Let's get right to this: you've put off your shopping because there is always tomorrow but tomorrow is now. You need some presents and you need them fast. There's no more time to be choosy. Or is there?
I spied those tall slender Stanley green thermoses—in a few sizes—at the Rite Aid on Adams Avenue. Maybe they have them at other Rite Aids, too? They're great for hipsters or grandpas, for the desk jobber or the construction worker; they are old school but seriously modern. They are perfect for toting coffee to work or beer to the movies. ---
Drop in Cafe Calabria, head directly to the back room (it's not as scandalous as it sounds) and pick up a bag of truly delicious, locally roasted coffee and some brewing accessories. If you're crafty, turn the brown paper sack into a reindeer with some pipe cleaners and googly eyes.
I haven't written about the Rubber Rose in quite awhile; it's surely time again. They've moved to a Downtown location, but still carry the same phthalate-free plastics, hygienic stainless-steel, non-porous silicone, ergonomically designed, rechargeable, Oprah-approved vibrators, dildos and g-spot manipulators. Nothing says "I was really thinking of you" like The Cone. Really, there is a world of great gifts for your best friend or lovah here. Just maybe not the office party.
Since you're already Downtown shopping at the Rubber Rose, why not drop into Melt? They have a ton of amazingly adorable tchotkes they call “Zakka” (because a lot of is from Japan) squeezed into their mini cubby of a store inside the Industrial Showroom downtown. I'm super fond of the bottle sweaters—they are perfect for both the beer and the wine lovers in your life. And they essentially create their own wrapping. More cute goods abound, a lot of handmade, all of it reasonably priced.
I would be surprised if Home Brew Mart in Linda Vista (an arm of Ballast Point Brewing) and Home Brew and Gardens over in South Park haven't killed it this holiday season—everyone is brewing their own beer these days. If you're up in North County, you can pick up your brewing supplies at Mother Earth Brew Co, which now is a full-fledged brewery and tasting room (aka, a bar.) Nothing makes Christmas shopping more palatable than taking a break for a beer.
My daughter wants to learn a new language. But not Spanish or French. She's leaning towards Indonesian. Rosetta Stone actually makes an Indonesian CD set, but, sadly, they don't sample it online. So we did the Spanish demo and it was all kinds of awesome. It was actually fun! And I hated Spanish class in elementary school. And high school. And college. Expensive, yes, but an terrific present for your folks traveling to Europe this summer. Or your kid going off to travel the world before college. There is a kiosk at most of the malls, including Fashion Valley.
Another thing I found at the mall, but this time at UTC, was a little kiosk (although they are smartly calling it a pop-up shop): Seven Hopes United. They sell fair-trade gifts, but I'm partial to the sustainable cookware like the bamboo salad servers and bowls. Located near The Gap.
My husband wanted a Chrome bike bag. And a laptop bag that snaps to the inside of the bigger bag. And when I went to Adams Avenue Bikes to get them, they showed me that those crafty Chrome people also make this key ring that hooks to your belt and a phone case that clips to your shoulder. Damn them. Adams Ave had a great selection of Chrome stuff, as well as other bike- gadget and doodads (and of course, bikes.) And since we are talking bikes, Velo Cult over in South Park, is picking up their shop and moving it to Portland, as in Oregon. So they've got 25% off everything over there now. They're done by Christmas.
And so are we. But it ain't Christmas yet. Tomorrow, we will explore what Old Town has to offer, last minute and local.
Need more ideas? Check out our shopping round-up.