When it comes to holiday shopping for loved ones or friends, we’re really lucky to live in an area where we don’t have to do all of our shopping at crowded, sterile, one-in-the-same big box stores or malls. There are so many cool local businesses, local makers and awesome, unique products available from shops and stores owned by people living right here in our Sacramento-area communities. With just the slightest bit of extra effort to shop locally, you won’t be lining the pockets of giant corporations; you’ll be giving back to the little guys, your neighbors. Gathered here in our 11th annual Submerge Holiday Gift Guide is a brief list of just some of the highly giftable items that we found during two, maybe three afternoons of stopping into and perusing local shops. We hope this list will inspire you to be creative when giving gifts this year, to think outside the box, to go talk to local shop owners and employees. Happy holidays and happy shopping!

Hand Blown Glass Ornaments by Joshua Kaiser of Foothill Glass Works at Little Relics

Whether they’re for your Christmas tree or a loved one’s, or even just as everyday home decor, these Hand Blown Glass Ornaments by Joshua Kaiser of Foothill Glass Works are absolutely beautiful and, like trees, every one of them is unique. Little Relics (1111 24th St., Suite 103, Sacramento) has a huge selection of them for you to look through, and they are just $20 a pop. While you’re there, be sure to look around a bit; Little Relics has an amazing selection of handmade jewelry and other great gift ideas.

Porcelain Bird Vase from Plant Foundry

While perusing The Plant Foundry Nursery and Store (3500 Broadway, Sacramento) on a recent rainy day, we came across this adorable little Porcelain Bird Vase by Chive for $22.99. They have a larger hole on the backside that you can use to fill them with water and there are four small holes along the breast that you can fill up with flowers or air plants, making for a unique display for home, office or wherever needs some jazzing up. Available in flat black or
baby blue.

“It’s Hard to Get a Handle on Modern Art” Cup at Crocker Art Museum’s Gift Store

A great gift for any artist or art lover, the “It’s Hard to Get a Handle on Modern Art” Porcelain Cup by The Unemployed Philosophers Guild is just $14.95, so it won’t break the bank. Swoop one up before they’re gone at the gift shop inside Crocker Art Museum (216 O St., Sacramento). The cup itself is a work of art, featuring portraits of 65 great modern artists, from Courbet to Warhol, Van Gogh to Dalí, Kandinsky to Kahlo. Check out Crockerart.org for hours and more info.

3-D Wooden Puzzles of Various Animals at Strapping Store

These challenging 3-D Wooden Puzzles by Kikkerland are a great way for kids and adults alike to pass the time, while being creative and (cough, cough) not staring at their digital devices. All sorts of cool animals are available, so whether it’s an owl, a shark or a stegosaurus, pick a couple up today for just $8.49 each at Strapping Store (3405 Broadway, Sacramento). They make great stocking stuffers!

Lake Tahoe 3D Wood Map by Roger Floren of Tahoe Wood Maps

At 34 inches-by-24 inches, this amazing work of art will be a conversation starter no matter where it ends up (we won’t judge you if you “gift” this one to yourself!). Roger Floren of Tahoe Wood Maps designs and assembles his incredibly detailed 3-D Wood Maps in the Reno/Tahoe area, and the etching is even done by lasers that they design and build in-house! Visit Tahoewoodmaps.com to order this large version for $299. Smaller and more affordable sizes are also available, as well as maps of different areas, like San Francisco, the Hawaiian islands, Monterey Bay and more.

Orange “Crush Mini” 3-Watt Guitar Amp at Stone Vintage Music Boutique

You’d be surprised at the massive sounds you can get out of this little beast! Whether practicing in your bedroom or warming up in the parking lot before a gig, the “Crush Mini” 3-Watt Guitar Amplifier by legendary English builders Orange gives you amazing tone in a lightweight, easy-to-take-with-you package. It features gain, shape and volume controls, plus a built-in tuner, headphone jack for silent practice, and you can even plug it into an external speaker cabinet via the 8 ohm speaker output! Simply badass. Pick up one today for just $69 at Stone Vintage Music Boutique (324 Third St., West Sacramento). Check out Stonevmb.com for hours and more info.

