Gift Guide 2013 | Gift Guide | Salt Lake City Weekly
Support the Free Press | Facts matter. Truth matters. Journalism matters
Salt Lake City Weekly has been Utah's source of independent news and in-depth journalism since 1984. Donate today to ensure the legacy continues.

Culture » Gift Guide

Gift Guide 2013

101 gifts for guys & gals from Utah's local shops



You did it. You waited in line, you threw elbows and you got that 55-inch TV for just $100. Well ... now what?

If you’re feeling a little ... empty, you’re not alone. All that late-night jostling doesn’t pair well with massive amounts of turkey. Plus, spending a bunch of dough on personal electronics or giving your mom a handful of DVDs (yeah, she loves Bridesmaids, but she saw the same Walmart ad you did; she knows you paid $2 for it) isn’t exactly the stuff holiday carols were written about.

If you want that feeling again—city sidewalks, frosted windowpanes, silver bells—there’s an easy solution: Shop local.

Utah’s local shops are owned by your friends and neighbors, who’ve hand-picked what they sell. There’s always something new, something you didn’t know existed but that, holy cow, is exactly the kind of thing that will make someone’s day when they find it under the tree or unwrap it at the holiday party.

It’s more than just a gift. It’s a sign that you know them—that you pay attention when he talks about his slightly unhealthy obsession with cats, that you know she looks good in blue.

And it’s more than just a business for these shopowners. It’s a dream. It’s devotion. They care about every item they place on their shelves. Their passion—and your support of it—makes Utah a little more fun, a little more diverse and a little bit better of a place to be.

I visited more than 50 of Utah’s local shops to select the 100-plus gifts featured in this guide—and I could have kept going. I barely scratched the surface of what’s out there, but these suggestions (sorted by girls, guys and everyone) will get you started on your way to true holiday fulfillment.

So, don’t call Christmas off. It’s still possible to salvage the season.

View Local Gifts for:


Supernatural Law Book $10.95

Lawyers might be the original creatures of the night, but most still have a sense of humor. These vintage-style comics, written and illustrated by Batton Lash, offer plenty of true-to-life legal quandaries to chew on, while providing laughs as heroes Wolff and Byrd, Attorneys for the Macabre, find justice for unusual clients such as Dracula, Swamp-Thing and a tree monster.
Night Flight Comics, 6222 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-263-1940,

Spider Magnet $6

These beautiful metalwork arachnids, handcrafted by local Spyder Haven Creations, feature bottle-cap bodies and make a (mostly) nonthreatening addition to a fridge or filing cabinet.
Spoox Boutique, 3453 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-867-2777

AeroPress Coffee & Espresso Maker $32.99

Nothing starts a day in the canyons like a smooth cup of coffee—and nothing spoils a morning around the campfire like spending 15 minutes cleaning grounds out of the French press. But the award-winning AeroPress makes coffee or espresso in under 30 seconds with a unique method that eliminates bitterness, and the plastic contraption is easy to transport and a snap to clean.
Kirkhams, 3125 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-486-4161,

Capri Blue Volcano Candle $16-$28

When it comes to a housewarming gift, not any old candle will do. The Volcano pairs elegant packaging with an intoxicating, yet subtle fragrance of tropical fruit, sugared citrus and something undefinable that’ll make a new house into their home sanctuary.
Apartment 202, 955 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-355-0228,

Secret Message Pills $7

Now that the NSA is watching your every online move, it’s becoming harder and harder to communicate with secret lovers or fellow agents. But don’t swallow that cyanide capsule just yet—these tiny, realistic-looking pills conceal a roll of paper that can be used to pen a message meant for your eyes only, whether that’s a poem or an escape plan.
The Children’s Hour, 898 S. 900 East, Salt Lake City, 801-359-4150,

Hyperbole & a Half $17.99

Allie Brosh’s hugely popular Web comic uses simple Paintbrush illustrations to tell hysterical stories of unfortunate situations and awkward moments—as well as to explore tougher subjects such as depression. Her first book is 50 percent brand-new content, plus classics from her blog, making it an ideal way to introduce her work or feed someone’s love of it.
Weller Book Works, 607 E. 600 South, Trolley Square, Salt Lake City, 801-328-2586,

