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No need to break the bank this holiday season because a little goes a long way with these gifts. From handcrafted soaps and candles to fresh-pressed cocktail mixers, we’re confident there is something for everyone on your list. After all, it’s the thought that counts, right?
To-do lists, grocery lists, holiday wish lists: Whatever kind of lineup your friend or family member might need to create, the lined pages and checkboxes in the List-It Notebooks ($14) from Isa Catto Studio are up to the task. Each notebook cover features one of the Colorado artist’s original designs—many of which are inspired by the beauty of the Centennial State. The geometric pattern adorning her Ode to Joy notebook, for example, evoke the colors of Aspen in the summer, while the lush greens in Spring Field mimic the various shades you’ll find painting the peaks during springtime in the Colorado Rockies. Available online and at various retailers
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Hot cocoa is a cold-weather staple, but have you ever looked at the ingredients in that box of Swiss Miss? Trust us when we say your giftee deserves an upgrade. With the premium mix ($17 for eight servings) from Bibamba, a three-year-old chocolate company with ties to both Denver and Cameroon, your recipient gets a heavenly cup containing minimal ingredients: cacao beans, organic cane sugar, cocoa butter, and Madagascar vanilla beans, plus the milk (or milk alternative) this luxurious mix is stirred into. Best of all, they’ll be sipping with a clean conscience: Husband-and-wife founders Patrick and Mara Tcheunou are just as passionate about using sustainable and ethical farming practices as they are about producing high-quality chocolate indulgences. Available online and at various retailers
Our mile-high climate comes with its disadvantages, including its tendency to cause dry and cracked skin. The folks at Colorado Real Soap Company in Crested Butte set to work on solving the issue and came up with Bliss Salve ($19 for a 1.7-ounce tin), a completely edible and preservative-free solution that uses seed butters, oils, and natural waxes to hydrate and restore skin. The best part? It works on dog paws, too. 318 Elk Ave., Crested Butte; 970-209-6732
Give the gift of the outdoors with this comprehensive guide to camping in the Centennial State. Written by Monica Stockbridge, Best Tent Camping: Colorado ($17) details 50 great car campgrounds in national parks, state parks, and more. She rates all the sites based on criteria such as beauty, privacy, safety, and cleanliness. And, of course, the book comes with full-color photos so you know exactly what to expect during your evening under the stars. Available online
Help your favorite skier become more environmentally friendly with some easy-on-nature hot wax from Carbondale’s MountainFlow. Historically, ski wax has been packed with toxic chemicals that slough off onto the snow and eventually into our water. Not so with MountainFlow Eco-Wax, which is completely plant-based and eschews petroleum products. The Hot Wax ($20) is biodegradable and nontoxic, so it’s a great gift for skiers and boarders—and the planet. Available online and at various retailers
Don’t think you have enough spare dough to send your friend to the spa? Au contraire. Put a bow on the Vetiver Grey Body Soap ($20) from Carbondale-based natural skincare brand Osmia, and your gift recipient will have a private aromatherapy session with each shower. This decadent bar soap combines the earthy scents of Dead Sea mud and black clay to bring a meditative element to your loved one’s morning routine. Available online and at various retailers
Special holiday beverages taste better when they’re made with locally sourced ingredients. At least, that’s the idea behind Cocktail Caravan’s fresh-pressed mixers ($18), which are made with love in the company’s Boulder kitchen. There are a number of seasonal releases, like the Hotchkiss Hustle, which blends fresh blackberry and black tea, and Friday’s Follie, a refreshing mix of apple, lemon, and locally grown sage. The cranberry-forward Santa’s Little Helper is sure to put everyone in the holiday spirit, even if you just add sparkling water for a no-hassle mocktail. Available online and for pick-up at 2825 Wilderness Place, Boulder; 720-598-2997
Gym membership? Peloton? Shake Weights? No, no, and definitely no. There’s a better way to help your special someone get buff this holiday season—literally. Give them a Colorado-inspired CoolNet UV neck cover ($24) from accessory brand Buff. Lightweight and super stretchy, these handy neck gaiters are comfortable to wear when UPF 50 protection is in order, like on sunny-day snowshoe adventures. Come summer, the cover’s evaporative cooling properties are great for hot paddleboarding sessions. Available online and at various retailers
In a pickle about what to get your pal? Your friend will, ahem, relish these treats from Mountain Girl Pickles. (See what we did there?) Fourth-generation canner Laraina James started with the standard cucumbers up in Nederland, but her Colorado brand now offers an array of pickled veggies beyond her original Garlic Dill Pickles ($11). James calls the Pickled Okra ($11) her go-to, but we think a jar of the 2023 Good Food Foundation award-winning Corn Relish ($12) and a bag of locally made chips (maybe from the Front Range’s Verde?) makes the perfect pairing for your foodie family member or friend. Available online and at various retailers
We’re not sure when it happened, but patches are definitely cool again. Help your giftee represent the Centennial State with this iron-on representation of our mountains majesty and flag colors. The embroidered patch ($5) is two inches wide, so it fits on anything from a backpack to a pair of jeans or a sweatshirt. But you can put the symbol anywhere you want—there are no rules when it comes to Mile High flair. Available online