Local stores offer a variety of gift ideas under $20 - Albuquerque Journal

Local stores offer a variety of gift ideas under $20

Sometimes it is for the office holiday party and sometimes it is just trying to round out the shopping list with that special something that doesn’t cost too much.

Finding that right gift for $20 or under, however, can sometimes be a tricky thing.

But at Celeste’s Gifts & Novelties at 902 Juan Tabo NE, just about everything fits into that category, says owner Ann Johnson.

“About 80% of the stuff in our store is under $20,” she says. “You can walk in with $20 and walk out with a bunch of stuff. We have hundreds and hundreds of items and a lot of them you can’t find anywhere else. There is something here for everybody from newborns up to somebody who is 100.”

A little hunting throughout the store reveals some true treasures, like the women’s checkbook wallets that Johnson says remain extremely popular.

Topping the popularity charts are icons from bygones eras, such as Betty Boop, with her signature lip-kiss, and black-and-white Marilyn Monroe with ruby-red lips highlights, for $13.99 and $14.99 respectively.

Cowgirl Trendy has leather and hard-shell purses featuring Dia de los Muertes Sugar Skulls that are a hit across the spectrum at $22.

“Women of all ages love these,” Johnson says. “I think it’s because of how popular the holiday is.”

One of the big sellers is a photo-locket that goes for $15. It accordions out to hold multiple photos.

“These are great grandma and mom gifts,” she says.

A nice unisex gift, crystals and pendants on lanyards start at $6.99.

“People like to put these on their rearview mirrors,” Johnson says. “They catch the light and they look real pretty.”

For the chef in the house, a red chile-adorned hot pad and oven mitt set for $9.99 is just the thing to ease the heat.

For women who like earthy, frilly, comfortable skirts, there are a range of bright options ranging from $12-$16.

And for knick-knack collectors, mini music boxes are making a big comeback and are going from $8.99-$16.

“They are really a big deal,” she says of the collection that include pianos, old-fashioned, tongue-and-groove boxes, and even sewing machines with a moving treadle. “They were big last year.”

Good, clean fun

At Lillie’s Handmade Soap at 323 Romero NW #5 in Old Town, the store is full of items for men and women at $20 and below, says owner Kate East.

“Most of the stuff in the store is part of a five for $20 sale,” she says. “You can take five and mix and match it. It’s a lot of fun. We have 50 flavors to smell and choose from. Our soaps are all natural and they do well with sensitive skin.”

Flavors range from cherry-almond to root beer or licorice to the downright odd like stinky piggy and funky fart. “And honeysuckle is really popular with the ladies,” East says.

In addition to soaps, the store carries foot cream, all-natural lotions and hard-to-find bath bombs.

A popular item for $7.99, soap-infused loofahs come in 13 different soothing scents like lavender, blueberry and black raspberry.

For the men on the list, a range of shaving products, like Brian’s bayrum beard’s wax for $11.99 “is really nice and helps keep your skin really soft,” East says of the locally made product.

Anyone who uses shaving soap instead of cream will appreciate a shaving bowl, specially crafted with a raised mound to keep the soap dry and out of the water. It sells for $19.99.

A beard and mustache folding pocket comb from Rockwell Razors is spot on for the debonair man on the go for $15.99. It’s specifically designed to be soft on the skin while grooming a beard or mustache.

“It all can be pretty overwhelming, but there is definitely something for everyone and all skin types,” she says.

Candles can lighten anybody’s mood and Lillie’s carries 13 different scented varieties from Kandles by Kate for $7.99. The candles use cotton wicks and soy wax, with 40 hours of burn time and no smoke.

Painted finds

At the Church Street Market in Edgewood, Fridays through Sundays, hand-painted ceramics fill the shelves at Treasures ‘n Gifts ‘n More.

“I paint them all myself,” says owner Don Jantz, owner.

Very popular are the green and red chile pepper salt and pepper shakers for $14.95.

“People love those here in New Mexico,” he says, adding they also make great gifts for folks in other parts of the country. To complete the set, add a recipe card holder, creamer and sugar containers and napkin rings.

For the canine lover, Jantz recently picked up a large collection of ceramic dogs that he’s been adding to the shelves at $20 apiece.

Painted and unpainted Christmas ornaments are something people enjoy as well, with unicorns, trains, Santa Clauses and rocking horses running in the $10-$15 range.

“Those have been selling like crazy,” Jantz says. “I probably sell more unpainted ones than painted because families like to have their kids paint their own.”

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