Alright. We’ve got moms and dads done, so let’s look at Siblings, Great Friends and BFF’s (most of the time these can all be interchangeable on the Circle of Gifts). As for budgeting, this group is not quite as close to the center of the Circle of Gifts as mom and dad, so we’re going to allot around $30-50 to them. And, if you don’t talk to your siblings or whatever, get over yourself and get them a damned gift.
So, the Siblings, Great Friends & BFF group (we’ll call them the SGFBFF), we can branch out a bit from the big ticket items for moms and dads. These will be people around your same age and have lots of similar interest that you have, so the SGFBFF’s will be much easier to figure out. We’ll start out easy with books. With the varying interests that people have and let’s hope that your circle of friends is smart enough to stick their noses in a good book once in a while, you can head to Inkwood Books and start the hunt! Let’s make a day of it!
Inkwood Books moved from Hyde Park to Tampa Heights, so you can really make a day out of this trip. You know, plan ahead, get some shopping done, and grab a drink and a snack and resume shopping! You need to keep your strength up, right?
We’re going to start the day out right by heading over to the Hall on Franklin to grab some coffee and a snack. I’m going to recommend the Cold Brew Coffee from KOFE a) because if you’re hip and know what’s good for you, you get the Cold Brew and b) it’s STILL too freakin’ hot out to be walking around with hot coffee. Now, let’s grab some Churros (no, we are NOT getting the damned fruit bowl, Stan. We’ve got SHOPPING to do and we need to carb load). From the Hall on Franklin you can waltz on over to Inkwood Books – the best little independent book store in town! You’ll find best sellers, fiction, non-fiction, cook books, history books, books for kids and teens and so much more!
After you shop for books, you’re generally hungry for a snack, so you can head over to Heights Public Market at Armature Works and grab something there. You can also think about getting gift certificates from many of the super tasty eateries under their roof. Steelbach has a great brunch menu and anyone would love to chow down on some tasty breakfast vittles with a gift certificate. You’ll find everything from pizza at Ava to vegan delights at Ichicoro to healthy juices at Swami Juice. For whatever taste you’re looking for, you’ll find something for everyone here. And, you might as well grab a drink at the Fine & Dandy Cocktail Emporium. You've had a long day of shopping. You deserve it!
Now that we’ve got the toughest person on your list out of the way (dad), let’s talk about moms. What kind of mom do you have? Is she a bookworm, an artist, an athlete, a people person? Or is she one of those REALLY annoying people who are all of the above?
Some moms are easy: They get their nails done, hairs did and toes ready for flip flops on the regs. Boom! You can go to any of her favorite spots and grab a gift certificate. Other moms ain’t got time for that business. When they’re done for the day, they want to come home, kick off their shoes, take off the spanx and get into some yoga pants (and not necessarily to do yoga).
We’ve already established that you probably are going to spend a little more on mom than the average bear, right? So, let’s set a budget for $50-75 for mom as seen in the Circle of Gifts (Figure 1 from our first post - yes, I expect you to keep up… so go back to the beginning and read so we’re all on the same page here … we’ll wait).
Regardless of what your mom type is, you’ll want to make the trip to Plant City to a little hidden gem called A PEACE of Plant City. “But that’s so faaaarrr.” I can hear you whining from here, so just stop it. This store is a fantastic one-stop-shop for moms, sisters, bff’s and co-workers. Owner, Jayme, knows just what kinds of things a good Southern girl likes! You can get everything strawberry (shirts, souvenirs, hats, jewelry and more), organic soaps, lip balms and lotions and so much more. There is something here for everyone’s budget from lip balm to unique, locally made art and of course Hogan Made tees!
Do you have co-workers, friends, or the annoying secret Santa that Stan from the office suggested? A PEACE of Plant City stocks more adorable jewelry than Florida has oranges, so you could easily pick up some fun blingy or bohemian, fun and flarey, sparkly and stupendous styles for your friends from $7 and up. This is a great place for co-workers and friends that are like not REALLY good friends, but you kinda feel obligated to get something for because you know they’ll be at the same holiday gathering … there are lots of great handmade soaps and lotions priced very reasonably for just about anyone on the Circle of Gifts (yeah, even Stan – jackass…why’d you have to bring that stupid secret Santa thing up, anyway…just ANOTHER thing I have to think about). So, check your list before you go and I guarantee you’ll mark several people off your list.
Sometimes Mama Bear wants something fun, gunny or just plain silly and girly. I have a few great ideas from A PEACE of Plant City. Keep mom’s favorite beverage cold this 30 oz “Because I said So #MomLife” super fancy sippy cup for $30.99 (we all know it’s going to be white wine – it holds 30 ounces for shit’s sake).
