Once you hear the sleigh bells ringing, the snowplows rolling down the street, and the cups of hot chocolate and eggnog clinking, it’s way too late to think about holiday shopping.
It’s never too early to start thinking about collecting gifts for your loved ones, and you don’t have to travel far to fill everyone’s wish list this year. Three Bettendorf companies are ready to help you make your family’s vacation dreams come true.
Shop locally and spread the holiday cheer with these gifts from 838 Boutique, Peaceful Style Boutique and Wallace’s Garden Center.
1. Locally made candles and bath products
Find me a person who doesn’t like to receive a gift that smells good. Make this gift even more special by choosing locally made products. At Boutique 838, you can find products such as soy candles, shower sprays, handmade soap and lip balms from Caves Candles & Soap Co. Its products have intriguing scents like pineapple sage, bourbon apple-maple and sweet brown fig.
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“They are unique. You won’t find them at Walmart. And you can read every ingredient that’s in every one of her cases and know exactly what you’re getting someone,” said Sherri Beyer, owner of boutique 838.
The St. Ambrose University student in your life will love these cute and trendy bee products. 838 Boutique carries a full line of bee-related items, from cute mugs to beeswax candles to honey actually collected in Taylor Ridge, Illinois. Even those who haven’t frequented St. Ambrose will still appreciate the burst of joy from adorable oven mitts or tea towels.
“Some people give their friends the nickname ‘Bee,'” Beyer said, “They love trinkets or kids’ activity books.”
“They say you’re always supposed to be drinking, drinking, drinking!” Might as well do it in style,” Beyer said.
It doesn’t matter if your loved one is an amazing Pumpkin Spice Latte or watching their water intake, a fun mug is just what they need if they always have a drink in hand. 838 Boutique offers handmade tumblers from local company All That Glitterz. The designs are chic and fashionable with high quality workmanship.
As we give and receive gifts this holiday season, it’s important to remember to give back to those less fortunate than ourselves. When you do your holiday shopping, consider buying from a company that donates profits to a good cause. Boutique 838 carries items from the Hudson Strong Foundation, which prepares care kits for families battling childhood cancer.
“It’s amazing when your gift is more than just a gift. It’s a gift that pays off,” Beyer said.
Peaceful style shop
1. Drink bombs with a glass
If your loved one enjoys a grown-up beverage in the tub, these drink bombs will bring the experience to a new level. Choose your flavor, like sweet pie or rose prosecco, add sparkling water and your choice of liquor, and watch your fizzy drink bomb turn into a delicious cocktail. For mocktail drinkers, these recipes can easily be made without alcohol and taste just as delicious.
“The business owner is so much fun. She said, “My child had a drink, my other child was in the bath, and I realized, a drink and a bath bomb…drink bomb!” said Chris Slavens, co-owner of Peaceful Style Boutique.
It can be difficult to know what to say to comfort a loved one who is going through something difficult. Buy them a gift that says it all for you. The Little Words Project creates beaded bracelets with an inspirational word or phrase, like “strength” or “keep going.” The wristband owner saves it on the company’s website and then passes it on to a new person when they no longer need it.
“You can see who transferred each bracelet to each person. You can pass on kindness,” Peaceful Style Boutique co-owner Linda Mowbray said.
Whether you’re shopping for a grandma or a college sports super fan, you can’t go wrong with clothes that support someone’s favorite school. Peaceful Style offers mugs, hats and more for Pleasant Valley Schools, Bettendorf Schools, University of Iowa and Iowa State University. Your loved one will clap even louder knowing how stylish they look.
“Hats and mugs are made locally. People really like them,” Mowbray said.
Nostalgic candles are the perfect gift for those who have moved from home. Simple and subtle in design, these candles recall the scents of our peaceful, laid-back state. Their inventory also includes holiday fragrances and fragrances related to important celebrations, such as marriage. They even sell candles that incorporate scents from places like Wrigley Field or Busch Stadium, transporting you to a beautiful, sunny date on the ballpark.
“Sent this to my son who moved to Florida,” Slavens said. “They have this on their shelf to remind them of home.”
Wallace Garden Center
1. Unique Christmas Ornaments
If your loved one really gets into the Christmas spirit, they’ll love receiving a limited-edition ornament for their tree. Wallace’s Garden Center orders these hand-painted Quad-Cities ornaments each year. In recent years, they have featured both the new and old I-74 bridge, as well as Moline and Davenport skylines.
“You can’t buy them anywhere else,” Wallace Garden Center general manager Kate Terrell said. “A lot of people buy them for others who have moved out of town or for empty nests whose children live elsewhere.”
2. Crafts and games for children
Keep the kids busy this holiday season. Wallace has a variety of craft projects all cousins can dabble in, like making birdhouses or painting garden gnomes. A holiday table runner that toddlers can color in keeps the table clean, the kids busy and Grandma thrilled with her adorable new gift. When they need a little mental stimulation, try a kids’ trivia game or a “would you rather” game.
“These tiny little games are great for stocking stuffers or to bring in the car on a road trip to relatives,” Terrell said.
Some of the best times at family gatherings happen when everyone is standing in the kitchen and munching on snacks before the meal is ready. Spice up the snack options with flavors like Raspberry Honey Mustard and Hatching Chili Ranch Dressing. The host will love receiving high-quality deli supplies that they don’t have to provide. Add a Bettendorf, Iowa chalkboard to display the snacks, perfect for those who have moved away from the area.
“My friend’s parents live in Florida, and they took one of those boards and had their name carved into it, so now it hangs on a pole in their house,” Terrell said.
The loved one with the green thumb will ask for plant-related things anyway, so might as well get ahead of the game. A We the Wild Plant Care Box contains all the supplies they need to keep their plants strong and healthy at a great value. Even better, buy them a new plant to add to their collection – poinsettias are a perfect holiday plant for the occasion.
“We grow about 12,000 poinsettias,” Terrell said. “A lot of times people don’t know that you can tell what color it’s going to be by looking at the rod. A red stem means the leaves will turn red and the green stems will turn white.