ARCHIVED  October 1, 1996

Yes, the time has arrived to seek out new gift ideas

Remember last year when you were so overscheduled with meetings, out-of-town trips and community dinners that you didn’t have time for holiday shopping? And you swore you’d get started early next year? Well, it’s next year already.To help with your gift list, we’ve come up with a few ideas and general suggestions that could suit just about anyone, be it your boss, your spouse or your next-door neighbor’s 8-year-old kid.

Cocooning in comfort
It’s no secret that people are spending more time at home, so plan a few gifts that enhance the cocooning lifestyle.
Carey Hewitt, owner of The Cupboard in Fort Collins, says espresso machines and bread makers continue to be popular.
“Look around at all the new coffee shops; each corner has one,” she said. “Interest and knowledge translates into ‘I’d like to do that.'”
Espresso machines start at about $75 for boiler models and $150 for pump machines. Other coffee-related gift items: espresso cups, oversized cups and saucers, and yes, coffee.
Bread machines continue to win fans, and prices have dropped to the affordable $150 to $200 range. At this price, you can select from those that make horizontal loaves, let you program in your own recipe or make jam.
Sherie Brems, president of Cottonwood Cupboard at The Square in Greeley, says bagel-related items make great gifts.
“We have bagel bakers, bagel slicers, toppings for bagels, bagel spreaders and bagel keepers,” she said.
She also notes that cookware remains strong as a gift item, with newcomer All Clad expected to make a strong showing in the professional pots and pans category.In the garden
Ellen Zibell, co-owner of the Perennial Gardener in Fort Collins, has several suggestions for the gardener – and nongardener – on your list.
Let’s start with fountains.
“They’re made of natural materials, and the sound of water is really relaxing,” she said. “They’re good for the office or home, indoors or out.”
The price range is $100 to $500. Not in your budget? How about a gargoyle for $16.95? Be warned, though; they’re so hot, Zibell has trouble keeping them in stock.
If you have a Martha Stewart wanna-be on your list, you can’t go wrong with a pair of Felco pruners, which cost $49.95 and are guaranteed to last a lifetime. Those watching budgets might consider ergonomically correct Sierra Club garden tools, which cost $8.95 each. Zibell also sells $8.95 mud gloves that she says are among the best.
“When it comes to function, they deliver,” she said.
Forcing bulbs is fun. A paperwhite bulb and blue forcing glass costs a mere $8.95.
“These are good for people you don’t know well,” Zibell said.
Even if you know someone well, like a husband should a wife, Zibell has seen too many dumbfounded by the selection when told, “Anything from Perennial Gardener will be fine.” She plans to have a “wishes list,” similar to a bridal registry, to help solve that problem this year.There’s nothing like a good book
Many people head to a bookstore when all else fails. Jen Handelman, manager of Waldenbooks at the Frontier Mall in Cheyenne, predicts that “James Herriot’s Favorite Dog Stories,” to be released this fall, will be a big hit with holiday shoppers. Steven King and his alter ego, Richard Bachman, will also have two hardcovers out this fall, “Desperation” and “Regulators.” Handelman says they share similar characters and similar themes. Go figure.
Oprah Winfrey fans will surely be begging for her latest healthy-life tome, “Make the Connection,” and kids will be pleased with Shel Silverstein’s book of poetry, “Falling Up.” Handelman also recommends Jan Karon’s “Mitford Years” series.
“They’re just great, Walton-type family stories without a lot of sex and blood. They’re store favorites,” Handelman said.

For kids only
You can’t go wrong with traditional toys. Robin Stitzel of Children’s Mercantile in Old Town Fort Collins recommends multipurpose easels ($75) for young children and the Geo Safari, an electronic game with keyboard (starting at $100) for older children. Board games by Ravensburger are good choices for families with children of a variety of ages, she says, because they are cooperative games, not competitive games. “A 6-year-old can play with a 12-year-old and not be penalized for being young.”
Prices are in the $20 range. Corolle dolls, Brio Mec construction sets, arts and crafts and educational toys are additional gift suggestions for the young set.

Gems to make a strong showing
Dave Donaldson of Snyder Jewelers in Longmont predicts that diamond tennis bracelets will continue to be a big seller this season, and that colored rings – sapphires, rubies and opals, for example – will make a strong showing.
Those looking for something different may be intrigued by the Omega necklace, a half-round necklace with a pendant, or a ring that, thanks to a ball bearing, features a circle of diamonds rotating around a center stone.Sports crazy? Try these ideas
If you’ve had your eye on a treadmill, now is a good time to start dropping hints. Todd Garretson, owner/manager of Garretson’s Sport Center in Greeley, says treadmills ($400 to $1,000) are always popular this time of year.
Other items that find their way under Christmas trees are letter jackets for high schoolers, high-end shotguns, rifles and fly rods for husbands, high-end baseball bats for youngsters.
“We still sell water skis at Christmas,” Garretson said.
So, in a nutshell, anything goes.
ÿ

Remember last year when you were so overscheduled with meetings, out-of-town trips and community dinners that you didn’t have time for holiday shopping? And you swore you’d get started early next year? Well, it’s next year already.To help with your gift list, we’ve come up with a few ideas and general suggestions that could suit just about anyone, be it your boss, your spouse or your next-door neighbor’s 8-year-old kid.

Cocooning in comfort
It’s no secret that people are spending more time at home, so plan a few gifts that enhance the cocooning lifestyle.
Carey Hewitt, owner of…

Related Content