Finding the exact right gift for a special person is energizing. For me it is an expression of really knowing someone. Personally, I like experiences, especially when they involve food, but sometimes the right present takes another form. Finding it is one of the joys of giving. Thurston County is rich with businesses owned by locals. Times have been challenging and everyone can use a boost. You can make a big difference when you spend your dollars locally. Whether you want to find something to eat, wear, sit on, or look at, there are people right here to help. Shop local this holiday season, you won’t be disappointed.
Gabi’s Olympic Cards and Comics is a paradise of games, puzzles, books, figures, and all sorts of fun for kids of all ages. The popular “Avatar: The Last Airbender” has toys, books, figures and games. Your family might experience an Eurogame such as Carcassone, a board game with indirect player interactions and abstract physical components rather than the typical American-style games with luck, conflict and drama. Have a Funko POP fan? She has the largest selection in the area!
They are also doing their annual Adopt-A-Family event as well. They have over 200 local families for the holidays. You can get in on the action by checking the Gabi’s Kids Facebook page. Adopt a Family, or make individual donations at the store and online.
Gifts for Foodies
Nopales, Mexican cheeses, corn husks and spices galore await you at Ramirez Authentic Mexican Store. Fresh ingredients for salsa, plenty of sauces from which to pick and other tastes of Mexico are excellent choices for the chef on your list. There are also take-out and eat-in options when you want someone else to do the cooking.
Restaurant owners that live in our community also employ teams of people who also live here. Gift cards from these businesses are fun to receive. Here are a few good choices, but almost any local restaurant offers gift card or certificates, which make perfect stocking stuffers or hostess gifts as well.
- Ricardo’s Kitchen + Bar is known for its sexy beef and friendly vibe.
- Cynara Restaurant & Lounge features Mediterranean inspired dishes with quality and sustainability in mind at all times.
- Mayan Mexican Restaurants have three locations to satisfy your Mexican cravings.
- MiSo is fit, fast and fresh and makes your meal personalized in three locations.
- Iron Rabbit Restaurant & Bar offers casual dining with thoughtful choices.
- Dirty Dave’s Pizza Parlor is a family and community classic.
Of course, Bayview and Ralph’s Thriftway have groceries, but they also carry kitchen gadgets, local foods, and décor that you can find while doing your regular shopping. Sometimes I just by-pass these sections, but not during the holidays.
Gifts For Those Who Like to Pamper
Know someone who loves spa day?
Feeling frazzled? Do you know someone who is? Self-care with a spa or massage experience is a lovely gift. Related products like lotions and aromatics are useful gifts. Maybe a body-moving class would be appropriate for one of your friends.
- Ballaura Wellness Spa elevates your massage experience from the moment you enter the building and lasts beyond your treatment.
- T-Spa Nails on Cleveland takes care of all ages and has a mimosa for the adults.
- Radiance Herbs & Massage is a downtown Olympia favorite with eco-friendly and socially minded products and services.
- Hot Yoga Olympia will warm to the bones. Do you know someone wanting to try it out?
- Pilates at Play at Levity Loft is another amazing body-moving place.
- Books can be about self-care, but books can take you around the universe in your imagination. Stop in Orca Books Co-Op or Browsers Bookshop.
Gifts for Everyone
Even if you have someone difficult to shop for, Thurston County has locally-owned businesses with savvy owners that can find you something for anyone. It’s another great reason to shop local.
Owner Laurie Johnson fashions 10,000 square feet of space into themed displays that evoke smiles and memories. Courtyard Antiques & Home Décor takes you to a vast universe where you can find one-of-a kind gifts. From cigar boxes to hats, party gowns to salt and pepper shakers and so much in-between. Mary Corso, the original owner who still works in the store, teaches people how to use chalk paint. What a fun gift for HGTV enthusiasts who will love surveying all the home décor.
You don’t have to be a senior to take classes at The Olympia or Lacey Senior Centers. Getting a membership does entitle a person to discounts but activities are open to the public. The Barn at Panorama is again open to the public. I have it on good authority that because space is limited, items for sale are of excellent quality even though all preowned. Dishes, linens, furniture, and household items are just the ticket for unique gift giving.
The Olympia Farmers Market has all kinds of handmade gifts, perfect for anyone on your list.
Use all your senses on your holiday shopping, keep dollars in our community and have fun.