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An All-Berthoud Gift Guide

Local Inspirations for Your Holiday Gift-Giving  

Think about the postcard holiday scene. A quaint, historic downtown glistening with red and green. Shoppers peering into the festive windows of small businesses. Towering evergreen trees strung with lights. Snow-capped mountains in the background.

We can all see it. And it’s downtown Berthoud.

This small town is lovely year-round, but the charm amplifies around the holidays, when the downtown business district glows with colorful lights.

If Berthoud has you in the Christmas spirit, ride that sleigh all the way to the end of the year, and support its local businesses, crafters, artists and entrepreneurs. Some, you drive right past off Mountain Avenue. But others, tucked away in homes and online, are still worth checking out.

Looking for shopping inspiration? Here’s a Berthoud-focused holiday gift guide of suggestions.      

What to get Mom: A Colorado-made gift basket

The Rancher’s Wife is a unique, open-air shop located in a historic building at 600 Third St., right by the railroad tracks. It is packed with one-of-a-kind, locally-made items and antiques.

Make Mom the perfect gift basket packed with local jelly, soap, lotion, dried herbs, honey, pottery, coffee beans and art. Make sure you throw in a “chocolate bomb” (a chocolate shell that you drop in your mug to make hot chocolate) and an ornament made from aspen branches. Bonus: If you ask, staff can wrap the basket up for you.

The Rancher’s Wife is a treasure chest of repurposed goodies, Western and farmhouse-style decor and collectibles you can’t find anywhere else. Browse about 20 different consignors all in one spot.

Due to its unique location in an old building, the shop closes at the end of December until spring, so get the shopping out of your system now.

What to get Dad: A personalized calendar and car detailing

Give Dad a “jewel case” calendar of your favorite photos of 2020 (or the past 12 Christmases) that he can keep on his desk. Lefthand Print Works is a local printing company that can make custom calendars, as well as greeting cards, wall prints and more. (It can even bring something old back to life, like Grandma’s old family recipe book.)

Then, circle one day in a few weeks. When Dad asks what that is, let him know you have booked him an appointment to get his car professionally detailed at the Detail Garage here in town. The Detail Garage has more than 15 years of experience and will leave your vehicle shining like it just came out of the showroom. 

What to get the kids: Bows, beads, rags and clothes

  • Younger girls will love an adorable hair bow made by Ellie Bear and Co., a local children’s boutique. (Check out the color “blush,” and it even comes on a headband for babies.) Ellie Bear makes custom, handmade kids’ clothes, plus bows, wraps and necklaces.

  • Older kids (and hey, parents, too) will be amazed by Happy Mango Beads’ selection of handcrafted beads, amulets and pendants from around the world — from Tibet, Africa, Thailand, Indonesia, Nepal, you name it.

For more than 30 years, Happy Mango Beads has sold hand-selected, imported beads, most of which are produced in small, family-run, fair-trade industries. It all began when Dan and Rudi Taylor (you might recognize their names as the founders of the Harley’s Dream nonprofit) began collecting African trade beads as a hobby, and their personal collection eventually grew into a full business. Check the Facebook page for regular discounts, like the recent 30 percent off pewter pendants, charms, beads and findings. Or pop into Wishful Living, 321 Mountain Ave., which shares space with Happy Mango Beads.

  • If beads don’t suit your children’s stocking, check out the Wild West-inspired “rags” (similar to bandannas) from Flat Hat Rags. These versatile accessories can be functional (dip them in water and tie them around your neck on a hot day, or use them to protect your horse’s eyes from flies), as well as fashionable (they come in all kinds of colors and sizes and you can tie them in various knots). Flat Hat Rags also sells hand-drawn decals, shirts and embroidery, plus cool hoodies in youth size XS to XL.
  • Find a new outfit and accessories for fashion-forward teens (and women) at Vanya Marie, 434 Mountain Ave. in downtown. This eclectic boutique features designer and affordable jewelry, clothes and quirky gifts. Tip: Call to book a private shopping experience.      

What to get your furry baby: Handcrafted dog soap

Yes, dogs like Christmas, too. In addition to the expected toys and treats, stock the stockings with a local, useful gift (that benefits you, too). Doggo Soap Company is a new, Berthoud-based Etsy shop selling dog shampoo and conditioner bars that are zero-waste and fragrance-free — because as much as we may enjoy a perfumed pup, doggos may not be as big of fans.

“It is really good for your dog’s skin because it is natural and fragrance-free,” says founder Sara Newman. “It won’t irritate your dog with overwhelming smells or chemicals.”

Instead, Doggo Soap is made with mango butter, shea butter and aloe butter.

“I came up with this product after having trouble finding a dog shampoo that was easy to use, plastic-free and had ingredients that I felt comfortable with putting on my dog’s skin,” says Newman.

The hand-made bars are designed to gently clean your pooch, while also being gentle on the Earth. They even come in recycled packaging.

She says she hopes others find her bars easy to use and make their dog as soft and silky as her pup, Von.

What to get the person who has everything: Funky Fungi Jewelry

The person who has everything won’t have this. That’s because there’s nothing quite like Funky Fungi Jewelry.

This unique, hand-made jewelry is made of found objects, fungi and plants. You really have to see it to believe it, and you can see it for sale in Kofe House, 434 Mountain Ave. Best of all, these gifts are affordable, starting as low as $5 a piece.

“Last year, when craft fairs were still accessible, I had lots of grandmas tell me they were excited to find stocking stuffers for their hard-to-shop-for grandchildren,” says founder Azure Stephens.

Stephens grew up and went to school in Berthoud, and her children now go to school here. Much of her art is made with locally and ethically sourced plants and mushrooms. She says she’s always happy to have a conversation about mycology and foraging.

Bonus: 15 percent of her December profits will be donated to mutual aid organizations in Northern Colorado.

What to get the whole family: a personalized 2020 ornament

Well. It’s been a year like none other (to say the least). But we’ve made it. Celebrate that with an ornament for your Christmas tree. LoveHouse Creations specializes in personalized gifts (including cute Christmas wine bags and wine glasses that also feel relevant in 2020). The perfect ornament is the “2020 Christmas Ornament,” featuring a masked family (of two to seven people, complete with names), framed by a roll of toilet paper and accented by a bottle of hand sanitizer.