It’s that time of year where giving is at an all-time high and the search for that perfect present is on everyone’s mind. For some, gift giving is as natural as brushing your teeth every morning, and for others, it’s a task that causes hours of stress-induced browsing. To take some of the edge off of this strenuous thought process, the editors at 303 Magazine compiled a list of their local favorites.

Food 

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Craft Boner

Cost: $2-30

Website: Go here

Going into their fifth year, Craft Boner is the epitome of hilariously inappropriate but still fairly practical gifts. Owner and creator Kiwi Schloffel was searching for that perfect foul-mouthed card for a dear friend several years ago and saw a void in the humor department for our more questionable friends and loved ones. As a result, Craft Boner was born. Some of our favorites include the new rocks glasses ($12), pint glasses ($10) and tea towels ($12) all adorned with phrases and quotes that push the boundaries of the appropriate gift. Personal favorites include the “No Fucks Given” line, as well as the “Do your damn dishes” tea towel. Items listed will be sold online (some of them), at the Denver Holiday Flea on December 2-4 and the Beer & Cheer Market at Grandma’s House Brewery on December 10 & 17.

FROST’D icing

Cost: $9

Website: Go here

FROST’D is a Boulder-based company that created the first (and only) coconut oil snack frosting. Owner, creator and endurance runner Jessica Hamel realized that there weren’t any healthy and properly made sweet snacks out there. The FROST’D icing line is made from coconut oil and is the only gluten free, dairy free, and vegan icing that doesn’t use palm oil. The Mexican hot chocolate ($9) should be slathered on a toasty piece of bread, or go ahead and dip those pretzels right into the jar. Another favorite is the Madagascar Bourbon vanilla ($9) taken in teaspoonfuls and dissolved into a hot cup of coffee or straight into your mouth.

Savory Spice Shop Wing It

Cost: $13.95

Website: Go here

 There’s always that one family member or friend who, regardless of the occasion, must order wings. Savory Spice Shop (both Quebec Street and Platte Street locations) has put together the Wing It gift set ($13.95) for those in-home chefs adventurous enough to add their own flair to their fried or baked wings. This three pack gift set includes a buffalo wing sauce seasoning, ghost curry powder and a Cajun-style blackening seasoning which allows tasters to spice up their wings to their individual preferences.

EatDenver Dining Deck

Cost: $55

Website: Go here

Sometimes finding the right gift for the food enthusiast in your life can be difficult—they either have every gadget imaginable or you can’t figure out which restaurant to get a gift card to. The 2017 EatDenver dining deck ($55) has just been released with 60 restaurants represented on a deck of 56 cards. Each card offers $10 off each purchase of $25 or more, and all deals are valid from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017. Participating restaurants include Happy Bakeshop, Ace Eat Serve, Bistro Vendome, Ophelia’s, Stoic & Genuine and several more.

Allegro Coffee Panama Esmeralda 1500 Gesha

Cost: $14.99

Website: Go here

Allegro coffee is no stranger to brewing up some solid full body roasts. This holiday they’re debuting their Panama Esmeralda 1500 Gesha ($14.99) for those coffee lovers in your in life. The Ethiopian beans are sourced specifically from a plot that sits at 1500 feet of elevation. The floral aroma boasts exotic jasmine, bergamot and orange blossom which are balanced by its rich depth and full body.

Booze

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Mini Laws Whiskey Bottles

Cost: $36-38 (125-375 ml)

Website: Go here

Produced right off South Broadway in Denver, Laws first became known for its killer Four Grain Bourbon. Recently the distillery released three new variations that are so popular, they are hard to get your hands on. That’s why these mini bottles are perfect for any whiskey lover—they come not only with the famous Four Grain and their Secale Rye, but also with the new Triticum straight wheat whiskey and the Hordeum straight malt whiskey. Available for purchase at the Denver tasting room, these gift sets are also fairly reasonable at under $40 a pop whereas a regular bottle will set you back $60-$80.

Mini Christmas Ale Keg from Breckenridge Brewery

Cost: $19.99 for 1.32 gallons (approximately 14 beers)

Website: Go here

Booze is always better when it’s shared amongst friends, which is why this adorable mini Christmas keg is a great gift for your favorite socialite. Whether they have to host an upcoming New Year’s bash or a belated office holiday party, this little guy is not going to go to waste.

Decadent Saint

Cost: Prices vary by location. Online $20.21

Website: Go here

The Decadent Saints is a Boulder-based winery bottling up its Four Saints concentrated sangria line, which is meant to be diluted with bubbles or water to make up to five additional bottles. The best part is that even after the bottle has been popped, it will last on the counter for up to five months because of the 20.5 percent alcohol content. Favorites include the Decadent Saint white sangria ($20.21) with hints of mango, passionfruit, peaches, guava, grapefruit and spices. We recommend spicing up a light brew with a splash of the white sangria then pouring over ice.

