We did something special this holiday season – NUVO's editors all picked out gifts to give based on the subjects they cover: We've provided a look below at the suggestions as they appear in print — with spectacular photos by Michelle Craig.

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What are you celebrating this year? Solstice? Kwanzaa? Do you have a blended family like some friends of ours who’ve made up their own winter holiday: “Chrismakkuh?”

No matter what you’re celebrating, each of NUVO’s editors has some gift suggestions specific to their gig at the publication: Arts Editor Emily Taylor has some ideas on sharing local culture with friends and family, Food Editor Sarah Murrell has suggestion on presents for those with a culinary bent, Music Editor Katherine Coplen brings a plethora of listening pleasures, News Editor Amber Stearns can help give the gift of charity and sports-minded Managing Editor Ed Wenck has notions for the active — or wanna-be-active — athlete. (We let engagement editor Brian Weis off the hook, even thtough he’s in the photos. Do you know how much time social media chews up for the guy?)


Some gifts are pretty pricey, some are incredibly reasonable, some are so inexpensive they’ll make great stocking-stuffers. We also need to offer a big thank-you to Hotel Tango, the Fletcher Place distillery that let us crash their space for the shoot. Hey, if nothing in our gift guide strikes your fancy, Tango makes some damn fine liquor. That’s often a great backup plan.

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Charitable gifts from News Editor Amber Stearns

Amber and Brian give the gift of chocolate


Chocolate as a gift is always a sure thing. But when the chocolate gives back 10 percent for animal conservation projects, it’s that much sweeter. Endangered Species Chocolates has a 10 percent give back policy built into its business model and a $10,000 minimum guaranteed to each recipient each year. With a wide variety of bars, nibbles and spreads, there is enough to share with everyone.

Endangered Special Chocolate bars and spreads: $2.99 - $8.99
Available at various grocery stores and retail shops, chocolatebar.com

Ed gives the gift of music

The Indianapolis Children’s Choir provides music education, performance experience and cultural awareness for children throughout central Indiana. The purchase of tickets (individual shows or season passes) or one of their seasonal performance CDs helps support the choir and the children it serves.

Performance tickets: $13 - $18
Angels Sing! CD: $15
Indianapolis Children’s Choir, 4600 Sunset Ave., icchoir.org

Sarah gives the gift of wine

The motto of Peace Water Winery is “One bottle does a world of good.” And it is true with 50 percent of the company profits going to local, national and international charities. What’s even better? When you buy a bottle, you get to pick which one of the eight charities your purchase will support. Whether you buy a bottle for yourself or a couple to give to someone else, you can feel good knowing you’ve helped someone else.

Various California vintage wines: $19 - $120
Peace Water Winery 37 W. Main St. (Carmel), peacewaterwinery.com

Emily gives the gift of art

Can you imagine you and a small group of friends hanging out with penguins while they walk through paint and on a blank canvas? How about a walrus using its mustacial vibrissae (more commonly referred to as whiskers) or Emily’s favorite, an elephant holding a paintbrush with its trunk? You can actually do that at the Indianapolis Zoo with Animal Art Adventures! And your fee simply goes back into the education and conservation programming the zoo provides and supports. Choose your friends, animal, paint and have a great time while supporting a great non-profit treasure in the city.

Indianapolis Zoo Animal Art Adventures: $200
Indianapolis Zoo, 1200 W. Washington St., indianapoliszoo.com

Kat gives the gift of sustainable life

Buying a goat or a sheep or a cow for someone you have never met before in a country you have never visited is like being the ultimate secret Santa. Through Heifer International you can purchase any one of those animals and numerous others (even honeybees!) that will be given to a family to breed and raise and turn into a sustaining farm and business. Nothing says “Happy Holidays!” like doing something to end world hunger and poverty and a cute baby goat.

Heifer International animals: $100 - $5,000
heifer.org

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Culturally-minded gifts from Arts Editor Emily Taylor

Sarah's fashion


Leather Feather Stone (the two large clutches in Sarah and Amber’s hands) is a local leather and design creation by Brooke Lindemann. She is currently collaborating with a Pattern Workshop resident, Howl & Hide. Each piece is inspired by the dress of the 1800s. The primitive raw cuts on the edges lets her work be dressed up or down easily.

Clutches: $248
Pattern Indy, 871 Massachusetts ave, patternindy.com

Kat's music

January has miserable weather, but it’s the high season for classical music. The Indianapolis Symphony has a strong lineup ready to go. (This editor cannot wait to hear Holts’ Planet Series performed.) The ISO is currently running a deal where you can get three shows for less than you probably spend at dinner downtown.

