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Your essential gift guide for shopping local this season 

Go big or go home

Market on South 2603 E. South St., 407-613-5968,

What's special about quaint new contender Market on South is that from the moment you step inside, it feels lovingly shaped, like entering the foyer of an emotionally invested homemaker. Fittingly, the gift items you'll encounter on the market's modest shelves would work for any such type you've got on your gift list this year. What's more, the crafted offerings that form the core of the market resonate with the kind of care and attention we always hope our gifts will convey.

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Live Edge Designs cutting boards, $65-$75

Live Edge Designs reclaims trees destroyed by storms or left behind by man's intrusive force and crafts them into gorgeous furniture and home accents imbued with craftsman John Lore's awe of the trees he cuts from.

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Ten10 Brewery's Spent Brewer's Grain, $6 for a half-pound

Brewer's grain has a variety of domestic uses that could inspire the project-fueled homemaker, including baking, composting, gardening and for any dog lovers, making dog treats.

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Joy of Garlic's Mediterranean Specialties, $10 for 10 ounces

Sharing old secret family recipes, Joy of Garlic's Mediterranean Specialties, from olive tapenade to fire-roasted tomatoes bruschetta, can be either go-tos for entertaining or inspiration for home kitchen experimenters.

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Collective Kindness candle, $12-$25 (or $30 for three)

Candles aren't the most inspired gift, but if you find the right scent, you can legitimately shift a person's lifestyle because scent tugs on memory hard. Consider gifting these more imaginative burns, like Bamboo & White Grapefruit, Sea Salt & Lotus, and curious blends like Dragon's Blood or Harvest Moon.

Sure shots

Rifle Paper Co. 558 W. New England Ave., Winter Park, 407-622-7679,

Rifle Paper Co. has been a hometown favorite since 2009, when Anna Bond and her husband, Nathan, launched their design studio out of a garage apartment. Rifle is now a thriving stationery business with international recognition, but it's nice to know we locals can stop by the tiny flagship shop in Hannibal Square to peruse the newest calendars, cards and paper goods, along with a smart selection of gifts by other makers.

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Illustrated Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, $30

A large-scale, dust-jacketed edition of Lewis Carroll's long-beloved story of kittens, drugs, caterpillars and tea parties is dressed up with 70 whimsical illustrations by Anna Bond.

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Recipe tin with cards and dividers, $34

Truly special recipes deserve better than an email forward or a soulless computer-paper printout, and Rifle's floral-patterned tin is a worthy repository. Treat them right and start a tradition by recording all of your specialties – family or otherwise – on the included cards.

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Patterned writing pencils, $12

Write on! This set of 12 pencils, dressed in Rifle's celebrated floral patterns, make the perfect stocking stuffer for anyone who still enjoys making lists the old-fashioned way.

Decor and more

Gallery on the Edge 2300 Edgewater Drive, 407-615-4683,

This gallery, owned by the same folks who recently opened the Shoppes at College Park, is one of the best places to find eclectic and quirky jewelry, art and gifts. If you've got someone on your list who already has everything, check here – chances are, your gift recipient doesn't have a science-themed needlepoint, a silver tree centerpiece twisted out of thick wire or Underdog earrings.

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Storm Trooper needlepoint, $55

If you have a Star Wars geek to buy for – or a needlepoint freak, for that matter – here's something nobody else is gifting them this year. Everyone will marvel at the simplicity and brilliance of this masterpiece.

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Dog-themed pendants, bracelets and earrings, $10-$18

Gallery on the Edge has a variety of cute – not tacky – dog-related jewelry on display right now. We love this sleek poodle pendant (also available in greyhound), and the Underdog earrings are adorable.

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Merry & Bright sea glass holiday print, $20 and up

Spruce up your holiday decor with these super-cute holiday prints with sea-glass accents. Choose from cute Christmas trees and wreaths made with hunks of bottle-green glass, or pick these adorable reindeer made with brown glass. The perfect gift for a Martha Stewart-mom-type.

Nostalgia trumps all

Kick Bright Shop & Buttons at Artegon Marketplace 5250 International Drive,  

The rush of encountering an object that transports you back in time can create guilty-pleasure greed in treasure seekers who specialize in digging up vintage toys and retro pop-culture items. If one of these types makes it on your holiday shopping list, get thee to Kick Bright Shop & Buttons in Artegon Marketplace. Shop owners Jeffrey and Kristin Howard sell directly from their personal collection of oddities and retro artworks, unearthing the sort of gems that jolt your memory in the best way possible.  

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Collectible glassware, $6 each
For anyone who remembers heaping Welch’s grape jelly onto their toast to drink from the Tom & Jerry glass that contained it, these glasses share the same spunk, branded with characters like Popeye, Sylvester, Donald Duck and more.  

