12.20.2011

Final Gift Guide - Someone Special

With Christmas looming, I thought it might be a good time to share a gift guide with ideas that you still have plenty of time to work on.  No order by deadlines or expedited shipping charges to worry about, and you don't have to stress about which size or color to choose.  Merry Christmas!



Unlike your siblings or your parents, you chose your special someone, and through good and bad you've made it together.  You know them better than anyone and depend on them in ways that you probably don't even realize.  As Christmas swiftly approaches, here are some thoughtful "gift" ideas for your someone special...

Presence

When life gets hectic and the expectations of the holiday season start to feel oppressive, it helps to have the support of your partner, even if that means nothing more than having another set of hands in the kitchen, a person to bounce ideas off of, or another set of eyes on the kids. 

A few years ago my husband wanted to make me a piece of furniture for Christmas.  He spent many December evenings in his shop and was even there until 3 AM on Christmas Eve to (almost) finish it for Christmas morning.  The table is beautiful and his intentions were so good, but all of that work left me chasing a toddler around alone on Christmas day while his exhausted Daddy dozed off as soon as he hit my parents' recliner.  I love the table, but I would have gladly traded it for a present and well rested husband.


Cooperation

With all of the traditions and obligations it's sometimes easy to complain about having to watch another pageant or attend another party or whatever, especially with all of the last minute preparations that you have on your shoulders.  It's great to edit out the stuff that isn't important or that doesn't fit, but try to remember that we all have our own sense of what makes a complete and fulfilling holiday. 

I know that my husband does not have the same appreciation for religion as I do, but he knows how much I love Christmas Eve, so he puts on his churchy clothes and sings along with the hymns and keeps the kids quiet so that I can enjoy my favorite tradition.  When he does it all without a single complaint and even looks as though he's enjoying it too, I feel very blessed. 

Ask your someone special what they're ideal Christmas would look like and see what you can do to help make that vision happen.  It could be as simple as whipping up a batch of grandma's cookies, taking a late night drive to look at lights, or downloading a certain song on itunes.  You won't know until you ask...


Patience and Understanding

As much as we try not to let things get out of hand at this time of year, there are all kinds of stressors that are beyond our control.  Expect delays, hold-ups and deadline anxieties and when you can, step in and help each other out.  I have a whole list of things that I'd like to do this week, but that probably won't get done.  My husband likely has a list just as long if not longer.  Neither of our lists is more or less important than the other, so we'll have to work to be understanding and patient with each other as the week goes on and our lists begin to compete with each other. 

A Willingness to Let Go

Didn't make those stars you had in mind?  Your truffle recipe was a bust?  Those jammie pants didn't make themselves?  With all of the gift giving and receiving that goes on no one will notice the difference. 

I remember being a kid and getting so excited to open each present.  It all seemed so great, but by the time we'd made our holiday rounds, I'd search my brain to try and remember all the stuff I'd been given.  I still have this feeling and try to remember it when I'm not able to come through on one of my "perfect" ideas.  Chances are that we're all being bombarded by Christmas cheer, so if your perfect something doesn't work out, let it go; chances are nobody will feel like it's missing.  Share this thought with your special someone.  It's liberating.    


Enjoy!

I speak for everyone at the Aurora Shoe Co. when I say that we wish you a very merry Christmas.  We'll "see" you again in the new year!

12.14.2011

Small Business Shopping Guide - Your Parents

In the weeks leading up to Christmas we'll be sharing gift guides focusing on small businesses and organizations that we feel good about supporting. We only recommend gifts and products that we would actually consider ourselves and hope that you find inspiration. Please feel free to add other ideas in the comments section - there are so many great businesses out there and we would love to know about your favorites!


Good old Mom and Dad - they deserve more than you could ever give them, but here are some ideas anyway...

for Mom

A handle free pitcher from Jasmine Pots to add a little handmade love to her morning coffee or the next cup of tea that you share ($15)

A cold hardy succulent wreath for her post-Christmas front door ($125)

A simple and pretty letterpress calendar ($40)

A cozy knitted merino and silk lace scarf that goes with almost everything ($39)



for Dad

A walnut travel mug masuline enough to be seen out with the guys for their morning meet and greet at the local coffee shop ($45)



The holiday chocolate assortment from Lake Champlain Chocolates to satisfy his sweet tooth ($29.50).  This snickers fudge would also do the trick.

  A book to enjoy in his favorite chair ($45)


for both of them

Good old handmade leather shoes.  Order online with a gift certificate or come in to the shop and we'll take care of you (and give you a discounted rate).



12.07.2011

Small Business Shopping Guide - Your Brother

In the weeks leading up to Christmas we'll be sharing gift guides focusing on small businesses and organizations that we feel good about supporting. We only recommend gifts and products that we would actually consider ourselves and hope that you find inspiration. Please feel free to add other ideas in the comments section - there are so many great businesses out there and we would love to know about your favorites!



He is straightforward and keeps things simple which somehow makes him hard to shop for.  He enjoys a good meal, an interesting design, and has always been curious about how things work.  Here are some gift ideas for your brother.



A waxed canvas pouch from Peg and Awl becuase everyone needs a stylish and practical place to keep their essentials.   ($38)


A shave kit with handmade beer soap by Dirty Deeds Soaps.  The beer aroma will take him back to his drinking, I mean rugby playing college days.  ($25)


A brass bottle key from Makr because it's cool, compact, and strung on a keychain, it will always be at the ready. ($11)



A vintage plaid shirt like the ones your dad probably wore from funkomavintage on Etsy.  ($24)


In paperback at this independent bookshop.  ($25)


Some other ideas:
  • Build him a personalized deck of cards using photos from your parents' albums
  • Buy him a gift certificate for the local bakery that brews his favorite cup of coffee
  • Save him time and money by getting a certificate to cover his next oil change
  • A Zingerman's Food Coma Gift Box.  Just follow the link; it sounds amazing. 

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