Published on: Sun, Dec 09, 2018
When I was a kid, Christmas began when the Sears catalogue arrived in our mailbox. I am the eldest of four, and my mom gave each of us our own colored marker with which to scour the catalogue and circle things we wished Santa might bring when he and his reindeer landed at our house on Christmas Eve. A couple of weeks from Christmas the assignment got tougher. We each had to narrow our circled items down to our top five so as not to appear greedy in our letters to Santa.
Time creeps at a snail’s pace when you’re a kid looking forward to something. Remember that agonizingly sweet anticipation? Once the letters were mailed, we waited and waited and waited until finally it was Christmas morning. We rushed to the Christmas tree to find one thing each from our top five catalogue picks set out like only Santa can do it, plus other (far less expensive) gifts we hadn’t even thought to ask for. We were always thrilled, amazed at Santa’s ingenuity in knowing exactly how to make Christmas so individually perfect each year.
Ah, the good old days. Things are not so simple now that we’re all grown up. We’ve gone from dreaming about Santa to what my family calls “elfing,” a Phillips-coined verb for facilitating Santa’s magic.
On this adult side of Christmas, we often feel pressure. Time is scarce, money is a finite resource, our gift-giving lists are overwhelming and the Sears catalogue has given way to the Internet. Last week’s column focused on shopping local this holiday season. In an effort to ease the pressure and keep those Christmas dollars in Denton, the CVB team consulted the Denton Main Street Association’s website, and, combined with our own unique finds, created our list of best Dentoning gifts and where to find them in downtown Denton.
- A bag of coffee from West Oak Coffee’s creations
- Cool, often locally-made and totally Denton-only items from clothing and décor to jewelry and fine art at the Discover Denton Welcome Center (DDWC), Impressions by DSSLC, Denton Trading Company, A Creative Arts Studio, Circa 77, and The DIME Store. Remember, the DDWC also offers baskets – custom-made, assembled, wrapped and ready to present.
- Retro candy and collectibles from Atomic Candy
- A wine and cheese pairing at the new Ten : One Artisan Cheese shop on South Locust
- Gift cards to one of our many local eateries and treateries
- Growlers for the beer-lovers from the Bearded Monk or Denton County Brewing Company. (Note: This gift is most appreciated when the growler is full so include a gift card!)
- A specialty olive oil or balsamic vinegar from the Market on Oak. I visited this store during the recent Denton Wine Walk when they were pouring a fabulous beverage of champagne and chocolate Balsamic vinegar topped with a raspberry. Talk about a unique gift idea. It sounds strange, but it was delicious.
- Advance tickets to an upcoming event like a concert, Denton Black Film Festival, Texas Storytelling Festival, North Texas Fair & Rodeo, or perhaps tickets to an upcoming show at the Campus Theatre.
- The Phillips’ pets have stocking hung by chimney with care. Susie’s Snack Shop on South Locust St. is definitely Santa’s pick for pet presents.
- A nice bottle of wine or perhaps a tasting for two at Steve’s Wine Bar or Wine Squared
- New clothes or accessories from J.T. Clothiers or The Palm Tree
- Something sparkly from Amyx Fine Jewelers or First Peoples Jewelers
- Vinyl for the music-lover at Mad World Records or Recycled Books, Records & CDs.
Amazon’s virtual shelves are packed with everything in the world, but we want to shop local. Where to start? Hopefully, though shot from the hip impromptu-style and in no particular order of “best,” our list will get you started. What we know for certain is that it is far from comprehensive.
This is where you come in. What are your locally-sourced gift discoveries, and where did you find them? With only 15 shopping days left until Christmas, let’s help each other out this holiday season. Santa is depending on us to facilitate Christmas magic, and I know I’m not the only one still searching for that “perfect gift.”
Post a comment to this article, or for greater sharing, post on one of our Discover Denton social channels using the hashtag #shopsmallDenton. Now, I’ll get us started. Remember that chocolate balsamic vinegar? Well, that coupled with a bottle of champagne and a carton of fresh raspberries made a lovely gift for the hostess of a Christmas party I recently attended.
Now it’s your turn.