By Laura Marrich, Steven Robert Allen, Christie Chisholm, Amy Dalness, Marisa Demarco, Devin D. O'Leary, Jennifer Wohletz
Deluxe Activity Pedometer, $29.99
Heart and Sole Sports
2817 San Mateo NE
Walk or jog off those eggnog pounds with a pedometer that keeps track of how many calories you've burned. With this one, you input the length of your stride and your weight, along with information on whether you're strolling, walking, jogging or running. That way, it'll compute distance and calories more accurately.
Sawdust Dragons, $18 each
Earth Treasures Us
3025 Central NE
When we found out how these dragons were made, we knew we had to include them in our gift guide. Each figure is hand-sculpted out of a blend of sawdust and wood glue. Cool, huh? Crafted by a cottage industry in northern Thailand, they vary in size from teeny-tiny to giant. Perfect for the dragon-lover in your family (we’ve all got one).
The Spy Shop
3023 Central NE
You need about four coats of the stuff, but if it works, this might be the perfect stocking stuffer for the lead-foot in your life. The spray goes on clear but has reflective properties. When a red-light camera takes your license plate's picture with its strong flash, some aspect of the digits could be obscured by the reflected light. Reviews on effectiveness are mixed, but it's legal everywhere in the United States except for Illinois. Happy speeding!
Indian Bloodstone Orb, $30
7008 Central SE
It sure would be nice to have the money to fork out for a $500 dragonfly fossil. That thing is cool. But this bloodstone sphere from India is more in our price range. If this orb were a planet, we would hop in the Alibi space jalopy and zip over for a long visit. Whaddya say, Earthlings? Should we migrate?
Gilmour Insulated Grip Sprayer, $8.19
7301 Menaul NE
Hunter Lumber is a charming holdout from another era. Shop for wood, tools or other construction items here, and you'll receive the benefit of a sales staff that actually knows what the heck they're talking about. Sure, it might seem like an odd place to shop for holiday gifts, but we're certain there's at least one person on your list who'll go gaga over this fancy heavy-duty sprayer. Or how about a pair of wire snips? Or a step ladder? Or a tub of wood putty? Or a nice slab of curly maple?
Enchantmints Music Box, $24.95
Another Place in Time
11814 S. Hwy. 14, East Mountains
“Wynken, Blynken and Nod/one night/sailed off in a wooden shoe/into a sea of dew.” A quote from the classic children’s nursery rhymes scrolls around the top of this illustrated music box. Pint-sized drawers slide from the box’s murals while a tiny sail-endowed shoe pops up and dances when the lid is raised. We fell in love with this little music box. Whoever you give it to (whether a child, parent-to-be or someone who just wants to feel like a kid again) will too.
Agate Geode Bookends, $31.95
1100 San Mateo NE (at Lomas)
Nature is cool. Since we were kids, we’ve been fascinated by these crystal-concealing rocks. How do they form? We have no idea. But what we do know is these amethyst-laced agate geode bookends would make a great gift for your friend the nature-lover, your sister the amateur geologist, your boss the avid book-reader or anyone who agrees that nature is cool.