Holiday Shopping: Special Finds Within Town

(MImi Bommarito, Photographer)
An assortment of contemporary jewelry can be found at Sanvitalia in theatre square.

    Yes, Santa Claus, there is a Virginia (and a Virgil) and it’s time you stopped taking credit for all of their legwork.
    When it comes to holiday gifts, there is a plethora of options within Orinda’s city limits. No need to trek to the North Pole, otherwise known as San Francisco or Walnut Creek with their claustrophobic parking garages filled with harried, irritable consumers. This guide to shopping local bolsters our local tax base, spreads joy, and does not involve dieting, exercise, abstinence, yoga pants, ice buckets or anything potentially involving paramedics.
    Forget the hours spent on your laptop ordering gifts online. You know the drill by now: Shipped to the wrong address, backordered till President’s Day, or of dubious quality compared to their doctored-up website glamour shots.
    Try entertaining the children or yourself with a shopping trip the way it was done “back in the olden days” of 1986. Wander into a real store. Hum along with your favorite holiday tunes. Model for your teenager how to verbally engage with a sales clerk. Pick up and examine various gift options.
    Here are some suggestions for every member of the family.

    Sanvitalia: So much more than succulents, although their custom arrangements are guaranteed to drop a jaw. Jewelry, gifts, baby, home décor too.
    Morrison’s Jewelers: She has earned it. Hollyhock: So so so much more than cards and stationary. Darling Mud Pie serving pieces, candles, soaps, spa items, whimsical toys and puzzles for kids, cool expandable water bottles, artisan fold-up shopping bags.
    Orinda Books: Cut your teeth on a great book and cut your veggies on an artisan cutting board. They carry original jewelry now too.
    ReChic 101: Gorgeous boutique consignment. Features a “Holiday Rack” of special occasion, aka partaaaay clothing, a jeans bar, hostess gifts, local honey, new jewelry wildly popular with teens.
    Cheryl’s Closet: Boutique consignment. Highly selective, fashionably curated, continually refreshed on a 60-day basis. Good for a mother and Mother Earth.
    McCaulou’s: Chic, collapsible all-weather hats for the stylish commuter, PJ Salvage Women’s pajama sets, Cuddle Duds and downy bed jackets.

    McCaulou’s: An impressive selection of sophisticated cashmere men’s scarves that will not break the bank. If Dad isn’t the type to compliment his cold-weather ensemble with a stylish scarf, sit him down to watch a few episodes of “Queer Eye.” Perhaps it will subtly embolden him to up his fashion game a bit. And if shaming and intimidation simply won’t work, the store carries a wide array of Warriors, A’s, Giants and 49ers gear, as well as an abundance of cozy, thick flannel shirts, quarter zips, vests and jackets, guaranteed to please the manly man.
    Orinda Hardware: Carries the always popular Weber grills. Free local delivery and free assembly. Dad might be especially glad to own one in the event of more power outages.
    Orinda Theatre: Gift cards for a movie are always a hit. Grandma and Grandpa would love a “free” night on the town.

The Kids
    McCaulou’s: Not to be missed: Western Chief rain boots. No wonder these boots fly off the shelves. They are adorable, with their sparkles, light-up heels, dinosaurs, camouflage, and firefighter replicas. Be prepared: your little one will want to wear them everywhere, even to bed. Perhaps this is the perfect gift for a grandson or a granddaughter, if only to ignite a parent-child battle of wills. Seniors know, revenge can taste especially sweet, cloaked innocently in holiday gifting.
    Sweet Dreams: Our local toy store is chock-full of anything that delights. Hot items this year are Squishables, which are plush toys in the shape of foods. The avocado is exceptionally popular. Go figure! Perennial favorites are Legos, Thomas the Train sets, science-related kits, and board games.
    You can do this, Orinda. Ready, set, shop!

(MImi Bommarito, Photographer)
There’s a gift for every kid at Sweet Dreams toy store, with board games, stuffed animals, art supplies and more.

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