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Although I like to shop, I’m not sure I can say I like shopping for the holidays, when that uncomfortable sense of urgency takes over, casting its ugly commercial pall over everything. But my advice is this: Don’t let it get to you. Make a detailed list. Smile in the face of the hoi polloi and money-waving crowds. Don’t do everything all at once. And make certain you shop only at places where you like to shop in the first place. For me, that means local, independent boutiques and gift markets.

The Denver Botanic Gardens 2009 Holiday Sale, one of the biggest and best in that category, kicks off tonight from 5 to 8:30 p.m. with a new feature: a Friday night preview party, with wine, chocolate fondue and live music to shop to. The sale then continues from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday, and while it does get crowded, you can expect a polite and appreciative throng enraptured by the elegant wares: homemade herb vinegars and honey bottled by the DBG, vegetable-shaped knit beanies, handmade jewelry, gorgeous poinsettias, scented botanical toiletries, scarves and more. It’s enough to make you forget why you came in the first place. Oh, and don’t feel bad if you end up wandering the aisles at Target on Christmas Eve anyway. Happens to the best of us. Even me.

The DBG is at 1005 York Street; admission to the preview party is $15, or shop for free on Saturday and Sunday. Get details at or call 720-865-3500.
Fri., Nov. 13, 5-8:30 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 14, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 15, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., 2009


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