Feature

The Mile High Holidays: A Local Gift Guide

Wrap up one of these local goodies for the special Coloradan in your life.
December 2013

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HOME
Go Graphic
: The New Black
Clockwise from top left: 

1. Vital Industries wren rocks glass, $12 at Vital Industries, 4335 W. 41st Ave., 303-433-1765, vitalindustries.com 

2. Watson & Co op art lacquer box, $85 at Watson & Co, 1524 S. Broadway, 303-777-8087, watsonandco.com 

3. Counter Couture pillows, $36 each at countercouturedesign.com 

4. Two Little Fruits painted wood creations, $24 each at twolittlefruits.com

5. Revampt blankets, $165 each at Revampt, 2601 E. Third Ave., 720-536-5464, revamptgoods.com 

6. Deny magnet board, $99 at denydesigns.com

 

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EMERGENCY GIFTS
Five presents to keep on hand so you don’t look like a schmuck when your thoughtful neighbor drops by with a bottle of wine.

Bring the outdoors in with hydrating essential oil– and plant-infused bar soaps from Telluride’s Smart by Nature. $8.50 at smartbynature.biz  

Idea Chic’s letterpress stationery is individually printed on a 1930s letterpress. From $4 at Rakun, 1147 Santa Fe Dr., 303-823-1794, rakunshop.com

Sjotime Industries’ Power Plants bud vases are made from scraps of Baltic birch. $35 at shop.sjotime.com

Based in Centennial, Lollia’s soy-wax Silently Across The Snow No. 62 candle will light your fire—and fill your home with an intoxicating aroma. $30 at lollialife.com 

Stash pens, lipstick, or lumps of coal in style with Cloth & Ink’s waxed canvas zipper pouch. $26 at Reverie Living, 1671 Central St., 720-524-3085, reverieliving.virb.com 

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Best Gift Ever
from Amy McClellan, Owner of Reverie Living

"One of the best presents I ever received was a parting gift from some friends and co-workers as I was heading to a new job back in the 1990s. When I opened the box, I was completely astonished to find a black leather motorcycle jacket! It was something I never would have bought myself, but I absolutely loved it. I think they saw something in me that I hadn’t seen in myself, which ultimately is one of the best gifts anyone can receive."

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Haute Property

Bloom’s Anuschka Pashel reveals a simple DIY decoration to dress up your home this holiday season. 

Psst.... read more on DIY pinecones here.

Materials

Pinecones of varying sizes

Spray glue (Pashel recommends Design Master Tack 2000)

Glitter (Pashel likes Martha Stewart
Holiday Glitter) 

Velvet ribbon

STEP 1  Holding the pinecones at a distance of
10 to 12 inches, cover them with spray glue. 

STEP 2  While the pinecones are still drying,
sprinkle them with glitter. 

STEP 3  Let dry for 15 to 20 minutes.  

STEP 4  Once dry, tie a velvet ribbon and bow around each pinecone, leaving a long amount of ribbon at the end so you can hang them around the house. Try hanging the cones off the fireplace mantel or in a front window, or use them as ornaments on your tree.

 

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OUTDOORS
Soften the Landing
: Five pieces of gear that take the rough out of roughing it. 

1. Water-resistant, foldable, and only 15 ounces, Pakems boots are the perfect après accessory for below the knee. $60–$70 at Christy Sports, multiple locations, christysports.com 

2. Who needs a mountain? We’d wear Amo Neve’s graphic 75 percent silk base layers around town, too. $165 at Blue Ruby Boutique, multiple locations, bluerubydesignboutique.com 

3. Brunton’s Hydrogen Reactor transforms hydrogen into power—enough to charge your iPhone up to six times in case you're really lost in the woods. $149.99 at REI, multiple locations, rei.com 