Wine-bottle Glass $19.95

That first glass or two of wine is easy enough to pour, but the fourth and fifth presents a challenge even for the most adept wino. You can eliminate his stress and mess with this glass, which will let him pour the entire bottle in one go.
Cahoots, 878 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-538-0606

Card Games $4.60-$14

The presents have been unwrapped, breakfast has been eaten … and it’s only 9 a.m. Head off boredom—or Uncle Bart’s tradition of starting uncomfortable conversations about everyone’s politics and life choices—by tucking a pack of cards into everyone’s stocking.
The Queen Bee, 270 25th St., Ogden, 801-791-0241

Cholula Cactus $15

Though cacti are a good option for those who have the opposite of a green thumb, they’re also not all that fun to look at—unless it’s a cactus that’s been planted in a funky glass bottle, that is. This cactus will spruce up your busy college student’s drab apartment without adding to his stress load.
Green the World, 143 25th St., Ogden, 801-781-3931,

The Wes Anderson Collection $40

This in-depth visual overview of Wes Anderson’s filmography—from Bottle Rocket to Moonrise Kingdom—is a blend of eye candy, idiosyncratic details and thought-provoking conversation with the auteur himself. Featuring behind-the-scenes photos, set explorations and more, the large tome needs to be on the coffee table of the Anderson fanatic in your life.
Cahoots, 878 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-538-0606

Retro Ice Bag $18

Nothing adds insult to injury like tending to a fresh wound with a frozen bag of peas. Oft-injured (or oft-hungover) folks will find relief from headaches and bruises after filling this rubber bag with cold water or ice; it can also be used with hot water to soothe cramps and joint pain.
Mary Jane’s, 613 Main, Park City, 435-645-7463,

Ready-to-Dip Fondue $18

Chocolate fondue is a romantic dessert to share with a loved one, but fiddling with candles and lighters can suck the magic from the room. The special stoneware jar, made by Paris’ Aux Anysetiers du Roy, just needs to be heated in the microwave or in a pot of hot water; then it’ll keep the chocolate—dark or milk—warm for at least 45 minutes as you melt each other’s hearts.
Les Madeleines, 216 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City, 801-355-2294,

Silicone Lids $8.99-$18.99

This seemingly magical lid sticks to the top of any dish through the power of suction. Available in many different sizes, the lids eliminate the need to wrestle with ineffective plastic wrap—it’s the perfect blood-pressure-lowering gift for the cooks in your life.
Spoons ‘N Spice, 2274 S. 1300 East, Suite G9, Salt Lake City, 801-263-1898; 788 E. 9400 South, Sandy, 801-553-1988,

Klik Boxes $12

Made in Africa from recycled soda bottles, these sturdy plastic boxes with handy fold-down lids can be used as lanterns, ornaments or eco-friendly gift boxes for small trinkets.
Kudu, 2155 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-583-5838,

Literary Spread $65.77

Give the Anglophile in your life the chance to try a taste of the foods he’s only read about: figgy pudding, clotted cream, lemon curd, tea biscuits, Turkish delight and more (even spotted dick). It’s the perfect high-sugar picnic to pair with a binge-watch of Downton Abbey or Sherlock.
Elizabeth’s English Bakery, 439 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-433-1170,

Art Hearts $80

Hearts sometimes get a bad rap for being too sappy, but these block paintings by local artist Willamarie Huelskamp change the game. Infused with light and vibrant colors, her hearts are multifaceted and a little messy—just like real love. And what better Christmas gift than your heart (so long as they don’t throw it away the very next day)?
Michael Berry Gallery, 163 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-521-0243

Pig Cookie Jar $26.95

No, this pig isn’t judging you for reaching for another cookie—he’s just happy to see you! Whatever his inner monologue, this cheerful pig will make a charming addition to any kitchen. And, according to Rule 4850.5, the giver of the cookie jar is entitled to free cookies from said cookie jar for life.
Mail Masters, 3953 Wasatch Blvd., Salt Lake City, 801-998-8670,

Soda & Tea Safes $7.50-$11.50

Even the nicest-seeming roommate could be harboring a secret shopping addiction that leads her to comb the house for cash when everyone is away. Ensure that the birthday money you’re sending is staying safe with one of these clever soda safes. The top cap pops off to reveal a plastic-lined tube that can fit a roll of Washingtons or (hint hint) Benjamins.
Silver Star Hardware, 2327 E. 3300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-487-1117,

