collins company to a global phenom. The company, which makes toys from recycled wood and reclaimed plastic, focuses on eco-friendly products that boost imagination. As a part of the Adventure Series, this dino-themed set includes an adventure truck, two dinosaurs, an adventure guide and a backpack accessory. Totally prehistoric. $24.99
Buy at: Playfair Toys, Boulder and Crawdaddy’s Toys, Lafayette
Fridge Fractiles, Fractiles (fractiles.com)
Fractiles are kind of like a puzzle. Then again, they are kinda not. They are kinda like a toy but then again, they are also like an educational tool. Whatever they are, they’re pretty cool. These magnetic tiles can be turned into various patterns and designs, encouraging creativity. They are perfect for keeping kids entertained and their minds revving on all cylinders. $11.95
Buy at: Crawdaddy’s Toys, Lafayette
Dancin’ in the Kitchen, My Munch Bug (mymunchbug.com)
Melanie Potock has spent more than a decade helping munchkins deal with eating problems; with her company, My Munch Bug, she offers tips and products to help the little ones eat right. The CD, with music from local children’s singer songwriter Joan Huntsberry Langford, puts the music where their mouths are: Dancin’ in the Kitchen encourages kids to be adventurous eaters and parents to get their kids out of the mac-n-cheese rut. Includes songs like “The Operetta: I Love Peas!” and “Gimme Something to Chew.” $13.95
Buy at: Online only
IlluStory, Creations by You (creationsbyyou.com)
So, your kid wants to be a writer…IlluStroy allows budding Jonathan Franzens to write their own story and add illustrations. This cool creative kit includes a “story web” to help young writers plan the elements of their novella and carry out the entire story. When they are finished, you stick it in the mail, and the book is mailed back, professionally typeset and hardbound. Plus, it includes an “About the Author” page. Online options also available. $21.95
Buy at: Grandrabbits Toy Shoppe, Boulder
Finger Puppets, Thumbuddy to Love (thumbuddytolove.com)
This is something a little different: a friend to both you and your thumb-sucking kid. The Thumbuddy includes a thumb puppet and a book—which tells a story to encourage kids to stop sucking their thumbs. With characters like Ballerina Sue and Fireman Fred teaching your children to keep their thumb out of their mouths, it’s a positive teaching tool and it’s just darn cute. $19.95
Buy at: Ginger and Pickles Toy Store and Grandrabbits Toy Shoppe, Boulder
Girls Clothing, LamanBlu (lamanblu.com)
For little girly girls, the frills and fabulousness coming out of Golden-based LamanBlu are as pretty as you can find. With a hint of hippie-cool, their pieces range from bustle jackets to ruffled pants to a faux fur cape all in pastels, cream shades and muted blues. Designer Holli Gibson uses eco-friendly fabrics to create easy-to-wear pieces for the princesses in your world. Prices vary.
Buy at: The Giggling Green Bean, Denver, or make an appointment with their atelier in Golden
Reusable Bag Case with Bags, iTySE (ityse.com)
The perfect gift for the greenie in your life. It’s durable, portable and sooooo Boulder chic (a perfect accessory for a Prius and a pair of Tom’s Shoes). These carrying cases allow you to haul around a ton of reusable bags—without actually dealing with a ton of reusable bags. Feminine floral or sleek black designs make them nice for both men and women. $35
Buy at: Blue Skies Boulder
Rice Bowl with Chopsticks, Deb Babcock (etsy.com/shop/dbabcock)
Simplicity is the No. 1 rule of gift-giving—because you can never go wrong with a present that is uncomplicated and elegant. That’s why we fell in love with these hand-made rice bowls that have a resting divot to hold a pair of chopsticks. They are so practical yet so simply charming, bathed in a glossy robin’s egg blue. $75 for two.
Buy at: Online only
Hanging Air Plant Pods, Mudpuppy (michaelmcdowell.com)
Michael McDowell is a master of contemporary design. His vases and sculptures are minimalist with a touch of quirkiness (visit his Etsy page to see the baby-head vase). We love his plant pods because you can use them outside or in, and they look great alone or in a group. Made with stoneware clay and covered in a silky matte glaze, these are great gifts for friends, family and connoisseurs of the modern aesthetic. $32.
