Saturday, November 24, 2012

Gift Guide - Where to shop in Chambana for those people you kinda know.

Okay, so the hardest part of the holidays is when you end up buying for people you don't know that well. Or, perhaps you know them well but are just stumped on where to start shopping. I've come up with a list of my most encountered people categories and some stores that they would love!

Dudes can be difficult to shop for because they always shrug their shoulders and are like "uuhhh I don't know.." or throw out a $300 gaming system that you can't afford. So here's my advice:

The Dude

--likes: beer, sports, outdoor activities, and probably fire
Where to shop in Chambana?  
Gameday Spirit (team apparel and the like)
Champaign Surplus (outdoorsey/adventurous gifts)
Picadilly Beverage Shop (alcoholic beverages). also, very soon Common Ground Food Co-Op may offer brewskis as well! *Update: Common Ground now DOES offer brewskis and more!
Jos. Kuhn & Co. (ties for dad, nice clothes, and really sweet hats)
Body N' Sole Sports (athletic gear)
Record Swap (records/CDs)
Exile On Main Street (records/CDs, dvds, video games)
Live Action Games (vintage video game systems/games)
Furniture Lounge (sweet duds, records, and beer memorabilia)
CV Lloyde Music Shop (guitars, sound stuff, nice headphones)

(ps: i'm not really much of a "pinner" but i have a pretty sweet "Dude" board that could possibly inspire gift ideas)

Girls are tough because they always say "Oh, you don't have to get me anything...." but you know you do and that it shouldn't be the typical Bath & Body Works gift basket (trust me, don't even try it). Here's my advice:

The Lady
--likes: crafting, wine, a good scarf, and probably fire.. in candle form
Where to shop in Chambana?
Needleworks (needle-working supplies, and other crafts)
*Update 12/21: You can also check out Klose Knit for yarn!
I.D.E.A. Store (all kinds of fun random stuff you could use for crafting + benefits local education)
Art Mart (good for stylish housewares, cute gifts, jewelry, gourmet foods & wine, and treat yo' self type items)
Findings (high quality clothing and jewelry)
Circles (high quality clothing, shoes, accessories)
Checkered Moon (unique gifts, quality clothing, nice accessories)
Jane Addams Bookstore (books, greeting cards)
*Update 12/21: Check out Corkscrew for wine and liquor as well!

People with kids know everything to get another person's child. If they're 3, they probably wear this size of clothing and can play with this type of toy and can eat this type of food. If you don't have a kid, all of those things are a mystery and, frankly, are a little terrifying to try to figure out. Here's my advice on where to start, and remember: one awesome thing about shopping local is that the people at these stores will actually help you.

--likes: anything with noise, lights, and that requires batteries
Where to shop in Chambana?
Art Mart Toys (neat kid toys, some kid wear too)
Checkered Moon (kid toys, stylish kid wear)
Dallas & Company (stocking stuffer type toys, dress up clothes)
All Things Kids (resale shop with toys, books, clothing)
Orpheum Children's Science Museum (get a membership!)
B. Lime Online ("green" kiddo stuff)
Babyland (clothes, toys, supplies)
Jane Addams Bookstore (books)

Ahhhh, the ?? category. The people you get roped into shopping for that you hardly know. Co-worker gift exchanges, the in-laws, etc. With this category, you don't want to get anything too specific, but you want it to feel like you really thought about it. Here's my advice:

The People You Hardly Know
--likes: .... no idea.
Where to shop in Chambana?
Art Mart and Checkered Moon both have great gifts for all types of people. Almost anyone would appreciate one of the hilarious Fred & Friends household products (e.g. mustache corkscrew) and both of these stores sell them!

If you'd like to go the gift certificate route, here are some of my favorite places: The Art Theater, Black Dog Smoke & Ale House, Big Grove Tavern, Sushi Kame, Zojo Cafe, Aroma Cafe (currently offering a gift cert incentive. buy certain $$ gift cert, get $$ free. sorry, i forget amounts)

I hope this helps! I've linked each referenced store so you can get to know a little about them or find them if you're not sure of their location.

I'd also advise you go ahead and click the Treat Yo' Self link I tagged above because, well, its awesome. And watch the Big Lebowski video again, just to ENSURE your day is amazing.

Finally, many of these stores are offering Shop Small Saturday discounts. Learn more about those in my previous post. PS: Feel free to comment with any other stores you think would be a good addition to this list!


  1. Needleworks is largely a yarn shop, and there's another in town as well - Klose Knit, which is just across from Strawberry Fields. Corkscrew for wine and liquor, and Common Ground has the beer now!!

    1. Thanks for the tips! I updated the post. Yay for Common Ground!!