Infinite Monkey Theorem Bubbles

Cost: $55

Website: Go here

After opening a little over eight years ago, Infinite Monkey Theorem has continued to bring the Mile High several of our camping, grilling and outdoor hangs favorites such as their canned dry hopped pear cider ($15 for a 6 pack) or the bottled Malbec ($25). If you have a friend like me who enjoys some good bubbles, check out their latest 2013 bottle of bubble universe ($55) with a mineral and citrus lead to apricot and brioche, finishing with salinity that pairs well with seafood. The ideal gift to split with that bubbly loved one in your life.

Odyssey Beerwerks OH SNAP Six Pack

Cost: Prices vary by location.

Website: Go here

Odyssey Beerwerks found great success with the release of their fall seasonal can the fluffy pumpkin toasted marshmallow porter, so in honor of the winter months, they have decided to debut their OH SNAP! spiced winter ale. This winter seasonal boasts of a rich malt base with biscuit accents, winter cookie spicing and a hint of orange, the perfect six pack for any seasonal beer enthusiast.

Great Divide Yeti Three Pack

Cost: $24.99

Website: Go here

When it comes to Great Divide, you really can’t go wrong with any of their brews. We’re most excited about the holiday Yeti three pack with a carabiner mug ($24.99) which comes the espresso oak aged Yeti, the chocolate oak aged Yeti and Yeti imperial stout. Each individual bottle is packed with rich flavor perfect for the cold weeks to come. Yeti three packs can be purchased at both Denver locations and Argonauts.

Passport Program Winter Warmer

Price: $20

Website: Go here

The winter warmer ($20) is back again and with it comes just under 40 participating venues all offering two-for-one drink specials. This is the perfect gift for that happy hour lover in your life because instead of searching for the best happy hour specials you can both enjoy sip specials from all your old and new favorites.

Selections by Food Editor Lucy Beaugard and Brittany Werges.

 


Fashion + Beauty

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Sneerwell Hand Etched Flask

Cost: $65-70

Website: Go here

If you’re looking for something unique to gift this Christmas, grab one of these custom, stainless steel flasks from The Sneerwell. Etched by hand and priced between $65-$70, these goodies are great for a quick swig or simply for off-beat decor.

Topo Designs Klettersack

Cost: $169-249

Website: Go here

In Colorado, it’s really easy to rack up the dollars when buying outdoor gear you may or may not need. But considering the high price tag of 99 percent of items sold at REI, it’s really important to pick and choose utilitarian goods that not only work, but have enough style that you won’t immediately want to replace it the second next season’s style roll out. Colorado’s Topo Designs has mastered the idea of form and function with their Klettersacks ($169) backpacks. Made with military grade nylon, leather and/or high-quality wool, these spacious backpacks can survive the outdoors, but also look right at home in the city. Plus, all their goods are US made so you can feel better knowing that even if you never take it to the backcountry, you’re still supporting your local community.

Winter Session Tote

Cost: $125-$150

Website: Go here

Made right at the edge of Denver’s Five Points neighborhood, Winter Session creates some seriously durable but adorable bags. The Zip-Top Tote is one of our favorites because while it looks super chic, it’s also made with 20 ounce waxed canvas and real leather handles, which makes it tough. Plus, the simple silhouettes paired with classic color palettes ensures that these bags won’t go out of style any time soon. 

Coloradical Clothes

Cost: $28-$250

Whether you’re a native or a native at heart, repping the CO is a popular trend here in the Centennial state. Luckily, Mile High designers have caught on and created some stylish looks that any “local” could love. Some of our favorites include this seriously cozy Coloradical Hat ($28) from Coloradical or this popular “Colorado Against the World” Cap ($30) sold at Abstract Denver. For apparel, anything from Mile High Clothing Co is a good bet especially this ironic “Surf’s Up” sweater ($52). And if you really want to commit, nothing is more Colorado than this state flag ski jacket ($250) from Belong Designs.

Selections by Managing Editor Brittany Werges and Fashion staff writer Aaron Rodriguez. 


Lifestyle + Culture

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Denver Art Museum Membership

Cost: $55

Website: Go here

You might have noticed that the Denver Art Museum has seriously kicked it up a notch when it comes to its special exhibits. From the current Star Wars display to the Samurai exhibit and 2014’s breathtaking Cartier showcase, there’s almost always a reason to visit. So if you find yourself shelling out extra cash for those  special exhibits, you should really consider a membership. Not only will you get free admission year-round for only $55 (even less if you do a dual membership), you will also get two free guest passes and a significant discount on ticketed events like Star Wars. Other perks include member-only events and previews so you can really feel like you’re in the know.