Sucre Macarons $12-$30

They’re almost too pretty to eat—but they’re so delicious that not even your sugar-avoidant mother-in-law will be able to resist. A French specialty and fairly recent fad on this side of the pond, macarons are crisp meringue sandwich cookies, spectacularly colored and filled with uniquely flavored creams and jams.
The Gilded Branch, 2327 E. 3300 South, Salt Lake City

The Mason Shaker $38.75

If you know someone who thinks he’s the king of artisanal cocktails, blow his mind with this Mason jar cocktail shaker, which elevates the art to a new level of down-home pretentiousness.
Maison Confiserie & Boutique, 1291 S. 1100 East, 801-953-0334,

Wine/Liquor Puzzle $19.99-$36

Just because booze is the only thing that brings enjoyment to your husband’s side of the family doesn’t mean your gift has to be predictable. Pop a favorite bottle into one of these clever contraptions, and you’ll be the catalyst of hours of family fun as relatives take turn pulling levers and unknotting rope, trying to solve the puzzle and free the firewater.
The Leonardo, 209 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City, 801-531-9800,

Breakup Kit $14

Sure, he’s in a relationship now, but you both know that—like every other relationship he’s had with every other commitment-phobic burlesque dancer in the past five years—the end is less than six months away. Show him that you care (and subtly hint that it’s maybe time to change his tastes) and will be there to pick up the pieces (again) with this breakup kit, which includes a remedy booklet, confidence-rebuilding affirmation cards, a gel awareness bracelet that says “heartbroken” to warn others, and a recovery certificate for when the hurt passes and he’s on to his next manic pixie dreamgirl.
Got Beauty, 900 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-474-2090,

Quill Pen & Antique-style Pen Jar $10.50

Give the budding writer in your life the historical inspiration they need. The authentic quill pen can be dipped in ink and then used to scratch out a great political pronouncement or tortured love poem.
The Library Store, Salt Lake City Main Library, 210 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City, 801-524-8238,

Five Wives Flavored Vodkas $17.95

All your out-of-town relatives will get a kick out of the Five Wives label—and the Ogden company’s new flavors, Heavenly Vanilla Custard and Sinful Cinnamon, will give holiday cocktails a kick right back.
Ogden’s Own Distillery, 3075 Grant Ave., Ogden,; also at State Liquor Stores, Multiple locations,

Guatemalan Worry Dolls $5

Is her job stress keeping you both up at night? Give her the gift of a few good nights’ sleep. According to folklore, she can tell her troubles to one of these five tiny handmade dolls, then tuck it under her pillow; the doll will deal with the circuitous thoughts about that upcoming budget meeting while she gets some much-needed shut-eye.
TP Gallery, 252 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-364-2961

Hanging Candle Lights $25

Shed a little eco-friendly light on the situation with these beautiful hanging bottles, upcycled by Morgan’s Glassed Up. They’ll add a romantic vibe to a summer garden party—no extension cord needed—or imbue family dinners at the 50-foot dining table in your father-in-law’s eerie castle with the proper Old World atmosphere.
Green the World, 143 25th St., Ogden, 801-781-3931,

Gold Bar Notepad $7.95

OK, so not every idea your co-worker has ever scribbled down was worth its weight in gold, but you never know what the future might bring. Feed the inspiration with a validating notepad that looks like a gold bar, and she’ll think of you when her automated filing system catches on and makes her billions.
Got Beauty, 900 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-474-2090,

Hangover Buster Shower Bursts $5.25

A lazy day of dozing, drinking water and watching daytime TV is the ideal way to recover after a night of carousing, but if your partying friend has already used up her sick time, this aromatherapy ball will come to the rescue. Placed on the floor of the shower, the rosemary- and juniper-infused pellet turns the morning routine into a rejuvenating experience that’ll give her the strength to face the fluorescent office lights.
Hip & Humble, Multiple locations,

Papercut Artwork $10-$15

Cindy Ferguson’s detailed papercut scenes are inspired by fairy tales, classic books and movies and will add a simple yet elegant touch to the walls of a library, office or bedroom.
Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, 20 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City, 801-328-4201,

Record Cuff Bracelet $74

These eye-catching cuffs are actual records, stitched onto durable leather and packaged in a custom box made from that same album’s actual sleeve. It’s the ultimate way to pay tribute to a favorite artist or song (customized cuffs can be ordered from while complementing his inimitable fashion sense.
Mary Jane’s, 613 Main, Park City, 435-645-7463,

