(415) 503-1033, www.citybeerstore.com
Stuck at home with the kids? In bed with the flu? Sometimes shopping online is your only option. But if you're going to do it, why not shop an SF-based business? The Branch warehouse on Van Ness Street is stuffed floor-to-ceiling with sustainable, adorable gifts, including toys, furniture, housewares, and clothing. Order by Dec. 19 to send gifts by Christmas. Or, if you're later, simply send a card with a photo of what you're buying so your giftee knows you weren't that late.
(415) 626-1012, www.branchhome.com
PHOENIX RISING BODYWORK
What could be easier than a gift certificate, or more welcome than a massage? Purchase an affordable session ($65$130) with Potrero Hill-based Jennifer Bryce ahead of tiem and let your giftee make an appointment. Bryce is trained in Swedish, shiatsu, hot stone, deep tissue, and many more massage styles, so everybody (and every body) should benefit from her touch.
(415) 215-6205, www.phoenixrisingbodywork.com
THE GIFT OF GIVING
When it's the idea of a gift that's more important to you than the object itself, why not donate to your favorite cause or that of your loved one in your giftee's name?
DonorsChoose.org is an interesting option for those who want to know exactly where their money is going. On this site, teachers ask for classroom materials and donors choose which projects to support. Check out the main site at www.donorschoose.org or City Editor Steven T. Jones' personal choices at www.donorschoose.org/donors/viewChallenge. Support two-wheeled travel by giving to the Bike Kitchen (www.bikekitchen.org), a do-it-yourself resource run by volunteers, or the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (www.sfbike.org), an alliance promoting the bike for everyday transportation. Other organizations we like are Western Regional Advocacy Project (www.wraphome.org), which seeks to expose and eliminate root causes of civil and human rights abuses; Coalition on Homelessness (www.cohsf.org), which initiates program and policy changes to promote social justice and create exits from poverty; and Nature in the City (www.natureinthecity.org), which seeks to restore wildlife and connect urbanites with the nature where they live. And perhaps the cause closest to our hearts this season is overturning Proposition 8. There's been some controversy over which of the big marriage equality organizations or smaller grassroots efforts have the tools and resources to affect change, so choose carefully when donating. We like the 10-year-old Equality California (www.eqca.org). Other organizations we trust to support equal marriage rights, as well as other issues of importance to the LGBT community, are the National Center for Lesbian Rights (www.nclrights.org) and Horizons Foundation (www.horizonsfoundation.org).
Need even more ideas? Check out the special deals on the SF Convention and Visitors Bureau site, www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/shopsf. Also see our staff gift lists on our Pixel Vision blog and our 2008 Holiday Guide. And don't forget to let us know how you spent your money locally this year at sfbg.com/local, where you'll enter to win $500 in gift certificates to local businesses.