If you find yourself pounding through your Christmas list in the Valley, you might feel a little removed from the local shops that exist in places like downtown Spokane and Coeur d'Alene. The mundanity of the superstores and outlets lining Sprague, Broadway and the Spokane Valley Mall might stifle your creative-gift-giving flow, but don't let it. Despite what it looks like at first glance, there are local gems. If you seek them out, your gift recipients will know you love them enough not to buy them treasures during a one-stop Walmart errand.


If you have a foodie on your list, pretty much anything off the shelves of Spice Traders Mercantile will get them stoked: olive oils, artisan balsamic vinegars in flavors like spicy mango and black walnut, salts, teas and spices, from asafoetida to zahtar. You can stuff a treat box with small sizes of all of the above so they can experiment their little gastronomic heart out. $12-$25 • Spice Traders Mercantile • 15614 E. Sprague


True tea drinkers know a teapot is not just another kitchen appliance. A teapot is an important element in the overall tea-drinking aesthetic and therapeutic experience. So looks matter. Spice Traders has pretty teapots, including a cherry blossom one with a removable infuser for loose-leaf tea. Pair it with packets of teas that range from a huge list of black and green teas to mates and rooibos, and even teas with practical purposes like herbal detox and anti-inflammatory. $25 for teapot; $2.79-$5 for tea • Spice Traders Mercantile • 15614 E. Sprague


Giving gifts that are useful and pleasant is nice, but what's cooler is when you give a gift to someone that teaches them something new. Pick an outdoorsy person on your list (just not someone opposed to killing things) and send them on a fly fishing trip. Silver Bow provides the gear and lessons and takes people on the Spokane River to catch redband rainbow trout during the season, which runs from June to March. $375 for two people • Silver Bow Fly Shop • 13210 E. Indiana


Or if you sense your outdoorsy friend is the type to grab a new tool and venture out to get the knack of it on their own, opt for just outfitting them with what they need to start fly fishing. This starter kit comes with the fly rod, reel, floating line, leader and a case to put it all in. It's also a good choice for a fisher in need of new gear. $170 • Silver Bow Fly Shop • 13210 E. Indiana


Any item becomes the classic grandparent gift once the smiling faces of the grandkids get plastered on. At Anderson Ink, you really can get a photo printed on almost anything — T-shirts, mouse pads, cutting boards, cake pans, car mats, puzzles, pillows. But you might want something that'll appeal to a wider audience. How about a beer stein? It's the perfect medium to venture out of the family photo realm of personalized presents. Think zany. Think fave slogans. Think embarrassing photos. Think inside jokes. $26 • Anderson Ink • Spokane Valley Mall, 14700 E. Indiana


Turn on your empathy powers and just imagine how your beloved pup must feel when all of its humans gather around a shiny tree and "oo" and "ahh" as they pull fun and delicious things out of giant socks. Guys, where's mine? is what he's almost certainly thinking. So why not give your furry family member a stocking of his own to paw through? (Bravo, if you already do!) A good stuffer to start with is this gingerbread man dog treat. I'm sure he'll enjoy biting its head off. $3 • Pet Vittles and Wild Bird West • 919 N. Argonne


For those humans who like to assist members of the animal kingdom, stuff their stocking with something to share with the critters, like this Cotton Tail Nesting Ball. They can hang it on a tree branch outside a window and watch their winged friends peck out materials for building a nest and get cozy in their backyard. $5.95 • Pet Vittles and Wild Bird West • 919 N. Argonne


It's a good thing the '90s came back into style. One can still feel fashionable sporting some chunky knit around the wrists. But there's nothing grunge about these charming, fleece-lined arm warmers from Jema Lane Boutique. They even have protruding thumbholes so your texting appendages stay toasty. Because nothing says "I love you" like making sure someone's limbs don't freeze. $32 • Jema Lane Boutique • 613 S. Pines

Deck The Falls Festival @ Cutter Theatre

Sun., Dec. 4, 2-3 p.m.
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