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Look to Lodi for that perfect holiday gift

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Posted: Monday, November 22, 2010 1:24 pm | Updated: 5:59 am, Thu May 31, 2012.

‘Tis the season for gift giving, and local merchants have no shortage of ideas for helping make the holidays special for your loved ones. From hand-painted wineglasses to sports memorabilia, Lodi stores pride themselves on having items for the hard-to-shop-for person on everyone’s list.

As consumers continue to adjust their spending habits, local business owners say gifts that serve a practical purpose are highly popular. Functional gifts like home decorations and clothing are in demand, but nostalgic gifts that can remind the recipient about a joyful moment — such as their favorite sports team winning a world championship — are also stylish.

At Macchia Winery on East Peltier Road, the tasting room is filled with gift ideas such as hand-painted wine glasses, watches, bracelets, T-shirts and even sports equipment. Vibrantly colored skis with “Macchia” emblazoned across the tips are one popular item, said co-owner Lani Holdener. Another gift idea is the wineglasses she hand-paints in bold colors designs on using a toothpick, she said.   

The idea to sell a wide variety of merchandise at the winery came from Holdener going winetasting with her husband and wanting something more to occupy her time.

“He’d be tasting and I’d be bummed that there was nothing to do,” she said.

Although the winery sells a variety of high-end items such as designer purses and hand-painted art, moderately priced items like scarves, olive oil, decorative prints and decanters are the biggest sellers.  The gifts that retail for less than $20 are generally the most popular, she said. Decorations that can be placed outdoors all year long, like metal sculptures, are in demand right now.

The gifts that can be enjoyed throughout the year are selling the best this holiday season, said Sandy Holston, owner of Vision Flooring & Interiors and Gifts on West Lodi Avenue.

“People want stuff they are not going to have to put away right after the holidays,” she said.

Gifts that are practical have a large appeal this year, Holston said.

“We are selling mirrors like crazy,” she said.

Functional gifts like mirrors can be used to update a bathroom or living room and serve as part of a larger remodel, she said. Clocks, picture frames and paintings of animal scenes are also coveted by gift-givers. Art with a Tuscan influence is also popular because it generally does not seem to go out of style, she said.

“People want happy colors like deep reds, oranges and greens,” she said. “Tuscan-style pieces have that.”

San Francisco Giants fans can also expect some team-related goodies under the Christmas tree or in their stockings this year, said Rich Marini Jr., manager of Lodi Sporting Goods on South Church Street.

“They haven’t won in so long people are stocking up because they don’t know when it will happen again,” Marini Jr. said of merchandise referring to the Giants winning their first World Series since 1954.

The store sells shirts and hats for $30, and stocking stuffers like keychains and bumper stickers for less than $5.

Part of the appeal in the merchandise is just holding onto it as a keepsake, he said.

“Even if people don’t display the banner in their sports room, it’s just something they can hold onto,” he said.

Contact reporter Jordan Guinn at jordang@lodinews.com

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