VERVE’s Holiday Gift Guide

The holiday season is stressful for everyone. There are so many errands to run, so much food to cook, and finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list seems impossible. VERVE Magazine has created a local gift guide to find the perfect gift for even your most picky of family members. 

Prairie Lights

The independent book store, Prairie Lights, has been a part of the Iowa City community since 1978. They are the perfect place to find a gift for the readers in your life. When asked what books were going to be the top-selling gifts this season, PL staffer Jan Weissmiller gave us plenty to choose from. 

For the fans of country music in your life, the book Country Music: an Illustrated History by Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan is a book that they will love. The book showcases the rich and colorful history behind the best of country music in America.

For those who love to travel, the second edition of Atlas Obscura is in stock. Atlas Obscura originated as a travel website for unusual and curious locations around the world. Now they have created a new book to help people uncover hidden wonders around the world.

For those who love the classics, an illustrated version of Little Women is the perfect way to say you want to go see the new movie adaptation with them. And of course, you can never go wrong with Margaret Atwood’s new book, The Testaments which is the sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale

When asked why books are the perfect gift to give Weissmiller said, “Books are perfect because there are so many different books. There’s a book for everybody, and a book is a long-lasting gift. If you pick the right book for someone it gives them hours and hours of enjoyment.”

Location: 15 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, IA 52240

White Rabbit

White Rabbit’s merchandise. Photo by Della Gritsch.

White Rabbit is a great store to find unique gifts for everyone. Manager Cortnie Widen says, “The reason that the store is so unique is that it sells items that are handmade by artists from Iowa City and the rest of Iowa.”

The most popular gift items this holiday season have been White Rabbit’s Iowa gear that ranges from stickers to mugs to clothing—all made by local artists. They also have cross-stitching kits that teach you how to cross stitch La Croix cans, fun quotes, and most popularly Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

For the Lizzo fans in your life, or for those who just love cheeky water bottles, the White Rabbit has a 100% That Dehydrated B*tch water bottle that has been selling fast. 

When asked about the importance of shopping locally Widen said, “It is important to shop locally because any money that is spent in a local shop goes directly back into the community, whereas otherwise, it would leave the area never to be seen again.”

Location: 112 S Linn St, Iowa City, IA 52240

The Hawk Shop

The Hawk Shop is the one-stop-shop for all your Hawkeye needs. You can buy hoodies, shirts, hats, socks, water bottles, stickers, and more—all University of Iowa themed. The Hawk Shop doesn’t just sell Hawkeye gear, it also sells essentials like Hydro flasks, scrunchies, boutique-style clothes, and jewelry. Shopping at the Hawk Shop not only helps the local economy but it also helps the university. When you shop at the Hawk Shop the money you spend goes directly to the University which in turn helps create student employment on campus, and the money goes back to student programs and initiatives.

Location: Basement of the Iowa Memorial Union

The Shop

For the fans of vintage items, The Shop has plenty to choose from. The Shop is a women-owned business that specializes in the “found, made, vintage, and modern.” They have antique cameras, rugs, books, and trinkets. They also sell repurposed furniture and art. On top of all of this, they also sell new items like jewelry, art, clothing, and accessories.

The people in your life who love eclectic and vintage items will love a gift from The Shop as well as the people who love HGTV restoration shows. The Shop balances new and old with a hip twist making it the perfect place to find a gift for anyone on your list. 

Location: 4 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, IA 52240

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