Bounty Hunter: Trolling for holiday booty in Tempe

By Wynter Holden

We're down to the wire now, kids. Yes, there's just 6 more shopping days left until Christmas, and if you're shopping for Hanukkah or Kwanzaa gifts, you're similarly screwed. Hopefully, you've already bought your niece or nephew the "It" toy they've been coveting and purchased your Target, Wal-Mart and Amazon goodies online, because holiday shipping deadlines are tighter than a pair of Spanx at this point. But there's always someone on the list who's irritatingly choosy (remember when you bought that cashmere sweater in lime instead of forest green? oh, the horror!) or insanely difficult to buy for, and chances are you've left their gifts for last.

We scoured the streets of Tempe for some holiday booty and found these gems for uber-picky relatives that just could save your last-minute shopper booty. Feel free to thank us later with showers of praise -- or maybe a little something from #3.
 
botanicus.gif1. Bells, Books and Candles
  Divaz boutique on Mill Ave. has a Buy 1, Get 1 sale on Juicy charms and free holiday gift wrapping with any purchase! For more "cerebral" loved ones, our beloved Changing Hands Bookstore's got a half-dozen racks of discount books, most less than $7. Stuck on what to get your guy friend? A tobacco leaf Botanicus candle from Here on the Corner could be the answer to that puzzling sweat-sock smell in his batch pad.

2. Join the culture club
If your friend/relative/sweetie's idea of cultural activities include watching Adult Swim or playing WoW, he/she/they really need to get out more. And what better way to force them outside than with theater tickets? Purchase advance tickets to Stray Cat Theater performances at the original Tempe Center for the Arts building, or the Valley Art cinema on Mill at www.harkinstheatres.com.   

wine.gif3. Stop whining, start wining
Log onto Tempe-based PurVine Wines to blend a custom cask of your own signature wine made with Napa Valley grapes. At $2,100+ per cask it's a little pricey, but just imagine how impressed your friends & family will be when you promise them a bottle of Chateau [Your Name Here], 2009. If that's out of your financial league, BevMo at Tempe Marketplace has a good selection of wine, champagne, beer and other libations. 

4. Wake up and smell the...
Our own "Caffiend" Niki D'Andrea gave us the inspiration for this one. Because nothing says, "I like you more when you're caffeinated" like a pound of coffee from Cartel Coffee Lab at 225 W. University Dr. or some flowering teas from Tea Infusion at Tempe Marketplace. 

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