Another great Mommy gift is this super cute Tiny Bar ‘Mama’ necklace for $45.10.
A PEACE of Plant City will be hosting a Holiday Craft Fair on October 20th from 9AM – 6PM. Check out their Facebook Page for details!
What about local museum gift shops? My mom is a big fan of these places because most of the time you can’t find this stuff anywhere else. It’s like an untapped fountain of unique gifts (you’re welcome)! You can check out the Tampa Bay History Center, Ybor City Visitors Center (an official retail outlet for Hogan Made shirts – just sayin’), Columbia Restaurant gift shop, H.P. Plant Museum (where you might run across a Hogan Made shirt, tea towel or pillow – ahem!), or the Tampa Museum of Art. You’ll find a wide variety of items as well as a wide price range for just about anyone’s budget. These places are not just for tourists to shop for souvenirs.
Go, now, little shoppers, and Shop Local, Tampa!
So, you’ve probably got plans for some kind of Christmanukka gathering with your friends and maybe a few people will be there. You love them all dearly and would love to spend hundreds of dollars on all of them, but let’s get real. We’re at the Good Friends & Bosses ring of the Circle of Gifts. Our budget dollars are getting lower ($15-30) the further out from the center we go. I put bosses in this category because you don’t want to be the cheap ass that gets them a “Best Boss” coffee mug, but you really don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on them. Just think, in 3 years are you even going to still be at that job? And if so, do you want to lock yourself in to a $50 gift every year for this person? The answer is, “probably not,” at least to the later.
So, let’s get started. Boss gifts can be sparingly generic. You don’t want to be BFF’s with the boss, but you don’t want to come off as completely thoughtless and cheap (unless of course Stan is organizing the ugly sweater party with Dottie from accounting, and then we’re talking $5 gift cards to TGIF’s).
This is where a trip to the Ybor City Saturday Morning Market will come in handy! Whether you work for a boss man or a lady boss, you can find middle of the road items under $30 without a second glance when you shop at local markets.
For the Lady Boss:
Earrings are always a nice gift. You can just look at the person and see what style she likes. You can get unique earrings at lots of wonderful vendors, like Full Circle Creations, Rockman Studios, Tres Claudine Artisan Crafted Jewelry and Reusin by Susan. You probably don’t want to get the Lady Boss a necklace – too personal – but bracelets and fun earrings are a good bet.
There are also lots of great vendors that make soaps, lotions, lip balms and candles that would make a nice ‘basket’ you could throw together for a reasonable price. Check out Soap Handmade by Jeannie, Body Silk by Robin and The Good Stuff (really nice soy candles that smell fresh and not perfumey).
For the Boss Man:
Beards are in. Does the Boss Man have a beard? You can always get him some organic beard oil from every other booth at almost any market these days. A lot of them have “manly” soaps and lotions with black labels to make them look manlier than manly so men will use it and not think they are turning into a woman. I would recommend a specific vendor, however, my lady beard has yet to come in and I don’t expect it to anytime soon. This is just a suggestion. From a lady. Without a beard.
Boss Man are more likely to like sports, so stop by and see Creations by Robin and her awesome employees. She hand paints signs with all your favorite sports teams (and all their rivals). She also makes signs for the home, so this could go for the Boss Man or the Lady Boss. Either way, stop by and tell her Meghan sent you ... and then watch her run!
Food is always nice, if you know their preferences. It’s almost EASIER at local markets to find your gluten free, vegan, soy injected, no-turkey-but-fish-is-ok, lacto-pesca, anti-zucchini, going vegan for the holidays, vegetarian sometimes, only red meat diets. This is where all the off the eaten pathers go for this stuff! This is where small businesses are experimenting with new ideas, fresh foods and tasty tidbits. You’ll have to wait until the last minute to purchase any food gifts, but a few suggestions to start would be The Happy Baker (with some of THE tastiest tiny loaves of Pilgrim Pumpkin Bread you’ll ever have). If they have their little oven out at the market, you'll probably smell the bread cooking before you see them in their orange aprons! Or, grab some cupcakes from Angie’s Cupcakes – you may need to get a baker’s dozen, because I will tell you now at LEAST one will be gone before you get them home. A DELISH vegan option is A3 Confections. Yes, vegan CAN be delish, so pipe down there, meat lovers. Stan’s probably a meat lover that hates vegans. Red velvet. You’re welcome. Also, check out Mammoth Foods for their hummus. Pick me up a bucket while you’re at it.
Of course, I can't possibly leave out the suggestion of a Hogan Made shirt as a gift for the boss! You can also find Hogan Made at the Ybor City Saturday Market. And, look! You are already on my website, so SHOP NOW!!
