Shopping out in the real world is a hassle of cluttered aisles, lines, hideous lighting and crowds. Avoid all that by doing your buying online. Whether you are shopping for the kids in your life or for adults, you can get everything you need without stepping out into the headache waiting to happen that is retail stores during the holiday season.

For the kids: hottest toys

brightbeatsdancebeatboFisher-Price Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo
Available from
An interactive toy for babies and toddlers with a large multi-color, interactive LED grid tummy with “dancing” body. Introduces babies to colors, ABCs and counting with simple games.

Journey Girls 2015 Italy Holiday Doll — Giovanna
Available from and
One of the best selling dolls, the Journey Girls Italy Doll is dressed in a ball gown, with accessories. For three years and up.

‘Star Wars’ Bladebuilders Jedi Master
Available from and
For the “Star Wars” lovers, this kit takes the toy lightsaber to the next level. Perfect for playtime and for costumes or cosplay.


amazonechoAmazon Echo
Available from
Amazon Echo is a voice-controlled device that can hear you from across the room, even with music playing. It is a speaker, but so much more than just that, as you can get sports scores, the traffic and weather reports, listen to audio books, shop, control light switches and answer common questions. For those techies who seem to have everything, the Amazon Echo may be the perfect gift solution.

Flux Capacitor USB Car Charger
Available from
Not your average USB car charger. For fans of the “Back to the Future” films, or anyone who owns a DeLorean. Can charge two devices at once. Lights up in the famous Flux Capacitor light pattern, with a switch to turn it off if the lightshow gets annoying. Although, really, how could it?

Light Show Fountain Speakers
Available from
A lights and water show to go along with your music. Compatible with all USB-friendly devices. Add extra flare to your listening experiences.

Book club

thisbookisgay“This Book is Gay”
by James Dawson
Available from and
A book for young adults who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or curious. An uncensored look at what it is like to grow up as an LGBT person from people across the gender and sexual spectrums.

“And Then I Danced: Traveling the Road to LGBT Equality”
by Mark Segal
Available from and
Lifelong gay rights activist Mark Segal tells his fascinating life story. Segal, who publishes the Philadelphia Gay News, was present at the Stonewall riots and was influential in popularizing new protest tactics, such as “zaps.”

“Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic”
by Alison Bechdel (former qnotes contributor)
Available from and
The groundbreaking graphic novel “Fun Home” tells the story of Bechdel’s lesbianism and her difficult relationship with her late father. It was recently in the news again as a number of Duke University freshmen recently refused to read the book because of its frank depiction of gay sex. The book has been commended for its honesty and Bechdel’s expert writing.


The holiday season is a time when many not only give gifts to friends and family, but also choose to show support for organizations and causes they believe in. That is often done through charitable donations. Not everyone can afford to cover everyone on their list and also donate, but it is still possible to show support for your local community through your purchasing power. Instead of giving your money to giant corporations that may not align with your beliefs, consider patronizing a local LGBT- or LGBT-friendly business. Here are some to consider.

CLTCH Portable shot glass from Trixie & Milo (so stealthy that it collapses into a keychain) and the last of the popular Permanent Vacation limited edition Panthers tees.
Portable shot glass from Trixie & Milo (so stealthy that it collapses into a keychain) and the last of the popular Permanent Vacation limited edition Panthers tees.

1512 Central Ave., Charlotte
CLTCH opened this summer in Plaza-Midwood by Lesa Kastanas, social media strategist for Soul Gastrolounge and The Diamond, stylist Linda Martinez and musician, event planner and makeup artist Scott Weaver, previously featured in “Our People” in June. The boutique offers accessories, jewelry and collaborations with local labels. Again, that offers a double chance to support your community.

Paper Skyscraper
330 East Blvd., Charlotte
Voted the “Best LGBT-Friendly Locally Owned Retail Store” in this year’s QList Awards, Paper Skyscraper, owned by couple Ron Wootten and Tim Hamilton, who happen to be the featured “Our People” Q&A for this issue. It has been one of Charlotte’s favorite gift stores since it opened back in 1989. Their eclectic inventory makes it an ideal place at which to stop when you are looking for something for a hard-to-buy-for person on your list or if you need stocking stuffers, be they gag gifts or practical items. They also sell local art, giving you the chance to support both a local business and an artist at the same time.

Powder Studio Choir Tea Lights
Powder Studio
Choir Tea Lights

Powder Studio
Engaged couple Nathan Tucker and Stephen James create handmade porcelain creations, from lighting fixtures to vases to jewelry trees. You can purchase their work through their website or at the Charlotte vintage clothing store Frock Shop, located at 901 Central Ave. Their offerings range in price, meaning you can pick up something small for an acquaintance or a stocking stuffer item, like their Choir Tea Lights ($35). Or you can get that special someone something more elaborate, like their Mother Ship Pendant Light ($300).

1111 Metropolitan Ave. #150, Charlotte
Silverfly is a speciality men’s store located just outside of Uptown Charlotte. If you’re looking for something for the fashion-conscious man in your life, Silverfly will likely have what you are looking for. It was named “Best LGBT-Friendly Locally Owned Clothing Store” in this year’s QList Awards. Owner Fidel Montoya opened Silverfly in 2012 and just opened a second store called Silverfly Sport in the South End district of Charlotte.

Sleepy Poet
4450 South Blvd., Charlotte
With 55,000 square feet and 250 booths, Sleepy Poet is perfect for anyone on your list with an eye for items with some history. You will be sure to find what you are looking for among the seemingly endless options. They offer antique furniture, vintage clothing and home décor of various styles. Sleepy Poet won the “Best LGBT-Friendly Locally Owned Antique Shop” in this year’s QList Awards.

White Rabbit
White Rabbit has proudly served the North Carolina LGBT community for over 30 years as the premier shopping destination for those seeking LGBT-themed books, clothing, Pridewear and more. With its brightly-painted building on Central Ave., you can’t miss this store. Stop in to peruse through its massive selection of stylish underwear from brands like Andrew Christian, Greg Homme, Pistol Pete, Nasty Pig, Junk Jeans and more. If you have a movie lover on your list, check out the store’s selection of unique LGBT-themed DVDs. Rainbow-inspired gifts and other odds and ends round out the store’s products.


Jeff Taylor / Social Media Editor

Jeff Taylor is a journalist and artist. In addition to QNotes, his work has appeared in publications such The Charlotte Observer, Creative Loafing Charlotte, Inside Lacrosse, and McSweeney’s Internet...