By now you know the drill: Spending your money at local businesses keeps more of it in the community, pays for public services and supports independent stores. SFR is a big supporter of the shop local movement for all of these reasons—and for one other: Shopping locally is way more fun.
Think about it: Which sounds better? Standing in line in a crowded Walmart that's jam-packed with plastic crap? Or talking to artist Erika Wanenmacher at Ditch Witch about her new amulets, candles and spells? Where do you want to be when you're picking out the perfect gift for your kid? Online at toysrus.com? Or in Moon Rabbit Toys, where quality toys have been picked out by someone who really cares? These are just two of the dozens and dozens of local businesses featured in the 2009 Santa Fe Reporter Gift Guide.
We hit the streets for this issue, as we do each year, and stayed clear of the big-box stores. Instead, you'll find gifts for everyone from the epicure in your life to the reader to the child to the fashionista to the athlete and more. Plus, there are extra gifts listed online--we ran out of room in the print edition.
And in case you think shopping locally is out of your price range, we feel your pain: Every gift in this guide is under $100, and many are well below it.
If you're on the shopping tip for the season, consider also helping those for whom the holidays are hardest. SFR will continue our collection drives for Esperanza Shelter for Battered Families and Food Depot through Dec. 22. Thank you for your continued generosity in contributing new household items, unwrapped toys and gift cards for the shelter, and canned foods for the Food Depot.
Thumb through the digital edition HERE, scroll down, or use the links below to find your favorite categories.
Food by Zane Fischer
Fashion by Rani Molla
Kids by Jen Palmer
Outdoors by Marshall Glasnevin
Gadgets by Zane Fischer
Books by Julia Goldberg
Music by Alex De Vore
Body by Charlotte Jusinski
Artsy by Julia Goldberg and Charlotte Jusinski
FOOD Bons Vivants Rejoice!
Purple Flower Power
The best part about shopping for gifts at The Chocolate Smith (851-A Cerrillos Road, 505-473-2111) is forgetting to buy them after stuffing your face on, say, chocolate-coated caramel dusted with Himalayan salt. Keep the sweets to yourself and give your giftee something more responsible like Sharon Shipley's The Lavender Cookbook. It's packed with clever recipes and concoctions for one of the few fine plants that grows like a weed around here, and it's reasonably priced at $17.50.
Shot Glass Not Included
There's a lot on offer in the modestly-sized Kaune's Neighborhood Market (511 Old Santa Fe Trail, 505-982-2629), but a lot of people forget that it's home to one of Santa Fe's finest liquor sections. Good for rubbing on the gums of babies and man-babies alike, Hudson Manhattan Rye Whiskey is a splurge at $57.45, but its restorative powers are more potent than the Christmas Spirit. Tip: Leave a shot out for Santa.
Slice of Heaven
Nothing is more essential to cooking than a good knife. Honestly, the rest can pretty much be done on an open fire. The shelves at Las Cosas Kitchen Shoppe (181 Paseo de Peralta, in DeVargas Center, 505-988-3394) bristle with sharp bits, but a knife is only as useful as the hand that wields it. Instead of buying things, why not give a gift that keeps on giving, like a Las Cosas Knife Skills Workshop, a bargain at $35.
To the Minute
Dish n' Spoon Café and Gifts (620 Old Santa Fe Trail, 505-983-7676) has got knickknackery covered on its kitsch-filled shelves. For that happy-go-lucky, sunny-side-up kitchen pal in need of another cooking gadget, the Happy Times Kitchen Timer puts a grin spin on preventing overcooked pasta. And less smiley people will enjoy grabbing the thing and twisting its head.
Let It Breathe
One's wine is not fine until it has been awakened with a little aerating. The cleverly named Vinturi will do the trick without bruising your grapes, yo. At $39.95, these babies are going to fly off the shelves this year, so make haste for the Old World shelves of La Casa Sena Wine Shop (125 E. Palace Ave., in Sena Plaza, 505-988-9232) and secure yours before they vanish.
It's an age-old problem: You return from the hunt (or the gather) and you've got no place to put your fancy fresh food. Bambu nesting baskets offer a threefer of eco-conscious containers to help pretty up your larder. La Montañita Co-op (913 W. Alameda St., 505-984-2852) offers the all-organic set for $21.69.
Chocolate Trumps Fruit
Word to the wise: Nobody wants an orange in his or her stocking. But there's nothing wrong with fooling people by dropping the orange-sized head of a Mexican down there—Mexican wrestler, that is. And, actually, it's just a miniature Mexican wrestling mask covering a tin packed with chocolate coins. It will come as no surprise that this $18 stocking stuffer comes from the mad candy scientists at Todos Santos Chocolates and Confections (125 E. Palace Ave. Ste. 31, 505-982-3855). After eating the chocolate, you can use the mask as a key chain or a fruit cozy.
Skip the Whipped Cream
We're sure the resident chocolate scholars at Kakawa Chocolate House (1050 E. Paseo de Peralta, 505-982-0388) are working hard to come up with a special edition 2012 Mayan calendar elixir—after all, they specialize in Mesoamerican concoctions—but in the meantime, we recommend something closer to home. The 1790 Jefferson Colonial American Drinking Chocolate will hit the spot. For $28, a ball of elixir comes with mug.
No Wilting, No Water
Sensitive Santa Feans love a gift of flowers but are predictably plagued with guilt about the industrialized murder of pretty plants. Edible Arrangements (825 Cerrillos Road, 505-989-9770) has solved this problem by creating absurd and wondrous bouquets of fruit. Sure, plants still get whacked in the process, but at least someone gets to eat them. $59 will secure an Apple Blossom arrangement: chocolate dipped apple wedges in a forest of strawberries dappled with pineapple petals.
Music With Heart
More than 20 local artists donated tracks to The Heart of Santa Fe, a new double album benefiting Warehouse 21, and released in memory of Katie Klein, Julian Martinez, Rose Simmons and Alyssa Trouw, the four teens tragically killed by a drunk driver last June. This coming together of musicians is a perfect example of holiday spirit and goodwill, and a great way to support the local teen arts organization (Warehouse 21, 1614 Paseo de Peralta, 505-989-4423).
Post-Punks Need Presents Too
Spitting at the Glass, the new album from Santa Fe via Britain's Venus Bogardus, is the perfect stocking stuffer. A celebration of post-punk experimental brilliance, this album will rock its recipient all the way through the New Year for just $14. Hey, if you're lucky, you can borrow it when that whole "quit smoking and lose 10 pounds" resolution of yours is put on the back burner.
Hundred Year Flood, Joe West, Boris and the Saltlicks and Goshen are all great bands, so why not drop by Santa Fe Hemp (105 E. Water St., 505-984-2599) to pick up any of their releases from Frogville Records for $16? Give one to that special music lover in your life, and don't forget you can also get the new self-titled Stephanie Hatfield & Hot Mess album while you're there, because everyone loves Hatfield.
Talent Is Priceless
Instead of buying your kids some ridiculous music-based video game that will teach them nothing, why not give them the gift of actual talent? High Desert Guitars (111 N. Guadalupe St., 505-983-8922) offers guitar lessons with local guitar master Tim Valentine for a scant $60 an hour. Almost any style is taught, the guitar isn't half as irritating as a trumpet and whoever said gift certificates aren't personal is full of it.