“Magic in the air.” That’s how Joe Skoby describes his home during the holidays. “I love seeing the excitement pour out of my daughters. We decorate the Christmas tree on St. Nicholas night.” As for what’s under that tree? Skoby patronizes local retailers almost exclusively, because he’s pretty ingrained in his community. You can spot him managing El Pescador Fish Market in La Jolla, or you may recognize him from his ceramics brand, Skoby Joe.
And while being a ceramicist does make gift-giving a little easier, Skoby puts more thought into his presents than just convenience. “I like the idea of giving something with meaning, whether it is supporting a small local business, or making something for someone, or donating to a cause that will help the less fortunate.” Pore over his recommendations and get your own wheels turning.
“Based in La Jolla and Argentina, Greenpacha designs hand-woven toquilla hats made by artisans in Ecuador. Once you try a Greenpacha, it’s impossible to go back to a cheaply made hat.” From $99
“This wetsuit is any surfer’s dream. Matuse is a local company that can be found worldwide. Their wetsuits are the best in the game.” From $100
Cleo Skincare products
“My wife goes crazy for all of Cleo’s natural skin oils and products. Their little shop is in Bird Rock, making it an easy stop to grab a gift for her. They sell gift certificates, too!” Prices vary
“In my opinion, this means much more than most gifts. I try and give these to my daughters every year in hopes they would understand what the holidays should really be about.” $50 per monthly sponsorship
“These sandals are 100 percent recyclable and made from biodegradable vegetable components. The company is owned and operated by a Brazilian guy whose name translates to John the Baptist. We met on the street in La Jolla, and he gifted me and my daughter a pair. I am now a believer and have worn them ever since.” $25
“Locally designed and crafted, Hydrodynamica surfboards are pure fun and have a progressive design.” Prices vary
“Owner Julia Wheeler is a local mom who was looking for better-quality swimwear for her kids. My kids love her swimsuits, which are made of 50 percent recycled polyester and 50 percent organic cotton.” Prices vary
“I always feel incredibly honored when people purchase our pieces for their special occasions. Some popular pieces conceived as gift ideas are the small and medium pieces.” $475–$650