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Five Cool Ideas for Last-Minute Gifts

Ho, ho ho! Christmas is coming. Still need something for your crafty aunt, food loving granddaughter, or wine aficionado husband? We’ve got you covered.

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By Carrie Havranek; Photos by Laini Abraham

 

Ok, people. Christmas is in less than five days. Stumped for someone who’s hard to buy for? We bring you five cool ideas for last-minute gifts, organized based on hobbies and interests, for stores and businesses that are exclusively locally owned.  Please, feel free to share your own ideas and discoveries in the comments field; we want to hear from you.

The Wine Lover: We’re blessed with several great wineries within driving distance, whether that means Franklin Hill and Cherry Valley Vineyards (to the north), Clover Hill (to the southeast) or Galen Glen  and its amazing ice wine (to the northwest), we’ve got plenty of them. You can find wines from many of these proprietors onsite at their respective locations; some, like Franklin Hill, have satellite shops scattered through the Valley.

The Active/Outdoorsy/Sporty Type: Have you visited the new Easton Outdoor Company, which sells brands such as The North Face and can suitably gear you up for any indoor or outdoor adventure? How about the recently doubled-in-size Aardvark Sports Shop store in Bethlehem and its location in Stroudsburg, known for its extensive selection of running shoes–or the Finish Line for running gear in Emmaus. Or how about the stellar service at Cycle Fitters in Easton, the cycle shop/coffee hangout in Emmaus called South Mountain You could shop at national chain sporting good stores, but wouldn’t you rather spend your money at a place that values service and selection and staffed by people who actually know what they’re doing? I would.

The Spa Goer: The Lehigh Valley has many different types of spas—day or otherwise—and we’re blessed with fantastic massage therapists and body workers. Offer your favorites in the comments field. Oliver’s in Allentown consistently gets top billing, and Healing Hands in Bethlehem has been helping others feel better since 1997, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.

The Artsy-Creative: Here’s another category where the Lehigh Valley shines. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: look on the walls of your favorite restaurant or bar or coffee shop. You’re bound to find the work of local artists. Art makes a great gift for the right person. Walk up and down Main Street and SouthSide in Bethlehem, and you’ll find galleries such as Snow Goose and Monsoon, respectively. (Don’t miss the one-of-a-kind jewelery at Artfully Elegant, next door to Monsoon). Unusual, original clothing design is the domain of Marla Duran. Easton’s got some spots, new and old and in between, such as iMiJ, Connexions Gallery and Mercantile Home.

The Food Lover. Here’s where it’s really easy to go a little crazy. How about a gift certificate for your loved one’s favorite restaurant? Or how about a pair of bottles of high quality olive oil and vinegar from Seasons tap room in Bethlehem? Or fantastic coffee (gift basket optional) from Troy at the Cosmic Cup in Easton? Or what about any of the many chocolatiers in the region, whether that’s Tallarico’s Chocolates, the Chocolate Lab and Josh Early in Bethlehem, the Carmel Corn Shop in Easton. If all else fails, and you need something for a teacher/sitter/mail carrier/spouse/anyone, the gorgeously decorated apples (chocolate, caramel, nuts, you name it) that Jo Moranville creates at the Quadrant are always a hit.

Carrie Havranek is a writer in Easton who is almost finished her Christmas shopping.

 

Gourmet Caramel Apples at the Quadrant in Easton, PA | Lehigh Valley

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