At last! The perfect gift!

PNC 2nd Street Market offers unique holiday shopping options

 By Val Beerbower

Gift giving is a staple component of the holiday season, and nothing sends one into a state of panic faster than trying to come up with a thoughtful gift for the “list stumpers.” List stumpers are those friends, family members or co-workers for whom you care, but might not know very well. For example, your daughter simply adores her third grade teacher, but she’s not exactly on your speed dial. You could opt for the popcorn tin standby, except the tin is often the most edible part of that gift. Another instance might be a workplace gift exchange. You drew Ed’s name, but you hardly exchange words except for awkward chit-chat while waiting to use the microwave in the lunch room. Do you go for the gift card to the chain restaurant across the street from your office park and make it obvious you both have nothing in common?

This year, go for something fun, unique and local! Shop the 40-plus vendors at the PNC 2nd Street Market and find a handmade, thoughtful gift that will brighten the holidays for your list stumper and for the family of the local merchant or farmer. Here are a few suggestions for themed gifts that are sure to rock the stockings off any mantle:

-Gifts for Her: Earring set from Missing Peace Art Space, all-natural whipped bath butter from Living Simply Soap, hand-knitted shawl from Brenner Creations, imported handbag from The Asian Collection or a handcrafted necklace from Decoy Art Boutique.

-Gifts for Him: Stainless steel Tiffin lunch kit from A Greener You, handmade wallet from Fabric Art Creations, durable wool socks from New World Alpaca Textiles, or “just for him” all-natural bar soap from Living Simply Soap.

-For the Foodie: gourmet olive oil and vinegar from The Olive Tree, mild, medium or hot salsa from Walt’s Homemade Salsa, Amish favorites from Maria’s Unique Food, dark, high-grade maple syrup from Dohner’s Maple Camp, dried fruit and nut snacks from Spice Rack and Bulk Foods or pot holders or trivets from MONCO Enterprises.

-For the Nature Lover: Pruning shears from Wegerzyn Gift and Garden Shop, decorative bird feeder from A Bird’s Paradise or Peruvian gourd artwork from La Alpaca Place.

The Market is a great place to stop for last-minute party items. Got a party after work and you didn’t have time to whip up a side dish? Grab an artisanal salad from The Chef Case or grab-and-go sides from Azra’s Mediterranean Cuisine. Bring dessert from Thistle Confection, Sweet Nothings, Desserts by Anne K., Aunt Saundra’s Fudge or Kolb’s Bakery. (You can even get gluten-free options!) Grab a loaf of crusty bread from Big Sky Bread Co. or Rahn’s Artisan Breads and serve it with a flavor-packed olive oil from The Olive Tree. Surprise your host or hostess with a bouquet from The Flowerman, perhaps with a decorative vase from Jon Graham Pottery. Don’t forget to bring a bottle of vino from The Wine Gallery!

If you’re hosting your own holiday get-together, why not depart from the expected and create a memorable menu? The Olive Tree’s sweet-flavored balsamic vinegars make a surprisingly tasty accompaniment with fruit. Preorder scrumptious spring rolls from Baan Thai Noi. Have an ethnic-inspired feast with lamb from KJB Farms rubbed with a Moroccan spice blend from Spice Rack and Bulk Foods. Take home a tray of Arepas & Co. meat or cheese-filled corn cakes.

Need a few stocking stuffers to round out your perfectly planned present? Pet parents will love treats for their furry friends from Animal Snackers Bakery. (Bonus: profits from this booth support the Humane Society of Greater Dayton!) Coffee enthusiasts will get a “kick” out of free-trade, flavored coffee from Caffeine. Shop Pure Beginning for organic and all-natural baby items that are sure to be a hit with new moms and parents-to-be. Another great gift is just a few blocks from the Market – passes and gift certificates to MetroParks Ice Rink at RiverScape MetroPark will keep your list stumpers active and having fun all throughout winter. Family passes (covering admission and rentals for up to five people) are available for $75 and individual passes are on sale for $40. Visit for the full schedule, upcoming programs and more information. Purchase passes and gift certificates when the rink is open.

No matter who your list stumper is, you can find a thoughtful gift to fit any budget – and invest in the local economy – when you shop the PNC 2nd Street Market. Visit the Market from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Visit for a list of seasonal specials.

Reach DCP freelance writer Val Beerbower at

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