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Loraine Kiest, store manager of The Inkwell Home Store in Corvallis, displays some silicone lids for bowls, which are popular gift items this year.

Merchants’ mantra: Shop local BY REBECCA BARRETT

Cheri Jefferson-Kaiser remembers when her son was just a few years old and had saved a couple of dollars by collecting bottle deposits. She asked him what he wanted to buy. His answer: A book from Grass Roots Books and Music and a cookie from the bakery next door. Now her son is 37 and a high school teacher, and though she moved to Lakeview, Jefferson-Kaiser still makes the trip to her favorite bookstore whenever she’s in Corvallis. “That was 1978, and we have been coming back all of these years,” she said during a recent visit. “When you really want something special, you come here.” This holiday shopping season, local merchants are encouraging people to save

time and find unique and one-of-a-kind gifts, all while supporting a their local economy. Want to make Santa’s nice list this year? Shop local. Being the destination where a child would go to spend his money is just the sort of thing independent bookseller Jack Wolcott envisioned when he opened Grass Roots Books and Music 42 years ago. The store, owned by Wolcott and his wife, Sandy Smith, has survived the competition of mega bookstores, the advent of e-readers and the Great Recession. Here customers experience personalized and attentive service. Stumped for a gift idea? Just ask any staff member for a recommendation or browse the staff picks. And if a book isn’t in stock, almost any

title can be shipped overnight and be ready to pick up the next day. Since the OSU Beaver Store discontinued its sale of general books with the opening of the new location this year, and with the closure of Borders in 2011, Wolcott is expanding just in time for the holidays. A remodel of the existing store space this month will move the checkout counter to the front, freeing up additional room for expanded offerings of children’s and general books. “We’re so lucky to have this store,” said customer Kathy Brisker. The variety and selection at locally owned stores, including Grass Roots and Footwise, are a major draw to the community, she said. “It’s one of the reasons we moved here,” Brisker said.

Unique appeal At the Albany Antique Mall, owner Sharon Anderson said that people often come in looking for something from a favorite memory. “We have just about everything,” Anderson said. “Also, it’s unique. You’re

not going to get something that everyone else has.” The selection is always changing at the antique mall in downtown Albany, which offers a mix of new and used items. “They’re going to be reusing something. Not creating more stuff. A lot of our things come with a good story or a good memory,” Anderson said. “That’s the most fun part about it.” The store is all decked out for the holiday shopping season, and if people don’t find what they’re looking for at the antique mall, there’s plenty more stores in downtown Albany, including some of Anderson’s favorites, Emma Downtown for women, Sunny Patch Boutique for kids, and First Hand Seconds resale, which supports services by Mercy House International for women and children who have been abused.

Invested locally According to the Corvallis Independent Business Alliance (CIBA), locally owned independent businesses return a larger percentage of each dollar spent back to the community compared to chains and franchises. CIBA Board President Cindee Lolick, general manager at the First Alternative Natural Foods Co-op in Corvallis, pointed to a 2013 survey in Albu-

querque, N.M., that found that locally owned businesses returned revenue to the community at a rate of 77.3 percent, compared to 30.4 percent for national chains. Locally owned businesses are more invested in the community, Lolick said, and revenue is much more likely to be reinvested than to be returned to a corporate office. Area businesses have a sense of optimism going into the holiday shopping season, she said. And for the third year, shoppers will have a chance to win prizes by shopping at CIBA-affiliated merchants. The Saturday following Thanksgiving, Nov. 30, is Small Business Saturday, and kicks off a week of special promotions in dozens of local stores. The event is co-sponsored by CIBA and the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition. Although the event is still weeks away, people don’t need to wait. Many stores already have holiday items out. At First Alternative, there are also plenty of gifts available, including woolen goods and fair trade items, in addition to great food. Lolik said she enjoys shopping for gifts at Many Hands Trading, Sibling Revelry, Animal Crackers and Second Glance. “It’s exciting to get people shopping local and thinking about shopping local first,” Lolik said.



