Cracking the Nut of the Art of Gift Giving 11

The holidays are joyfully upon us, along with the year’s top gift giving season. For some, this sends sugar plum fairies off, dancing gracefully in our heads, and for others, we cower under the stifling blanket of big box retailers and online shopping carts. Vowing to crack the art of gift giving this year, I decided to shop locally and shop thoughtfully, stepping away from my norm and into some of the beautiful stores, boutiques, and experience providers in our community. Shop Local!

BOYS WILL BE BOYS AND MEN NEED THESE TOYS

Lexington Collection – A collection featuring everything a man would need, want, and drool over to turn the everyday shave into a passion.  Set includes a chicly designed Power Razor, Shaving Brush, Razor and Brush Stand, Pre-shave Oil, Shaving Cream, and After-shave Balm.  The Art of Shaving offers just about any grooming product in this highly masculine and luxurious shop at Perimeter Mall, and most importantly at any price point. $425  Find At: The Art of Shaving  4400 Ashford Dunwoody Rd   TheArtOfShaving.com 

Trek 7.5FX Bicycle – A bicycle sure to bring your gent the gift of countless hours of alone, together, or family time on paved trails, the Trek 7.5FX will have him pedal by in style.  A best-seller and best-performer according to the family-owned and operated Sandy Springs Free-Flite bicycle shop of 47 years, this bike has an aluminum frame and is an extremely smooth ride.  $999.99  Find At:  Free-Flite Bicycles  6014 Sandy Springs Circle FreeFlite.com

Yeti Coolers, Tundra Collection – A new cult classic and rapidly leaving shelves everywhere (especially at our local Ace Hardware!) are the Yeti coolers and tumblers.  After polling several of my friends husbands, hands down this cooler is not only the most durable and enviable, but holds ice even in the hottest summer sun for 30-40 hours of lake, tailgating, camping and outdoor fun.  Large $479.98, Medium $349.98, Small $299.98  Hopper Leakproof Tote: $299.99  Find At: Ace Hardware 1316 Dunwoody Village Parkway. AceHardware.com

WOMEN WHO WANT TO FEEL GOOD YEAR ROUND

Handcrafted Jewelry Box with Secret Drawers, Artist: Scott Glandorf – Just as the historic “Everything Will Be Okay” Spruill Gallery has what I like to think of as a secret gift shop with a mecca of original gifts by local artists, so does this hickory front jewelry box with secret drawers handcrafted by Scott Glandorf. As a woman I’m always searching for something unique yet functional and lovely enough to display, and this jewelry box has it all. $155 Found At: Spruill Gallery  4381 Ashford Dunwoody Road. SpruillArts.org

Golden Finish Necklaces and Cuff handcrafted in Bali. With layering necklaces still on the cutting edge as well as cuffs, this set handcrafted in Bali can be worn together or separately to dress up my usual Mommy outfit of a t-shirt and jeans or pull together my LBD for a night out.  Pia’s eye-catching collections are ever changing and the owner seeks out handcrafted jewelry from independent artists from around the globe priced for ALL budgets. Long Necklace 18K Gold Brushed on Sterling Silver $480  Pendant Necklace 18K Gold Brushed on Sterling Silver $356.00  Leather and Sterling Silver Cuff  $548  Find At:  Pia  4400 Ashford Dunwoody Road. AtlantaPia.com

Fab’rik Plaid Shirt, Faux Fur Vest,  Fabulina Designs Necklace – As a mom on a budget I can always trust the ladies at fab’rik to find the perfect wallet friendly pieces on trend and pull them together such as this faux fur vest, plaid shirt, and beyond cool Fabulina necklace which I will be wearing well past the holidays and in high rotation.  Plaid Shirt-$58  Faux Fur Vest-$88  Necklace-$65  Find At: fab’rik  4520 Old Perimeter Way, Suite 150. FabrikStyle.com

Nora Fleming Dishes and Interchangeable Toppers – The Enchanted Forest, the ultimate shop for gift buying no matter what the occasion for most of us in Dunwoody, has recently started carrying the Nora Fleming line with serving platters and pasta dishes that have small interchangeable decorative toppers that sit on the rims for each occasion.  Bye-bye 50+ holiday platters hogging my cabinets and hello interchangable toppers. Dishes $30 – $54  Toppers $12.50 Find At: The Enchanted Forest  5580 Chamblee Dunwoody Road.  Facebook.com/TheEnchantedForestGA

GIVE THE KIDS AN EXPERIENCE THEY WON’T FORGET

I’m not adding one more toy to trip over in my child’s play area, and instead giving them something they will hold in their hearts and minds for years to come.

Private Night Hike – Give your child the gift of a chance to connect with nature after-hours at The Dunwoody Nature Center as the nocturnal animals take over, and nature truly runs its course. This leisurely, family oriented hike will follow trails around the wetlands and back forests.  Under the light of the stars and armed with flashlights, Nature Center educators will guide your family or private group hearing sounds of owls and bats and creeks, oh my! Find At: $12pp, $150 minimum. Dunwoody Nature Center  5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody  DunwoodyNature.org

First Time Camping Experience – Let your kid’s imagination soar by giving them the experience of a First Time Camper Program at 11 of the Georgia State Parks which offer kayaking, paddleboats, hiking trails, and fishing gear to use on lakes.  Aimed at families new to the outdoors, a park ranger will meet your family at the campsite to help set up, providing you with rental gear including a tent, chairs, stove, sleeping pads, roasting forks, and a lantern and get you set for your up to two-night stay. prices vary, gift cards start at $5 Find At:  Georgia State Parks  GAStateParks.org/firsttimecamper