holiday gifts

Wish You Were Here

Sunshiny holiday gifts for the ones you left behind.

Judith Salkin Attractions, Shopping

holiday gifts
The Body Deli Skin Care products made in Palm Desert.

Sitting outside and soaking up the desert sun, your thoughts turn to the friends and loved ones shivering in the cold and early darkness of winter. You ponder how best to recognize them this holiday season.

From books, art, and home décor that celebrate Palm Springs’ bounty of midcentury architecture to lotions and skin care products to foods that make the Coachella Valley known worldwide, consider holidays gifts to make the people on your list wish they were here with you.

For the most part, the local purveyors will take care of the shipping.

Here’s a sampling of some choices for cool holiday gifts that definitely say “I’m from Palm Springs.”

Home and Books:

Destination PSP
The shop offers the kind of gifts you wish someone would give you. A tissue box holder that looks like a 1950s midcentury home. Art by local artists like Glen Hanson. Midcentury-themed placemats, dishes, glassware, and napkins. Tease the cinephile in your life with some swag from the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Fallback option: unusual gift cards and plenty of T-shirts.

170 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs.


Christopher Kennedy
Kennedy opened a retail store and filled it with furniture he designed, mostly inspired by the city’s midcentury madness. If sending an armchair is a bit over the top, you might opt for a Kennedy-designed and branded Palm Springs candle, with scents of grapefruit and sage.

1590 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. 760-325-3214;

The Cocky Cactus
The gift shop deserves its name for treasures like framed works by local artists for under $50. We also like the garden art.

150 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. 760-320-9603;

Bradford W. Bates Vault: The Museum Design Store
Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture + Design Center

What a great collection of architectural books and décor. It’s the only place in the Inland Empire that reps the Neutra Furniture Collection by VS. Any midcentury modernist would swoon over the furnishings. Smaller space and smaller budget? Go for a wow-some MCM bread tray.

300 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. 760-423-5620;

Skin Care:

Suzanne Organics — Suzanne Somers Organic Cosmetics
Somers has said that after years of working on what she put into her body, she finally created a line of merchandise for the outside. Her cosmetics, skin, and hair care products have no dyes, synthetic fragrances, lead, chemicals, or parabens. Clark’s Nutrition in Rancho Mirage offers the entire line.

Clark’s Nutrition and Natural Foods Market, 34175 Monterey Avenue, Rancho Mirage. 760-324-4246;

The Body Deli
Gourmet, handcrafted food for your skin is how creators David Parker and Margaret Clark describe their creations. Made in Palm Desert from natural ingredients that sound like a recipe for salad, they include the Palm Springs spa line (above) with ingredients like medjool dates, blood orange, grapefruit, vanilla, ginger, and evening jasmine in face wash, lotion, and perfume. Opt for a prepackaged selection, or create your own basket of goodies.

73560 El Paseo, Suite B, Palm Desert; 
73910 Highway 111, Palm Desert, 760-340-3731;

Food and Drink:

Brandini Toffee
Started as a way to earn money for a class trip in 2006, Brandini Toffee has become a real Coachella Valley success story. The outfit has prepacked gifts, but you can also let your own sweet tooth do the talking for a custom kit at the Palm Springs shop. If you want to see how such delectables are made, visit the Rancho Mirage shop and factory for a toffee taste test.

132 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 42250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage. 760-200-1598;

Shields Date Garden
If you need an agronomic education, here’s where to learn about The Sex Life of a Date, a family-friendly film presentation. Smugly well-informed, shop here for a box of the Coachella Valley’s most famous fruit to send to people otherwise deprived. This place is crazy-cool with fun stuff, edible and not. Shop, buy, then order a date shake as a gift to your generous self.

80225 Highway 111, Indio.
800-414-2555 or 760-347-0996;

Desert Distilling
Regular readers of Palm Springs Life know that there is a distillery in the desert making artisan vodka, gin, and white rum. Located in an industrial park, just off Interstate 10, you may sample all three spirits in the tasting room, then Uber over to Jensen’s Finest Foods stores in Palm Springs or Palm Desert to purchase for shipping in those classy bottles to your soon-to-be-jealous friends.

34300 Gateway Drive, Suite. 100, Palm Desert. 760-770-3135;