Get creative by giving unique photo gifts BY RACHEL GRAF CTW FEATURES

Most new tech gadgets worth their salt play host to a built-in camera nowadays — tablets, smartphones, laptops and even gaming consoles. With so many digital photos housed in a variety of locations, it can be easy to forget about all those snapshots languishing on Facebook or Instagram. This holiday season, give a unique gift by moving photos from the digital world to something physical, like an iPad case or even in a snow globe. For the crafty gifter, there are many do-ityourself projects that incorporate photos to customize gifts. Find inspiration online at sites like Photojojo, which offers simple do-it-yourself photo projects and other photography tips. Their mission is to help people of all ages discover or rediscover a love of photography, says Amit Gupta, founder of Photojojo and co-author of “Photojojo!: Insanely Great Photo Projects and DIY Ideas” (Potter Craft, 2009). “I saw tons of my friends taking hundreds or thousands of photos a year with digital cameras, and all those photos were getting lost and forgotten about,” Gupta says in an email. “So Photojojo started as a way to help people do more with the photos they were already taking.“ Gupta’s favorite projects are ones that include transforming an object you would typically throw out into something beautiful. For example, he says he really likes the photo snow globe made by placing a photo, glitter and a few other common ingredients in a water bottle. Photo projects from



Customize everyday items, like a day planner, to make them special. tions for products to print on and designs to add. A variety of websites also offer the same services, often with sophisticated previews so you know exactly what you’re getting. Just remember to order



Take those digital photos and create something unique and wonderful for friends and family. Gupta’s book include photo slider puzzles, Rubik’s cubes, temporary tattoos and a photo chandelier. You can buy items from a local gift shop and use them in your personalization projects to make them even more unique.

Another option for photo gifts, if you’re not inclined toward crafts, is ordering a customized printed product. Your local photo center or pharmacy is likely equipped with a customization kiosk or station that offers dozens of op-

the product in advance to allow for printing and shipping time. “It’s really easy,” says Heidi Reichert, head of custom design at Tiny Prints, one such website. “The designs are stylish and beauti-

ful and there is such a variety to choose from.“ With just a few minutes to upload images and choose products, customers can order a gift that is more heartfelt and completely different from what’s available on the shelves. Whether it’s a practical gift like day planners or iPhone cases, or something for display like acrylic trays and mounted prints, a customized photo gift can make the memories last. “I think it’s a very, very wonderful way to show someone how much you care about them,” Reichert says. “I’m going to make an ornament for my daughter every year and send it to her grandparents. It’s something they can have to preserve their memories.“



Outdoor gear hot items for gift giving BY JEFF NIELSON

Oregon is all about the outdoors, and getting the gear to keep your loved one warm, dry and ready for action is always a hot topic when gift-buying during the holiday season. “Rainwear is always a big seller this time of year,” said Alex Rodriguez, manager of Sports Authority in Bend. “It’s hard to keep waterproof pants in stock.” Kyle McVay, manager of the outdoor store at Peak Sports, is bullish on a newer waterproof technology in the Mountain Hardwear line by REI. It allows air, not just moisture, to pass outward through the fabric and doesn’t require high humidity to work like the longstanding industry leader Gore-Tex. Of course, warm jackets are a must-have for many shoppers as well. Local stores sell a wide variety of styles, whether it’s the zip-in liner technology developed by Columbia Sportswear and widely imitated; the always-popular down and other styles from North Face, or camouflage items. And don’t forget socks. “People are crazy about socks,” said Kevin Freeman, manager of the BiMart store in on Ninth Street in Corvallis. When the store advertises sock sales during the holidays, “People will stand in line in droves.” Want a good warm sock that comes with a unique guarantee? Peak Sports sells a sock called Darn Tough from a Vermont company that will repair any pair of its socks for any reason, no questions asked. Here are some other


Kyle McVay, manager of the Peak Sports outdoor store, poses with a pair of Blizzard Bonafide skis in downtown Corvallis. trends in gear for the outdoor enthusiast on your list:

