Jennifer Freitas
COLUMNIST

Matt Smith
PHOTO EDITOR

The seasonal—and sometimes stressful—gift-giving time of year is upon us. But relax! This time of year is about spreading love and joy, not dollars and cents—don’t let any commercials lead you to believe otherwise. Nevertheless, exchanging a gift with a friend, family or lover is one of the most joyful things to do, so embrace the season and put some thought in to it.

Running an eco-focused, local small business means that I am very attentive to my shopping choices. At the end of the day, it really makes a difference (to our planet, local individuals and our local economy) to shop small and support local. Below is a gift guide for all the personalities in your life, whether you’re looking to give someone a little rustic luxury, an introduction to no-nonsense grooming or the perfect party primp and preen!

For the Artistic Soul: This region is abundant with artists. Look for a beautiful piece of pottery at the Clay and Glass Gallery, and don’t forget Paint by Munzy for that perfect print. Is your artistic soul is a cinephile? Movie passes from the Princess or Apollo Cinema are always appreciated.

The Green Beauty: Know someone who constantly raves about natural beauty products? Look for locally-made Cocoon Apothecary skin-care starter sets, or check out Freedom Flow Tea for healing beverages.

The Sophisticated Foodie: Amazing food does not have to be expensive. Treating your co-worker to a lunch at Teremok is a great, thoughtful experience. Plus, they will be grateful for the introduction to a hidden gem. Feeling like you want to splurge? A romantic dinner at Public will please even the most discerning palate.

The Happy Homebody: I adore all the goodies at Dana Short Gourmet, and would be in heaven if a friend brought me over some of their frozen scones. I’d put on some tea and we could cozy up and catch up on some good times. Flowers are always a treat, too: Charmed and Living Fresh create stunning arrangements.

The Hip Hipster: Get your bearded friend some beard oil from The Truth Beauty Company. So hip that they already have some? Well, then a copper mug from Exclusive Elements is the perfect vehicle for their hipster cocktail.

The Parents: Personally, buying stuff for my folks is always the hardest. Try giving them something they can use, like concert tickets or a gift card to a restaurant (see page 15 of this issue for listings). K-W is thriving with delicious dining options these days–the hardest part might be choosing.

Perhaps there’s someone on your list who is simply impossible? Nothing is more thoughtful than home-made. Check out the DIY gift-giving ideas in this issue.

At the end of the day, gift-giving isn’t about how much you spend, but the thought that went into it. If the gift is given with beautiful intentions, then love is exchanged. Despite all the commercialism this time of year, the most important thing is letting your loved ones know you care!