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Gifts for your best friend, aunt

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Kurt Armstrong

These are the ladies who support us when we're down and celebrate with us when we're kicking proverbial ass. What better way to say "thank you for putting up with me," than with a well thought-out gift? Whether she's the kind of lady who loves to stay in and cook, go out and party, a seasoned yogi, or all of the above, we've got you covered.

If she likes cooking (or even if she just religiously watches Top Chef), sign her up for a class at Bend's new culinary institute ($39-$79 at COCC Culinary Institute, NW Campus Village Way). They offer everything from holiday treat making to knife skills, to classes in vegetarian cuisine in the community learning program. Maybe you'll even get a free home-cooked meal out of the gift.

Or, check out the wide selection of tasty cooking oils that add flavor and flare to even the most pedestrian dishes. Navidi's Olive Oils & Vinegars (120 NW Minnesota Ave.) offer dozens of flavors and types of oils, salts and other flavor-boosting additives. A fancy balsamic vinegar or an herb oil ($15, perfect for appetizer bread dipping) is also a posh addition to anyone's kitchen—and meals. The especially festive cinnamon pear and the blood orange oils ($11) are great for holiday entertaining. Customize a spice gift pack for an extra fresh kick (Savory Spice Shop, 375 SW Powerhouse Dr., $35).

Health conscious ladies love buying local, so why not gift local, too? Cowgirl Cash (924 NW Brooks St.) has mason jars brimming with regional raw organic honey from Queen Bee Apiaries in Corvallis ($10). You can also encourage her inner-yogi with a punch card for her nearest studio. For a fun twist, try Grove on the West side, where classes are instructed to music (1740 Pence Lane. 5-class card is just $45).

Buying directly from an artist can be a fun conversation piece when giving a gift, and you can feel good about directly supporting local creativity. This gorgeous rooster print of a collage by Kaycee Anseth makes a colorful and personal gift with a story behind it ($50-80 etsy.com/shop/KayceeAnseth). Her studio is filled with many more of her collages at the Old Iron Works (50 SE Scoot St., Studio 3), which is home to dozens of other excellent local artisans with exceptionally unique visions—all wonderful for a gift customized to your friend's taste.

For the movie super fan? A few gift certificates for the most adorable 30-seat theater in town, Tin Pan Theater (869 NW Tin Pan Alley, $6 per film), is the next best thing to a trip to Sundance Festival.

If all else fails, go with accessories. A woman can never have too many scarves. This 100 percent acrylic infinity scarf (Faveur Eclectic Unique Boutique, 714 Franklin Ave., $28.50) is perfect for a fashionable worker-bee or a casual day on the town, paired with adorable button arm warmers (Faveur, $19.50) that will keep her toasty warm through the coldest days of winter.

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Latest in Gift Guide, Shopping for Her

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