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Sure, you could slip a few oranges, a pair of cotton tube socks, and a drugstore candy bar or two into your loved ones’ stockings (again) this year. But since you’re hanging them with care, you might as well fill those stockings with care, too. At a loss how to do that? We have you covered with 10 great local gift ideas that are sure to please palates, induce relaxation, toast the new year—and fit inside a small sock.
Sam Nelson and Jason Friday, founders of Steamboat Springs–based Bar-U-Eat, like to toss around the adage that, “the world doesn’t need another bar company…but it needs ours.” It’s a bold statement, but we think your giftee will agree when they take a bite of their oatmeal raisin or peanuts-and-cherries varieties ($35.99 for 12). Made with simple ingredients like organic medjool dates, organic oats, and local honey—and no oils or preservatives—the bars deliver a satisfying mélange that’s both sweet and savory, soft with hints of crunch. Also nice: Bar-U-Eat, which is named after one of Steamboat Ski Resort’s chair lifts, is committed to using only plant-based, 100 percent compostable packaging. Available online and in various natural grocery stores
Do current events have your giftee stressing? Or maybe their body is aching from all that early-season skiing (inspired by our helpful guide, no doubt)? Or perhaps they’re a diehard Russell Wilson stan? Whatever is weighing them down, they’ll be pumped to discover a gift certificate for the 21,000-square-foot Ritz-Carlton Spa at Bachelor Gulch in their stocking. Browse the Avon-based luxury hotel’s full spa menu, or take our advice and go with the Miner’s Mineral Mudwrap Massage, a 100-minute treatment that couples amethyst oil, rose quartz salt, and shea butter with detoxifying activated charcoal mud ($400). Add an overnight stay (starting at $999 per night after December 16) if you’re feeling extra generous. 130 Daybreak Ridge Road, Avon; 970-748-6200
“Smell good. Do good.” That’s the motto behind Denver-based candle company KarmaLit, which backs it up by donating a portion of sales from each sustainably made candle to fund ant farms, computer tablets, and other classroom needs. With notes of evergreen and lemon, the Flurries scent is the perfect addition to a skier or snowboarder’s stocking, while the hints of orange, cinnamon, and pine in Cozy Nights (both $22 for an 8-ounce jar) are great for anyone keen to snuggle up on a frosty evening. Available online
Daina Daniels’ decision to link her soap and body product business to outdoor pursuits was only natural. After all, the Adventurist Soap Co. founder’s happy place is at the top of a “majestic fourteener,” she says, followed closely by a day spent “chunking a route while bouldering.” Turns out, both activities are best when followed with a shower. That’s where her nourishing, handmade soaps come in. Our favorites from this Morrison-based, Black-owned business include the warm, woodsy scent of 14er and the slightly sweet, milk-oatmeal-honey aroma of Backcountry (both $9.95). Available online
Have a classy cocktail drinker on your list? The light-yet-flavorful offerings from atōst, based in Golden, are just the thing. Great for mixing into margs, softening into spritzers, and more, the apéritifs feature a white wine base combined with a premium grape spirit that’s enhanced with fresh fruits, herbs, and botanicals. The result is what husband-wife founders Cindy and Kyle Pressman call an approachable-yet-complex American apéritif. Their sampler ($50) includes their four core flavors (Roots, Bloom, Woods, and Citrus) in mini bottles, making them perfect for that hanging sock. Available online
Add a smidge of something sweet to your loved one’s stocking with some chocolatey goodness from Piece, Love & Chocolate. The Boulder-based confectioner sells a host of singles in its Pearl Street storefront, plus samplers online like the 11-Piece Truffle Heart Box (starting at $36.80). The variety pack features the 11 most popular flavors, including cookies and cream, basil hand-cut ganache, and Left Hand Milk Stout. 805 Pearl Street, Boulder; 303-449-4804
Golden-based Spinster Sisters Co. has come a long way from the craft fair booth where, in 1993, founder and CEO Kelly Perkins and her sister—both single at the time—first started selling a clean line of soap and skincare products. Fast-forward almost two decades, and while Perkins operates the biz without her sister, the offerings have expanded to include stocking stuffer options aplenty: bath bombs ($5.99), shower steamers ($3.99), and body butter bars ($11.99). Available online
Green Curry ($9.99), Fettuccini Alfredo with Chicken ($11.99), and Shepherd’s Potato Stew with Beef ($10.99)—sounds like the list of entrees for a delicious (if slightly eclectic) Boulder restaurant. Alas, it’s the menu for your buddy’s next backpacking adventure. Boulder’s own Backpacker’s Pantry serves up delectable, just-add-water main courses, as well as breakfast and dessert fare, that are perfect for the trail. Just hope you get invited on your buddy’s next trek. Available online and in various retailers
Cold temps and whipping winds are an unavoidable part of Colorado winter, but those cracked, chapped lips don’t have to be—at least for your lucky gift recipient—thanks to Fort Lupton-based Bee-Och Organics. Stuff a tube or two of the deeply hydrating Organic Lip Balm ($5.50) into the stocking for days when moisture and protection are needed. Or add a Tinted Lip Balm ($7.50) if your recipient likes a subtle touch of color. Available online
Help your pal keep their hair out of their face and sweat off their brow while looking fresh with a headband from woman-owned, Colorado-based HeadPeace. There are tubes ($14), ties ($18), and options for kiddos ($10), but the best part is that each headband is made in Nepal by Puurna, a fair-trade, ethical manufacturing company that employs marginalized folks and survivors of exploitation. Available online