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[whitespace] Panic in the Street

A tisket, a tasket, a Pacific Avenue gift basket is a fiendishly simple way to beat last-minute gift-buying anxiety

By Janet Blaser

It's less than a week until Christmas, and if you're like most of us, you're still scrambling to polish off your holiday shopping, and possibly running out of ideas--and time--fast. That's why we at Metro Santa Cruz have crafted a last-minute gift strategy that can be quickly and easily executed on a single street. And for the unveiling ... may we present: The Metro Santa Cruz Pacific Avenue Gift Basket, with contents as follows:

Sweets: Marini's has been assisting in this department for half a century. A bag of Classic Salt Water Taffy or Caramel Corn ($3.75) or a fudge tree with M&M ornaments ($4.98) will satisfy any sweet tooth.

Photo magnet: Remember your favorite part of Santa Cruz--the beach, the redwoods, downtown, the Boardwalk and more--with a photo magnet ($2.99) from Palace Office Supply.

Candles: What better way to warm a winter's night than with the comforting glow from handmade beeswax candles? The Homeless Garden Project sells a pair of 10-inch tapers, packaged with a sprig of dried flowers, for $11.

More comfort: While you're there, pick up a small silk mesh bag of potpourri made with locally grown flowers and herbs like lavender, mint and rose geranium, ($3-7.25) to make everything smell good.

Coffee: At the SC Coffee Roasting Company, pick up a 1-pound. bag of holiday blends like "Nutcracker" or "Feliz Navidad" ($9.75/pound).

Cookies: Where there's coffee, there should be cookies! At the Pacific Cookie Company, you can get a festive red or white holiday tin filled with half-a-dozen cookies (your choice) for only $7.95.

Body Products: At Artisans, choose from the entire line of Bonny Doon Farm soaps, lotions, salves and splashes. All available in Rose Geranium, Lemon Verbena and, of course, Lavender. I suggest a tin of Gardener's Salve ($8.50) and a bar of soap ($3.50, $7).

Art: A print of one of James Carl Aschbacher's whimsical murals, full of smiling people, animals, planets and stars, is proof of Santa Cruz's good standing in the arts community. At Artisans, choose from "Across The Friendship Bridge" or "Wish Upon A Star" ($20 each, unframed) both in manageable 12-by-14-inch sizes.

Wine: New Leaf Market carries a good selection of Santa Cruz Mountain wines. You might consider the Bonny Doon Vineyard Sangiovese "Il Fiasco" ($13.99) for its flexible pairing, classic flavor, and the ridiculously silly label.

Chocolate: And where there's wine, there should be chocolate! Any of Chocolate's large, delectable mousse-filled truffles can be packaged in pretty cellophane to add to your basket (or reward you for all your hard work). Choose from Rose Cream, Hazelnut, Fresh Mint, Cherries 'n Cream, Amaretto, Lavender, Mexican Spice, Mocha, Coconut and more ($2).

Character: Tell 'em you want to keep our town happening with a "Keep Santa Cruz Weird" sticker (see Nu-z, page 7)

The Final Touch: Palace Office Supply not only has baskets galore, they also have ribbon and wrapping paper. For maximum effect, use brightly colored cellophane to wrap your entire gift basket ($1.05/roll).

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From the December 18-24, 2002 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Maintained by Boulevards New Media.

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