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Alf puzzle, $12
Comically positioned in the case behind a pair of ceramic cats, this Alf puzzle (featuring the beloved ’80s TV-show alien as a baseball player) will light up the eyes of any gift opener who ever uttered, “Haaa! I kill me!”

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 “Ronnie Bear,” $150
This creepy, unusual take on a teddy bear is from 1981 and features the rubber-faced mug of Ronald Reagan. We’d never suggest you tarnish an old collectible, but it’d be something if you Build-a-Bear-rigged it so it said, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help” each time your gift recipient gave him a squeeze.  
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Buttons, $8 for 5 or $15 for 10
Shake up the “stocking stuffer” tradition by pinning these nostalgia-tinged buttons to your loved one’s stocking, featuring quirky designs from Shel Silverstein illustrations to Florida postcards to film icons and much more to flood a range of personalities with unusual cherished memories.

One stop, may shops

The Shoppes of College Park 2308 Edgewater Drive, 407-930-2570

New kid on the block the Shoppes of College Park is unique in that it's not one owner, one store – instead, there are multiple vendors showing their wares in this Edgewater Drive storefront, and each mini shop has its own distinctive specialty. From clothing (check out the two shops in the alcoves toward the back of the store for some cute tops and jackets) to jewelry to home decor, this little spot covers a lot of bases. And the prices can't be beat. That makes it the perfect place for shopping multi-tasking: Find something for practically every taste in one location, plus maybe a little something for yourself. 

Canvas elephant clutch, $26

There are actually tons of cute bags for sale at the Shoppes – everything from simple leather totes to brightly colored clutches – but the cute elephant clutch is super fun. The elephants give it a sense of humor, and the patent leather embellishment gives it some class. 

Tennessee Moonshine scented candle, $12

Don't let the name fool you – these quirky gel candles, "hand poured by Tennessee hillbillies," don't stink of booze. But they are scented like some of the various flavors you could imagine moonshine coming in, like apple pie, blueberry cobbler, butterscotch and root beer. 

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"My dog found me at the shelter" sign, $15

Everybody knows somebody who'd appreciate this painted sign – that friend with the "Who rescued whom?" bumper sticker on their vehicle, the family member who has the "Wipe your paws" welcome mat, the sibling whose favorite T-shirt reads, "I like big mutts and I cannot lie," etc.

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Succulent air sphere planter, $17

These tiny, adorable planters are virtually foolproof – hang them in a window or office with bright, filtered light and spritz them with water once a week or so and they'll thrive. The perfect gift for your favorite cubicle dweller.

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Locket watch, $20

These adorable, functional watches are vintage-styled but have a little bit of modern bling that keeps them from falling into steampunk territory. 

Typewriter key bracelet, $58

This bracelet is a cute and clever reuse of the keys of an old typewriter. So adorable that we want to gift it to all of our writerly friends.  

Gifts for geeks

Gods & Monsters, Artegon Marketplace, 5150 International Drive, 407-270-6273, ThinkGeek Florida Mall, 8001 S. Orange Blossom Trail, 407-826-4124

Orlando got a double shot of additions to its nerdy emporia selection this year, with Gods & Monsters opening at the Artegon Marketplace in June and the first brick-and-mortar outpost of popular online store ThinkGeek cutting its ribbon at the Florida Mall in September. The two stores differ widely in atmosphere and selection, but if you've got a favorite nerd that you're obligated to drop some cash on this holiday season, both stores deserve a look.

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Spider Jerusalem bust, $1,250

Gods & Monsters wants to be the go-to hangout for those interested in comics or tabletop gaming (with a full schedule of noteworthy events on their calendar), but their selection of those things leaves a lot to be desired. You'll find a better comic selection at pretty much any other comic store, and the gaming section looks to have been recently gutted to make room for Star Wars action figures. Where Gods & Monsters shines, however, is its dedication to local artists. The Transmetropolitan Gallery area features works from local artists like Vaughn Belak and Tony Taylor alongside renowned artists like Menton3 and Ben Templesmith. We can't think of a better way to show your support for the gallery than to pick up this 3D-printed bust of the chain-smoking, drug-popping journalist from the namesake cult classic series, Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson's Transmetropolitan, by local artist and animator James Inziello. It may not be cheap, but it's definitely one-of-a-kind.

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Doctor Who and Star Trek mini-fridges, $149.99 each

ThinkGeek makes its money not by selling the content of fandom – you'll find nary a graphic novel, video game or Blu-Ray disc here – but by hawking neat stuff based on licensed properties. So if you want to watch Doctor Who or Star Trek, get Netflix. But if you want to keep your Nuka Cola cold and within reach of the couch while you binge on Fallout 4 and Battlefront over the next few months, get one of these mini-fridges shaped like either the T.A.R.D.I.S. or a Borg Cube. We tried resisting the cool LED lights built into the Borg ship replica, but it was futile.

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