Aside from trying to narrow down a wish list that might run into the hundreds of items, choosing a gift for a child at the holidays is often easier than picking something for an adult. Kids, after all, have had neither the time nor the financial means to accumulate all of the things they want and need over the years, which means there are plenty of possibilities still in play.

When those kids grow into adults, however, the decisions can become harder—especially if one has already run the gift-giving gauntlet of Valentine’s Day-birthday-anniversary by the time the holidays roll around. But there are plenty of great gift ideas still out there—for him and her. Here are a few local suggestions to help get you started.

The Gift of Fitness (Or Just Relaxation)

A health club may not be the first place most people think of when searching for holiday gifts, but services like personal training or massages can be a wonderful surprise for men and women alike. At Franciscan Omni Health and Fitness in Chesterton, manager Carrie Ranta expects to be selling plenty of massage certificates this holiday season.

“Massage gift certificates are by far one of our most popular gifts at Christmas,” Ranta says. “Purchasing a massage for a friend or loved one is a great way to say, ‘I care about you and want you to relax, de-stress and be well.’”

Even if the relaxation of a massage may seem like a more natural gift option than the rigor of a workout, Ranta believes that personal training, too, can be a great idea for both men and women. In fact, the holidays may present the perfect opportunity to start on a path toward fitness together.

“Nothing is better than giving someone the gift of good health, and having a personal trainer to assist them along their journey is priceless,” Ranta says. “And it's always easier to stay motivated when you have the support of your partner and your partner's goals are in alignment with yours, so personal training can make an incredible couples gift as well.”

Franciscan Omni Health and Fitness

221 U.S. 41, Schererville

(219) 865-6969

810 Michael Dr., Chesterton

(219) 983-9832

Beyond the Toolbox

Like a health club, a hardware store may seem like an odd place to begin one’s holiday shopping. But Philip’s Ace Hardware in Valparaiso has long gone beyond the washers and nails to stand as a formidable gift boutique in its own right, which means you can still get that handyman on your list a new plunger, of course, but there are plenty of other great gift ideas to discover as well—for both men and women.

Although tools really are great gifts for resourceful men and women, Philips gift expert Carol Kattalia points to the store’s large selection of hand-painted Polish Pottery as an unexpected non-hardware gift idea for women. She also believes any woman would be thrilled to cherish the special moments in her life as “Forever in My Heart” charms on a bracelet or necklace. For the men on your list, meanwhile, store manager Chris White says that there’s a lot more than just tools to consider, including a huge line of stylish and durable Carhartt clothing.

“Philips Ace features a wide selection of Carhartt jackets, sweatshirts, flannels, socks and gloves that will prepare that special someone for any outdoor task this winter,” he explains.

Philips Ace Hardware

3100 Calumet Ave., Valparaiso

(219) 464-8687

Crafting the Perfect Gift

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more popular interest/pastime/obsession in recent years than craft beer, and in the Chicago area, few brewers have enjoyed a more cult-like following than Munster’s own Three Floyds. Of course, not every beer lover can make it to Three Floyds’ hidden but well-known industrial park location, and the huge popularity of their many specialty brews means many fans may find themselves out of luck at the local liquor store as well.

“We understand sometimes it's really hard to get our beer, especially if you don't live near the brewery,” says director of sales Dani Hoyler. “But you can still surprise the beer nerd in your life with some gear from our store.”

Hoyler recommends the brewery’s winter hats or pint glasses for men or women—both feature the kind of heavy metal-inspired designs that have long been part of the Three Floyds DNA. Of course, if that special someone does happen to live near Munster, a $25 or $50 brewpub gift card is probably an even more straightforward—and tasty—way to indulge his or her craft beer passion.

Three Floyds Brewing Company

9750 Indiana Pkwy., Munster

(219) 922-3565

Always in Style

Jewelry never fails to impress as a holiday gift, and there are plenty of options from which to choose for both men and women. Priscilla Solina says watches are a classic choice for the man in your life, and recommends the stylish reliability of the Citizen Eco Drive, which never needs a battery. The choices for women are almost endless—check out the fabulous crystal purses for something over the top—but Solina favors the opportunity to make a memory with a family ring, pendant or bracelet, which can be personalized with colorful birthstones or custom engraving for a one-of-a-kind piece.

Malinich Jewelers

9153 Wicker Ave., St. John

(219) 365-1246

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