Buy at: YesPleaseMore in the Denver Pavilions and Fancy Tiger’s Holiday Craft Fair on Dec. 3 and 4
Cast Glass Camera, Hershman Glass (hershmanglass.com)
Josh Hershman does amazing things with glass. The young man, a Boulder native, has exhibited all over the world, and if he’s good enough for world-class art exhibitions, he’s good enough for a spot in your den. The glass cameras are modeled after classic cameras like Kodak, Westar, Keystone and Sekonic. These are stately, opulent gifts for photo-lovers, camera-lovers or those who appreciate a beautiful piece of art. Starting at $1,200
Buy at: Pismo Contemporary Glass in Cherry Creek
Leaf Mobile, Moon-Lily Silk Mobiles (moonlilymobiles.com)
Moon Lily makes beautiful installations that now daintily decorate government and corporate buildings all over Colorado. Bring the serenity and beauty of these lovely leaf mobiles into the home of your favorite gift-getter. Made with silk and fine gauge stainless wire by hand, the mobiles range in color and style, including Aspen, Japanese Maple and Ginkgo. Start at $180
Buy at: Boulder Arts & Crafts, Boulder and Timbalier, Lafayette.
Leashes and Collars, Walk-e-Woo (walkewoo.com)
Started by a stay-at-home mom who couldn’t find cute, affordable collars for her dogs, Walk-e-Woo collars and leashes come in dozens of bright colors and patterns to match any pooch’s style, from preppy plaid to rockin’ tattoo-style art. They feature high-quality hardware and stitching and will make your best friend the best looking dog on the block. $22 for a collar.
Buy at: Struttin’ Pup, Lafayette
Winter Shoes, Crocs (crocs.com)
OK, the days of using Crocs solely for the purpose of gardening or boating are over. Today’s Crocs keep their unique, comfortable style while looking, actually, cool. This year, we love the Berryessa, a solid, super warm boot perfect for the morning and evening commute…and even in the office and the weekend at home and out on the town. Basically, you can live in ’em. For the fellas, we like the Croccasin (as well as the boot Crocassin), a super chill, super comfy loafer or boot. They are the perfect pair of house shoes that give you the freedom to walk outside and shovel the driveway and then run to Lefthand for a couple rounds of Sawtooth. Berryessa, $90; Crocassin, $75
Buy at: The Crocs Store, Boulder; Sports Authority, Superior and Longmont; and Nordstrom, Broomfield
Bookcliff Ensemble 2008, Bookcliff Vineyard (bookcliffvineyards.com)
A great gift for your boss, co-worker, friend or fellow wino: a great bottle of wine. With 100 percent Colorado-grown grapes, Bookcliff Vineyards is one of the reasons the state’s wine reputation is soaring. Duck into their tasting room in north Boulder to find your favorite, or just go with the Ensemble: a luscious, fruity blend of Merlot (82 percent), Cab Franc, (15 percent), Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Buy at: Boulder Wine Merchant and Liquor Mart, Boulder and Liquor Land, Longmont
Moaning Chips, Ziva Chocolates (trufflicioustruffles.com)
When you sample these homemade russet potato chips drizzled with gooey caramel and smooth dark chocolate, then dipped in more creamy thick chocolate, you might want to be alone. That’s because they’re known to cause people to moan with pleasure—hence the name. Perfect for the sweet and salty snacker, these are only one of the amazing creations Julie Whitcomb has created with her line of Ziva Chocolates. $40 per pound. Buy at: Online only
Beads, BeadforLife (beadforlife.org)
A perfect gift for your socially conscious, fashion-forward BFF: BeadforLife, based in Boulder, is a collaboration between women in Uganda and the women of the world in an effort to fight poverty. Ugandan craftswomen make unique jewelry out of recycled paper, and they are sold across the globe, working to spread awareness about poverty. Each piece is unique, with choices of different colors and styles, and comes with a story of women working their way out of poverty. From $5–$30.
Buy at: BeadforLife, Boulder
For the brew lover on your list, why not create your own local beer sampler. Total Beverage will let you mix-and-match six packs to create your very own menu of local tastes. You might go for all specialty brews available during the winter, or GABF winners—or maybe go with all ales or stouts. The options are as endless as your imagination. Price varies with selections.
Buy at: Total Beverage, Westminster and Hover Crossing Wine and Spirits, Longmont