While it’s no secret that online shopping is up, especially during the holiday season, there are many advantages for shopping local and brick-and-mortar. From supporting small business owners and the community to picking up a great gift at the last minute, “slow shopping” still has its advantages.
When it comes to finding a gift for that hard-to-please person or even someone who deserves a gift as unique as they are, CtrCity Anaheim has it covered. From the foodie to the pop-culture enthusiast, here are just a few of the coolest gifts around town this season:
Our favorite Japanese bakery, Okayama Kobo, regularly features the whimsical art of Amelia Haru. In addition to adorable “Kobo Kuma” enamel pins ($10), the bakery has an “Enjoy the Little Things” tote bag along with an assortment of original greeting cards ($5). And Washi tape with Haru’s designs is just the right stocking stuffer size.
Right next door, at Bizen Beer Bar, a collection of colorful original sharpie drawings called “Shisa My Way…” by Tustin restaurant owner Mayumi Vargas. Shisa refers to the guardian lions of Okinawa, Japan, where Vargas is originally from. Original drawings are $50 each and postcards are available at 5 for $20. Proceeds from the sale go to support the reconstruction of Shuri Castle in Okinawa, Japan.
Gorgeous mid-century style artwork by MUZEO Guest Services Manager and artist Baggio Ardon also grace mugs with 10% of proceeds donated to charitable causes. The shop also features jewelry by local artists including MJK bracelets by young jewelry-maker Madison Kelly.
Beloved local Anaheim artists Kevin & Jody (they have a long relationship designing for Disney) collaborated with Anaheim Brewery on $5 “Merry Krampus” pint glasses in their signature style. You can also find items created by the design duo at Pop Comics.
For the Train-Obsessed Littles
Most kids know what they want for the holiday gifting season and aren’t afraid to share the list. However, for the giver, watching a child’s eyes light up when receiving the unexpected is a true delight. MUZEO’s carefully curated gift store often reflects its featured exhibitions. For the holiday season, they present their traditional MuzeoExpress train exhibition through January 26th. For kids who love trains, gifts abound from full-sized to mini-train conductor teddy bears, to MUZEO souvenir train whistles, to Thomas the Train memorabilia.
Over at the Packing House, Seed People’s Market kiosks greet you right as you enter the second floor of the building. Year-round the kiosks and its companion shop feature eco-conscious housewares, decorations and candles. Cute and quaint little gifts from kazoos to toy boats by Green Toys and Jelly Cat stuffed animals are simply a few of the adorable and unique toys for sale.
For the Vinophile and Beer Lover
This month, Colony Wine Merchant offers a trio of distinctive wines from Tres Sabores, a family-owned vineyard in Napa Valley. One of the first vineyards to be certified organic in California, the trio consists of a 2018 sauvignon blanc 2018 rosė and Porque No, their 2015 2015 red blend. Purchasing the three together gives you savings.
Fun, superhero-themed brewery Unsung in the MAKE building might have a few bottles of seasonal beer like their Pumpkin Spice Doctor Goodnight. Signature stemless wine glasses complete a gift package and to top it off, wooden Christmas coasters with the Unsung logo and a built-in bottle opener at only $6—a steal!
A neat way to package a gift of wine or local beer is in a big growler (Anaheim Brewery has some beautiful, authentic German growlers) or in a custom wine bag with accessories also at the Seed shop kiosk in the Packing House.
For the Pop Culture and Sci-Fi Fan
With the opening of Requiem Coffee, CtrCity is quickly becoming a hub of the fantastical and fun. The fantasy-gamer-sci-fi themed locale has Star Wars merch, aesthetic gamer dice, and vinyl collectible Dungeons and Dragons figurines.
Over at Decades bar and grill, you can relive the eighties and nineties with regular live tribute and cover band entertainment. Pop in to pick up a gift certificate of any amount to cover dinner or ask for a VIP package which will include admission for the night’s entertainment.
No need to look anywhere further than Pop! Comics to meet all your fandom needs. Comic compendiums are all the rage and at 60 dollars a book of an entire comic book series is a better value than individual comic books. It also makes for a nicer gift. Pop has a large collection of Funko figurines including special edition Star Wars characters donned in holiday attire.
Something for Everyone
Not sure you got everything covered? Not only is there much more to explore in retailers mentioned above, but plenty more gifting ideas in CtrCity. Mark your calendars for Saturday, December 14th for the Packing District’s annual Night Market from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM. It will feature crafts, artisans and a free screening of the movie Elf. Beat that Amazon!