Proving Des Moines is NOT boring

A Few of My Favorite DSM Things

My first few Thanksgivings in the U.S. took some getting used to. In Canada, Thanksgiving takes place on the 2nd Monday in October – you get a good long opportunity to lose those Turkey Day pounds before Christmas and all of the December holiday food extravaganzas. And in the UK, obviously there isn’t Thanksgiving.

However, what once seemed crazy-late for Thanksgiving is now just perfect, thank you. It kicks-off a holiday season that lasts from November through to New Year’s Day. Since it’s on a Thursday, you’re pretty much given a four-day weekend. And it is kind of a holiday alarm clock for me – if I haven’t started gift shopping or seasonal card mailing, I better get on it once Thanksgiving arrives.

Gift shopping is something I both look forward to, and dread. I’m not a mall person (is that kind of being like a cat or dog person?). I’m much happier to stroll around outside to shops in different neighborhoods, or to visit arts and crafts shows. Which is good because in most cases you end up shopping local, supporting independent businesses versus the almighty chain store.

This finally brings me around to my true focus for this post: some of my favorite Des Moines things. Consider this a handy gift-giving idea list I guess (Tom, I hope you’re reading). Some of these I’ve written about before, so I’ll keep it brief. In no particular order:

–          Josephs Jewelers: Women Who Wine DSM is holding its November event here at the downtown location, as we did last year. I love Josephs. Really nice people, a good price range of items, and they’ll keep a little wish list on file for you.

–          Eden: beautiful candles, scents, bath and goodies for children. Plus they carry Kiehls and Lollia. And they too offer a wish list or gift registry, along with free gift wrapping.

–          Beaverdale Books: bookstores are definitely my idea of being “a kid in a candy store” – I have a bad habit of accumulating a stack of books as I walk around from shelf to shelf. I’ve been to a lot of indie book stores on my travels, and this one is a favorite.

–          The Cheese Shop: I love their 2012 gift and catering catalog. Not to mention an easy way to pick up a cheese plate – order ahead of time and give them your budget. They’ll put together something perfect.

–          Salon Spa W: Gorgeous gift sets of Aveda products, some that include gift certificates for spa treatments like massage, mani’s and pedi’s. And the wrapping is already done. Yes, please.

–          Domestica: When it comes to cool things for both home and person, Domestica hits the mark. Especially great for buying gifts by regional artisans and items that are uniquely Iowa. And I LOVE their indie journal selection.

As I come up with other faves, I’ll add to the comments section of this post. And I’d love to hear about yourDes Moines local favorites too – I’m always on the lookout for new ideas. In the meantime, happy gift shopping!


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