Everyone is singing “Supply Chain Blues” this year for fear that their holiday gifts won’t reach home in time. Fortunately, there is a simple solution that avoids shipping problems and can really help a small business in Silicon Valley: shop in local stores.
And if you don’t know where to start, don’t worry, because I have a few suggestions that might cover everyone on your list, especially if they live in the Bay Area.
GAME NIGHT: Believe it or not, there is a San Jose-based Monopoly fake called – you guessed it – San Jose Opoli. You may remember that there was a board game in Silicon Valley called In the Chips in the early 80s, and SiliconValleyOpoly at the end of the decade, and both were not so-so at best.
This is where Santana Row and the Plaza San Pedro market take the traditional Boardwalk and Park Place and are referenced by Falafel Drive-In, Cinequest, San Jose Jazz and Shoe Palace. My only complaint is that game tokens are versatile and really need an electric light tower and Quetzalcoatl for authenticity, although a good 3D printer can’t fix that.
Admittedly, this first suggestion is a bit of a hoax because it isn’t locally manufactured and I bought mine at Walgreen’s for $ 20 plus tax. The woman behind me in the line said, “San Jose Opoli? It’s fucking crazy. ” Oh yes it is.
GETTING PERSONAL: Hammer & Nails is a relatively new men’s grooming salon that opened at 1151 Lincoln Ave. at Willow Glen. He offers haircuts, shaves, beard treatments, manicures and pedicures for guys in an environment that feels more like a madman than a beauty parlor. Guys can even indulge in a glass of whiskey while sitting in a spacious leather chair and watching TV overhead. Services range from $ 60 for a classic fit to $ 180 for a premium manicure and pedicure combo, and they even offer a membership with two services per month. You can get a gift card at www.hammerandnailsgrooming.com.
HOLIDAY FIND: From November 27 to December 19, San Jose Historic Park at the Bay Area Glass Institute hosts an annual jewelry sale and holiday sale with many handcrafted glass gifts. Or you can sign up for a 2-hour class and learn how to make a glass snowman decoration or Christmas tree yourself. Visit www.bagi.org for more information or head to Historic Park, 1650 Senter Road.
The San Jose Made holiday craft fair also takes place at the Santa Clara Convention Center from November 26 to 28, with over 300 manufacturers, artists and designers selling their items. Visit www.sanjosemade.com for details and be careful: the 49ers play on Sunday at 1:25 pm, so you need to arrive and leave before that time to avoid headaches.
MUSEUM SHOP SUNDAY: This is the real thing on November 28th that started five years ago because, well, something has to happen between Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, right?
The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles has recently completely revamped its store with new items for textile or art aficionados in general. While you’re there, it’s worth checking out their new exhibitions. Visit www.sjquiltmuseum.org for opening hours and other details.
The San Jose Museum of Art store is one of the best places in town to find interesting gifts, from scarves and other clothing to puzzles, jewelry and books, and there is always something to do with ongoing exhibitions. There is no entrance fee to visit the store, and museum members who have already received a 10% discount receive a double discount for the first two weekends in December. Check it out at store.sjmusart.org.
The Triton Art Museum in Santa Clara also hosts an art sale on Sundays featuring ceramics, glassware, and art by Treg Silkwood, Cindy Sarakko, Bobby Bose, Ken Takara and Gavin Pimsombun. There will also be live music and wine from 11:30 am to 4:30 pm. Find out more at www.tritonmuseum.org.
EXPERIENCE REQUIRED: If you’re buying someone who doesn’t want more “stuff,” how about a cool experience?
You can get tickets or season tickets to any of the valley’s theaters, most of which gave live performances. Need some hints? Try City Lights Theater Company (www.cltc.org), San Jose Stage (thestage.org), Tabard Theater Company (www.tabardtheatre.org), TheaterWorks Silicon Valley (www.theatreworks.org), or San Jose Playhouse (www. sanjoseplayhouse.org).
Are there families on your list? Purchase tickets or spend on memberships to Tech Interactive (www.thetech.org), Children’s Discovery Museum (www.cdm.org), Computer History Museum (www.computerhistory.org), Happy Hollow Park & Zoo (hhpz.org) or the new Palo Alto Children’s Museum and Zoo.
I bet you know someone who has never been to the Winchester Mystery House or Great America.
WRITTEN MATERIAL: I have a soft spot for bookstores and I think you can’t go wrong introducing your favorite book to a new reader. I recommend going to Hicklebee’s (hicklebees.com) on Lincoln Avenue, Books Inc. (www.booksinc.net) at PruneYard in Campbell, Mountain View and Palo Alto; Recycle books (recyclebookstore.com) in San Jose or Campbell, Lee’s Favorite Books (www.leighsbooks.com) in Sunnyvale, or Bell’s books (www.bellsbooks.com) in Palo Alto.
FOOD (AND DRINKS) FOR THOUGHT: If you have a fan of beer, wine, or spirits on your list, try 10th Street Distillery in San Jose, Joseph George Fine Wines, or any of South Bay’s microbreweries (Hermitage, Narrative Fermentations, Clandestine Brewing, and Camino Brewing are among my San Jose favorites) … You also can’t go wrong if you buy a gift card at your favorite local restaurant, or simply invite someone over for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.