It's not that you wanted someone to go without a gift; after all, you're not the Grinch. But you've forgotten someone, somehow, and with Christmas looming, you can't seem to come up with any more gift ideas. Like our green furry friend, you've puzzled and puzzled till your puzzler is sore.
There's an easy way to re-spark that imaginative fire, though, and it's right on the tip of your tongue: the alphabet. Give the list below list a quick scan, and you might find something just right. At the very least, your puzzler will get a breather.
A is for Apples. Nunn Farms in Brentwood packs beautiful boxes of them. Call 925-634-2148.
B is for Bathroom books. Images of America photo books of virtually every East County community can be found at Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Antioch, and help make those brief interludes entertaining and informative. Call 925-978-1031.
C is for Car wash: Offer to take your gift recipient's dusty buggy over to Brentwood Hand Car Wash, 925-513-4466, or Brentwood Auto Spa, 925-513-7610, and get it shined up.
D is for Dessert. Pick up a French pastry tray at Mocha Coffee and Dessert Bar, 240-7200, or better yet, make something yourself with fixin's from Trader Joe's, 925-516-3044. Both are in Brentwood.
E is for Elephant. There's a collection of fanciful figurines of every kind at Christmas of Brentwood: 925-634-7977.
F is for Fishing. Pick up a 2009 license for that angler of yours at Hook, Line and Sinker over in Oakley: 925-625-2448.
G is for Golf balls. A sackful of used ones for that dubious duffer can be found at Golf Etc. in Brentwood: 925-240-9701.
H is for Helicopter. The remote-control variety has landed at Brentwood Hobby Store, 925-240-7111, and Kit & Caboodle in Oakley, 925-625-6000, where you can get model cars and boats to drive as well.
I is for Interlude. A night at Brentwood's new Hampton Inn could make for a romantic getaway right in your backyard: 925-513-1299.
J is for Juice. Pick up a certificate for a tasty treat at Jamba Juice in Brentwood, 925-240-2999, or get a juicer so your giftees can make their own. Call Bed Bath & Beyond at 925-754-8900.
K is for Kitten. There's a furry little friend just waiting for a home at the Antioch Animal Shelter, 925-779-6989, or through Homeless Animals Rescue Program (HARP) at www.pets-at-harp.petfinder.org.
L is for Lawn chair. How about a comfortable seat for outdoor relaxation from Sun and Stuff, 925-634-8393, maybe with a pitcher and tumblers for iced tea from Home Goods, 925-516-2016. Both are in Brentwood.
M is for Music. Harmonicas are an inexpensive and easy-to-learn way for that would-be music lover in your life (try Geddes Music in Brentwood, 925-634-8089, or Gill's, 925-757-2323 in Antioch and 925-516-2330 in Brentwood), or buy a few guitar lessons from instructor Doug Clark at 925-435-7145.
N is for Naughty and Nice. Either way, Victoria's Secret at the Streets of Brentwood has you covered. Barely. 925-516-5796.
O is for Opals. Donna at Cr