4. Lighten your impact on the Earth with Zeal Optics’ new ACE biodegradable sunglasses. $169 at zealoptics.com 

5. Rated to 16 degrees, Kelty’s water-resistant DriDown sleeping bag earned Outside magazine’s coveted 2013 Gear of the Year award. $199.95 at REI, multiple locations, rei.com

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When Money Is No Object 

Wrap up holiday indulgence for your family (and a few friends) with luxury vacation rental company Portico’s Ultimate Holiday Home Snowmass package. Your $15,600 (!) gets you: five nights at the exquisite four-bedroom Baby Doe Lodge, decked out in holiday decor; eight five-day ski passes to Snowmass (plus rentals and lessons); a fully stocked kitchen, pantry, and fridge; dinner at Little Mammoth Steakhouse; a private dinner at home from renowned Aspen chef Andreas Fischbacher; dogsled rides; in-room spa treatments; snowmobiling tours; a year membership to Portico; and, well, more. You still have to spring for the presents, though.  

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Best Gift Ever

from Kim Walker, Owner of Outdoor Divas

"Family was arriving to celebrate my three-month-old son’s first Christmas, so we added entertaining and shopping to the mix. Insanity. My husband and I agreed: No gifts to each other. Jump to Christmas morning, and there’s a small wrapped gift from my husband. It’s a photo frame with a placeholder photo of a bike. This is a nice frame, I thought. Thoughtful. I set it down. My husband hands it back. That’s when I realize he’s given me a new bike. Element of surprise + mountain bike = best gift ever."

 

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FOOD AND DRINK
A Colorado Cornucopia
 

1. Modern Gingham preserves, $10–$12 each at moderngingham.com 

2. Denver & Boulder Chef’s Table, $24.95 at Tattered Cover, multiple locations, tatteredcover.com 

3. David Rasmussen tray, 720-317-2328, iheartdenver.info 

4. Watson & Co key corkscrew, $45 at Watson & Co, 1524 S. Broadway, 303-777-8087, watsonandco.com 

5. Broken Shovels Farm dark moon cheese, $10.20 at Marczyk Fine Foods, multiple locations, marczykfinefoods.com 

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Happy Hour
An easy-to-make cocktail for spontaneous get-togethers from Coohills Restaurant bar manager Noah Heaney. 

Holiday 75

1 ounce Leopold Bros. gin or Silver Tree vodka

½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 ounce pomegranate syrup (pre-make by cooking one cup of POM Wonderful pomegranate juice with one cup of sugar until the mixture barely boils, and then cool it down in an ice bath; keep in the fridge for up to a month)

Crémant (Heaney prefers Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé) 

Shake all ingredients with ice and pour into a champagne flute. Top with crémant, and garnish with a lemon peel if you like. Raise your glasses.

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Best Gift Ever 

from Barbara MacFarlane, Marczyk Fine Foods’ Queen Bee

"When I was working as a bartender in Vermont, I had to work Christmas Eve, so I missed dinner and fun and mostly my family. As I drove up our dark dirt road, I saw our house ablaze with every light on. I’m sure my father had shut them all off; my mother probably waited for him to go to bed and then turned them back on. She even left a tray with a small glass and a bottle of sherry for me to enjoy by the tree. It was a small gesture, but I have never forgotten it."

 

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STYLE
How to say...

...We're Friends  
Red Bench Jewelry’s guitar bangle bracelets, $115 for a set of 10 at redbenchjewelry.com

...We're Forever
Todd Reed 18-karat gold and silver necklace with autumn brilliant and raw diamonds, $5,060 at Todd Reed, 2015 Pearl St., Boulder, 303-442-6280, toddreed.com 

...We're In Love  
Samantha Louise 18-karat gold and diamond Halo Studs earrings, $875 at Oster Jewelers, 251 Steel St., 303-572-1111, osterjewelers.com  

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Best Gift Ever 
from Stephanie Shearer, Co-Owner of Soul Haus