Local Art and Custom Concert Posters at Helikon

Photo: courtesy of John Vogl

Cost: $20-$110

Website: Go here

Helikon Gallery, aside from exhibiting work, also boasts artist studios upstairs. With a handful of talented artists who spend a great deal of their time at the studios, there is a delightful variety of affordable art that is for sale regardless of the gallery show downstairs. In particular, John Van Horn has several original pieces for sale made with acrylic and resin ($90-$130) which embody a subtle and settled melancholy—perfect for those who like their art to be moody and thoughtful. John Vogl also has a beautiful selection of prints, all designed by him and drawn with Micron pens. Many are custom made concert posters ($20-$40)—great gifts for music lovers—while others are whimsical scenes often using natural elements and bold colors. Vogl will be displaying his work at the Holiday Denver Flea under his moniker the Bungaloo, and you can find prints, stickers, pins and apparel featuring his art.

Escape Room Gift Certificate

Photo: Courtesy of Clue Room

Cost: $30

Escape Rooms are becoming hugely popular, with more than 12 in Denver alone. They are fun for almost all ages (barring small children) and a perfect way to share an experience rather than a material item. At $30 per person per room, you can buy one for every person on your gift list and still not break the bank. Check out our Fool-Proof Guide to Escape Rooms in Denver to decide which one to choose.

Charitable Goods from Hope Tanks

Cost: $50 or under

Website: Go here

Hope Tank, located at 64 Broadway in Denver, makes it possible for shoppers to give back with their gift purchases this holiday season. The shop is filled with products from companies and artisans who are philanthropic and environmentally responsible. Find great gifts, many for under $50 and many made by Denver locals, with part of the proceeds benefiting local charities.

Artifact Uprising Prints

Cost: $25

Website: Go here

Even in this digital age, there’s still nothing quite like a physical photograph. Denver’s own Artifact Uprising understands this notion, which is why the staff has dedicated their whole business to making just that. Whether it’s creating a beautiful baby book or just printing your favorite Instagram moments, Artifact Uprising makes creating hard copies of your most cherished memories easy. But unlike popular photo printing websites, Artifact Uprising uses thick 100 percent post-consumer waste recycled paper to turn your pictures into true mementos that’ll leave an impression above and beyond even your most liked IG photo.

Selections by Managing Editor Brittany Werges and Culture staff writers Cori Anderson and Lindsay Vanderwart.


Music

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“Red Rocks – The Concert Years” by G. Brown

Cost: $30-40

Local author and director of the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, G. Brown, just released a new book. The book opens with a foreword from Carlos Santana himself discussing how it feels to perform at the famous venue and follows with hundreds more Q&A’s with artists such as Paul McCartney, Bono and Dave Matthews. It also chronicles a sweeping history of Red Rocks with photography, newspaper clippings, historical documents and much more. If this sounds cool, also be sure to check out “Colorado’s Rock Chronicles,” “Colorado Rocks: A Half-Century of Music in Colorado” and “Telluride Bluegrass Festival: The First Forty Years” also by G. Brown. You can pick up your copy at Twist & Shout or Tattered Cover.

Twist & Shout Turntable Mats

Cost: $9.99

Website: Go here

Local record store Twist & Shout has two options for their very own custom-designed turntable mats. The one pictured above was designed by ex-Twist & Shout staff member Frankie Brack and even includes a cartoon drawing of the store’s owner, Paul Epstein (you can find him between David Bowie and the pink monster). Their other turntable mat (not pictured) includes a photo montage and was designed by Daniel Vincennie, also know as Denver hip-hop artist Extra Kool. This gift is an affordable option perfect for that vinyl lover with a passion for local music and art.

Vinyl Me Please Subscription

Cost: $23-$27 per month with one, three, six (gift only) and 12 month options available. Gift options also available here.

Website: Go here

Vinyl Me Please is a club for vinyl enthusiasts where every month a record is shipped to your door with corresponding art and a cocktail recipe. Each album is hand-selected by the local team in Boulder, Colorado, and many of them are prints exclusive to members of the club. In addition, you get access to the member’s store with even more of a selection, as well as the limited ability to swap a monthly one out that you may not be as excited for. A Vinyl Me Please subscription is the epitome of the gift that keeps on giving. With a monthly membership, gifts won’t just be dropped off for the holiday’s, they’ll continuously be delivered for months after.

Conscious Alliance Swag – Signed Memorabilia

Cost: $50-$200 suggested donation depending on item

Website: Go here.

Conscious Alliance is a Boulder-based non-profit that combines different forms of art for a charitable cause. The organization encourages concert-goers to bring 20 non-perishable items or a monetary donation to a show that Conscious Alliance will also be attending. In exchange, they give you a limited edition art print designed for the concert. The donations go towards the hungry as well as a Native American reservation nearby. Some local and not-so-local artists have also gotten involved and donated signed memorabilia to be sold for the cause. Featuring autographed merch from Big Gigantic, Greensky Bluegrass, STS9, Leftover Salmon, String Cheese Incident and more, there is a great selection. You can also browse their original concert prints here, canvas here and apparel here.

List compiled by Music Editor, Tyler Harvey.

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