Any 3 concerts for $99
Hilbert Circle Theater, 45 Monument Circle, indianapolissymphony.org

Amber's design

Quincy Owens has been putting a dash of color all over Indy: Mostly through his outdoor light sculptures. If you went to a show at the Lawn at White River at all this summer, you likely walked right by his glowing towers of neon color on your way out. Owens makes smaller versions that are safe for outdoor or indoor installation.

Mini Prime. 36x7 inches steel, colored acrylic and lights: $1,400
quincyowensart.com

Emily's decor

Kyle Ragsdale’s yearly solo show just wrapped up at The Harrison Center for the Arts, where he also serves as a curator. This new line of work focuses on placing period costumes in modern settings and a year of loss, sadness and hope. Though this painting is not from that collection, it shows off Ragsdale’s intrinsic knowledge of color theory.

“Black dress pink skies”: $800
kyleragsdale.com

Hanging sweatshirts

When Jerry Atwood started to sew about ten years ago, western costumes made by Nudie, Nathan Turk and Rodeo Ben were the things that captured his attention. His chain stitching has been used on everything from western jackets to these pullover sweatshirts. Also keep a look out for his denim and vintage workwear.

Shirts: $120,
Pattern Indy, 871 Massachusetts ave, patternindy.com

Ed's bookshelf

Indy Reads was kind enough to pick a few local authors and titles you should embrace for the winter. We are particularly excited to crack open Barbra Shoup’s Looking for Jack Kerouac ($13). The mix of stories and heavy hitting literary names in Indy Writes is always a safe bet.

Books: various prices
Indy Reads Books, 911 Massachusetts Ave, indyreads.org

Brian's mask

William Denton Ray has had a big year with his solo show at the Arts Council of Indianapolis and rolling out a whole new style of work. His “Whimsical Funk” characters live in just about every medium.

The Harley Big Stache - Original Mixed Media Wall Sculpture: $225
whimsicalfunk.com

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Culinary presents from Food Editor Sarah Murrell

Amber’s morning buzz


For those who like a strong cup of joe when they get up in the morning to read the news, there’s no better gift than a bag of coffee and an Aeropress. The pressure forces the water through the grounds much like an espresso maker, but without the plug. You get a piping-hot, extra-strong cup every time, without all the waiting. Serve it in a “Good Morning Asshole” mug to get your point across to the chatty, or in a “I like my coffee like I like my…” mug for a laugh.

Whole bean coffee: $5 - $17
Aeropress: $30
Tinker Coffee, 212 E 16th St, (770) 365-0250; tinkercoffee.com

Good Morning Asshole Mug, I Like My Coffee Mug $18
Haus Love 5901 N College Ave, 601-6521; ilovehaus.com

Brian cuts the cheese

There are plenty of places to get a beautiful block of handmade cheese around the city. If you’ve got a cheese lover in your life whose cheese game you want to seriously raise, grab this cheese board from Homespun to get perfect, even slices. Add a couple wooden spice and salt wells for visual and literal flavor.

Cheese Board: $39
Wooden bowls: $25-35
Homespun, 869 Massachusetts Ave, 351-0280; homespunindy.com

Cheese, prices vary
Amelia’s Bread, 653 Virginia Ave, 686-1580; ameliasbread.com

Kat’s sweet surrender

It’s perfectly fine to bring a pre-made dessert to your Holiday dinner, especially if it’s from one of Indy’s many outstanding local sweet shops. If you’re hosting a cocktail party, a box of chocolate truffles, giant chocolate covered pretzels, or peanut butter crunch from The Best Chocolate in Town is a nice pass-around sweet for the end of the party. If you’re doing more of a sit-down thing, a chocolate-crusted tart from Tartelette is definitely going to be what you need.

Chocolates, Bark: $3.95 - $8.40
The Best Chocolate in Town

Tart: $25-35
Tartelette, 5325 Michigan Rd., facebook.com/tartelettepatisserie

Emily sets an eye-pleasing table

Handmade dishware is the way to go for people who love hosting beautiful dinner parties. Ryan Van Hoy specializes in gorgeous, minimalist plates and serviceware and throws his pieces right in Fountain Square. To go with it, you can set your adult table with cute and kitschy manners napkins, and your kids table with the roll-up picnic placemats for easier cleanup (or the other way around, depending on group dynamics).

Plates: $75 each
VanHoy Pottery, rtvanhoy.etsy.com

Manners Napkins $25
Placemat with Utensils $18
Homespun, 869 Massachusetts Ave, 351-0280; homespunindy.com

Ed Carbs up for football

A great gift to bring for a hostess gift is good old fashioned, handmade carbohydrates. If you need a something delicious to bring to a family gathering, you should stop by Amelia’s in Fletcher place or Lucy’s Bakery on the Northside. Lucy’s specializes in both Kosher breads as well as Mexican-style, lightly-sweetened pastries that go great with coffee after dinner (not to mention that we got all the pastries pictured for about five bucks). If you need a gift, give bread and a gorgeous cutting board on which to serve it.

