Let's start this off with something easy: accessories are always a winner when it comes to simple, affordable gifts. Got a friend or co-worker who's always freezing? Head to Terra Verde
(208 N. Tejon St.), where you'll find dozens and dozens of ways to shut them up and make them look damn good to boot. We're talking about scarves in every single color and fabric you can think of. Walls of them. Our standout favorite is the soft-and-pettable faux fur fox scarf
($36). It hits the mark as warm, cuddly and cruelty-free. Oddly enough you can possibly check off a kiddo gift while there, too. Tucked in the back past clothing and accessories is a pretty rad toy section. Check out the colorful Deluxe Spicy Kid's Kitchen
($149), a sturdy wooden world of make-believe for the pint-sized aspiring chef.
If you'd like to appeal to the sweet tooth instead of the savory palate, chocolate is always a clear winner. And if you can make it fancy chocolate? Even better. Time — and refrigeration — is of the essence with Radiantly Raw's Chocolate Lover's gift box
; $32). Made from simple ingredients like raw honey, unroasted cacao and pure coconut oil, the chocolates are incredibly delicate, requiring that they remain chilled. However, Radiantly Raw's website claims that your recipient will enjoy lots of rewards in exchange for the minimal effort of keeping them cold, including anti-aging and aphrodisiac effects. We think a youthful glow and sexy times are good gifts, especially when they come in flavors like honey cream and maple caramel.
And while beer itself is a gift and we've got around 30 breweries in Colorado Springs to drink in, sometimes that's just not enough for the hops-obsessed. They want more. They want to experience the magic of brewing for themselves, maybe achieving that ultimate IPA or trying out that secret dream flavor they've never been able to find. Old West Brew Shop
(229 E. Pikes Peak Ave.) can help you become their beer Knight Gallant with their Basic Plus Brew Kit
($89). It's sold with food-grade gear including hoses, fermenter and hydrometer, and your giftee can start brewing immediately with one of Old West's recipe kits, offered at 25 percent off with kit purchase. Maybe your gift recipient will thank you with a pint when it's done.
For a gift focused more on the literary side of things, you can check out Escape Velocity Comics
(19 E. Bijou St.), which sports a pretty nifty selection of books and comics from local writers and artists. The staff recommends Sheath
, a comic
($4.99 each) which features high schooler Ethan Cooper navigating his teenage years, his extraordinary powers and the sinister forces that want to destroy the universe. Sheath
co-creator Ben Worrell is a CSU grad and Colorado Springs resident, as well as the CEO of Sheath Comics (the company). Another great read to gift is sci-fi author Susanne Lambdin's Dead Hearts novel series
($12.99 each), set in a post-pandemic Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs. In addition to zombies and survival, Colorado natives will enjoy the cool factor of a hometown setting filled with recognizable landmarks like Pikes Peak, NORAD and Garden of the Gods.
Just across the street from Escape Velocity's downtown location is Zero Fox Given
(22 E. Bijou St.), where you'll find the woodworking stylings of Michael Hebert. While the engraved rolling pins and coffee cups are great, Michael's character ornaments
($30/set) are a great example of his woodworking ability. The ornaments are beautifully cut into delicate patterns that feature a variety of pop culture favorites and are perfect for hanging on your tree or anywhere else in the house. We're partial to the set featuring cinema's favorite badass raccoon and laconic sentient tree (better known as Groot
), but there are plenty of other recognizable delights to be found.
Even our four-legged friends seem to have their place in the local beer scene — and their own gifts, too. Adorn your dog with accessories featuring the most bad-ass canine mascot in history, Cerberus. The three-headed guardian of the gates of hell (who probably still hid when Hades or Persephone got out the vacuum) is also the namesake of local favorite Cerberus Brewing Company
(702 W. Colorado Ave.) and is featured on all their gear. Pick up a Cerberus collar for your favorite pup
($20, any size) and snag a pint for yourself ... with duck fat fries ... while you're there.
Of course, there's more to life than beer. Like art. And fun (though they've all been known to go together). And if there's one thing the Chavez Gallery
(25241/2 W. Colorado Ave.) sells, it's whimsy and good times. Artists Liese and Kris Chavez host monthly shows with interactive features like performance artists, games and gifts. Liese Chavez has captured some of her most beloved works (you may have seen a few of them on the signal box at the corner of Kiowa and Tejon streets) on heavy steel locket sets sold with three interchangeable images
($35). You can follow Liese on Facebook to catch updates on her works-in-progress and her weekly "Bedhead Sunday" photo swap.