By Kristin Salaky | firstname.lastname@example.org | @Kmssongbird
Holiday shopping can be tricky at times, but if there is one place to purchase one of a kind gifts, that place is Athens. Whether shopping for a sports fan, a townie or your friendly neighborhood hipster, this guide has something for you.
1. Passion Works coffee mugs: Who doesn’t love a nice mug of hot coffee, cocoa or tea on a cold winter day? These coffee mugs are printed with different designs created by artists at Passion Works, 20 E. State St. Each is different and helps support Passion Works, a studio whose production provides employment for disabled and non-disabled artists.
“We have been told these mugs are great to have on hand for a quick thank you or holiday gift,” the store’s website said.
2. School spirit gear: It’s hard to go wrong with Bobcat-spirited swag for family members. College Bookstore, 50 S. Court St., offers shirts, water bottles, key chains and notebooks all donning the Bobcat seal. You can even find specialized gear declaring the wearer a “Bobcat Mom,” “Dad” or “Grandparent.”
3. Athens Jewelry: For someone who wants a different way to keep Athens close to his or her heart even over break, there’s the Bobcat jewelry collection from Keith Chapman Jeweler, 8 S. Court St., including Bobcat heart pendants or “45701” bracelets from Cornwell Jewelers.
4. Gift cards: There’s nothing better than going Uptown for a bite to eat and feeling like it’s paid for. Nothing beats a free meal, especially for college students, and Athens has several locally owned restaurants that offer traditional gift cards, including Bagel Street Deli, 27 S. Court St. There’s also a giftly, a digital gift card, to local spots like Fluff Bakery, 8 N. Court St., or Casa Nueva, 6 W. State St.
“A Giftly for Fluff Bakery is like a Fluff Bakery gift card or a Fluff Bakery gift certificate, but better,” the bakery’s website reads. “With a Giftly, there’s no new card or piece of paper to carry around because the Giftly is linked to an existing credit card.”
5. Foam Bricks: While it may be a tradition for students to try to claim an Athens’ brick as their own, Lamborn’s Studio, 19 W. State St., has foam bricks that have the look and texture of an Athens brick found on Court Street, but weighs almost nothing.
“Almost everyone in the area has an Athens Block experience to share, and they share this experience with great enthusiasm,” said James Francis Robinson, an employee at the studio. “The bricks recognize and celebrate the historical and cultural connection a simple brick has made with the Athens community over time.”
6. Sauces, dressings and spreads: The holidays may be filled with the same traditional fare, but a gift from one of Athens local eateries can bring a twist into a family gathering. Fans can purchase sauce from Kiser’s Barbeque, 1002 E. State St., or bruschetta topping or salad dressing from Vino de Milo to bring new spices into their family’s dishes.
7. Shirts from home: Many students may have already returned home from campus, but it is still possible to have Athens gifts delivered to anywhere in the country. BananaRoad.com, a product of SchoolKids Costume Shop, 12 S. Court St., is an online store that offers many gifts found at the shop, including graphic T-shirts and novelty items.
“You can always find something for you,” said Jan Wernet, an employee at the shop. “I like to think of us as a place that people can go and find that one thing that they’ve been looking for and can’t find anywhere else.”
8. Dave Rave T-shirts: These neon threads make the perfect gift for your pal who simply can’t miss a night out on Court Street, or out at any club. The bright colors are sure to catch eyes on the dance floor. Give the gift of everyone’s favorite DJ duo, Dave Rave, and give the gift of a quintessential part of Athens and Ohio University. Snag one Uptown at SchoolKids Costume Shop, 12 S. Court St.
So there you have it: A guide to bringing a bit of Athens to those you love. Happy gifting!