19 shopping days until Christmas

Barbara Lawlor

Holiday gifts can be more than just things wrapped in ribbons. Beyond the toys, the trinkets and the electronics, gifts can be educational, inspirational and long-lasting treasures.
Take for example the Brightwood Music Store in the Kathmandu Square. Owner Doug Armitage has musical instruments for every age, every size and every style of musician — baby violins to basses, beginners to rock stars. Brightwood also offers gift certificates for lessons, the present that will last long into the future.
The Nederland Community Library has the best gift of all for everyone: the opportunity to read, to learn, to use the library’s access to technology that includes I-Pads, programmed to teach as well as entertain. Six-year-old Tyler Strong learns how to dissect a frog as his mom Ivy relaxes with a book.
Librarian Gretchen Beatty said people have actually gift wrapped library books and given them to people who can’t get to the library. Giving children their first library card could be the beginning of a love affair with reading and exploring the world on their own.
A holiday is sparklier with a bit of holiday spirit: a fine wine, a cold beer, champagne, a sipping brandy and some rum for a hot toddy. Peak Wine and Spirits has just about anything anyone could ask for, such as shooters for stockings.
Owner Karen Stringfellow said they will be donating a portion of their wine tasting proceeds to the Nederland Food Bank and they will have ongoing sales of unique wines and beers. Customers will be greeted by a member of the staff who will help guide them through their holiday spirit journey.
The Kathmandu Restaurant and Gift Shop features exquisite handcrafted jackets, hats, scarves and other products from Nepal, and for the next six months, Resham Gurung’s parents, Ash-Bdr. Gurung and Aiti Maya Gurung, will be visiting, completing the family holiday tradition.
At the Business Connection, the staff has turned the office into Santa’s workroom. They have rolls of wrapping paper, packaging tape, art supplies, Christmas cards and a good deal on creating family portrait calendars.
Ace Hardware is the place to go for the decorating materials: lights, Santas, trees, ornaments, wreaths and useful and fun gifts for everyone in the family: cold weather stylin’ jackets, hats, gloves, socks and Nederland shirts. Employee Dave Current is especially proud of their new line of Craftsman tools as well as a large collection of gadgets and gizmos. To make your shopping trip more enjoyable, have a bag of fresh popped popcorn.
It has always been a child’s wish to find a bicycle under the Christmas tree and the Tin Shed on Second Street is just the place to find one. The new hot item this year is the Specialized Hot Walks bike for children just starting out on two-wheelers. The bikes have no pedals so the kids can learn how to balance before they hit the big time. Head mechanic Adam Pause said he also repairs the bikes and tunes skis and snowboards.
Not only does the Tin Shed have bikes, but they also have the cool clothes to wear while riding them. Hoodies are a hit. When the shopping is done, it is time to enjoy a Salto latte and pastry.
The Nederland Feed and Supply Store has always had treats for the animals in our lives, and now they have added another dimension to their shop. Donna Sue has been a collector all of her life and has decided to share her treasures with the world. Third Times The Charm opened last week and is located in the back of the feed store. It includes a fur coat, many hand-knit Afghans, dish sets, antiques and many tea kettles. Up front, the store has huge poinsettias available for the holiday décor.
A new shop in town, the Madd Hatter Studio Boutique on Second Street, opened on Black Friday and has a fantastic collection of hats, scarves and gloves, women’s clothing and all the accessories that make dressing up fun.
Some gifts may not come from gift shops. Everyone appreciates a basket full of great epicurean treats, food products that one would not ordinarily buy for themselves; like lobster tails, or porterhouse steaks or a jar of saffron, the most expensive spice in the world.
Gift certificates are available for massages, yoga classes, pet vaccinations, hotel rooms, breakfast, lunch and dinner and the Mutual Bank of Omaha will give you holiday envelopes to make your cash gifts festive.
Everything and anything can become the best present if you know what the recipients’ interests are. Go walk through town. Give a ho-ho-ho to strangers and enjoy the Christmas spirit with an ice cream cone.
A large unified Christmas wish for snow might just make it happen.