Gifts Galore: Stuff those Stockings with Goodies from Right here in Cleveland this Year

Book: Alternative Movie Posters: Film Art From The Underground. A 208-page book featuring the work of more than 100 creative film-loving graphic designers illustrating new posters for beloved movies, curated by local author (and finance exec) Matthew Chojnacki. Pick it up locally at the CLE Clothing Company or Music Saves and online on

Membership: Cinematheque. It costs $35 to become a member of the Cleveland Institute of Art's repertory movie theater to get cheaper movies, a Cinematheque calendar, access to members-only events, and the warm fuzzy feeling knowing you're supporting local independent film programming. Double-down on a membership with your significant other and be extremely hip together with a gift that won't clutter anyone's apartment.

T-shirt: CLE Clothing Co. You know somebody who's into trendy clothing and repping the city. For $25, get them a Cleveland-focused graphic t-shirt the local company that's been "spreading Cleveland pride one t-shirt at a time since 2008."

Custom Bat: Johnnyville Slugger. Stop by Johnny Smatana's store on West 25th (the awning looks like a baseball hat) for "the most bad ass custom engraved baseball bats known to man." For roughy $250, Johnnyville Slugger will carve in logos, signatures, slogans, statements, whatever you want, and make a perfect-looking custom bat for your dad's mantle.  

Books: Gray & Company, Publishers. You know people who read, so check out the new books from the Cleveland publishing company like the latest Milan Jacovich thriller Win, Place, or Die from authors Les Roberts and Dan Kennedy or the memoir No Mopes Allowed by Brimfield police chief/social media superstar David Oliver.

Movie Memorabilia: The leg lamp from A Christmas Story. You don't have to enter a sweepstakes to win the major award that is a ceramic leg lamp like Ralphie's father. Just visit the A Christmas Story House Museum in Tremont and pick one up one from the gift shop or order it online (it even comes in a wood crate marked with FRAGILE on the side).

T-shirts: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee collection. The collection went on sale at the museum on Black Friday, and will be sold online Dec. 6. It features 20 musicians inducted into the Hall -- Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Blondie, Muddy Waters, Heart, Sam Cooke, The Who, Parliament-Funkadelic, and more -- so there'll be something for people who like to show their musical preferences on their clothing. As a gag-gift for your one friend who spent years ranting about the "injustice" of Rush's exclusion from the hall before they were inducted this year, get him a t-shirt of the band sold by the museum and let the hilarity ensue.

Gift Card: Sky Zone Westlake. Does gravity have your friends or family feeling down this winter? Then you should send them over to Sky Zone -- "the original indoor trampoline park" -- in Westlake. It's basically a massive room with wall-to-wall trampolines. They've got fitness classes, dodgeball, basketball programs, and just your standard jumping ($10/30 minutes, $14/60 minutes, $18/90 minutes, $22/120 minutes). I'm sure you know somebody with a hyperactive kid; send them to a place where bouncing off the wall is encouraged.

Tickets: "An Intimate Evening with Art Garfunkel." Celebrate an early Christmas, or late Hanukkah, with two tickets to see the legendary Art Garfunkel at the Hanna Theatre on December 13. Tickets are $65 a pop for the "acoustic performance with songs, anecdotes, prose and a unique audience Q&A session." Your parents will totally forgive you for not calling often enough.

Food: Malley's Chocolates. Visiting your girlfriend's parents for the first time over Christmas? Chocolate will do the trick; it's impossible to be grilled about your long-term career goals and life plan if their faces are full of delicious fudge. Stop by any of the dozen Malley's in Northeast Ohio or the headquarters in Lakewood and load up chocolate and other candy. A quick, simple, local and effective gift for the holidays.

Beer: Several six-packs of Great Lakes Christmas Ale. This is really a low-risk, high-reward gift for any beer-drinking loved one. In stores, Christmas Ale is only sold in six-packs, so you'll want to be a good person and buy several (take a friend so you don't risk dropping them). At $12, they're pricier than your average six-pack, but it's the holidays and you have refined tastes.

Home Brewing: Stuff from the Cleveland Brew Shop. If you know someone who's into both drinking and science projects (a hip chemistry professor, definitely), you should check out the Cleveland Brew Shop in Tremont. From basic kits to elaborate contraptions and ingredients, it's got everything they'd need to start making beer at home. The beer making classes they host every month for $12 would make for some solid bonding time, although space is limited.

Jewelry: Erika Originals. Erika Laine Hansen -- Scene's 2011 "Best Jewelry Maker" in Cleveland -- incorporates vintage local maps in her unique jewelry. Her pieces are sold at Re/Dress on West 14th Street, Crochet Innovations in Brecksville, the Black Squirrel Gallery in Kent and online (where earrings go for $25-40).

Coffee: Rising Star Coffee Roaster. Do away with the Starbucks gift cards and mugs and head over to Rising Star (or one of our other local coffee shops) and pick up something for the caffeine fiend in your life. And grab yourself a cup too – shopping is hard work.

Tickets: Wesley Bright & The Hi-Lites "New Years Eve Party" at the Beachland Ballroom. Pick up tickets for you and your friends to celebrate the new year with Akron's throwback "northern soul" band at the fantastic East Side music hall. $15 gets you in the 9 p.m. show and Champaign and hor d'oeuvres at midnight.

Figurines: Mini GuitarMania guitars. GuitarMania started out as a public art project raising money for the United Way of Greater Cleveland and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's education program. Now, you can get 10-inch figurines of those badass Fender guitars for $35 that would be perfect for anyone's desk, or 5.5-inch ornaments for $16.95 for your Christmas tree.

Guided Tour of Local Restaurants: Tickets for Taste Cleveland Food Tours. Know someone who's new in town? Want to be able to say "see, Cleveland's not too bad" to your too-concerned parents? Take them on a guided tour of some of the off-the-beaten-path restaurants and let them see what Cleveland has to offer. Your guide will take you to 4 or 5 places where you'll be served different small specialty meals at each spot, all while meeting with the local owners and chefs. In January, they have 3.5 hour tours in the Tremont neighborhood at 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays ($58 for everything), a two hour food tour of the West Side Market at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays ($42), and tours of Little Italy for private groups.

Getaway: The Lakehouse Inn in Geneva-On-The-Lake. Sometimes you just need to get out of town and recharge. Book a room for two at this charming old bed & breakfast and winery on the shores of Lake Erie 50 miles east of Cleveland. Book a Friday night there for $289 and get a $50 voucher for their restaurant, a private wine tasting, a wine cellar tour, and full breakfast in the morning.

Ads: Buy an ad in Cleveland Scene. Know someone who could use some promotion? Want to let the community know about something? Call 216-802-7212 and give the gift of publicity this holiday season with an ad in your favorite alt-weekly paper.

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Doug Brown

Doug Brown is a staff writer at Scene with a passion for public records laws and investigative reporting. A native of Ann Arbor, Mich., he has an M.A. in journalism from the Kent State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication and a B.A. in political science from Hiram College. Prior to joining Scene,...
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