Shopping can be one of the most important but stressful elements of the holidays. To avoid the mall and department store crowds, you might be tempted to just buy everyone identical red sweaters or Amazon.com gift cards. But here are some ideas for alternatives that are more personalized and thoughtful and that help San Francisco and San Franciscans--and can be obtained without sacrificing your sanity.
GIFTS THAT DO GOOD
Give someone a scholar: ScholarMatch gift cards support financially needy but high-achieving college-bound students. The gift card recipients describe what kinds of students they’d like to support; the students in turn send updates on their progress. Founded by San Francisco author Dave Eggers, ScholarMarch assists students through the college admissions process and beyond. It’s helped 64 students with $130,000 in scholarships since its May 2010 launch.
Changing the Present
A slew of ideas for charitable gifts including memberships to nonprofit groups and gifts that benefit the environment, animals, human rights, education and other good causes. You’ll find something for everyone.
Under One Roof
Ornaments galore and other decor, Christmas cards, San Francisco skyline martini glasses, housewares, books, gear and toys for pets and other gifts. The store donates net profits to community agencies that provide HIV/AIDS services.
At 518A Castro St.,San Francisco 94114.
The Pirate Supply Store
Also the site of 826 Valencia, the nonprofit writing center for Bay Area youth co-founded by award-winning author Dave Eggers, the store plies San Francisco literary maps, student-written anthologies with forewords by luminaries like Daniel Alarcón, Khaled Hosseini and Adam Savage, other literature, and pirate supplies such as hooks, glass eyes, games, tattoo remover and treasure chests.
At 826 Valencia St., San Francisco 94110.
Creativity Explored Annual Holiday Art Sale
November 30-December 23, 2012
Prints, paintings, drawings, sculptures, fabrics made by more than 130 disabled artists are on display and sale.
At Creativity Explored Gallery and Studio, 3245 16th St., San Francisco 94103.
Visual Aid Pillows
Limited-edition pillows with artists’ designs ranging from impressionist to abstract to whimsical. Sales benefit Visual Aid, which helps Bay Area professional artists who have HIV/AIDS or other life-threatening illnesses.
MUSEUM GIFT SHOPS
Get your holiday shopping done and treat yourself to an exhibit, all at one stop. Culturally rich San Francisco has numerous museums with shops carrying thoughtful items for all ages. Admission to the stores is free.
Among others, there are the Asian Art Museum, California Academy of Sciences, Cable Car Museum, Cartoon Art Museum, Contemporary Jewish Museum , Exploratorium , Museum of the African Diaspora and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The museum stores at the de Young and Legion of Honor even publish an annual Holiday Gift Guide that highlights earrings inspired by dancer Rudolf Nureyev’s costumes, a scarf bearing a design from Louis XIV’s Gobelins mosaic tabletop, other museum exclusives and exhibition catalogs.SEE NEXT PAGE FOR MORE SAN FRANCISCO GIFT IDEAS --->