A friend recently posted on Facebook that she went Christmas shopping to the stores at 119th and Black Bob in Olathe. She hated it! So much traffic, a vast parking lot, long checkout lines and crowds everywhere. There are some times you just have to make a trip to a big box retail store for some specific generic item on someone’s list. But if you want to get something a bit different…and have a pleasant holiday shopping experience at that same time… head to the Brookside shops centered around 63rd Street and Brookside Boulevard. Here you will find the usual–and the unusual–gifts for those on your list. And make your first stop Stuff.
Browsing through Stuff I found so many very cool gift ideas–at all price ranges. I hear guys complain about how hard it can be to buy for a girlfriend, a mom, a sister. Not at this store. No matter what age–Stuff has something for her. And it’s all unique, much of it made locally, and the staff is super-friendly, offering great suggestions if you are stumped. Here’s just a few of the things I saw that would make a special gift: brightly patterned baby burp cloths; blue striped fingerless mittens; oversized luggage tags; cord wrap for USB cords; sparkly hand clutch purse; custom number/letter tiles for your home; framed wall earring display (great for a teen); rich lotions and soaps (a splurge for the stressed); one of a kind ornaments; jewlery!!!; and…my favorite…the (well made, cotton) Brookside sweatshirt, available now as a zip up hoodie or pullover ($48). The Stuff staff is personable, friendly, and will gift wrap your purchase!
I also stopped at World’s Window for some (locally made) ZUM soap. This is a great shop as well– a focus on ethinic clothing, lots of pretty scarves and bright clothes, plenty of jewelry, folk art, textiles and imported decor. When I checked out I received a coupon valid for 20% off during the after Christmas sale–which will come off their already reduced after Xmas prices! They will gift wrap your purchase here as well.
A few other ideas for those who may be hard to shop for:
Tasty Italian delights from Bella Napoli; all natural products from Brookside Barkery for the dog lover; decadent Christopher Elbow chocolates from The Roasterie; a Christmas pop-up book from The Reading Reptile; a classic toy or game from Brookside Toy and Science; unusually scented candles from 5B and Co candles. And there are a few chain stores sprinkled in that also offer gift options: Baskin Robbins (gift card stocking stuffer); Hallmark card shop (ornaments, wrap and ribbons); Beauty Express (hair/nail salon products). Another gift I really appreciate as a working mom–gift cards for a take out dinner. That gives me a night off from cooking–what mother doesn’t appreciate that? Carmen’s Cafe, Jalepeno’s or Blue Grotto are good options, but don’t forget Julian for a nice evening out dinner option. At Julian I want to dine in with my husband…and no kids!