Rocker ski tech Rocker technology for skis and snowboards began appearing several years ago in high-end gear, but now has filtered down to virtually all alpine equipment. Rocker skis and boards, unlike the old camber shape of traditional skis, mimic water ski technology by enabling the rider to skim

over a surface with less risk of catching an edge. Placed on a flat surface, the midsection of a rocker ski will rest on the ground while its tips and tails rise off the ground earlier than they do on a cambered ski. Viewed by the side, they resemble the upturned rails of a rocking chair — hence the name. However, using the new technology takes some getting used to, McVay said. Since rocker skis Continued on Page 5


Here’s a few stocking stuffers for the outdoorsy types Finding good, inexpensive stocking stuffers can be one of the hardest parts of holiday shopping. Here are some we found for the outdoors lover in your life. All can be found at BiMart, and all are under $10. • Mountain House lasagna: Made in Albany, freeze-dried foods from Mountain House have become the standard for hikers, hunters and anyone else who frequents the back country. Just add hot water and eat. Craving dessert? Try the ice cream. • LED cap light: This lightweight unit attaches to the bill of any ball cap you wear. As bright as a flashlight, the manufacturer claims the included batteries will provide 10,000 hours of light. • Hand warmers: Who can’t use these handy, chemically activated little pouches that slip into gloves, boots or anyplace else that needs some heat? This bag includes 24 warmers, which are supposed to last up to five hours. • Mini-lantern with compass: Don’t let the small size fool you. This baby puts out a lot of light and is small enough to tuck into a backpack or jacket pocket. Runs on D batteries. • Sighting compass :




Long before the advent of cell phones or handheld GPS units, those venturing into the outdoors knew they could find out where they were with a good map and a compass to triangulate their position. This unit may be inexpensive, but it’s built well enough to withstand rough treatment.

Outdoor gear hot items for giving Continued from Page 4

practically turn themselves, “You let the ski do the work - you turn your foot and the skis go in that direction,” he said.

Pretty in pink Freeman, the manager at Bi-Mart, said the store sells a lot of guns, rifles and knives at holiday time, as well as camo and other associated gear to outdoor enthusiasts.

But one new interesting trend: Women are asking for traditional gear in shades of pink - even parts of camo clothing and guns. For example, he showed off a 20gauge shotgun with the stock finished totally in a light shade of pink. A pair of shooting ear protectors and a knife sheath also are in pink. “Pink is the new color,” he said. “It started a few years ago and we’d sell a lot more if we couldn’t get it.”








What to get everyone on your Christmas list BY MATTHEW M. F. MILLER CTW FEATURES

Giving is a personal affair, and knowing the exact right thing to buy is a challenge. “I do like to let gifts speak for me,” says Chicago-based shopping and couponing expert Jill Cataldo. “I can wander around a store or mall and come home emptyhanded, or I can walk in and spot something within a few minutes. It’s all about knowing the interests of the person you love.“ Someone’s hobby can be your guide. “My husband once delighted me with a book that he found at a used book sale about a subject I’m passionate about,” Cataldo says. “The condition of the book didn’t matter to me. The fact that he saw it and thought of me did.“ Here are some top gifts for all kinds:

THE OUTDOORSY TYPE Steripen Ultra; $99


bothered with wallets when they have rock and roll on their minds. This handy case holds all of your important cards (credit card, license, etc.) and a guitar pick. Eton Rugged Rukus All-Terrain Portable Solar Wireless Sound System; $130

A solar panel on top to charge the 8-hour battery when outdoors. Connect wirelessly to any Bluetooth device. And, for the clumsy sort (musicians can be rough on their gear), it’s drop-proof from a height of 3.3 feet.

A rechargeable, UV water purifier that makes water safe to drink in 45 seconds — a digital smiley means you’re good to guzzle. Perfect for hiking, camping and traveling.


Handpresso Wild Hybrid Outdoor Espresso Set; $199

Bodum Bistro Electric Pourover; $350

Going without and roughing it are a lot easier with a good cup of coffee. Bring your own grounds and use the vacuum-pump espresso maker to brew anywhere. Comes in a leather case with four unbreakable cups, a thermoinsulated flask and two napkins.

THE MUSICIAN Whipping+Post Guitar Pick Card Case; $40

Guitar players can’t be



The Whipping+Post Guitar Pick Card Case.

