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Crap, I Need a Present!

Last-minute gift grabs for that party tonight

Holiday gifting can seem harder and harder each year. Budget, personalities and time are all variable factors. If you’re running short on any of them, here are a few ideas to jog your imagination. 

From mild to wild, your neighborhood Market of Choice, Kiva, Sundance or Capella have local and artisan cheeses to suit any pal’s palette. Pairing your cheese choice with a bottle of Willamette Valley pinot is sure to please any but the most vegan of hosts — and while the prices range widely, the tastes are almost always good all around. If cheese isn’t up your recipient’s alley, the MoC has all sorts of convenient last-minute items like Frozen Ice Pop Makers ($14.99) and an array of accessories like scarves ($10.99).

If you’re running late and you’ve forgotten a party contribution, there’s one can’t-go-wrong option that can brighten any gray day gloominess — flowers. Zoom by Rhythm & Blooms in the 5th Street Public Market and for a dash of color and cheer that will last long after the party’s over ($15-$40).

Don’t feel like feeding the endless pit of consumption by buying all fresh, new fossil-fueled gifts? Good for you! Try for picking a winner at the Antique Mall on Willamette Street for some good ol’ reuse. Also, the jewelry counter at your neighborhood St. Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army or Goodwill might just have some superb unique piece (think wristwatch, brooch, pin) for under $20 that will be a) perfect and utterly adored b) a good joke or c) easily re-gifted.

For those more evolved life forms, Star Gate is not far from the Antique Mall and also on Willamette, and it’s there for all your awareness-building needs. Friends will appreciate you having noticed their subtle non-verbal hints when they open that “Thoughts Become Things” DVD or new meditation CD ($15-$30). If only there existed a Bene Gesserit digital training set (it’s a mind control technique from the Frank Herbert novel Dune for you whom are sci-fi unaware).

Need a last minute gift for a beloved little one? While many places have lots of good options, few have them so conveniently located and reasonably priced as Bi-Mart. Classic case in point — a coloring book and crayons for under $6, plus hours of (potentially) focused coloring fun? Yes please! 

Finally, whatever happened to good old homemade eats? Last time we checked, delicious canned preserves and pickles (bonus points if from your own garden) hauled out of the pantry with a simple ribbon and note were a classic way of sharing the bounty of the season’s harvest and reminding each other of what really matters about the holidays — sharing food, love and laughter with those around us.