It's coming—the gift-giving season. Every year one must shell out their hard-earned dough to brighten others' season, but it's not always easy. What does one get for their friends' kid? That co-worker for Secret Santa? Your grandma?! It's tough, but your pals at SFR have scoured the world, both online and real, to find gift suggestions for kids, peers and elders that you can feel good about. Peruse our suggestions and shop accordingly.
- If the child in question was “Made in New Mexico,” there’s only one answer: the Hecho onesie ($20), available in in turquoise or black at The Burger Stand (207 W San Francisco St., 989-3360) or online from Nuevo Cerveza (nuevocerveza.com).
- For households with tiny cowgirls and cowboys on the way, Frye baby boots make an extravagant and memorable gift. It might be the only pair of this iconic Western wear that the kid ever owns. Wearabouts (70 W Marcy St., 982-1399) carries a lined sheepskin version ($68) in black and unlined in brown leather ($38) in infant sizes.
- What’s better than dinosaur putty ($3.99) that comes in bright colors and contains a tiny model? Maybe it’s tickets ($4 for kids up to age 12) for the The Harrell House Bug Museum (DeVargas Center, 552 N Guadalupe St., 695-8569) along with them. Two live tarantulas hang out in the gift shop to give you the shivers even though you’re indoors.
- For parents of kids a certain age, it should be exciting news that Bless Me Ultima author Rudolfo Anaya has gone the children’s book route with Owl in a Straw Hat ($16.95). Not only is Anaya’s fable a great lesson about the value of reading and a good education, but it’s also presented in both English and Spanish, so it’s like a pretty great double-score for younger kids. Find it at Collected Works Bookstore and Coffehouse (202 Galisteo St., 988-4226)
For those of you who'd prefer to browse for the kiddos in their life, downtown Santa Fe is home to two very cool toy stores (don't worry, there's lots of educational stuff, too): Moon Rabbit Toys (112 W San Francisco St., inside Plaza Mercado, 982-9373) and Toyopolis (150 Washington Ave, 988-5422). To each store's credit, they've curated fantastic inventory, from clever puzzles and math games to RPGs, clothing, instruments and more. We'd point out it might even be fun to just take the kid or kids with you and have them tell you what they want; nothing's worse than giving someone what you think they need rather than what they actually want.
Also downtown you'll find Doodlet's (120 Don Gaspar Ave., 983-3771), that wonderfully quirky little bit of everything store for folks of all ages. For our purposes, we're focusing on the Smile Rope Lamp from Time Concept Inc. A friendly little fellow that hangs from the ceiling and turns on with a tug, this little guy would be perfect for kids who maybe get scared at night or even those without a soft touch (it's pretty sturdy). At $16.95 and five different color options, it's also affordably stylish.
- Snuggle into a beautiful cotton sateen robe ($90) any day of the year. We love some of the patterns on these lightweight garments from Pandora’s (DeVargas Center, 173 Paseo de Peralta, 982-3298), and we can picture your bestie wearing this on the bed with a book, sipping tea on the patio, or possibly with jeans at the book club.
- Guys we know are super happy that beards are fashionable. Having organic, New Mexico-grown lavender in his beard oil ($30) might also elicit a small under there somewhere. We’re partial to the source—Los Poblanos farm in Albuquerque’s North Valley—and you can find this and lots of other products from their line at Detours (La Fonda Hotel,100 E San Francisco St., 988-1404).
- Experiential gifts are the best. In 2017, the Santa Fe Playhouse (142 E De Vargas St., 988-4262) had such an incredible season that many productions sold out and they even had to add some performances. A subscription for next year’s season ($100-$175) is just the ticket for arts junkies who like an evening at the theater—each subscription secures a ticket to all eight productions, from comedies to musicals to collections of original vignettes, plus discounts at other playhouse events. All the deets are at santafeplayhouse.org.
- We’re really into Power & Light Press, the letterpress shop that has opened a location in Madrid (Gypsy Plaza, 2842 Hwy. 14, powerandlightpress.com). There are tons of snarky cards, weird posters and Western-motif stationery sets, but we were particularly fond of these bags that just tell the truth about that bottle of Barefoot chardonnay you brought to the holiday party. Get a pack of two for $6. There are other sassy sayings available too.
- And while we’re talking letterpress, we promise you there’s some 20-to-30-something in your life who longs for the consoles and games of their childhoods. For them, visit 8-Bit Retro Video Games (1538 Cerrillos Road, 309-8368). They have everything, from old Nintendos and Segas to the Dreamcast, PS1-through-PS3, original Xbox and more. We promise you’ll be a hero if you pop by and ask them for advice.
- The sun is bright. Your giftee is a fan of the free press. This purchase helps support journalism at the Santa Fe Reporter. Get our masthead on a hat in red or black, made from organic cotton ($25 shipped from sfreporter.com/shop, $20 if you pick it up at our HQ—132 E Marcy St.).
- Over on Marcy Street lies the aptly named Marcy Street Card Shop (75 W Marcy St., 982-5160), a boutique shop that offers much more than just cards for all occasions. Take, for example, the incredibly cool multi-tool hammer from Gentleman Tools ($22.95). Think of it like a Swiss army knife with a big ol’ hammer, plus pliers, screwdriver, knife and nail file. Yes, it’s cool as hell for gifting.
Many of us don't get outdoors as often as we wish. If your friend always laments how clean they are, pick up a dirt-scented candle ($8.95), also from the Marcy Street Card Shop. There's also one that really actually smells like a beachy bonfire. For those who like to just stay in and watch TV, these may be weird scents—for those who don't, they're heavenly.
- Stay organized and accessorized with a cosmetic bag ($22), wristlet ($17) or tote ($65) from Erika Eckerstrand, a Swedish artist who attended IAIA and set up shop in Santa Fe at Designs of Erika (211 Galisteo St., 424-3806). She constructs her durable designs from vinyl material originally intended for outdoor furniture.
- Sometimes even taking a few seconds of escape makes the day better. Can’t hit up The Waves after work (up there at 21 Ten Thousand Waves Way, 982-9304)? Give second-best with a slather of the original piney hinoki lotion ($18.25). And if you buy it at Santa Maria Provisions in Sena Plaza (125 E Palace Ave., 983-2411), you don’t have to drive up the hill.
- Stay hip with a tiny addition to the jacket or purse from Future Fantasy Delight. Black and white lapel pins ($10) are among art you can order from proud Santa Fe son Nico Salazar online at futurefantasydelight.com. Also check out the wares in the gift shop at Meow Wolf (1352 Rufina Circle, 395-6369).
- According to our new best friend Justin Pucila at The Candyman Strings & Things (851 St. Michael’s Drive, 983-5906), lessons in how to play an instrument are one of the long-beloved local shop’s favorite things to do. And though it’s a great option for people of all ages, Justin also tells us that older folks are taking advantage as well. Seems like it’s a great way to stay sharp. Pretty much any instrument is available, and with lessons running $30 for a half hour, $45 for an hour and up (in 30 minute increments), it’s affordable, too. In your face, grandma.
Socks are great for all, but we know our grandmothers particularly like keeping their feet warm in style. Enter Sock Magic (125 E Palace Ave., 9843-3366), the Plaza-adjacent sock wonderland of your dreams. Peruse the sock wall, pick up fancy patterns and nerdy imagery (think Star Wars) and keep them tootsies nice and comfy. Our top picks for the season? You can't go wrong with Rubik's Cube socks (for men or women—$8-$10) or the Mondrian-esque patterns of the Radical Geometry pattern (38), but if you're trying to show someone something extra nice and have the dough, try the Floating Koi pattern ($55) for those extra points.