By Susanna Speier
Denver Private Investigator Blogger
You got busy. Then you then procrastinated and now you have to figure out what to get the kids for Christmas. Too late to order by mail but look on the bright side. Kids don't know how much of your time is spent monitoring driveways, watching and rewatching slip n' fall footage and finalizing the final revision of your witness testimony reports and thanks to a robust children's literature industry --conveniently saturated with an abundance of scrappy, savvy teen and adolescent sleuths-- some kids may actually regard you as the grownup embodiment of Nancy Drew or Encyclopedia Brown.
Read also: 85 years of Nancy Drew detective stories
We recommend leveraging this perception to help with the crisis at hand. In other words, yes literary misconception about the private investigation and security profession are at best, irritating but this this is the time of year to make the most of the trench coat, magnifying glass and fedora. Especially if you're trying to make some last minute, on-the-spot Christmas magic happen.
Read also: Valentines Day gifts for private investigators
For starters, if, in the worst case scenario, you had to improvise something on Christmas morning, you can always grab a boxcutter and turn a cardboard delivery box, pair of old socks and the kookiest witness interviews of the last half-decade into original and memorable puppet sketches for the kids to watch or even participate in.
Better yet, you could track down a couple of Unemployed Philosophers Guild Sherlock Homes finger puppets, pair them with the right music playlist (a simple google search lead us to some spy kids ones) and you'd have the option of placing Sherlock in the show!
If they're totally in love with the puppet theater progress you'll have the entire 2019 season to take them to shows at The Denver Puppet Theater, located at 3156 West 38th Avenue, Denver, CO 80211.
Unfortunately, the local independent company has a real life unsolved crime. Between $300 and $500 worth of hand puppets were stolen in May of this year for reasons that still seem to elude the owners. Who would steal a bunch of puppets from a puppet theater? Perhaps a new case assignment will also come out of it.
There is even a Denver International Airport Tattered Cover if you're headed out of town for the holiday and want to grab something on the way. Additional book recommendations are covered in our books for kids segment in our content partner, Pursuit Mag's article. .
Back to the local Denver metro area, though. Taluah Jones, located at 1122 east 17th avenue in Denver has a cubby shelf featuring spy gear, walkie talkies, fingerprint detectives, invisible writing ink and spy view specs according to a sales associate we spoke with on the phone. They have also extended their evening hours to 7:30 p.m. to accommodate -ahem- last minute Christmas shoppers.
Second Star to the Right, located at 4353 Tennyson St in Denver is another incredible locally owned store for kids. They another shop at 1545 South Pearl if that is more convenient. Their sales associate recommended the new edition of Clue because it has "more suspects, rooms and weapons." It also has the classic art of the original. "The character portraits are neat and art in general is older style which is cool." Almost as iconic as Monopoly, Clue thankfully, continues to pass the test of time in flying colors.
Also worth mentioning is we saw the Scientific Explorer, Crime Catchers Spy Science Kits, were sold out at the Glendale Target but seems to be available in area Kohl's, Walmart and possibly the Colorado Blvd Barnes and Noble.
Although the focus has been primarily on locally owned retailers the fact that we're mentioning this now should probably say a lot about how high quality of an educational tool we consider it to be. One of the many reasons we feel this toy deserves a top spot on our recommendation list --besides what we perceive to be simplicity of the educational toy, we feel it's accessibility combined with the importance of preparing kids for STEM careers so you're not supporting them through their early and mid adult years on a limited or perhaps nonexistent private investigator pension.
Whatever you end up with we hope you'll enjoy the holidays and find us on social media to let us know what you got!
Taluah Jones, 1122 east 17th avenue, Denver, Colorado
Second Star to the Right, located at 4353 Tennyson Street, Denver, Colorado
By Susanna Speier
Denver Private Investigator Blogger
What do you get the person who has access to everything? Holiday gifts for private investigators aren't easy because --if nothing else-- you'll want to avoid the obvious. That said, we've come up with the following options for prices that range from $10.00 to $99.00.
The International Spy Museum's, "Agent You Don't Gnome Me" ($18) Gnomes are kinda weird, kinda useless, and kinda fun. Plus, if you or someone you gnome is into the trench and sunglasses cliche but doesn't actually want to wear them, you can place the gnome as a fashion forward stand in or buy the spy gnome tree ornament --which is also available through the Spy Museum website shop. What we like about it for Coloradoans in particular is the fact you can plant it anywhere along the front range landscape and send us the photos to share with our Twitter and Facebook followers. You can even use it in your prairie garden!
Cyberspies: The Secret History of Surveillance, Hacking, and Digital Espionage by Gordon Corera is available at the Tattered Cover Bookstore in hardcover ($29.95) MP3 CD ($44.95) paperback ($16.95) and CD $118.00. Rich with historical detail and characters as well as contemporary international insights, the book will put the reader on solid ground with the present and future of cyber espionage.
Women with jobs that require them to carry a concealed firearm for self protection can express their enthusiasm for the Colorado outdoors and simultaneously misdiret a potential attacker by carrying a faux leather Gwyneth Realtree Concealed Carry Tote ($54.99). The faux leather also makes it perfect for vegetarians. Handbag contains a hidden gun holster on the inside outside, a pattern of what one may see on a typical hike through Estes Park. Available on Gun Goddess.
A spy specializing in surveillance who wants to teach his or her kids what mommy or daddy does for a living would be well served to invest in a few Santa Cam ornaments ($10+) And if they're not Etsy savvy, perhaps a friend is willing to track one down on their behalf or --if the kid insists on viewing the footage-- dress in costume to place gifts. This Etsy shop happens to be based in Denver, Colorado and offers personaliztion and multiple color as well as glitter options.
A Professional Private Investigators Association of Colorado (PPIAC) apprentice membership is the perfect gift for the fledgeling PI in your life who is looking for ways to grow their career. The annual cost is only $99 and it will connect the to a savvy and supportive regional community through training, networking events and mentorship.
This particular membership is designed for the PI with less than 2,000 hours of experience. For PIs with more experienc, Associate, Senior and Premiere Senior memberships are also available for $125.
Have a happy and safe holiday season. Fa la la la la la la la la.
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