Written by Toni Shiurba. Published on November 9, 2017.
We know how it is. Year after year buying gifts for the same people gets, well… challenging. Shake it up a bit this year and do your holiday shopping on San Juan Island. We have a huge variety of shops, stores and boutiques with unique gifting opportunities that offer something for everyone on your list. Let us tell you about some of our favorite finds.
Krystal Acres Alpaca Farm
Krystal Acres Alpaca Farm Country Store will make you feel warm and fuzzy all over. No, I really mean that! Why, it even rivals the stuffed Koala Bear I used to snuggle up with when I was very young. The silky, luxurious fleece can be turned into soft, cashmere-like yarn, blankets, apparel and accessories. And it has no lanolin like wool does, so it’s hypoallergenic.
Then, there is the cuteness of the earth-colored creatures that feed on the eighty acres of tree-dotted grassland in the middle of San Juan Island. The look is reminiscent of a tousled, poodle doo, I’d say.
The Country Store at the Farm provides a number of possibilities to check off your “whose been nice” list. Knitters will go wild for the yarn. The skeins range from rich espresso brown to blackest black, warm cream, grey and camel brown. Sweaters for men and women sometimes boast the names of the animals that were shorn to knit them. Baby Alpaca fleece provides the fibers for stylish capes and finely knit sweaters.
Or you can give a gift that will nip the cold of winter in its tracks. They carry a fabulous selection of blankets and couch throws to wrap up in. Russian-style Alpaca hats, knitted hats and gloves make blustery conditions a breeze. Pull on a pair of Alpaca socks and some wild, shaggy slippers. They are incredibly warm and “tre’s chic”.
For the Kiddos
What a joy they’ll have unwrapping a stuffed miniature Alpaca this December. These plush toys put a blush on your run of the mill stuffed animals. They have the cutest ones you can imagine in several different styles, colors and sizes. Hats, socks, mittens and sweaters are also ready to surprise those special kids on your list.
Open this Christmas Season November through March from 11am -4pm daily. 3501 West Valley Road.
Friday Harbor House of Jerky
Next on our list, if you’re in need of something tasty to nibble on? Discover the snack that helped open the West. The cowboys and pioneers who came across the country in covered wagons had it right. Armed with bags of beans, flour, sugar and dried beef, they survived the rigors of the journey. Our Little House of Jerky has a fine rendition of this early American staple. Real meat jerky!
Zesty, spicy or delectably sweet! Beef, turkey, pork, bison, salmon and a vast variety of exotic meat are packaged up ready for a tempting treat for that hard-to-buy-for relative or friend. Kids love it too!
Open Everyday 10am-6:30pm except Thanksgiving and Christmas. 260 Spring Street #7.
Griffin Bay Bookstore
Here is a riddle for you. “My leafs don’t change, though they turn. From me you vanish, experience or learn. What am I?”
A book, of course! Books are prized for many reasons-fantastic photographs, adventures, fantasies, historical events, scientific discoveries and on and on. Whether you’re shopping for a “book worm” or not, there will be an option here that will get pages turning.
Latte and Linger
Plus, not only does Griffin Bay have literature in every possible genre, but they also serve up a mighty fine latte in the back. Kick back and peruse a book. Takes a bit of stress out of the holiday shopping chore, don’t you think?
Maybe you had to bring the kids along for your outing today. Don’t worry, they’ll stay preoccupied. Up a few stairs in the middle of the store, find the Kid’s Corner. Beanbags and comfy chairs wait to hold curious minds. The books that surround those who enter are colorful, well-written tales both fictional and not.
Love to give a gift that lasts? Something that isn’t consumed, worn out or lost its’ favor or panache? Then Griffin Bay Bookstore will solve several of your gift-giving dilemmas.
Hours 10am to 6pm Everyday of the Week. 160 Spring St.
Finally, here you’ll discover diverse styles of art fill every nook and cranny of this truly island shop. Local artists express themselves in eclectic and whimsical sculpture, painted and photographic art. There are fine woodcarvings, wooden toys and furniture. Silver, glass and stone jewelry, knitted accessories, scented soaps, ceramics form an ever-changing assortment of handcrafted items. This is the place to get a flavor of what island life inspires.
Open from 10am to 5pm Everyday except Thanksgiving and Christmas. 270 Spring St.