With dozens of specialty retail stores, Ashland has lots to offer people who are wrapping up their holiday gift shopping.
For the idea-challenged or the procrastinator, here are 20 ideas for unique gifts, ranging in price from low-budget to the luxurious, all from Ashland stores:
1. A designer hat for her. Choose from homemade creations by local artisans priced from $89 to $125, or cashmere caps knitted in-store for $100. The Web-sters, 11 N. Main St., offering yarn, wool and cashmere clothing and classes on weaving, knitting and other related topics.
2. A special shirt for him. Contemporary, European-inspired looks for guys of all shapes and in a variety of fabrics, priced from $115 to $188. Nimbus, 25 E. Main St., a gallery of jewelry, gifts in glass, ceramic and wood, plus men’s and women’s fashion.
3. A bird feeder. Shop a collection of feeders and suet cages for songbirds and hummingbirds for backyards, porches, and windows, ranging from $3.95 to $125. Northwest Nature Shop, 154 Oak St., where you’ll find toys, games, books, and maps as well as items for birds and back yards.
4. Light up their life. Choose from solar lights and lanterns that include inflatables, multi-color versions, and one with 50 hours of light from a single charge. For home, travel, or camping. Priced from $19.95 to $34.95. Travel Essentials, 252 E. Main St., selling luggage, packing organizers, travel clothing, and accessories.
5. A Patagonia Nano Puff Vest. This warm, windproof, water-resistant, lightweight vest in forge grey comes in four sizes, for $149. The Ashland Fly Shop, 399 E. Main St., a specialty fly fishing retailer, selling gear, supplies, and clothing.
6. A children’s picture book. Less expensive than their hard-cover versions, these beautiful, glossy, large-format paperbacks feature familiar titles such as “Goodnight Moon,” “Shreck,” “Where the Wild Things Are” and many others. Priced from $3.99 to $14.95. Treehouse Books, 15 N. Main St., offering an exceptional collection of curated children’s literature.
7. A Neapolitan ice cream sandwich. Don’t worry, it won’t melt under the tree. It’s from the Backpackers Pantry line of freeze-dried products, this one providing a melt-in-your-mouth sweet treat for $4.95. Ashland Outdoor Store, 37 N. 3rd St., selling outdoor men’s and women’s clothing and gear for camping, hiking, climbing, and mountaineering. Selections are dwindling during the store’s current clearance sale — but so are prices.
8. A piece of Campbell pottery. Choose from cereal bowls for $25, serving bowls for $39, salad bowls with handles for $98, and casserole dishes for $58. Manzanita on the Plaza (formerly Flower Tyme), 55 N. Main St., headquarters for flowers, arrangements, and gifts.
9. A diamond halo. These pieces include earrings, pendants, and engagement rings, all designed with a ring of diamonds set in white gold or platinum, priced from $650 to $20,000. Gold & Gems, 12 N. Main St., selling stones, rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings and watches.
10. A good book. Check out the big table of New York Times best sellers at 25 percent off. You’ll also find paperbacks and hard-covers in a variety of categories, such as New Age, philosophy, history, politics, fiction, biographies and more. Bloomsbury Books, 290 E. Main St., where you’ll find staff critiques and recommendations posted throughout the store.
11. A gift of pampering. Choose from organic body lotions, creams, oils, scrubs, and moisturizers, priced from $9 to $64. Posh Organics, 253 E. Main St., a spa and shop featuring organic skin care and makeup products.
12. A rock. Much more than pet rocks, this collection of unique rocks and crystals offers a variety of shapes and sizes in quartz, Egyptian crystal, and gem grade opal. Prices range up to $138 with many in the $3.50 to $6.95 range. Rare Earth, 340 A St., featuring unique gifts from around the world—from scented candles and incense to glassware and hand carved wooden furniture.
13. A coffee house certificate. An easy-peasy gift idea for the coffee lover, in whatever amount you want to spend. The recipient can use it to buy brewers or grinders, kettles, bags of beans, or drink it up in lattes and cappuccinos at the store. Noble Coffee, 281 Fourth St., one of the premier coffee roasters in southern Oregon and a favorite hangout for coffeeholics.
14. A gift for the gourmet. For a tastier salad, choose J.M. balsamic vinegars in tall, tapered bottles for $14.95 and $16.95, and cold-pressed avocado oil or smoked olive oil for $13.95 and $22.95. The Culinarium, 270 E. Main St., offering kitchen gadgets and necessities, gourmet sauces, condiments, and accessories.
15. A vinyl LP. Vinyl is back, baby! Choose from thousands of albums of reissued classics and new releases, priced from $20 to $35. Genres include classical, jazz, rock, hip hop, and more. Music Coop, 268 E. Main St., selling CDs, music DVDs, boxed sets, vinyl LPs, and offering special order services.
16. Gourmet tea. You can buy it in stocking stuffer sizes for $2.49 and in tins and gift sets for $12.99 and up. Or create a sampler of one-ounce packages of a variety of blends for the tea lover in your family. The Spice & Tea Exchange, 88 N. Main St., purveyor of gourmet teas, savory spices, seasonings, and cooking herbs.
17. A beautiful candle. You’ll find them in a variety of shapes and sizes. They come in a variety of fragrances (or none) and in decorative containers. Voluspa candles are priced from $9 to $24, and Sympatico candles in hobnail glass vessels sell for $32. The Crown Jewel, 266 E. Main St., featuring jewelry, fashion scarves, jackets, scarves, and gifts.
18. Chocolate. Choose truffles in tantalizing flavors such as tequila, raspberry, rum, orange, whiskey, blackberry, ancho chili, pumpkin and eggnog, for $2.50 each. Custom gift boxes for two to 20 truffles at no extra charge, and a discount for buying six or more. Branson’s Chocolates, 1662 Siskiyou Blvd., also offering fudge, caramels, toffees, peanut brittle and chocolate sauces.
19. An electric bike. Choose from basic models from $1,999 to fancier ones up to $3,999 with higher quality parts and longer-range batteries at Ashland Electric Bikes, 1678 Ashland St., a store offering service, new bikes, and electric conversions of non-electric bikes.
20. A fashion watch. Or two. Choose from many designs with metal, plastic, or fabric bands. Offered in a variety of colors to go with any wardrobe. Priced at $18.50 each or two for $34. Paddington Station, 125 E. Main St., selling gifts, jewelry, books, toys and clothing—plus, a kitchen shop on the mezzanine.
OK, now you have a nifty list of gift ideas. You have no excuse for procrastinating any longer. Go out, shop Ashland, and create a lot of smiles Christmas morning.
Reach Jim Flint, a retired newspaper editor and publisher living in Ashland, at email@example.com.