The 2021 PopCult Gift Guide is over, but there’s still more than three weeks until Christmas, and one thing I did not do this year, that I have done in previous years, is focus on local retailers. My reasons for this is that I still have misgivings about venturing forth into crowded retail environments. However, that’s because I have an auto-immune disorder and take an immuno-suppresant, so I have to be extra-cautious. Your milage may vary, and if you prefer to do your shopping in person, please do support our locally-owned businesses. I’m going to tell you about a few here, but if I miss any, please feel free to mention them in the comments.

100% of every dollar spent with a local retailer stays relatively local. There are all kinds of folks who have cool stuff and gift certificates.  Chances are, you’ll find some cool stuff that they don’t have at the big box stores.

I’ve compiled a partial  list of local merchants who you really ought to patronize this holiday season: In previous years I told you about Oddbird Gift Emporium now located on Hale Street Downtown. They’re still stocked to the rafters with cool gift ideas. Other cool area merchants you can support in Downton Charleston are Art Emporium, Stray Dog Antiques, The Purple Moon, Taylor Books, and Capitol Market. Most of the books I recommend in The 2021 PopCult Gift Guide can be ordered through Taylor Books, simply by using the ISBN number. Don’t forget Charleston Bread, either, for the gift of tasty bread and cookies and cake and stuff.

In Kanawha City, you’ll find the legendary Budget Tapes & Records, where you can give the gift of music, plus smoking accessories, clothing and lifestyle items.  In South Hills you’ll find Eclectics, and the other Bridge Road shops.

Over on the West Side of Charleston, you might want to check out Elk City Records for your jazz vinyl needs, and around the corner, Kin Ship Goods and Base Camp Printing have pleny of unique apparel and paper gifts to offer, respectively. If you’re one of those folks who still visits The Charleston Town Center, the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame has some stuff for sale that’d make great gifts for the local music lover on your shopping list.

The main thing is to get out there and shop local if you feel safe doing it. I know it’s convenient to click away, and lord knows I’ve included tons of online-only items in the Gift Guide for the last two years due to the pandemic, but the local touch means so much more, and you make your immediate world a better place.

Check back Friday for the Master List of every item I recommended in The 2021 PopCult Gift Guide.