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Friday, April 19, 2024

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Arts + CultureCulture5 very, very last-minute holiday gift ideas that keep...

5 very, very last-minute holiday gift ideas that keep it local

Festive cider, a wealth of books and games, art fun, treats for fluffy, and more to get you off the naughty list

You don’t have any time to waste reading an introduction to a list! Get to shopping IRL:

Sparkle up the party
You’ve given wine. You’ve given artisan beer. You’ve splurged and sent Napa sparkling wine and French champagne. What you might not have done, but must do pronto, is check out Sincere Cider and the gorgeously designed packaging and delectable flavors created by Bex Pezzullo. Pezzullo began the company in her Oakland garage, blending select culinary apples with French wine yeast, a concoction that is then fermented until dry and back-sweetened with fresh-pressed apple juice.

Order Blood Orange Seasonal, Granada, all-time best-selling Dry Apple, Ginger Agave, or go for the Sincere 16 Mix Pack and try them all. Tag on a Sincere Cider Mountain Hoodie for appropriate leisure fashion and it’s a perfect gift for the +21 crowd. “Where to Find” on the website will assure people throughout the Bay Area and Northern California that Sincere Cider is just around the corner at a local shop, national chains like Whole Foods, and other locations. You can find Sincere at these retailers.

Surrender to pickleball
Even the venerable tennis fanatics at Golden State Tennis have begrudgingly joined the frenzy around the fastest growing sport in America. Read between the lines of this language on their website: “We have decided to carry Selkirk and Engage pickleball paddles. We stock beginner paddles to ones for more experienced players.” And for those unfortunately beginner souls who bounced onto the bandwagon recently and haven’t fully explored the racket/paddles, there’s a demo program where customers can test products before purchasing a paddle. If the equipment is returned on time and in good condition, the 7-day check-out period fee ($30) can be applied to the total price of a new paddle.

Although they don’t yet carry the OWL Sport quiet paddle that’s proven to reduce noise by 50 percent and meets USA Pickleball’s certification criteria, rich venture capitalists (and anyone whose home is within hearing range of pickle ball courts) can hope reduced hertz/reduced decibel models will soon enter the lineup. The Golden State Tennis website lists resources for locating SF courts, clinics, and ball machines under “Pickle.”

The scene at Jeffrey’s. Photo by Sherry Shi via Yelp

Bring on the pet treats
There’s no way fido or fluffy can be overlooked (and treats for them can often satisfy owners who are too difficult to shop for). Trot on over to Jeffrey’s Pets to order up natural pet food and healthy treats at the San Francisco kitchen that uses only fresh, raw, ranged meats and organic vegetables, plus no ingredients with hormones or antibiotics. There are one-off locally produced food products, but also an impressive array of subscription packages for lucky canines and felines whose owners want The Best for their favorite companions. Adorable toys and apparel (those quilted plaid vests don’t have to beg to be bought); home goods like dog beds, cat caves, bowls and backpacks, and services such as dental care, puppy training and social gatherings, litter solutions, adoptions services, and more expand the possibilities for gifting. Check out Jeffrey’s two locations here.

Good reads, gifts, and games
Chronicle Books is more than books (but don’t skip those, because their catalogue has some of the most meticulously curated and gorgeously designed books available). Check out the gifts list and follow the San Francisco-based publisher’s “let’s go nuts with LEGOS” direction. In addition to “The Secrets of LEGO House,” among other books and journals, there are puzzles for all ages and the intriguing “LEGO How We Create Inspiration Deck” sure to erase most brick stops in your imagination and trigger creativity. Not into LEGOs? Check out the petit Collage catalogue for eco-conscious gifts like the “Save the Bees Wooden Game” and dice playthings for adults. The Chronicle Books store itself is at 680 Second Street, SF, or check the indie bookstore finder for a place near you to scoop up the goods.

SFMOMA Museum Store; photo: © Henrik Kam, courtesy SFMOMA

Big up the arts
A visit to the gifts shops at the wealth of museums in the Bay Area—Museum of the African Diaspora, SFMOMA, BAMPFA, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, Oakland Museum of California, de Young Museum and Legion of Honor, etc— supports ongoing exhibits and programs and nets you some lovely presents. Swag from current and recent exhibitions, apparel and accessories, jewelry, home goods and decor, games, art books, cookbooks… Obviously, tickets to an upcoming show or a gift membership extends the pleasures throughout the coming year and beyond.

If fine art isn’t the focus, plenty of other organizations offer windows for giving: San Francisco Ballet (SFB logo apparel, CDs and videos, “Nutcracker” assortments, books, gift subscriptions), Frameline (gift memberships to support their mission “to change the world through the power of queer cinema” and tickets to the annual LGBTQ+ film festival, among other events), Lorraine Hansberry Theatre (support Black theatre with gift tickets and subscriptions to the premier African American theatre launched in 1981 and now helmed by Margo Hall).

Experiential adventures
If you are absolutely last-minute, or even past it, consider a handmade invitation card describing an indoor/outdoor outing: Yerba Buena Ice Skating & Bowling Center, the Exploratorium (they have a shop also!), Cal Academy (another store!), and tons of regional parks including and beyond Golden Gate Park that offer golf, adult and kids programs, and therapeutic recreation. Pray for the rain to abate, the fog to lift, and put all the energy pent up from eating that box of chocolate bonbons you intended to gift to someone with fun fitness shared with a buddy (animal or human).

48 Hills welcomes comments in the form of letters to the editor, which you can submit here. We also invite you to join the conversation on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

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