Focaccia: $4
Amelia’s Bread, 653 Virginia Ave, 686-1580; ameliasbread.com

Pastries: prices vary
Lucy’s Bakery 1323 W 86th St, 992-2033; facebook.com/lucysbakeryindy

Indiana Cutting Board: $70
Homespun, 869 Massachusetts Ave, 351-0280; homespunindy.com

Sarah’s hostess secrets

The key to hosting a great party is to prep wisely, plan your baking sequence, and keep some booze close at hand. Luckily, Hotel Tango sells their spirits in adorable 375 mL bottles. Even better, Homespun sells these awesome handmade Indiana-adorned aprons that come with a cocktail or beer holder sewn right into them, so you never have to lose your drink in the crowd. Insider tip: if you go to Hotel Tango on Fridays, all 375mL bottles are $15 and all 750mL bottles are $25

Hotel Tango Spirits
750 mL: $26.99 - $32.99
375 mL: $16.99 - $22.99
Hotel Tango Whiskey, 702 Virginia Ave, 653-1806; hoteltangowhiskey.com

Indiana Apron with cupholder: $38
Homespun, 869 Massachusetts Ave, 351-0280; homespunindy.com

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Tuneful presents from Music Editor Kat Coplen

Amber pulls out a holiday record


Soul queen Sharon Jones gladly soundtracked our holiday parties with her new release It's A Holiday Soul Party, out now on beautiful red vinyl. These aren't warmed-over standards; nope, the Dap-Kings bring holiday glow into brand new originals. Comfort and joy, indeed!

Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings' It's A Holiday Soul Party: $18.97

Indy CD and Vinyl, 806 Broad Ripple Ave., 259-1012, indycdandvinyl.com

Sarah hits the town

Over the holidays, we publish literally hundreds of holiday-themed concert blurbs. Pick your fave, buy two tix, and bring your mom. Christmas present DONE. Or, damn, leave the holiday theme behind and check out Sleater-Kinney at Old National Centre on Dec. 4.

Check out NUVO's Soundcheck or browse our Winter CityGuide for hundreds of events to chose from

Emily turns pages

We're digging Freda Love Smith's Red Velvet Underground: A Rock Memoir with Recipes super hard. She co-founded local bands like Mysteries of Life and Antenna, plus Boston's The Blake Babies and the stories of her life on the road – and all the delicious things she ate – are so great.

Red Velvet Underground: A Rock Memoir with Recipes: $16
At your favorite local book store

Ed samples some local music

Our managing editor's got a handful of locally released goodies in his paws, including Early Indiana Punk and New Wave: The Crazy Al's Year(s) ($15 at Irvington Vinyl); Save the World by Summer ($9.99 at CDBaby); The Gizmos World Tour 2014 ($20 through Gulcher Records); Nathaniel Russell's Sunlight ($15 at LUNA Music); plus the not-local but so wonderful Assateague ($15 at LUNA Music).

Brian enjoys fine art while lookin' fine

Painter Jonathan McAfee showcased Indiana hip-hop in a vibrant way with his Ghost Gun Summer series, featuring rappers Oreo Jones – that's him in Brian's hands – Sirius Blvck and Grey Granite – that's them up on the fireplace – plus John Stamps and Freddie Bunz. Sandwiched between Sirius and Grey on the mantle is an exclusive print by local artist Nat Russell, available only at LUNA. Oh yeah – dig his Chreece T, too.

Ghost Gun Summer prints are available through jonathanmcafee.com: prices vary

Chreece t-shirts: $20
Pattern Store, 871 Massachusetts Ave., patternindy.com

Nat Russell print: $40

LUNA t-shirts on trunk: $15-20
LUNA Music, 5202 N. College Ave., 283-5862

Kat cues up the turntable

Many thanks to the awesome Indy CD and Vinyl for supplying us with this turntable, one of the many available at their shop, plus assorted accoutrements (keep 'em clean, folks!) Want to get even further into the record playing hole? Check out Deckademics, Indy's first DJ school, which offers a variety of classes, like their Weekend Warrior Crash Course ($75 for four hours of instruction, to cover the basics) and DJ Date Night ($80 per couple for a 90-minute lesson).

