This is Part 1 of a 2-part series posted on The Columbus Experience. Part 1 is by Amy Gatto Klein, who features her last-minute shopping gameplan. Part 2 is by Brian Cheek, features some of his already-completed shopping stops made this holiday season.

It's just a week before Christmas and my shopping list is sadly devoid of checked-off items.  This is one of those times I especially love living in my Clintonville neighborhood because I can just stroll up the street and find a perfect gift for almost everyone on the list.

By the time I actually shop it might be too late to share my recommendations with you, so I’ll tell you where I’m headed on my last-minute Christmas shopping stroll in advance. My gameplan:

  • First stop will be Cup O' Joe . I'm nothing if not realistic, and my mission will clearly need to be fueled by something stronger than good cheer. In addition to my coffee, I’ll buy a pound of fresh roasted coffee beans and travel mugs as good stocking stuffers for my husband and brother. The warmth of the fireplace will, like always, be inviting and the tables will be packed with neighbors chatting, studying and tapping away on laptops. But I won't be able to stay this trip.
  • Energized by my coffee, I’ll make my way north on High Street to stop by Wholly Craft for fun and funky handmade gifts. This store is a treasure-trove of unique items from a variety of individual crafters . This is where I’ll find cute earrings for my mom and a few friends, and I’ll also grab a package of hand-stamped note cards as a general all-purpose gift. If anyone needs gift hints for me, I’m also not-so-secretly hoping someone thinks of signing me up for one of their upcoming crocheting classes.
    Oilcloth at SoBo Style

    Oilcloth totes at SoBo Style

  • Next I’ll cross the street and continue north to SoBo Style , home of shabby chic gift options.  The vintage furniture covered in bright fabrics always make me smile, but I'll be looking for smaller items this time – purses and totes made with oilcloth, perfect to send to my sisters-and-mother-in-laws. They’re fun and functional in a whimsical retro way, plus the totes are a great alternative to plastic bags at grocery stores. I’ll also pick up some adorable all-purpose holiday decorations which will be good for my grandmother and aunts.
    • Across the street, I’ll stop by Skreened for clever designs made on American Apparel tees I have pre-ordered online.  Here I’ll check my husband and brothers off the list, admire all the quirky shirts and bright colors, and know the ones I picked out will be hits on Christmas morning.
    The beauty of my last-minute gameplan? I’ll do pretty well in a small amount of time, then head for home reminded about how much I love living in this part of Columbus.