The holidays are right around the corner, and if you haven't completed your Christmas shopping yet, you are not alone. Statistics show that only half of Americans have their shopping done one week prior to Christmas. Chances are, those on your list who are easy to buy for have already been crossed off. But what about those hard-to-buy-for friends and family members? When the mall and big box stores just won't cut it, it's time to think outside the box. Luckily, Sacramento offers some unique shopping choices. There's Old Sacramento, Midtown and even museums. Some of our museums here in Sacramento have some wonderful gift shops that carry unique items, one of which may be just the perfect gift for someone on your list. 

For the railroad enthusiast or maybe just your typical child, the California State Railroad Museum store is definitely a must. Here you'll find books, movies, T-shirts, music CDs, posters and prints, replica railroad china, trinkets and toys galore, and, of course, a variety of trains, big and small. Is your child a Thomas the Tank Engine fan? The Railroad Museum store is the place to get your Thomas train sets and accessories. Love the Polar Express? The store carries the book plus accessories, including Christmas decorations and even the famous bell ornament. The Railroad Museum store is also a great place for stocking stuffers. With train whistles, stickers, key chains and more, you're bound to find what you are looking for.

The Sutter's Fort Trade Store is the perfect place to find something for the history buff on your list. Here you'll find books on the history of John Sutter and Sutter's Fort, the city of Sacramento and even on the Donner Party. You can pick up authentic period clothing including raccoon-skin caps for boys and bonnets for girls. Looking for some unique stocking stuffers for the kids? How about a doll quilt kit, build-your-own fort kit, or replicas of old locks and keys? While small, the shop carries various items from clothing and toys to bakeware and food. Note: You do not need to pay admission to the fort to access the store.

For the art lover on your list, you'll want to visit the store at the Crocker Art Museum. Here you'll find an array of unique items to fit any budget. Looking for something beautiful for that sophisticated lady on your list? The Crocker shop carries a wide selection of jewelry, vases, scarves and hand bags. Got an artistic kid on your list? From detailed coloring books and paper dolls on artists like Frida Kahlo and Van Gogh to sketch books and even shrinky dink designs, you're bound to find something they'll love. How about that quirky someone? He or she may just love the Crocker's balloon art sculptures, porcelain hamburgers or funky, crazy socks. There's also T-shirts, children's books, monster slippers and wooden bowls and spoons.  You get the picture. This museum store has something for everyone on your list.

For your food-lover friend, you'll want to visit the Blue Diamond Nut &Gift Shop. Okay, maybe this isn't a museum, but the Blue Diamond Almond Factory has been a fixture in downtown Sacramento since 1910. While the plant does not offer factory tours, one can learn about it in the lobby/visitors center of the main building by watching a film featuring the company and its history in Northern California. Just to the west of the lobby sits the Blue Diamond Nut & Gift shop. Here you can sample new chocolate-covered nut flavors (toasted coconut anyone?) and purchase not only almonds and almond products in bulk (raw almonds, almond paste, etc.) but other gifts as well. This is a great place to find yummy snacks and treats for your loved ones.

So, if you find yourself struggling to find a gift for someone on your list, make sure you visit any one of our local museum shops for that perfect item they are bound to love!