Fill the 40-oz water tank, add coffee grounds and flip a switch to make pourover coffee in a snap. The titanium-plated filters never need replaced, and coffee is brewed directly into a portable, sealable jug that stays hot for hours. Thermos Nissan Tea Tumbler with Infuser, 14 Ounces; $23

Loose-leaf tea on the go is no longer a challenge. This mug comes with a removable mesh infuser for



The Olay Pro-X Microdermabrasion Plus Advanced Cleansing System steeping hot tea and a deep-welled lid to prevent spills.

THE BEAUTY Olay Pro-X Microdermabrasion Plus Advanced Cleansing System; $40

An at-home exfoliating kit with separate foam head and polisher. There are two cleansing settings for daily use, which Olay claims is seven times better than face scrub alone. Urban Decay Anarchy And Shattered Face Cases; $44

One case for the whole face. Includes two blushes, five eyeshadows, a highlighter, an exclusive Super Saturated High Gloss Lip Color and a 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil. Each case fea-

tures two full-size mirrors inside.

through the holidays — and beyond.



Personalized Bath Caddy by Red Envelope; $50

Worx Semi-Automatic Driver; $50

Made of natural wood, this caddy has a built-in wine glass holder, book support and even a spot for the soap. Can be monogrammed at no extra cost. Burt’s Bees Hand Repair Kit; $13

To combat the toll winter takes on the skin, this set comes with Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Crème and Shea Butter Hand Repair Cream to get even the driest hands


The Worx Semi-Automatic Driver.

Yeah, it looks pretty rad — but it also stores 6 bits in easy-load cartridges and has an off-set head to make driving in corners a snap. Stanley Tools TLM99 Laser Distance Measurer; $89

Tape is a thing of the past. Measure up to 100 feet without hassle, with an accuracy of +/- 3/32inch.

THE SWEET TOOTH Dum-Dums Holiday Pops; $2.49

Suckers are for gifts in 2013 with the classic pops updated version. Flavors include Merry Cherry, Sugar Plum, Hot Chocolate, Sugar Cookie, Apple Cider, Gingerbread, Green Apple Grinch and Polar Punch. Good Karmal Holiday Gift Box (Available only at; $29 for box of 10

Good, hand-made caramels are things of beauty, and these luscious nuggets of velvety smooth butter will make you the hero of any candy lover in your life. Bonus? A portion of every purchase goes to environmental charities.



Get your holiday game on Game night just got a lot more creative. Classic board games are still popular go-to gifts. Now, game makers are combining concepts, appealing to TV lovers and going out on a limb to provide more personalized new editions for your favorite game lover’s collection. Here are a few recent titles to get the party started this holiday season. -Matthew M. F. Miller, CTW Features

Spin the spinner and be the first one to collect every color of acorn and place it into your log using only a rascally pair of “Squirrel Squeezers.” 2-4 players, ages 3+ Qwirkle; $35


TV LOVERS George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones: The Board Game; 2nd Ed.; $60

King Baratheon is dead and the Iron Throne is up for grabs. Play as your favorite character and battle for supremacy as you negotiate alliances with your opponents and build armies. 3-6 players, ages 14+

Waxing poetic with candles Candles truly are the gifts that keep on giving. According to the National Candle Association, America’s love for waxing poetic burns bright: $2 billion is spent annually on candles and they are used in 7 out of 10 households. Versatile and inexpensive — they are a wonderful gift option for moms, grandmas, teachers, hostesses and more. These new scents provide fragrant options for anyone on your list.

