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Article updated: 12/17/2013 10:08 PM

Great gift ideas for last-minute shoppers


If you're shopping for last-minute gifts, you may want to stop at Chico's in Geneva Commons if you love ugly sweaters -- or you're a teacher.

This week, the store is offering discounts for different people on different days as Christmas approaches.

For example, on Wednesday, Dec. 18, the store is offering a special shopping day with discounts for all spa and nail salon employees. You'll just need to show your salon ID to get a special extra discount.

On Thursday, Dec. 19, the Geneva Commons store is offering a discount to educators and teachers; just bring your school ID.

Finally, on Sunday, Dec. 22, you won't need to show an ID. Instead, you'll just need to wear a Christmas sweater.

On Sunday, the store is hosting a "Lovers of Crazy Holiday Sweaters Appreciation Shopping Day." To get your discount, just wear the sweater with pride.

Toys galore: Learning Express in Geneva has many unique gifts still left in stock for the kids on your list.

"We ordered heavier this year, and we're much better in stock this year than last year. We have a lot," owner John Flanagan said.

Some of the more popular items include the Rainbow Loom, and the loom bands, charms and cases that go along with it. They also have some exclusive creative toys for the crafty kids on your list, including a decorate-your-own-headphones kit, he said.

Another fun one that has been popular, Flanagan said, is a root beer making kit.

"We've gone through two orders of those already," he said. "It actually tastes pretty good, too. It's not just a science kit."

Learning Express is in Geneva Commons at 610 Commons Drive. The store can be reached at (630) 262-8697.

Adult beverages: For wine and beer lovers on your list, the Village Vintner Winery and Brewery in Algonquin has a wine membership club that you can purchase.

Just select which club you wish to join -- one with red or whites, or one with fruits and sweets.

Village Vintner also offers a craft beer club membership. You can tailor the membership to how many bottles you want per month and how many months you want to purchase. Some of the memberships also include tastings.

For details, stop into the Village Vintner, 2380 Esplanade Drive, or call (847) 658-4900.

Just can't decide? For those of you who just can't come up with any ideas, there are always gift cards.

Buy yours at individual businesses up and down Randall Road, or at Geneva Commons or Algonquin Commons. Even on Christmas Eve, Geneva Commons will be open until 5 p.m. selling gift cards.

Just a note: to buy a gift card at Algonquin Commons or Geneva Commons, you'll be charged a $1 service fee.

Ÿ Amy Williams' column covers all the news of business along the Randall Road corridor from Batavia to Crystal Lake. Contact her at randallbiz@comcast.net or (847) 894-5036.

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