Practically everything at Ann Johnson’s business, Celestee’s Gifts and Novelties, could be stocking stuffers.
The locally owned Albuquerque store (celesteesgiftsandnovelties.com; 918 Juan Tabo NE) has hundreds of candles, crystal figures, carnival and fair toys, stickers, holiday items and craft kits for kids.
“Hello Kitty jewelry is one of the hottest things around,” says Johnson, who sells Hello Kitty necklaces and earrings, which have an image of a kitten’s face incorporated into each piece, for $5 each. “Girls from 5 to 16 years old just love them.”
Celestee’s Statement Jewelry necklaces, which are part of a line of large and bold costume jewelry, come in a wide assortment of colors and cost $8.99.
Johnson says many kids are drawn to mustache sunglasses ($4) that have a small plastic mustache hanging from a little chain attached to the rim of the glasses. They also like the fuzzy animal hats ($10/$13) that she sells at her store. These unisex caps are made in the shape of many different animals including elephants, bears, tigers and pigs. The more expensive hats have a pair of small gloves attached to them.
“My monster dolls ($5.99) are extremely popular with little girls,” Johnson says. “They’re the size of Barbie and have painted faces, long skinny legs and outrageous outfits on. Their arms and legs move.”
Chile and more
Many of the products available at The Chile Addict (chileaddictstore.com; 325 Eubank NE) also make great stocking stuffers. Owner Francesca Kay sells everything chile – from jam, hot sauce and condiments to novelties.
The store has hundreds of chile-inspired refrigerator magnets ($2.99-$5.99) with images of chiles on them or recipes for chile dishes. Kay’s 10-ounce jars ($3.99) of green chile jam, green chile with pineapple jam, red chile jam and red chile with strawberry jam can easily fit in a stocking. Her brittles, which are sold in 6-ounce plastic bags, are made in flavors such as green chile piñon and cost $4.99.
Other unusual food items include Cheri’s Prickly Pear Cactus Honey (8 ounces for $6.99), Desert Farms Green Chile Marmalade (10.7 ounces for $5.99) and New Mexico Piñon Coffee Lollipops ($1.25 for 1; $6 for 6).
Piñon is also used in votive candles that are sold by themselves or in small clay pots ($2.49-$8.99).
For the kitchen
For a great selection of kitchen-related stocking stuffers that can be used on a daily basis, check out Now We’re Cooking (5901-S Wyoming NE). The store has colorful silicone lids ($8.95-$10.95) in the shape of sunflowers, hibiscus and lily pads that can used to cover glasses or storage containers.
Staff member Erin Rhodes says the store’s decorative measuring spoons ($19.95/$21.95) are incredibly popular and can be terrific stocking stuffers. Pictures on the spoons include butterflies, cupcakes and hearts as well as holiday-inspired images such as snowmen, angels and snowflakes.
Now We’re Cooking’s long and skinny spatulas ($7.95 and up) come in a variety of colors including green, purple and red. Some have Christmas images on them. Cooking enthusiasts also will enjoy the store’s small peelers ($4.95) that are available in seven different colors as well as colorful graters ($14.95-$19.95) that have a metal gripping handle and are designed to grate hard cheeses, ginger and chocolate.
Everyone who spends time in the kitchen can appreciate a beautiful and functional apron. Now We’re Cooking has a huge selection of aprons ($21.95) for men and women that are available in a large variety of solid colors and patterns. Just fold one up and slip it in a stocking.