SLATKIN AND CO. Prices: 4 oz. mini candles, $10; 6 oz. Mason jar candle, $12.50; 14.5 oz. 3wick candle, $20 Champagne Toast, Black

Tie and Party Dress

YANKEE CANDLE Prices: Samplers votive, $1.99; small jar, $10.99; medium jar, $24.99; large jar, $27.99 Vanilla Chai, Pumpkin Wreath and Salted Caramel


medium jar, $18.99; large jar, $24.99 Apple Crisp, Cranapple Punch and Campfire Marshmallow. Matthew M. F. Miller, CTW Features

Duck Dynasty Redneck Wisdom Party Game; $17

Guess the missing word in quotes from Willie, Phil, Uncle Si, Jase and the rest of your favorite characters. Everyone has to spot the genuine quotes from the fakes. 2-12 players, ages 10+ Yahtzee: Doctor Who 50th Anniveersary Collector’s Edition; $25

Shake the five custom dice featuring Doctor Who villains in the TARDIS and play the game by the original rules. It’s a fun-looking gift that’s perfect for the sci-fi-loving game buff on your list. 1 or more players, ages 8+ The Walking Dead; $40

TV’s most popular undead show comes to life as players try to be the first one to reach the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Play as Rick, Andrea, Dale, Lori, Shane, Glenn or a zombie. 2-4 players, ages 13+


Trivial Pursuit Party

Classics, Revised Candy Land Disney Princess Edition; $20

Play as Belle, Snow White, Cinderella or Aurora, and travel through scenes from “Tangled,” “Princess & the Frog” and “The Little Mermaid.” First princess to dance at the Candy Land ball wins. 2-4 players, ages 3+ Trivial Pursuit Party; $22

Every question offers players a chance at a pie piece. Perfect for fast, fun group play. Players can ask other players for help, and if the question is answered correctly they both get a pie piece. Collect 6 silver pie pieces to win, which means you can stick to your subject of choice and still win the game. 3-6

players, ages 16+ Jenga Tetris; $15

Imagine the quirky shapes used in Tetris only in a real-life Jenga stack, and that’s pretty much the premise of this one. It’s even trickier and more fun than the original because, well — who hasn’t been waiting years for Tetris to come to life? 2 or more players, ages 8+ Chutes and Ladders: Super Hero Squad Edition; $25

Play as Hulk, SpiderMan, Wolverine, Thor, Captain America or Iron Man as you climb and slip through an amped-up version of the original game. 2-4 players, ages 3+

Off the Beaten Path The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game; $22

Match different colored tiles and shapes (108 wooden blocks are included), score points — highest score wins. It’s simple and addictive, and was the winner of Parent’s Choice Gold Award and the Mensa National Competition. 2-4 players, ages 6+ Quarantine; $30

Each player owns his or her own hospital. Patients line up outside and players have to fix their ailments ASAP — especially before an outbreak of the “Graysles” that will cause entire hospital wards to be shutdown and under quarantine. 2-4 players, ages 12+ Catan Explorers & Pirates: Expansion Game; $50 Fans of the crazy-popular Settlers of Catan board game will adore this expansion set, which includes five new scenarios and three new missions. Hit the high seas and confront pirates, seek spices and fish for “Victory Points.” 3-4 players, ages 12+ CTW Features





Reading material for mom, left, and dad. ($18.45 hardcover). The mystery novel, about a time-traveling serial killer, has steadily gained steam since its release earlier this year, and is the perfect bookend to a year of great reads.



A kettle ball for mom’s home workout.

Gifts for Mom and Dad Holiday shopping for parents can be a real mind-bender BY LINDSEY ROMAIN CTW FEATURES

There are only so many sweaters, necklaces and pocketknives a person can acquire before it gets to be a bit much. “At a certain age, we start to comprehend the sacrifices our parents have made for us,” says Shelley Hunter, the gift expert known as The Giftcard Girlfriend. “With this understanding, we feel compelled to give gifts that adequately convey our feelings of love and appreciation. That’s a tall order for a trip to the mall.“ One way to be creative for the ’rents this holiday season: hone in on a more personalized area of interest and find fun stuff within those constraints. “Choosing

the right gift has nothing to do with gender. It has everything to do with thinking about the recipient’s likes, interests and activities,” Hunter says. Or try any of these items for very specific sectors of mom and dad types. It’s always fun to think outside the box — or to think inside a box of unique goodies.