Appearing Cats Mug $16

Cat lovers need never feel alone—even at the lonely, cat-free office—with this mug. When filled with hot liquid, more friendly cats magically appear on the sides.
The Leonardo, 209 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City, 801-531-9800,

Bookplate Stamp $12

Accented with a fancy bronze antique key, this stamp reads “From the library of ____” and will look beautiful on her shelf next to her first editions. It’s also the perfect way to say, “I’m sorry I never returned any of the Harry Potter books you loaned me seven years ago.”
The Library Store, Salt Lake City Main Library, 210 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City, 801-524-8238,

Archie Comics Pint Glass $12.95

The age-old choice between Betty and Veronica just got even more complicated with these vibrant pint glasses. You could wrap up the Betty glass for your co-worker crush and send him the message that he should take another look at the girl in the next cubicle. Or, grab the Veronica glass for a friend in need of strength, so that she can pour herself a pint and mull over, “What would Veronica Lodge do?”
Night Flight Comics, 6222 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-263-1940,

Sherlock Holmes Notebook $4.95

What do you get the friend who’s always embroiled in drama? This sleek embossed notebook will assist him in sorting through the tangles of his latest romantic or workplace mystery, with Holmes’ rules of deduction printed in the back and spaces on each page to note clues and suspects.
Night Flight Comics, 6222 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-263-1940,

Parking Ticket Book $6.95

The world can seem like a cold, cruel joke to the friend who’s a perfect driver, parallel-parker and door-shutter. And when other, lesser humans threaten to ruin his day with a bad parking job, he can share his contempt by leaving one of these small, humorous cards—with messages like “Didn’t know it was national ‘Let Your Child Drive to Work Day’”—on the offending car’s windshield. And since he’s getting the message across to other drivers, he won’t have to tell you about it—again—over lunch.
Hip & Humble, Multiple locations,

Flavored Popcorn $3-$7

Even if you purchase the biggest turkey in the grocery-store freezer case, holiday guests will still be craving snacks after the dishes are cleared away. Make sure they’re sated by tucking bags of fancifully flavored popcorn into their stockings, in varieties such as jalapeño, maple bacon, sugar-free kettle corn and many more.
Sweet Pop’n Cafe, 135 25th St., Ogden, 801-603-8505

Bluebird Chocolates $10.95-$19.95

Pretty, locally made and delicious, these chocolates are sure to delight everyone on your list. Logan’s Bluebird Candy Company has been hand-dipping chocolates since 1914, and there’ll be something for everyone in an assorted box of milk or dark chocolates with caramel, cream and nut centers.
Bluebird Candy Company, 75 W. Center St., Logan, 435-753-3670,

Zulu Nativity Set $30 and up

Start a new holiday tradition with this nativity set, handmade in Africa. Bead animals—giraffes, hippos, zebras, rhinos and others instead of the standard cattle and donkeys—are $12 each, so you can add to their collection in future years.
Kudu, 2155 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-583-5838,

Beverage Tote $17.50

A trip into the backcountry isn’t complete without the ultimate warming accessory—good booze. And with this handy tote, she won’t have to deal with breakable, heavy glass. Big enough to hold an entire bottle’s worth of wine, this essential pouch also protects drinks from taste-destroying UV rays.
Olive & Tweed, 608 Main, Park City, 435-649-9392,

Matchcarden $11

Apartment living can be tough for those who yearn for a little patch of earth to call their own. The cute Matchcarden lets them live that dream in miniature: Attach the townhouse to the garden, sow the seeds, add water and, within three days, she’ll have a mini home & garden to spruce up her desk or kitchen windowsill.
Two Dancing Cats, 1790 S. 1100 East, Salt Lake City, 801-485-0554

Rob Ryan His & Her Mugs $22.95

"All of these words are worth less than the breath used to say them if we cannot be together” is the message that can be viewed only when these two mugs are side by side. The set will delight lovey-dovey newlyweds, and could make that great couple on the verge of calling it quits stop and give it one more shot.
Cahoots, 878 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-538-0606

Vintage-inspired Wreath $225

Made with antique ornaments and baubles, these wreaths are an explosion of Christmas kitsch that will instantly usher in the holiday spirit.
The Gilded Branch, 2327 E. 3300 South, Salt Lake City