You can find a lot of the above-mentioned at the Ybor City Saturday Market, and Tampa Indie Flea is always a great source of reasonably priced gifts.
Next time, we’ll get back to the Christmakwanzukkah party your friends are throwing.
Ok, now that we’ve got your list sorted that out, let’s get down to business and start with family; Moms, dads, siblings, cousins, uncles, and sometimes BFF’s. These are the closest people to you. Let’s figure you will likely spend a little more on moms and dads, so we’ll budget them for $50-75. Now, if your dad is difficult to buy for (because whose dad ISN’T?!), we’ll need to think outside the box. Dads are big ol’ mushy balls of bear hugs and love. I’d say 9 times out of 10 they’d rather DO something with the family than receive a gift. Am I right? So, let’s talk DOING. All of the DOING ideas can be done as a family gift, a gift for mom and dad, given as gift certificates or just go spend some time with the fam!
To Do’s With Dad:
Straz Center – You can get gift certificates in any amount! If you want them by Christmas, you’ll need to order them before December 20th. This would be a great Mom & Dad Date Night gift (yup, made you just vomit in your own mouth, didn’t I? You’re welcome).
Tampa Bay History Center – Dads and dudes love this place. They have pirates, cigars old maps, and all kinds of dude things. They don’t have gift certificates, but you can purchase tickets or even think about a membership as a gift (Individual is $55, Companion is $75).
Tampa Theatre – Does dad like movies? Does he go often? Does he like free refills on popcorn and soda? If you’ve answered yes to all these questions, then you should get him a FAN level membership to the Tampa Theatre for $50-90.
Tampa Bay Water Bike Co. – Want to dork out with dad? This is PERFECT! You can do an hour to an hour and a half from $30-80. Think of the Instagram pics you can post and send to your cousins! They offer discounts to teachers, military and seniors and you can book online! They are located downtown, so you could easily make a day out of it by hitting up the Columbia Café for a snack afterwards!
eBoats Tampa – Biking on the water too much work? How about renting an eBoat for an hour? For $80 you can enjoy downtown Tampa from the river. Once you’re done, you can run up to Ulele or Armature Works and grab a beer and a bite!
To Gets For Dad:
Dad don’t wanna DO? Then how about a good book from Inkwood, a Grumpy Grouper shirt from Hogan Made or nice Arturo Fuente cigar from King Corona Cigars? Is dad a beer drinker? Maybe he’d like a fat little growler full of some tasty local brews? You can grab one from Bru Growler Bar in Odessa. There are SO many mouthwatering craft brews in town from which to choose, you could even put together a ‘Beer Bucket’ with some snacks, his favorite brews, beef jerky from Stanford’s Jerky and cheese from the Cheese Lodge (both of whom you can find at local markets regularly). I mean, really, y’all could just get this for me instead of dad.
Friends of Hogan Made, I am happy to announce that you need look no further for holiday shopping advice, as I have done all the hard work for you. Welcome to Hogan Made’s SHOP LOCAL, TAMPA! This is your go-to shopping guide for the holidays (and I mean every holiday). You could say this is a SHOPPING GUIDE FOR YOUR COMMUNITY!
I’ll be doing a series of short blog-like entries to help you make sure you are buying all the right gifts for all the right people at all the right places in plenty of time for the holidays! I’ll include links, gift ideas, and all the information you’ll need to get your shopping job done.
Why such a list? Because I see similar lists every year with the same ol’ same ol’, many of which are, um, not so local, and wildly overpriced for the number of people you need to buy for. My list is going to include authentic local makers, artists, food vendors, things to do and local businesses. I want it to compel people to shop local and support businesses while suggesting reasonably priced gift suggestions.
So, let’s get started. First, let’s look at your list. You’ve probably got the family first, then bff’s and close friends, then you start talking about acquaintances and co-workers, and then there are those people who get you something and you’re like, ‘DAMN! Now I have to get a gift for Stan because he got me something!’ You could potentially be looking at 20-30 gifts on your list. Even at $10 a pop, you’re already into the hundreds of dollars! We’ll need to organize your list into a tier system. Sounds complicated, huh? Well, it’s not, so calm down. You basically think about your list from closest people to you to the farthest from you (Stan). (See Image 1)
Obviously, you can put your own budget into the circle of gifts, but you get the picture. You could even figure out what your total holiday shopping budget is and work from there. Say you're on a very small budget this year. What to do?! No worries, we'll be sharing plenty of ideas to get you on your way and on your budget. I think for now, though, let's focus on the center of our circle - FAMILY. We'll be posting our very first entry in the next few days, so make sure and check back to see what we've got in store!