Last Minute Christmas Gifts – Pasadena

I don’t have much time to write this up for those of you who don’t have much time to finish (or, start!) your Christmas shopping!

For Christmas I meditate on the true reason for the season:  a day to recognize Love through the gift of the birth of Jesus Christ, rather than stressing out over shopping for material gifts.  Not that I have anything against buying gifts. Some of my very best friends are gift-givers.

But as we see in the world, not everyone is of that same Spirit.  So, with that in mind here are just a few suggested last minute gift ideas to have St. Nick aka Santa Claus add to your list. The common denominator to my recommendations is that I’m acquainted with the people behind these gifts & they all have a local Pasadena flavor.  So, I know about what I speak! 🙂


Euro Pane Bakery & Cafe.  Gift cards. Euro Pane are the Pasadena eateries which most often makes the LA Weekly  “Best/Essential” restaurants to visit in the Los Angeles area.  It’s most known wide & far for its Egg Salad Sandwich & Macarons. Chef/Owner Sumi Chang trained at the renowned  Ecole Le Notre in France & then further training and experience from her mentor Nancy Silverton at La Brea Bakery. People come from near & far, speaking many languages, to visit. But here’s a tip if it’s gonna be your 1st time: come as early as possible to get the best, freshest selection. Come too late, and not only might you find what you wanted is sold out but you might also find you’re so late it closed at 5:30pm… and you have to leave empty-handed!



The Market on Holly.  Gift cards.  A market, bakery, deli, cafe, and coffee, yes, but also beer & wine!  Some of the better & friendliest customer service.  Also known for their S’Mores bars which are the best I’ve had. KNBC Channel 4 must’ve agreed with me since they put them on TV in 2011.  The owners are caring & friendly, which includes the Chef who before she opened this restaurant has been one of the top caterers around.  TMOH most reminds me of a New York city market/cafe.

Century Bookshop.  Gift certificates, books, cards, jewelry, art.  Unique & cute cards prepared by the owners who are professional artists.  They’ve sold their art in places such as the Huntington Library & Museum.   A relatively small selection of quality previously-owned books as well, with a strong Jane Austen selection.  Btw, this month they are celebrating their 1st Anniversary with discounts on select books!



The Pasadena Star News.  A newspaper subscription. In one form or another, the PSN has been telling us about our city since the beginning of time.  That’s Pasadena time, beginning back in the 19th century.  If you want to continue reading your newspaper on paper I suggest you subscribe to their scribes.  Buy it for the news, read it for the ads and coupons. Plus, despite what you might hear from some folk, as long as they treat me good, from Editor Frank all the way up to the women writers, that’s all that really matters to me!  😉  SUBSCRIBE Here.

A Penny for your Thoughts.   A coffee bar but, primarily, a boutique collectable gift shop.  A friend, renaissance woman & fellow Pasadenan, Petrea, got me to go to this place once. It’s her favorite shop in town so it’s really her opinion I’m following when recommending AP4YT.  Take a look around and you should find a last minute gift here is one thing I remember. Petrea still talks about AP4YT, such as saying the owner is great, so I gotta do a return trip one day.

Webster’s Fine Stationers:  Webster’s has been in Altadena as long as I can remember. They’re local & they support the local creative people too!  Unique, special gifts with custom, personal service.  Cookies & coffee for customers!  A very comfortable little place to shop – in fact, it’s my favorite shop in Altadena! Owners are good people.


Now, did someone mention, “books”?  Probably one of my author/foodie friends. I may not be much of a writer, but at least I’m not much of a reader to match. Sadly. So here are a few suggestions for great books I have read – from Pasadena area authors, who also have treated me well:

Dianne Emley: if you love a crime/mystery writing often with a local twist, like me, then this author is for you. The Deepest Cut & Love Kills are the two novels I have read, and I can truly say I loved them!!  Her books are at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena,  through links on her website Dianne Emley, and on Amazon.

Patricia Bunin: Password Senior Moment is the new book from the local newspaper columnist.  Her columns focus on those funny, challenging, & unique moments in the lives of senior citizens.  At Vroman’s , her website Patricia Bunin,  and Amazon.

Margaret Finnegan: her 1st novel, The Goddess Lounge, has received rave reviews by all who’ve read it – including me. Get it at  Vroman’s  or at Amazon .

Mary Mallory: historian/archivist, her first book is on the Hollywood Sign and the Hollywoodland/Beachwood Canyon part of Los Angeles which hosts it:  HOLLYWOODLAND. This historical guide to moviemaking’s most important stretch of real estate chronicles its development from an empty swath of land to the center of the cinematic universe. Old historic photographs, many from Hollywood Heritage the preservation group of which she sits on the board of directors, each one with her short & sweet narratives/insights. If you like local history this is a book to get.  At Vroman’s  or Amazon.

I love books but I don’t have much time to read books – but I read these!  If you buy any of these books and need them signed/autographed, contact the author via their websites.  Or let me know and I may be able to help.


Wanna give yourself something? How’s about some Pasadena Heritage and/or History! Become a member of one of these underappreciated organizations.  Today they’re caring about preserving the best of our past for Pasadena’s future:

Pasadena Museum of History                         Pasadena Heritage


Gotta Get Outta Here! Merry Christmas, My Friends

Pasadena Greetings


10 responses to “Last Minute Christmas Gifts – Pasadena

    • Just don’t become a book collecor, like your correspondent here, rather than a book reader!

      Where have u heard this “good things”? CalTechies have been known to frequent this small bookshop.

  1. Merry Christmas, puppy dog!! Wishing you many happy times both now and in the coming year. I hope you’ve been having a relaxing day, with full food bowls and lots of tummy rubs. These were great suggestions for gifts, by the way ~ and I can’t get out of a beautiful stationery store without adding something to my collection!

  2. You’ve compiled a great list. I am also a gift giver, but have had to tone it down in recent years. It’s really the gestures, and the phone calls of letting the ones you know you love and care for them.