Home for the holidays: Give a present that says ‘La Jolla’


There’s something about seals, sandals and symphony tickets that make La Jollans go all warm and fuzzy inside. To share some of the gems of The Jewel with friends and family this holiday season, consider giving these symbolic gifts.

A familiar scene

Wake up or wind down with a meal served atop picturesque, laminated La Jolla place mats. $2.99 at Burns Pharmacy, 7824 Girard.

Inspiring ...

Karen Fast of the St. James Gift Shop, 743 Prospect, suggests the perfect LJ stocking-stuffer: pewter shells inscribed with inspirational words such as “Balance,” “Dream” and “Relax.” $2-$4. She also recommends a nativity from the vast collection at the gift shop, all fair-trade items that pass the proceeds directly to the artist, with no middleman fees. (Her annual Christmas Market is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 28.)

Two on the aisle

After “the musical Bonnie & Clyde” ends its run on Dec. 20, the La Jolla Playhouse will present “Aurelia’s Oratorio,” Feb. 3-28. Tickets $45-$25 at (858) 550-1010 or www.lajollaplayhouse.

org. Stay tuned for the announcement about the 2010 season.

Sea-worthy yarn

Explore and celebrate the fascinating camouflage strategies used by some of the ocean’s most spectacular creatures in “What Color Would You Be to Hide in the Sea?”, a new children’s book published by Birch Aquarium at Scripps. This book is $18.95 at the aquarium Book & Gift Shop, 2300 Expedition Way, open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. It may also be ordered at (858) 534-8753 or All proceeds benefit the aquarium.

Sealed with a kiss

Aw, isn’t she cute? This plush seal puppet is available at Geppetto’s, 7850 Girard, for $34.99. With streamlined bodies, eyes that see well underwater, ear passages and nostrils that clamp shut while underwater, and insulating blubber, they are the acrobats of the sea and love living in La Jolla.

Strike up the band

Because the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus season has already started, a “season ticket” bought at this time would be for five of the six-concert series. Admission is $119 general/adult or $102 senior (65+) through the office at (858) 534-4637.

The good ol’ days

A Santa bag full of La Jolla gift items is available from the La Jolla Historical Society: book, $19.99; calendar, $11.99; “La Jolla Heritage” series reproduction art, $21.99-$24.99; photographic prints, from $17; mug, $5.99; canvas gardener hat, $37.99; Wisteria Cottage cards (w/envelopes), $3.99; exhibit catalogs, $3.99; “From the Files” by George Silvani, $10.99; and assorted postcards, $1.

Support a local artist

Calendars, cards, posters and paintings are available at the La Jolla Art Association, 8100 Paseo del Ocaso, Suite B. The 2010 calendar is $11 with 43 color images by member-artists. (858) 459-1196.

Frame a memory

A family visit or La Jolla vacation photo engraved with a message and date would look marvelous on the mantel in these silver frames from Village Gifts and Engraving, 7660 Fay, (858) 454-8832. $15-$100. Owner Scott Patrick also suggests a monogrammed beach towel, $75.

School colors

OK, teens are tough to buy for and usually prefer a gift of cash, but something from the high school student store might have appeal. Here are some items from La Jolla High: logo-hooded sweat shirts, $20; hats, $15; scarves, $7, or two for $10;

stadium seats, $20; license plate frames, $5; socks, $7; and more at

Best buyer

Here’s a holiday salute to Patrice Mills, gift buyer at everybody’s favorite pop-in place, Burns Pharmacy, 7824 Girard. Mills has stocked the shelves with a plethora of La Jolla-inspired items such as kitchen towels; the seal mug, $7.95; seal travel cup, $10.95; ceramic salt and pepper shakers, $19.95; and sand pails and ornaments for a La Jolla tree, from $3.95. (858) 459-4285.

Cool design

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s X Store, 700 Prospect, has lots of unique art gifts and MCASD memberships for a year of exhibitions, events and discounts at the X Store and Museum Cafe. See it all at