"In the fourth grade, I was the clinical definition of “supergeek from the wrong side of the tracks.” When Mrs. May asked us to make Valentine’s Day boxes, I crafted mine from a round Quaker Oats container. Finances were pretty thin for my single mom working two jobs, so when I asked if we could buy the authentic Winnie the Pooh valentines (instead of the “Honey Bear and Friends” off-brand), it was a considerable request. Sure, there were a few kids I didn’t really get along with, but I wrote out 36 Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and Eeyore cards to each and every student. When the holiday finally arrived, my classmates poured mountains of Valentines on their desks, and I was devastated to open my crepe-papered cylinder to find a single Valentine—from Mrs. May—and a torn piece of notebook paper scrawled with the words “kiss ass.” Twenty years later, as Chris Bacorn (now my husband) and I celebrated our first February 14th as a couple, Chris presented to me a Valentine box full of 36 Winnie the Pooh cards: each with a different sentiment of what he loved about me. That was the very day I knew I would marry him."

 

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SOUL
Gifts That Give Back

1. MaxLove Brand gives 100 percent of the proceeds from its hats to help children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses gain access to “every cancer-fighting tool available”—alternative treatments, nutrition advice, physical activity, and more. $26–$28 each at Hope Tank, 64 Broadway, 720-837-1565, hopetank.org 

2. Designer (and wife of a firefighter) Lori Holliday transforms retired fire hoses into Gallo en Fuego dog collars and leashes (and belts and wallets and more), then donates a portion of the proceeds from every sale to help the families of fallen firefighters. $28–$38 each at galloenfuego.com 

3. For more than 25 years, Denver’s Women’s Bean Project has employed chronically impoverished and out-of-work women as gourmet food- and jewelry-makers. Buying this selection of dip mixes not only improves your dinner table, it also improves the lives of Denver women in need. $3.75 each at womensbeanproject.com 

4. Twelve-year-old twins Sam and Ben Tollison started A Monster to Love—which donates one huggable monster to a child in need with every monster purchased—with their dad, Ray, two years ago. They’ve been a hit ever since. $18–$30 at ModesTEA, 4415 W. 43rd St., 720-883-6276, modesteaco.com 

5. Through a collaboration with plantabillion.org, every purchased  OG Sack (a convertible bag that works as a backpack, messenger bag, or tote and comes with a removable washable liner) ensures another tree is planted in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. $75 at ogsack.com 

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Best Gift Ever 
from Erika E. Righter, Owner of Hope Tank*

"In September 2013, my best friend got married and gave me a handkerchief for my one-year-old daughter (the flower girl). It was embroidered with a lovely sentiment, dated, and intended for her to have at her own wedding when she is all grown up. It brought on the waterworks with every person who saw it. It was thoughtful, unique, and something that we will keep forever."  

*A portion of proceeds from every item sold at this store goes to a charitable organization. 

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Flooded With Love
The Front Range flooding that destroyed thousands of homes and businesses this fall might have disappeared from the nightly news cycle, but there’s still plenty of cleanup work to do. Here are three ways you can give back. 

Give Money

If you want to be sure your money goes to good use, donate to one of these organizations, approved by Colorado Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (covoad.communityos.org): 

Community Foundation Serving Greeley and Weld County

Community Foundation of Northern Colorado

CU-Boulder Disaster Recovery Fund

Foothills Flood Relief Fund (for relief in Boulder and Broomfield counties)

Larimer County Long-Term Recovery Fund

Lyons Community Foundation

St. Vrain Flooding Relief Fund

Weld County Flood Relief Fund

Give Time 

While the impulse to lend a hand is a good one, just showing up somewhere with a shovel isn’t. Helpcoloradonow.org lets you harness your goodwill by matching your skills to where they’re most needed. Simply register online and wait to hear where you can deliver your kindness.  

Give Stuff 

Needs change weekly, but you can get a list of the most in-demand items at aidmatrixnetwork.org.