Turntables: prices vary
Indy CD and Vinyl, 806 Broad Ripple Ave., 259-1012, indycdandvinyl.com 

DJ lessons: prices vary
Deckademics, 6108 N. College Ave. Ste. 200, 662-8661, deckademics.com 

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Presents for the athlete (or wannabe) from Managing/Sports Editor Ed Wenck

Sarah re-energizes


Clif bars! Quest bars! Pro bars! Hüma energy gel! Whatever you do, don’t bonk — these great stocking stuffers ensure that the athlete in the family has plenty of protein and omega acids to finish that next course. (Yeah, we let the Food Editor handle the snacks. Clever, huh?)

Various energy bars and gels: $1.69-2.75
The Good Earth, 6350 Guilford Ave., 253-3709, good-earth.com

Ed goes hurling

Want to rediscover your Gaelic heritage? How about trying hurling? (The athletic version, not the too-many-Guinnesses kind.) It’s a bit like field hockey; fast-paced and maybe just a mite dangerous. The good folks at the Good Earth in Broad Ripple can help you out with gear and advice. The “hurley” is the stick, the “sliotar” is the ball and the glove comes in handy for keeping your knuckles intact. You’ll need a helmet (not shown) — and the hockey jersey ain’t for sale, bub.

Hurley: $39.99
Glove: $32.99
Sliotar: $10.00
The Good Earth, 6350 Guilford Ave., 253-3709, good-earth.com

Kat goes biking

Indy Cycle Specialist — our 2015 Best Of Indy winner for Best Local Bike Shop — lent us this lovely Surly Long Haul Trucker in silver and gray. Surly devotees swear by these bikes: the geometry’s great for everything from century jaunts to commuting. While we know it’s a heavy cash outlay for a gift, these machines last FOREVER, so ponder the long view.

Surly Long Haul Trucker (silver): $1349.99
Indy Cycle Specialist, 5804 E. Washington St., 356-4585, indycyclespecialist.com

Brian and Amber go disc golfing

Disc golfers will tell you that their version is superior to regular ol’ golf for three big reasons: It’s cheap, it’s easy to learn and you can play in nearly any weather. The discs themselves are available from a local supplier by the name of Matt Boals at Griffin Disc Golf, and a three-disc starter pack — a “driver,” “fairway” disc and “putter” — plus a marker disc, towel and the tote bag can be yours for $40. (Compare that to the fees for just one round on a club-and-ball course. Get it?) The big basket shown is a different story: that’s an actual disc golf target. Boals and Indy disc-golf course designer Dennis Byrne (along with the Indy Parks Foundation) are rehabbing the “holes” at Sahm Park, and your company can sponsor one. Your business’s logo will be enshrined next to a hole on the course for the next two decades.

Disc golf starter pack (discs, marker, bag, towel): $40
griffindiscgolf@gmail.com for more info and products

Sahm Course hole sponsorship: $750
disc.golf@hotmail.com for more info

Emily goes running

The folks at Athletic Annex in Broad Ripple lent us Em’s duds for this Holiday Gift Guide. The clothing’s by Saucony, which means, of course, it’s super high-tech, breathable when you’re moving and warm when you’re not. The New Balance running shoes are designed for maximum stability. No twisted ankles during the Drumstick Dash, amirite?

Saucony Sonic Reflex Jacket: $135
Saucony Long Sleeve V-Neck: $42
Saucony Bullet Capri: $65
New Balance 860v6: $120
Athletic Annex (Broad Ripple), 6528 Cornell Ave., 253-1792, athleticannex.com

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About The Authors

Katherine Coplen

Katherine Coplen

Bio:
Always looking for my new favorite band. Always listening to my old ones, too. Always baking cakes. Always collecting rock and roll dad quotes.
Sarah Murrell

Sarah Murrell

Bio:
Sarah Murrell covers all things food, beverages and sometimes gives decent sex and relationship advice. You can stream her consciousness on Twitter, if that's where life has brought you.
Amber Stearns

Amber Stearns

Bio:
Amber Stearns was born, raised, and educated right here in Indianapolis. She holds a B.S. in Communications from the University of Indianapolis (1995). Following a 20-year career in radio news in Indiana, Amber joined NUVO as News Editor in 2014.
Emily Taylor

Emily Taylor

Bio:
Emily is the arts editor at NUVO, where she covers everything from visual art to comedy. In fact she is probably at a theater production right now. Before joining the ranks here, she worked for Indianapolis Monthly and Gannett. You can find her thoughts about Indy scattered throughout the NUVO arts section and... more
Ed Wenck

Ed Wenck

Bio:
Ed Wenck has been writing for NUVO (as well as several other Indiana publications) for nearly 20 years while moonlighting as a radio host. He became Managing Editor of NUVO in 2013. He's authored four books and also reports for WISH-TV's Boomer TV program.

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