Shop local: Edmonds merchants share gift-giving ideas


Hummingbird feeder from Garden Gear
Hummingbird feeder from Garden Gear

When it comes to variety, you can’t beat Edmonds for an incredible selection of gift ideas for the holidays. Whether your list includes the avid gardener, art aficionado, book lover, fitness enthusiast or that special tot eagerly awaiting St. Nick, you can find something for virtually everyone in our town, which, by the way, includes not only the lovely downtown but also myriad shops in other neighborhoods.

My Edmonds News asked local merchants to share popular items they are selling this season, as well as tried-and-true favorites, and here’s what they said:

Garden Gear, 102 5th Ave. N.: It may be cold outside, but a true gardener knows that spring is just around the corner. According to owner Lili Hall, the store’s hot sellers this year include:

– A hand-blown glass hummingbird feeder on an iron stake.

– A wind chime with natural stones. “The tones are soothing and uplifting,” she said.

– Pot Pads, which come in four colors and fit under any pottery, allowing air flow and preventing rings from forming underneath.

Teri’s Toybox, 420 Main St.: When shoppers come looking for the “hot new toy,” Teri Soelter, owner of Teri’s Toybox, has a simple answer: Whatever it is, she doesn’t carry it. Instead, her Edmonds shop offers high-quality toys that you aren’t likely to find at the large chain toy stores. Some of her favorites:

– Plan City toys, made from replenishable rubberwood and free of wood preservatives, allow children to build a city with sets that include railways, roadways and parking garages.

– Bananagrams, a word game similar to Scrabble that requires no pencil, paper or board.

– Erector Sets (yes, these are the same toys that several generations of children have played with, and are still a family favorite)

Erector Set at Teri's Toybox
Erector Set at Teri’s Toybox

– And how about a truly “Green” toy truck: a recycling truck made from –what else?– recycled milk cartons.

At the Edmonds Bookshop, 111 5th Ave. S., owner Marykay Sneeringer shared her favorite titles for gift-giving:

– “Lacuna”by Barbara Kingsolver

– “Wolf Hall” by Hilary Mantel

– “Stones into Schools” by Greg Mortenson (author of “Three Cups of Tea”)

– “Puget Sound Through an Artist’s Eye” by Tony Angell

– “The Stick Man” by Julia Donaldson

– “Whidbey Island’s Special Places” by Dan Pedersen

Sneeringer said it’ss their passion ” to match books with all the people on your list.” And she added that the Bookshop is selling a non-book item that makes people laugh: “Handerpants, underwear for your hands.”

There are plenty of entertaining books and toys to make the holiday season come to life. You can check out fun and educational articles to get your creative juices flowing.

Limited edition print of Edmonds in the 1930s
Limited edition print of Edmonds in the 1930s

Edmonds history buffs and art lovers alike are sure to appreciate 4th and Main: Edmonds  in the 1930s, a limited edition giclee print of a painting by Edmonds artist Andy Eccleshall. You can order the print framed or unframed.

For truly unique items designed for the woman in your life check out, founded by Edmonds mother Melinda Knight and featuring products designed by women inventors. Among the gift ideas: a tiny brush for cleaning sippy cup straws, a mitten that fits on the handle of a baby jogger, and bejeweled flip flops.

Men who hate to shop will want to visit C’est la Vie, 320 Fifth Ave. S., from 5-9 p.m. Tuesday when C’est la Vie and Arista Wine Cellars partner for their Guys Night Promotion featuring beer, wine, brats on the barbecue, a “guy movie” and, oh yes, time for shopping for that special someone on your list.

Spilled bead necklace from the Fabric of Life Boutique
Spilled bead necklace from the Fabric of Life Boutique

And here’s a way to help your special someone get in shape and support two community causes at the same time: Harbor Square Athletic Club is donating half of its December joining fees to the Edmonds Food Bank and the Edmonds Boys and Girls Club.

Finally, Carol Schillios captivated our hearts when she spent four months on the roof to raise money for her Fabric of Life Foundation. Carol is off the roof, but you can continue supporting her work by buying a richly dyed African print scarf, a colorful spilled-bead necklace or other fair-trade items from the Fabric of Life Boutique at 523 Main St.

Do you have a favorite place to shop for the holidays in downtown Edmonds? Tell us, and we’ll share it on My Edmonds News!

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