Decoder Laundry Bag $45

The last thing he needs is to accidentally shrink and dye pink all of his new Christmas clothes the night before the first day of the semester. You can take the mysticism out of figuring out the proper way to use the washer by making this bag part of the package. It’s made of heavy-duty canvas, so he can shove in everything he’s worn in the past two weeks, and hinges tight so he won’t leave a trail of socks on the way to the laundry room.
Maison Confiserie & Boutique, 1291 S. 1100 East, 801-953-0334,

Lampe Berger Fragrance Lamp $30-$78

Everyone wants a good-smelling house, but some can’t tolerate the cloying smell of sugar cookies or want something more upscale than a Scentsy warmer. The elegant Lampe Berger system, invented 116 years ago in France, will please the pickiest decorator as it purifies and deodorizes the air through a catalytic combustion system. There’s no burning-wick smell—just clean, fresh air—and even the fragrance is optional. But if scents are desired, Lampe Berger has everything from “mystery” patchouli to creme brulee for $10 to $20 each, depending on size.
Evergreen Framing Co. & Gallery Inc., 3295 S. 2000 East, Salt Lake City, 801-467-8770,

Cat DJ Scratching Pad $39.95

He’s always said his cat was something special—and now there can be demonstrable proof, when this U.K.-made scratch pad turns Mittens into DJ Littah Shittah.
Hip & Humble, Multiple locations,

3-D Picasso Miniature $375

It’s not a real Picasso, but it’s levels above a print. The master of abstraction’s famous anti-war painting “Guernica” comes to life here, painted in 3-D layers by local artist Paul Heath. The piece’s small scale—the original is 25 feet long—make it perfect for accenting a desk or uber-minimalist downtown studio apartment.
Michael Berry Gallery, 163 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-521-0243

Sprout Recycled Watch $40-$60

If all those dystopian books and movies are true, it’s pretty much inevitable that at some point, the government will become evil/collapse, which will lead to technology turning on us/being destroyed. And how will we tell the time with no cell phones? With these eco-forward watches, you can do your part to make sure your loved ones are prepared for the future, as well as to help slow the tide of society’s self-destruction. Each watch is made from biodegradable corn resin, bamboo, cork, organic cotton, mother of pearl, conflict-free diamonds and Swarovski’s advanced lead-free crystal.
Unhinged, 1121 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-467-6588,

Swirl Bowls $14

Cereal lovers will love these just-right rustic bowls made by local artist Randi Lile—especially when the last of the milk is drained to reveal the swirl of vibrant color on the bottom.
UTArtist Hands, 163 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-355-0206,

Insect Collection $375

Your friends all say he’s dangerous, that he’ll break your heart without breaking a sweat. But there’s just something about him you can’t resist—maybe it’s his good taste in wine, the rarity of his blinding smile, his high-powered job or his, ahem, romantic talents. There’s just one problem: What to get him for Christmas. Relax: He’ll be pleasantly surprised by this gorgeous display of dried insects, which is sure to appeal to his taste for the unusual and beautiful. (And if he grows obsessed with collecting the colorful creatures, small boxes range from $7 to $15 apiece.)
Natur, 94 W. 7720 South, Salt Lake City, 801-232-4311,

Scary Plush Dolls $200

What do you get the guy who seems tough but is all cuddly on the inside? Or the girl who seems sweet­—but has a twisted side? A handmade creation by local artist Adrian Prazen will do. With one of these in her bedroom, she might have trouble sleeping—but she’ll be thinking of you the whole time.
J Go Gallery's WonderBox, 408 Main, Park City, 435-649-1006,

Turtle Box $138.95

He might look like nothing more than an especially fancy paperweight, but this turtle’s shell lifts to reveal a compartment for tucking away small items. And the lid is magnetized, so no amount of jostling or nudging will spill his secret.
Chalk Garden Co-Op, 74 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-364-4032,

Turtle Scrub $20

Only the lure of the coffee pot can tempt her out of bed in the morning. But maybe giving her twice the caffeine to look forward to will finally end her dependence on the obnoxious snooze button. Made with coffee, cacao, coconut oil and cinnamon, this locally made scrub exfoliates and moisturizes skin while filling the shower with the invigorating smell of a fresh brew.
Earth Goods General Store, 327 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-746-4410,

View Local Gifts for: