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Twelve days of Christmas

“The Twelve Days of Christmas” is an English Christmas carol that enumerates a series of increasingly grand gifts given on each of the 12 days that make up the Christmas season.

It was published in 1780 when the season started with Christmas Day. In our Ashland adaptation, we’re putting a bit of a twist on it, offering gift ideas from local stores for a season that ends on Christmas.

In COVID times, Ashland residents are increasingly looking for ways to support their hometown businesses. In the process, they’re discovering a depth and breadth of unique gifts for their friends and loved ones.

And the bonus? Last-minute shoppers have no worries about delayed shipping. Everything is just down the street or around the corner.

Check out this special “Twelve Days” list of ideas to get started. 1. You might give a pear tree, sans partridge, from Valley View Nursery, 1675 N. Valley View Road. It would be a lovely gift to plant in the backyard. You can purchase a $25 gift certificate for a four-foot, bare-root comice, available at the nursery in the spring. But they have plenty of living gifts in stock now. For instance, choose from dozens of gorgeous houseplants in a variety of sizes, such as a variegated creeping fig with beautiful white markings on the leaves, perfect for a terrarium, for $5.97. valleyviewnursery.com.

2. Two garden gloves from the Grange Co-op, 421 A St. A pair of Bellingham Nitrile Tough gloves are perfect for the gardener on your list. Available in three sizes, they are breathable, seamless, resistant to abrasion and puncture, and only $4.99 a pair. The Grange is one of those one-stop shopping centers with something for everybody, even the family pet. There are gifts for farm and home, and apparel and footwear for the whole family. If you need a Christmas tree, they have a nice selection (grangecoop.com).

3. Three French breads from The Village Baker, 372 E. Main St. They’re known for their cookies, scones, pastries and artisan breads. The French 20-inch baguettes at $3 each are crusty on the outside and soft with a bit of chew on the inside, perfect to accompany winter stews and soups. Or choose from whole grain, specialty, sourdough and fruit-n-nut breads, all made from natural, local ingredients with no preservatives. When you wrap up one of those artisan loaves, you know your gift is in good taste (artisan-bakers.com).

4. Four candles rare from North & East Co., 242 E. Main St. This shop features a curated collection of goods from local and Northwest-based small business creators, with some items made in-house. Their selection of Ashand Candle Co. candles features seven different scents at $16 each. Among them: Mt. Ashland, inspired by the Christmas tree with citrus top notes; and Rogue River, a sensual fragrance with light traces of apple, saffron, black currants and blackberries. Other scents are Crater Lake, Lithia Park, Shasta, Siskiyou and Applegate, northandeast.co (not com).

5. Five golden rings from The Crown Jewel, 266 E. Main St. You’ll find such a large selection of exquisite rings and earrings you may not be able to stop at just five. Beautiful hand-engraved bands of gold, double heart rings, rings set with diamonds and other gemstones, and vintage-style one-of-a-kind rings. Plus, earrings with cultured pearls or diamond studs, and dangly ones with artful and elegant designs. And earrings with dogs, daisies, foxes and jumping cats. This shop is a gem (thecrownjewel.net).

6. Six gifts uncommon from the Ignition Gallery, 40 N. Main St., inside the Ashland Plaza Mall. You’ll find a unique mix here, gifts you can be sure won’t be duplicated. Hand-knotted wool rugs, tropical home décor, unusual lamps, silk lanterns, quirky yoga frogs and rustic sculptures made from recycled auto parts and cast-off metal. Plus, a special room full of car and motorcycle art, tin signs, tiki mugs, retro clocks and much more for your favorite guy’s man cave (IgnitionGallery.com).

7. Seven Blue Q purses from Paddington Station, 125 E. Main St. These coin purses and zippered pouches have Blue Q’s sassy designs for grown-up “girls” (“Beer Money,” “Weed Money,” etc.) and others perfect as stocking stuffers for the little girls (“Ice Cream Money,” “Mer-mazing,” etc.) Purses for $4.95, pouches for $7.95. For holding coins, gadgets, gizmos, whatzits and random stuff for the bike ride. Don’t forget to explore the rest of this popular Ashland emporium for thousands more gift ideas (paddingtonstationashland.com).

8. Eight delectable chocolates from Branson’s Chocolates, 1662 Siskiyou Blvd. Buy an assortment of eight — they might share with you! If there’s a chocolate connoisseur in the family, Branson’s is ready for you. Choose from handmade truffles, brittle, nuggets, sea salt caramels, espresso squares, nut clusters, rocky road squares, toffees, sugar-free varieties and more. A new decadent choice: truffles made with black raspberry Chambord liqueur (bransonschocolates.com).

9. Nine gifts for children from Bug a Boo of Ashland, 40 N. Main St. This children’s and baby specialty boutique can help you check off the kids and grandkids on your gift list. They carry more than 30 eco-friendly, sustainable brands of clothing, shoes and toys for ages 0 to 14. Unique play and educational toys, painting kits, mobiles, kids’ wear, coats, backpacks and more. Wrap them, stuff them into stockings, and see big smiles Christmas morning. On Facebook or at shopashlandoregon.com.

10. Ten books for reading from Bloomsbury Books, 290 E. Main St. This is one of those stores where you treat yourself as well as buy gifts for others. This independent bookstore offers the latest releases, specially curated collections, poetry, the classics, books for children and young adults, local authors, and a Shakespeare theater section. If they don’t have it, it usually can be ordered for pick-up in a few days. People love the reviews by owners and staffers posted near selected books (bloomsburyashland.com).

11. Eleven fine art prints from Hanson Howard Gallery, 89 Oak St. With 35 artists represented at Ashland’s oldest gallery, you’re sure to find a beautiful piece of art for each of your 11 most adored friends and loved ones. From paintings and artful assemblages to sculpture, ceramics, fine art prints and more. From art that powerfully engages to tongue-in-cheek pieces that make you smile. You can spend a few dollars or thousands. The choice is yours. It will be one of the most treasured gifts they’ll unwrap (hansonhowardgallery.com).

12. Twelve songs a-playing from Music Coop, 268 E. Main St. That’s about how many songs you get on an LP. And Music Coop has thousands of them. When you start browsing their collection, you’ll find something for everybody on your list. New and collectible vinyl in a variety of genres — classic rock, new and indie rock, pop, hip-hop, electronic, ‘50s-‘60s-‘70s, R&B, soul, blues, jazz, folk and country. Plus 20,000 CDs and a big selection of CD box sets for a very musical Christmas (musiccooponline.com).

Check with individual stores for delivery options and opening hours. These 12 are just a sampling of the many specialty retailers and boutiques that make Ashland a popular shopping destination.

In addition to checking the stores’ own websites, you can view items from many of them on Ashland Chamber’s new website, shopashlandoregon.com, where you can also post your wish lists.

Reach Ashland writer Jim Flint at jimflint.ashland@yahoo.com.

Art FX Fine Jewelry goldsmith Jeremy Foreman works on sizing a ring for a customer. The store features both jewelry and collectible objets d’art. Jim Flint photo.
This Sue Springer ceramic, 15x8x6, is titled, “The Bluebird of Happiness is Always Present,” is priced at $550 at Hanson Howard Gallery, Ashland’s oldest. Courtesy photo.