MOM: The Reader “Since nothing we give can equal the gifts they’ve given us, we turn to more practical items,” Hunter says. If mom’s a bookworm, chances are she’s already checked out some of this year’s hottest sellers, like Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl” or even — from the comfort of a private room — “Fifty Shades of Grey.” But if she’s looking for something a little different, try surprising her with the critically acclaimed “The Shining Girls” by Lauren Beukes

If she has enough books already, maybe a bookish accessory is a better bet. Literary-inspired retailers, like Out of Print Continued on Page 11



Gifts for the man and woman who have everything size his material collection and knows how to work a Wifi-capable viewing device, Netflix or Hulu Plus will give him a similar viewing experience without all the plastic. (Streaming-only versions run for $7.99/month for Neflix and Hulu Plus.)

Continued from Page 10

(, make an array of products — from shirts to pouches to eBook covers — that are great for moms with a literary lean.

MOM: The Tea Lover For the tea-drinking mama, delicate, patterned teacups — like these Charlotte mugs from World Market ($21.56 for a set of four) — are subtle, feminine and inexpensive. Pair them with a delicious and healthful blend of tea and she’s all set. Teavana, a specialty tea and accessories store, offers plenty of unique flavors for every tea-loving palette. The Youthberry Wild Orange Blossom Tea Blend ($18.80 for 4 oz. of loose leaf tea) is a popular favorite and a good place to start. And make sure mom’s ready to brew the perfect cup of tea with a teapot or infuser.

DAD: Classy Gentleman If dad’s more the “slow sip at the end of the day” type, class up his drinking experience with some fancy liquor goods. Sick of fetching and making him ice? Gift him some whiskey stones, like this Teraforma set ($19.94 at Crate and Barrel), which he can freeze ahead of time and reuse. If he’s a DIY sort of guy, he might enjoy a starter kit, like the Woodinville Age Your Own Whiskey (2-pack for $149; 4-pack for $596.96), which accelerates the aging process and comes with a reusable barrel.

MOM: Fitness Guru If the New Year inspired mom to get on the fitness train, you’re in luck! Fitness gifts are a neverending stream of trendy new products — from colorful weights to yoga mats to running shoes and beyond. One such product is ViewSPORT Spandex Leggings for women ($30). Honor your mom’s, uh, colorful personality with skeleton leg and tribal patterns. What better way to spruce up her fitness routine than something boisterous as motivation? If at-home workouts are your mom’s thing, try gifting her with a kettle ball. Kettle balls are a great workout on their own, and minimize equipment to one compact item. Weider’s 20 lb. Powerball is



Whisky Stones by Terraforma. seven kettle balls in one, starting with a 5 lb. option that can be adjusted to progressively heavier settings ($99).

DAD: Couch Potato Is dad a TV guru stuck on reality programming?

Open his eyes to the wonderful world of scripted cable programming this holiday season. Top-notch shows like AMC’s “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” are both up-to-date on DVD and Blu-ray, so why not induce a plot-heavy

marathon to go with that Christmas food overload? (“Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men” seasons five: $24.99). If he’s trying to down-

DAD: The Geek If dad’s a “Star Trek” guy, go for the gold. Literally. ThinkGeek is offering a limited edition gold U.S.S. Enterprise pizza cutter ($99) so he can show his Trekkie allegiance and enjoy a TV-

night snack. For a less prodigal option, get the basic stainless steel version instead ($29.99). ThinkGeek also has Star Trek bath robes in multiple colors ($49 to $59) so dad can pretend he’s part of the crew around the house. Want to participate in dad’s geekery? Opt for a project book, like “Geek Dad: Awesomely Geeky Projects and Activities for Dads and Kids to Share” (Penguin Group Incorporated, 2010, $17) by Ken Denmead. Projects include tips for transforming a room into a spaceship, homemade Ethernet cuff links and customized board games. “There’s a difference between a gift and a present. A gift is something you give, knowing the recipient will enjoy it,” Hunter says. “A present is something you ’present’ to the recipient because it’s something you think he or she should have. You’ll know you’ve chosen a gift if you’ve removed your own preferences from the decision-making process. If you have chosen a gift or a gift card that the recipient has expressed an interest in, regardless of your own opinion, then the gift will be well received.”



Holiday Gift Guide 2013