Magnolia Village is gift central

Avoid the headaches, hassles and chain-store "itis" of mall-to-mall gift shopping this year. Instead, save precious minutes and your sanity by staying close to home.

Magnolia Village merchants have hundreds of unique gift ideas from which to choose. In a few blocks you'll find presents for tots, teens and in-betweens. When you need ideas for difficult-to-buy-for parents or for spouses for whom you "don't have a clue," pop in for helpful suggestions and advice from friendly shop owners and their staff.

The convenience of neighborhood shopping also is tough to beat when you need to stock up on gifts for hostesses, teachers and unexpected guests. A stroll through the village business center will offer a plenitude of options.

Here are just a few gift suggestions from Village merchants.

Awarded the Specialty Toy of the Year award by the Toy Industry of America, Uglydolls are a line of plush toys that the will amuse kids of all ages. Reported to be a hit among Hollywood's A-list, you can choose from tiny dolls on key chains to foot-tall sizes. Magnolia Garden Center's gift shop, 2455 32nd Ave. W. $7.50-$22.50

The 2007 "What Cancer Cannot Do" Calendar supports children at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center's Hutch School. Each month features artwork by Hutch School students depicting their ideas of "What Cancer Cannot Do" with quotes and pictures. $5. Moyer Foundation office, 2426 32nd Ave. W., Suite 200 (behind Porcelain Gallery).

The new, "best-ever" wine opener from Screwpull is highly regarded at Dish it up!, 2425 33rd Ave West Suite B. Specifically designed for all types of corks, you can't mess up the alignment! $150 gift set with foil cutter and presentation box.

Talk about convenient. Order mouthwatering Belgian-style truffles from Andy's Chocolates and they will be delivered directly to your Magnolia or Queen Anne address, free! Choose filled or fruit dipped chocolates, $16 and up. Email or phone in your order at or call 661-2004.

One-of-a-kind earrings, necklaces and bracelets by Martha Driver will thrill the women on your list. See the beautiful collection exclusively at Around the Block, 3308 W. McGraw St. $90 and up.

Bosca fine-leather goods for men and women at available at Leroux Fine Apparel, 3220 W. McGraw St. Renown for using the highest quality materials, Bosca leather wallets, business briefs and bags will last for many New Years to come. $40-$140.

Give the kitty you love the Original Scratch Lounge, world's best cardboard cat scratcher. Cost: $21.95. For the ruff and tumble dog in your life, Tuffies Dog Toys are the strongest soft pet toys in the world. Prices range from $6.95 to $82.95 for Tuffzilla, the monster toy at 27-inches tall! PJ's Paws and Claws, 3320 W. McGraw #3.

Other choices, close-at-hand, include gift cards and gift certificates from our local coffee shops, restaurants, hair and nail salons; fine wine from specialty stores and supermarkets; antiques, artwork, art glass and porcelain at specialty boutiques; and magazine subscriptions. (Tip: Just pick up a magazine on a topic of interest from any newsstand and fill out the subscription card inside.)

Before you know it, you will be able to start gift wrapping! Oh, did I mention, gift wrap, tags and mailing services are in the neighborhood, too?

Cindy Combs can be reached at 285-1143 or[[In-content Ad]]