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Creatively thoughtful: Local gift ideas for everyone

Creatively thoughtful: Local gift ideas for everyone

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Not all gifts need to be brand new. For some, the ideal gift to receive is something that carries a story. Jack’s Antiques in the Flagstaff Mall is a must-see when shopping for people like that. Owned by Jack and Vivian Delaporte, Jack’s Antiques stocks the best of Native pottery and rugs from years past as well as nostalgic collector’s items like Coca-Cola and Mickey Mouse merchandise. Jewelry, photographs, China sets, musical instruments, sculptures and more that have stood the test of time fill the spacious shop, with many items on sale at a reduced price and payment plans available. Gift cards are also offered for purchase.

As the website puts it, “In a world of disposable mass produced stuff, it’s surprisingly affordable to decorate our lives with quality pieces that encourage us to a life of grace and appreciation.”

Arizona Handmade Gallery

20 N. San Francisco St.

Early this year in February, Flagstaff staple Arizona Handmade Gallery celebrated its new location in the former home of Puchteca Indian Goods. A mainstay of the community for almost 30 years, husband and wife team George Averbeck and Holly Gramm purchased Arizona Handmade in 2010, combining it with Averbeck’s glass blowing studio, Fire on the Mountain.

Carrying on the legacy of Puchteca owner Steve Beiser, Gramm has worked to maintain relationships with Native artists to continue displaying their work along with other local vendors in the gallery. Upon entering the well-lit shop, sunlight glinting off Averbeck’s handmade vases and wine glasses draw visitors to the left. Swirls of color blend together to create one-of-a-kind glassware shoppers won’t be able to find at big box stores. Throughout the rest of the expansive gallery, dainty jewelry and culturally important Indigenous pottery can be found, all just waiting for their new homes where they can be appreciated for the works of art they are.

Crystal Magic

1 N. San Francisco St.

On the corner of San Francisco Street and Route 66 in downtown Flagstaff, Crystal Magic beckons passersby in to browse the glittering crystals on display in the windows. Touted as the premier stop for New Age gifts, crystals, incense, amethyst, quartz, druzy aura and more, the shop—which was established in Sedona in 1986 before expanding north—is family owned and operated, and strives to provide customers with a personal and human experience whether shopping online or in person.

Singing bowls line the east windowed wall along with a wide selection of incense. Loose gems of all colors and sizes are available for a wide variety of uses and books on crystals, dream interpretation, aromatherapy, auras and more line the back wall. The shop is a veritable feast for the eyes with something for anyone interested in the potential for alternative healing or even people who have an appreciation for rocks. A hands-on gift idea includes break-your-own geodes.

Jack’s Antiques

4650 N. US-89

Not all gifts need to be brand new. For some, the ideal gift to receive is something that carries a story. Jack’s Antiques in the Flagstaff Mall is a must-see when shopping for people like that. Owned by Jack and Vivian Delaporte, Jack’s Antiques stocks the best of Native pottery and rugs from years past as well as nostalgic collector’s items like Coca-Cola and Mickey Mouse merchandise. Jewelry, photographs, China sets, musical instruments, sculptures and more that have stood the test of time fill the spacious shop, with many items on sale at a reduced price and payment plans available. Gift cards are also offered for purchase.

As the website puts it, “In a world of disposable mass produced stuff, it’s surprisingly affordable to decorate our lives with quality pieces that encourage us to a life of grace and appreciation.”

Museum of Northern Arizona

3101 N. Fort Valley Road

The Museum of Northern Arizona was founded by Harold S. Colton and Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton in 1928 to protect and preserve the natural and cultural heritage of northern Arizona through research, collections, conservation and education. More than a decade later, the museum remains a landmark institution dedicated to working alongside Indigenous populations of the Colorado Plateau to ensure healthy relationships. Just a quick peek into the gift shop and the support is clear. From Navajo blankets sourced directly from the artists to unique handcrafted jewelry and Christmas decorations, MNA’s gift shop offers a little bit of everything for the Southwest enthusiast.