Baffle Tourist Zip-Off Jacket by All Good

Locally based clothing outfitters All Good never disappoint with their stylish, functional gear, and this super rad Baffle Tourist Zip-Off Jacket is no exception. It has detachable sleeves and hood, so you can be ready for whatever sort of weather Mother Nature is going to throw your way when outdoors hiking, camping or searching for your Christmas tree at a local farm. Snag one for $156 online at Allgxxd.com today or check out their Flagship Store at the Ice Blocks (1715 R St., Suite 150, Sacramento).

Rebel Five-Piece Complete Junior Drum Kit at Skip’s Music

Start ‘em young! The Rebel by Mapex Five-Piece Complete Junior Drum Kit is just $399.99 at Skip’s Music (2740 Auburn Blvd., Sacramento or 9660 Elk Grove Florin Road, Elk Grove) and it comes with everything your kid needs to start playing drums, including stands, cymbals, a throne, pedals and sticks. You’ll even get one month of beginner drum classes included! You might want to pick up some earplugs for yourself, too, because little Johnny and/or little Jenny are sure to be playing along to their favorite songs in no time!

Pets Rock Canvases at Strapping Store

Whoever had the idea to take famous artists and make them into hilarious portraits of cats and dogs deserves some kind of award! These adorable Pets Rock Wrapped Canvases are just $35 each at the always-fun-to-stop-into Strapping Store (3405 Broadway, Sacramento). At that price, you can mix and match two or three of these to gift them as a package deal! So, who’s gonna be in your crew? Check out Strappingsacramento.com to learn more about the shop.

City Locs Etched Bamboo Sunglasses at Kulture

Protecting your eyeballs from the sun is important, but so is looking good. Handle both with these polarized Etched Bamboo Sunglasses by City Locs, available for just $36 at Kulture (2331 K St., Sacramento). Our personal faves were the ones with the Aztec calendar engraved directly into the wood, and the ones with Zebra Wood, because it kind of looks like the layers of a skateboard deck. Go to Facebook.com/kulturesac for more info on this super cool local gift shop.

Ultra Flat Color Wheel Clock at Crocker Art Museum’s Gift Store

Wall clocks don’t have to be boring, black and white, or run of the mill. Add some bright colors and liveliness to a home or office with the Ultra Flat Color Wheel Clock, which you can pick up in person at Crocker Art Museum’s Gift Store (216 O St., Sacramento) for just $48.50. Pro tip: Just tell the people at the front desk that you’re there to peruse the gift shop and you won’t have to pay the museum’s entrance fee, although we suggest you do anyway, and then head upstairs to check out the excellent exhibit The Portraitist by legendary New York City photographer Duane Michals!

Jones Snowboards “Storm Chaser” Surf-Inspired Powder Slasher

North Lake Tahoe-based snowboarder Jeremy Jones—an absolute legend in the industry and the world’s most notorious big mountain charger—teamed up with San Diego-based surfboard shaper Chris Christenson to create a surf-inspired line of snowboards, including the Storm Chaser! The Chaser offers tons of float on snorkel-deep powder days with its swallowtail shape, and insane carving potential when shredding groomers. It’s fast and it’s fun. Hit up Jonessnowboards.com to learn more about the progression of the shape of the board (the prototype was made by hand right in Jones’ garage in Tahoe!) and click “order” to snag one for $599.95. You might also be able to find one at an authorized local Jones Snowboards dealer, like Milo Snow and Skate (905 Lincoln Way, Suite 300, Auburn), Hangtown Board Shop (103 Main St., Placerville) or REI (1790, Expo Parkway, Sacramento).

**This piece first appeared in print on pages 16 – 19 of issue #280 (Dec. 5 – 19, 2018)**