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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 as to 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 an oversize sock.
The Bobo’s oat bars story starts with love. On a rainy day in 2003, a mom and her daughter, Bobo, were bonding in the kitchen. They pulled out a few (Colorado) pantry staples—whole-grain oats, cane sugar, and brown rice syrup—mixed in some vegan buttery spread, popped them in the oven, and voilà! One of our favorite non-GMO, plant-based, gluten-free snacks was born. Today, the full-size bars from this Loveland–based brand come in a wide variety of flavors, from dark chocolate almond with sea salt to cranberry orange ($33 for a pack of 12), but we think the tasty array of Oatmeal Bites are perfectly sized for stockings. Grab a box of lemon poppyseed or holiday-inspired peppermint brownie ($30 for a box of 30) and pop a few individually wrapped treats in each stocking to share the love. Available online and at various retailers
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As if holiday shopping wasn’t stressful enough, you have to lug everything you’ve purchased home or lift box after box off your front porch. It’s exhausting—and can lead to sore muscles. Enter “the best massage gun,” per Runner’s World. It’s just what your giftee kneads, er, needs. The R1 Percussion ($129) from Boulder’s Roll Recovery offers four different settings and comes with four attachment head options, making it a great self-massage tool whether you’re recovering from the holiday festivities or your latest workout. Its petite proportions make it an easy recovery tool to travel with—and the perfect size to slip into a stocking. Best of all, it hits just 40 decibels when pumping at full power, so you can still hear those silver bells tinkling. Available online and at various retailers
Daina Daniels’ decision to link her soap and body product business to outdoor pursuits was only natural. After all, the Colorado-born founder of Adventurist Soap Co. says she has “always been drawn to the majestic beauty of the Rocky Mountains. And there’s no better way to experience their grandeur than by tackling one of the state’s many fourteeners….” Turns out, summit-bagging celebrations are even better when followed up with a shower. That’s where Daniels’ 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 $10). Available online and at various retailers
The distillers at Tincup know that whiskey goes down better with a side of adventure. Glass bottles, however? Not so much. That’s why they introduced the Adventure Pack ($30) this fall. The new bottle houses the Denver spirit maker’s Original Mountain Whiskey in a double-walled, stainless-steel canteen made for trailside imbibing (read: It won’t break). Gift it to your favorite hiking, climbing, or camping pal, and they might be generous enough to share the contents of the 375-milliliter container on your next outing. Just remember that someone has to drive home. Available online and in various retailers
Add a smidge of something sweet to your loved one’s stocking with some chocolatey goodness from Piece, Love & Chocolate. The Boulder confectioner sells a host of single sweets in its Pearl Street storefront, plus a selection of samplers online, including the 11-Piece Truffle Heart Box (starting at $37). The variety pack features the shop’s 11 most popular flavors, including cookies and cream, basil hand-cut ganache, and Left Hand Milk Stout. Piece, Love & Chocolate, 805 Pearl St., Boulder
Pad Thai ($10), fettuccine Alfredo with chicken ($13), and shepherd’s potato stew with beef ($13)—sounds like a list of entrées at a delicious (if slightly eclectic) Boulder restaurant. Nope. It’s the menu for your buddy’s next backpacking adventure. Boulder’s own Backpacker’s Pantry cooks up delectable, just-add-water main courses, as well as breakfast and dessert fare, that are perfect for the trail. Available online and at various retailers
Cold temps and whipping winds are an unavoidable part of Colorado winters, but 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 their stocking for days when moisture and protection are needed (aka, every day). Or add a Tinted Lip Balm ($7.50) if your recipient likes a subtle touch of color. Available online
Sock it to everyone on your list with a pair of Sundowner Performance Wool Socks ($17) from Fort Collins-based Akinz. Made in the United States with an itch-free combination of merino wool and polypropylene, these soft-yet-durable crew socks are darn good at withstanding the rigors of the trail, yet their vintage, pine tree graphic is also stylish enough to pair with a pair of dress pants. Available online
Help your pal keep their hair out of their face and sweat off their brow while looking fresh with headwear from woman-owned, Monument-based HeadPeace. You have plenty of choices: headbands (starting at $14), neck gaiters ($24), hats ($28), and even options for kiddos ($10). But the best part is that each headband is made in Nepal by Purnaa, a fair-trade, ethical manufacturing company that employs marginalized individuals and survivors of exploitation. Available online
We know you hung stockings for Fido and Mittens, too. Fill them with something worthy of your four-legged family member, like the treats made by Winnie Lou, a Boulder brand that’s committed to taking the mystery out of pet food ingredients. The company’s new Bison Heart Bits for cats ($8 for a one-ounce bag) and Tidbits for dogs ($15 for a two-ounce bag) are made with a single ingredient: bison hearts from grass-fed Colorado bison. Available online