Black Friday is over, but Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday still lie ahead — good news, if you still have Christmas gifts to buy.
Still need to figure out what to get the friend or family member who has everything? Here are a few ideas:
‘Pokemon Sword’ and ‘Shield’ ($60 — Walmart/Target)
Pokemon has been a cross-cultural phenomenon for more than 20 years and its latest video game entries, “Pokemon Sword” and “Pokemon Shield,” maintain the franchise’s charm while modernizing its look on the Nintendo Switch.
Set in the England-inspired setting of the Galar region, the game offers a wide range of environments to discover, collect, raise and battle various creatures called pokemon.
Newer fans might enjoy the game’s simplistic approach to the series while enjoying the charming visuals. Long-time players will be disappointed by the disappearance of many fan-favorite pokemon, but the new combat features will add a new flavor to the experience.
— Daryl Bunao
UNICEF's Inspired Gifts (Starting at $10)
Every year, UNICEF compiles a list of items that children around the world need: vaccinations, winter clothes, food bundles and classroom items. Each year, I ask my family and friends to make a donation in my name, for programs that help children in places ravaged by war, famine, or natural disasters.
UNICEF offers a variety of programs that can be selected through their interactive website, which lets people select a region of the world and program. UNICEF Inspired Gifts include gift baskets, nutrition, child health, water sanitation, education, shelter, immunizations and clothes. They start at $10.
For as little as $19, UNICEF can provide polio medication to 100 children under the age of 5 in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria — countries where polio outbreaks have erupted over the past year.
Last year the Inspired Gifts program helped provide an estimated 3 million children with lifesaving supplies, including mosquito nets to safeguard families from malaria, water pumps, water purification tablets, vaccinations, school backpacks, soccer balls, volleyballs and more.
— Oula Miqbel
‘Drops of God’ (Available in paperback from Comic Grapevine, or digital at ComiXology)
Written by Tadashi Agi, a pseudonym of brother/sister authors Yuko and Shin Kibayashi, this manga depicts rival wine critics Shizuku Kanzaki and Issei Toomine as they pinpoint 13 wine descriptions in order to inherit a legendary wine collection.
As weird as the description sounds, “Drops of God” is one of the more influential publications in the wine industry. Every wine featured in the series is real and every mention of a specific vintage, sales soar in Japan where wine is a niche market.
New readers will enjoy Kanzaki’s journey towards learning about wine culture across the globe while picking up tips on how to discover and enjoy drinking local wines.
While the original paperback release of “Drops of God” is long out of print, digital publisher ComiXology recently acquired the rights to the series and released the first 11 (out of 44) volumes digitally. For those with Amazon Prime subscriptions, this series is free on Kindle.
— Daryl Bunao
High Water Brewing Merchandise ($5 to $10)
High Water Brewing has made a splash in the Lodi beer scene. With their signature Campfire Stout, a plethora of delightful sours, IPAS and of course their Old & in the Way (barley wine is life!) they have something for everyone — including awesome swag.
Starting at $5 for a classic bottle opener, there is a gift to match your every need. I personally love the Campfire Stout camp mug for $10. An oversized metal camp mug that is perfect for a cup-a-joe, hot chocolate or even a beer float.
All this swag is available both at their brewery and on their website, www.highwaterbrewing.com.
— Chrystle Roth
Spa day at Perfect Balance (Prices vary based on services)
It’s not nearly as back breaking as, say, construction, but anyone who works at a desk all day knows how quickly sloppy posture can turn into chronic back pain. Add in day-to-day stress and by this time of year, I’m always ready for a relaxing spa day.
Perfect Balance opened up The Hideaway in 2016, and ever since, I’ve wanted to visit for the works — not just a massage, but a warm coffee body buff and time in the beautiful outdoor space. Basically, the “Bit of Heaven” package ($190) is the best staycation I can imagine.
— Kyla Cathey
In the Wick of Time (Starting at $25)
Candles smell amazing, and there is something relaxing about a soft, flickering candle in the corner of a room. Lighting candles is very nostalgic, and it evokes many childhood memories for me.
My favorite candles are made by Lodi candle maker Kaylan Keith, who created In the Wick of Time.
Keith’s vegan soy candles are inspired by book characters and authors, with some candles based on popular television shows — including “Gilmore Girls” and “Frasier” — and Disney-themed scents. Candles can be purchased online at www.inthewickoftime.com.
— Oula Miqbel
Amtrak Points (Starting at $18.85)
Planes, trains and automobiles? I’ll pick a train almost every time. There’s just something relaxing about a long, leisurely ride that feels very 19th century swanky to me. The killer views that most Amtrak rides provide and the convenience of a station right in Downtown Lodi don’t hurt, either.
Amtrak’s San Joaquins line can take Lodi travelers (via stops on the line or connections) to Yosemite National Park, the John Muir National Historic Site, Six Flags, Disneyland and beyond. It also stops in San Francisco and Sacramento, where riders can catch trains headed all over the U.S.
Amtrak Points — available on Amtrak’s Guest Rewards site — are a great way to give the gift of a train trip without having to lock down travel details right now.
It’s $18.85 for 500 points, with discounts kicking in when more 1,000 or more points are purchased. Points can be redeemed for travel, along with other perks. (A gift card works, too.)
— Kyla Cathey
Fjall Raven Trekking backpack ($100-$415)
I love hiking. It is something I look forward to doing any chance I can get regardless of the weather. I prefer to do long hikes, which usually requires trekking poles and multiple water bottles, so having a backpack that can securely contain everything I need is important, but carrying capacity is not the only concern I have when it comes to purchasing a backpack, how it is made, where, and who makes it, is also very important to me, which is why I would like a backpack from Fjall Raven.
Fjall Raven is an environmentally conscious brand that links to information about life inside factories, wages, and sustainability initiatives.
They have sections of their website dedicated to sustainable materials, a supply chain map, and stories from inside their Fair Trade factories, from eco-friendly materials to how they’re cutting back carbon emissions.
Fjall Raven is part of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, the Fair Labor Association, and the United Nations Global Compact — a partnership between businesses and the United Nations to become completely carbon neutral by 2025.
— Oula Miqbel
‘Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases,’ ‘Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures’ and ‘Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Carlton House & Queen’s Park’ ($50 — Launchpad)
For those who want a unique board game experience that can be enjoyed by yourself or in the company of others, the Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective board game series offers 10 detailed mysteries in each box that will test everyone’s intelligence.
Despite what the game title infers, Consulting Detective assigns the role of sidekick of Dr. Watson to the player as Sherlock goes off to solve the case at his own leisurely pace. The player will follow leads using each case’s individual storybook and newspaper to pinpoint a culprit. In traditional fashion, Sherlock is waiting at the end ready to grill the player with a number of questions related to the case.
Like a classic mystery novel, each case can be experienced at any pace but comparing the time it takes to actually solve a case to Sherlock’s answers at the back of the case’s book will feel like comparing your mile run to Usain Bolt’s. The journey of running around London will be a more thrilling experience than the destination where players begin to feel less intelligent than Sherlock. In a way, the bitter feeling emanating from the peanut gallery towards Sherlock’s cunning is also part of the Sherlock experience.
— Daryl Bunao