Arts & Culture News

5 Unique Gift Ideas from Local Businesses for Your Last-Minute Christmas Gift List

Right now, the world's procrastinators and the just plain lazy are sitting in their homes in fear of the world they'll have to face if they don't want to look like the chintziest cheapskate at their family Christmas get-together. They've put off going to the malls or the stores for so long that they've built bigger and bigger armies of their procrastinating brethren who'll crawl over each other like ants descending on a crumb of chocolate for the last toaster oven. They are cursing themselves for not using the self-defense class certificate they got last year from an obscure relative. They can't stand the thought of possibly committing, being the victim of or being charged with assault just so they can buy a gift for the brother-in-law they won't see until Easter or his next court date, whichever comes first.

If you're a member of this group, there's no need to start dipping into the adult egg nog early. There are actually some weird and interesting gift ideas that are original and don't involve fighting your way through a crowded mall. Best of all, they are from local businesses, so for once your laziness can benefit a local business instead of helping one of the Walmart heirs buy another gold spit bucket.


1. The Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas 24-Month Pinup Calendar

The calendar that somehow created such a fervor with their pinup photos that a children's advocacy group turned down their original plan to give them an anonymous donation finally went on the shelves. The Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas, the local mom group that started a national wave of followers and chapters, put together a tasteful pinup calendar that officially went on sale last Saturday. So why not give the gift of a pinup calendar to that lonely guy in your family who needs to feel like they are doing something to help children since their chances of having themselves aren't good.

2. A Gift Certificate to the Anger Room Giving someone a gym membership as an unsolicited gift is one of the most heartless gifts you can give a person. It's less heartless to walk up to them and ask if the state requires them to stop at weigh stations before they cross state lines. The Anger Room has come up with an interesting way to get your upper body workout and repressed Neanderthal anger out of your system. The Dallas original recently expanded its operations to a bigger facility off of Gould Street and have plenty of things for anyone on your gift list to smash with a blunt object until it is no longer recognizable.

3. Beekeeping Lessons at Round Rock Honey You might have a thrill seeker on your gift list who is just impossible to shop for regardless of the holiday. You don't want to buy them a ticket to some of adrenaline adventure like bungee jumping or shark cage diving that might actually kill them. Then again, you don't want to buy them something that they might secretly scoff at when they open the gift envelope. Beekeeping sounds like the perfect activity with the perfect dash of danger that won't actually maximize their life insurance premiums. Round Rock Honey's Beekeeping Academy offers year-round lessons in organic honey harvesting with hands-on instruction. Students actually learn all the steps of gathering honey from beehives and then suit up to bottle a batch themselves from a real buzzing hive of busy honeybees.

4. A Bottle of Poo-Pourri Just like the dreaded gym membership, giving bathroom spray as a gift might be considered a subtle way of telling the receiver that their digestive system produces more bad smells than a smelting clinic located next to a Sriracha hot sauce plant. However, if you tell them that it's from a local business with a penchant for humor that's actually funny, it might give them one less reason to make one less vein pop in their forehead. Poo-Pourri actually won our 2010 Best Preemptive Strike award for concocting such a clever idea and creating a viral commercial to boot that's gotten more than 21 million hits on YouTube. At this point, the gift you're really giving them is the gift of not being left out of a trend.

5. Skull Spoons

Just about anything from Dallas' quirkiest vintage collectible and clothing store could qualify as an original gift idea but these locally made sets of flatware of the dead are among the most original. Artistic personality Pinky Diablo makes each skeletal spoon by hand and sells by request or over the counter at Dolly Python. They are sure to be perfect for the goth guy or gal on your gift list who's grown tired of getting Hot Topic gift cards or tanning clinic vouchers.

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Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.