It's ho-ho-holiday time again, when we're all searching for the perfect gifts for family and friends, near and far. This year, why not try to buy local, giving something that could only come from Del Mar?
Here's a short list of nifty gifties that's sure to simplify your shopping and please all your lucky giftees.
Book Works, a hot spot for readers of all ages, is spotlighting local authors this year. Check out its display of good books for children and adults by well-known Del Martians such as Dr. Udo Wahn ("Cabo and Coral's Secret Surf Spot") and expert gardener Pat Welsh ("Pat Welsh's Southern California Organic Gardening"). If you don't see exactly what you want, ask the staff for its recommendations. 2670 Via de la Valle (Flower Hill). (858) 755-3735, www.book-works.com.
Stop in at L'Auberge Del Mar for travel-size sets of some of the lotions and potions used at its new spa. And who wouldn't appreciate a gift certificate for one of the spa's luxurious massages, or maybe dinner or lunch at Kitchen 1540? Find it all at 1540 Camino del Mar. (858) 793-6493. www.laubergedelmar.com.
Get off on the right track by visiting the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club's online gift shop. You can be a winner this season since everything is 30 percent off, with free shipping on orders over $50.
Besides race-y T-shirts, hoodies and tank tops, you'll find the popular license plate frames that say "Where the Turf Meets the Surf," a line from the Bing Crosby song that's played at the track before the first race and after the last one.
And how about some really useful stocking stuffers — Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Chapsticks, SPF 15 and petroleum-free? http://gifthorse.delmar
Clone Duplicating and Printing has a cool selection of mugs, key rings, frames and magnets that picture Del Mar. And for a more personal touch, it'll superimpose your family photos on scenic Del Mar backgrounds and turn them into great-looking calendars. Find it all at 1202 Camino del Mar. (858) 259-6789, www.clonecopies.com.
Last but not least, for a gift that will surely be one of a kind, how about a session with the Del Mar Psychic? She's been in town 25 years now, so she must be doing something right.
Gift certificates for palm, tarot and psychic readings (from $65) are available, and psychic Katherine says she'll tell all — past, present and future — and give advice on marriage, love, health and wealth. Can't beat that! 1105 Camino del Mar, Suite B. (858) 755-3117.