If you’re looking to avoid the big suburban box stores and holiday crowds here are some great Northside gift ideas that can help you find unique and thoughtful gifts for your loved ones and keep your money on the Northside. For more ideas, check on John Canning’s column on page 18 of the December Chronicle.

 
 
The Urban Gardner

      When they reopened after Thanksgiving, the Urban Gardner was filled with holiday cheer. An independent garden center on Brighton Road, the Urban Gardner has all kinds of holiday greens for the season. The garden center has locally grown Christmas trees in various types and sizes. The trees range from 4 feet to 14 feet, in fir, spruce and pine varieties, though trees over 8 feet tall need to be specially ordered. The Urban Gardner also has wreaths, poinsettias, garlands and greens for festive decoration. Available by the pound, they have assortments of firs, cedars, boxwood, juniper and holly for getting window boxes, planters and mantles into the holiday season. They offer a discount for churches, and deliver to the Northside area. For more information: 412.323.GROW or info@urban.gardner.com

 

The Northside Common Ministries Food Pantry

For a gift that gives twice, Northsiders can buy an egg carton for someone, though they won’t see any eggs. The Northside Common Ministries food pantry is selling gift cards for the holidays that act as donations for purchasing eggs for use at the food pantry. These donations can be made on behalf of someone else and come with a card that fits perfectly into an empty egg carton. The egg cartons and their cards, which tell the recipient about the donation made in their honor, make a great gift this holiday season. The donations are 25 cents for a dozen eggs, $6.25 for 25 dozen eggs, $25 for 100 dozen eggs. Purchasing 100 dozen eggs can make 600 omelets for 600 children, providing them and their families with much needed meals. To purchase eggs for distribution at the NCM food pantry, email Jay at jay.poliziani@ncmin.org

Theater Tickets

Tickets to one of the winter performances at the Northside’s New Hazlett Theater also make a great gift. “Ada’s Promise,” a musical about a young girl who struggles to make the best of the holiday season, is one winter performance for kids, teens and families. It will be shown at 6:30 p.m. on December 1. “A Lyrical Christmas Carol!,” presented by Pittsburgh Musical Theater’s Richard E. Rauh Conservatory Theater Company, brings a child-friendly and fun twist on the classic Dickens’ story. Popular seasonal carols along with music from Bach, Mozart, and Vaughn Williams fill the performance with holiday spirit. The musical will be shown at 7:30 p.m. on December 20-22 and 2 p.m. on December 23. 

 
Pittsburgh Antiques

East Ohio Street’s Allegheny Antiques offers affordable antique furniture, house wares and collectables. The Victorian furniture and old war memorabilia are great for history buffs looking to add to their collections. Antique jewelry and clothing are also available. And with local historical pieces from the greater Pittsburgh area and old Allegheny City, such as Heinz Company memorabilia and photos taken by famous Pittsburgh photographer Teeny Harris, a piece of local history can be given as a gift this year.   Go to their website at www.alleghenyantiques.com to print out a 10% discount off any antique item, or call at 412-697-2283 for more details.