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Made In Oregon water pipes are sold at several local shops, including Fire and Water Smoke Shop in Ashland. Photo by Andy Atkinson

Herbal holidays

We know holiday shopping can be a drag — crowds, paying more than expected, traffic — plus coming up with good gift ideas.

We’re here like helpful elves to make your life easier.

Putting the "happy" in "holidays" will be merrier than ever with this nifty gift list we’ve prepared for you.

All gifts are under $100 and available at local retailers. And we’ve customized the list for those who have been nice, and maybe a little naughty, through the past year.

1. For artistic tokers

Water pipes make a great Christmas gift. They are festive, ornamental and personal. And some awesome ones are made right here in Oregon.

M.I.O. stands for Made In Oregon, and this glass company has a comprehensive list of pipes, bubblers and accessories made from thick, lab-grade German Schott glass. That extra glass makes its pipes durable and reliable. Fire & Water, 1658 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland, carries one that costs $98, and it's so beautiful you could use it as a vase when your grandparents come around. Reach Fire & Water at 541-488-0870.

2. For the outdoorsy smoker 

A fun clerk named J.R. at 42degrees on East Main Street in downtown Medford took me by surprise by bouncing a pipe off the floor to show me how strong it was — a very cool pipe made by Doug “Taco” Kimmons in Phoenix.

J.R. said a hiker dropped a Taco Pipe after sparking it on the top of a mountain and heard it ping all the way down. When he descended, a nice person handed him the pipe — intact. 42degrees is at 613 E. Main St., Medford; 541-973-2311.

3. For dog lovers

Southern Oregon loves dogs, so we had to consider the gift needs of canine lovers.

Better Care Dog Treats and Tinctures, out of Portland (and available at local dispensaries), makes several products with CBD, the non-psychoactive part of marijuana, to help with everything from anxiety to arthritis.

As the owner of a rescue dog, I’ve seen the difference CBD treats can make for separation anxiety and issues around other dogs or children.

CBDs also help ease chronic pain and inflammation, and studies show it helps with appetite. Company owners David and Tressa Bundren said their tinctures particularly work well with larger dogs.

4. For your wardrobe

Our forefathers, including Thomas Jefferson, knew what smart people know today … hemp is strong and durable. And in the hands of creative people, hemp can be beautiful.

Local designer Rose Gerstner, founder of Sympatico Clothing, 5198 Sterling Creek Road, Jacksonville, makes elegant clothes for women that are comfortable and flattering.

Gerstner said she loves working with hemp, and she blends it with Tencel because it holds color and is not only strong but breathable. Her tuxedo top, at $86, is her top-seller. All of her clothes, from tops to skirts, are priced under $100 dollars.

Gerstner regularly shows her wares at the Lithia Artisans Market on Calle Guanajuato in Ashland, and you can order online at www.sympaticoclothing.com. Her number is 541-899-3988.

5. Gifts for lovers

There’s a reason we have mistletoe at Christmas … it’s for the romantic in all of us. Another way to celebrate love is with Sun God Medicinals massage oils.

The company, based in Central Point, makes an assortment of tinctures, teas and topical blends out of herbs, cannabis or hemp, and its products are available at numerous Southern Oregon retailers. See www.sungodmeds.com for a complete list.

6. A tree for the Christmas tree

A Christmas tree under a Christmas tree? What a merry idea. And genial Carlos Diaz of Emerald Triangle Dispensary, 246 E. 10th St., Medford, says that’s what some of his creative customers do. They take flowers (known as buds to most of us) and arrange them in a basket or wrap them carefully and they’re there waiting under the tree for a special Christmas morning. Just hope Santa doesn’t find them first!

7. Gift for foodies

Every generation seems to have a signature cookbook — I remember years ago using the "Moosewood Cookbook" with a girlfriend of the time and spending three hours trying to make eggplant burritos. I can’t remember what they eventually tasted like, but those three hours are still going on somewhere.

For this generation, and really for all of us, the next classic might be "Baked" by Yzabetta Sativah.

The second edition of the best-selling book, available at Bloomsbury Books, 290 E. Main St., Ashland, features 80 recipes for marijuana cooks with discerning palates. Explore savory treats or mix up something special from the new drinks section. Easy-to-follow directions enable even the newest of marijuana chefs to create sumptuous dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan delicacies.

8. For your DIY friend

Some people like to grind their own herbs. It’s totally understandable and part of a nice process, whether they're chefs or connoisseurs.

For that top chef in your life, consider the Mendo Mulcher, a hand-held herb grinder available at 42degrees. It costs about $60 but is very heavy duty. It’s made with Aircraft Bullet Aluminum and is guaranteed for a lifetime (which is nice, as Bill Murray might say). The Grand Grinder, also guaranteed for life, costs about $20 and is available from some local dispensaries.

9. Something shiny

How about something gold under the Christmas tree? This could be a stocking stuffer, but it’s too good to hide.

For about $46 you can get Shine Papers, 24-karat gold hemp rolling papers in a 12-sheet “party pack.” The edible gold and hemp mixture makes for a smooth, satisfying smoke. I can imagine eyes lighting up at the sight of this gift. No need to wrap … it will simply glow under your tree lights. Available at many local dispensaries.

10. Gift basket for special friends

A number of local outlets, from Fire & Water smoke shop in Ashland to the Emerald Triangle Dispensary in Medford, will help you customize a gift basket for that special herb lover in your life. You can put together extracts, topicals, edibles, tinctures, prerolls … really the only limit is your imagination. And these friendly folks will help guide you if you are a beginner and want to stay within a budget.

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