a list of local stores running Black Friday specials. Check it out, take copious notes, and avoid the ridiculous crush of crowds at the mall and the big-box stores. Better, you're supporting the LOCAL economy. Employment issues are on everyone's mind these days. Try giving one of the best gifts you could: an effort to keep money circulating locally, protecting and creating Indianapolis jobs.
Another multitude of opportunities awaits at Indy's many local winter gift bazaars. Check out Jenny Elig's writeup. She knows what it's about. Nothing adds a special touch to your holiday gift like being able to meet its creator.
Of course, I'd be remiss without adding a few of my own local gift-shopping ideas. Check out Eye Candy and Arts A-Poppin on Massachusetts Avenue. IndySwank is a fab shop in Fountain Square. The foodie in your life would appreciate a gift card from a local eatery like Yats, Scotty's Brewhouse, Machu Picchu, Aesop's Tables, Bosphorous Istanbul Cafe, or maybe Sawasdee.
And finally, for your loved ones' skincare and fragrance needs, nobody's got more grassroots-local good scents than Jessie Walton's Body Eclectic Skin Care line. Mall-brand shower and lotion sets are a staple gift, but they're loaded with bad chemicals, and your hard-earned dollars end up who-knows-where. Jessie truly geeks out on quality natural ingredients, and all her products smell divine.