Shoppers can get an even more personal experience with the upcoming Winter Market held on the museum campus the first two weekends of December. The socially distanced market will see select Native artists such as Jonah Hill—whose jewelry is featured on page 7—set up in small cabins while visitors enjoy the crisp, winter air. See About Town on page 7 for times and more information.

Old Barrel Tea Company

21 N. San Francisco St., www.oldbarreltea.com

The women-run Old Barrel Tea Company was opened by matriarch Dana Huffmon and her daughters Bailey, Paola and Nenada in 2015 as a way to promote tea as something more than just a flavorful drink. A three-time cancer survivor, Dana stands by the effects of white tea for helping her get through treatments. Now, she wants to share the benefits with everyone.

Flagstaff marks Old Barrel’s seventh location, which opened downtown this past summer, joining cities like Cloudcroft and Albuquerque in New Mexico, and Durango and Golden in Colorado. Tea varieties boast a number of health benefits, like increased focus for black tea, or relief from headaches and fatigue with pu erh tea. But Old Barrel’s offerings don’t stop at tea. Essential oils, spices, raw honey—which also boasts a number of health benefits like antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that can help fight acne, sooth sore throats and reduce inflammation—jewelry and other gift items can be purchased from the small shop as well. Each location strives to stock items from local vendors to better reflect its community’s interests. There’s sure to be something fit for even the hardest-to-shop-for friends and family members here.

Olive the Best

18 E. Birch Ave.

Another family-owned business that began with a health story is Olive the Best. Scott McPeak and his son Scotty bought the olive oil shop in 2018 after McPeak Sr. turned to healthy eating to combat weight-related diabetes. He came across an olive oil store in Bisbee and discovered how delicious simple eating could be. The Flagstaff tasting room offers a wide variety of ultra premium olive oils perfect for use as an Italian bread dipper, pasta dressing, meat marinade, a healthy alternative to butter and more. Unique flavors of balsamic vinegars, like blood orange and blackberry ginger, are fit for drizzling on fruit, ice cream and cheese or mixing into water for healthy flavored water.

Pre-packaged gift sets make shopping for loved ones easy, whether it’s the Tuscany four-pack, which includes Tuscan herb olive oil, traditional 18-year aged balsamic, garlic olive oil and Neapolitan herb balsamic, or the Sweet Tooth four-pack, made up of dark chocolate balsamic, blood orange olive oil, cranberry pear balsamic and Persian lime olive oil. Custom gift sets are also available for purchase in store or online.

Lowell Observatory’s Starry Skies Shop

1400 W. Mars Hill Road

The night sky has beckoned to humans for millennia. Historic Lowell Observatory aims to ignite curiosity in young and old space fans alike. Outside of VIP stargazing experiences offered during the observatory’s phased re-opening, The Starry Skies Shop is available for online ordering to fulfill the gift needs of family members and loved ones, providing fun ways to keep our minds exploring what is possible beyond Earth while we spend more time at home than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic.

From telescopes and STEM kits to books, puzzles and more, let Lowell’s Starry Skies Shop inspire a little bit of wonder this holiday season.

ZANI Cards & Gifts

107 W. Phoenix Ave.

If the name wasn’t enough of a giveaway, ZANI Cards & Gifts has a wide selection of unique gifts and handcrafted cards that won’t be found at the typical greeting card rack. Nestled next to Biff’s Bagels, the small store front hides an expansive shop that leaves plenty of room for social distancing while shoppers pick out items guaranteed to leave a smile on their loved ones’ faces. Complimentary gift wrapping is also offered.

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Back home in Flagstaff, retirement resumed, Buck Wickham looks none the worse for wear. Another fire season will come, soon enough, and he will sure as heck be there once more in the midst of the action. But for now, Buck in winter is content to dust off his golf clubs, scratch his beloved Aussie Shepherd, Bessie, behind the ears, trade his cowboy boots for hiking boots or, really, just chill and reflect on another hot, dry summer on the front lines now safely in the books.

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