20 GIFTS $20 OR LESS FROM LOCAL SMALL BUSINESSES: HOMETOWN HOLIDAY 2011

Twenty high impact gifts with low impact on your wallet – they are all under $20 – and each one is courtesy of a different area small business.

1. Double dish by Joseph Joseph is perfect for shelled nuts, olives and edamame beans. A dish inside the bowl hides unsightly waste. “With a bag of pistachios, this is a great hostess gift,” said Scott Hamm.  “They look great, are practical and very popular this year.”  Shelter Home, $18.

Joseph Joseph's Double Dish "looks great and is practical" according to Shelter Home's owner, Scott Hamm.

2.  Yellow glass water pitcher adds a flash of color and vintage style to everyday dinners.  Heaven, $15.

3.  Professional quality drawing kit includes pencils with sharpener, eraser, sketchpad and a cool box.  For teens and adults at ReBEARTH Art Supply, $20.

4.  Private label knit wool beanie caps in beige, black and grey, featuring the store’s unique logo ensures instant skateboard credibility.  Wood Shop, $15.

5.  Soy wax candles by Michel Design Works burn for 40 hours and feature one of my favorite scents, Honey Almond.  Both Robert Legere stores – downtown and on the boardwalk, are decorated magnificently again this year.  Over the top spectacular and fun.  A friend from out of town insisted we stop by the downtown store because “its one of [her] favorites outside New York” for the holidays.  Robert Legere Home, $20.

6.  “Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern.  “I couldn’t stop reading this,” said Jan Sparrow.  “This is one of my favorite books this year.”  Words, $20.

7.  Aromas of stewed plumbs and crushed raspberries with a touch of balsamic, Faunus Copertino Riserva 2005 wine is a creative break from the safe wine gifts.  Lush Wine & Spirits, $12.

8.  Camouflage plush canine companion toys by Grrriggles, features a double-sewn seam for the toughest four-legged chewer.  “We scout all the big retail pet stores to make sure our prices are lower,” said Cindy Curto.  “It’s all about the dawgs here.”  Dawg Joint, $10.

9.  Five-strand antique faux pearl and rhinestone bracelet dazzles.  Left Bank Asbury Park, $15.

10.  The Besame vintage-color inspired makeup line is super-hot right now and used by the “Mad Men” makeup team.  Set of three lip glosses at Blue Hawaii, $18.

11. Complete set for four of Pier One everyday stoneware in Cherci Green pattern.  And Calvin Klein glassware set of four.  Salvation Army, $20 and $4.

12.  Help your friends take the dullness out of their closets this winter with Farmhouse laundry sachets in all natural Lavender and lemon verbena scents.  “Ninety-eight percent of my store is under $20,” said Deborah Koch.  Master Bath Boutique, three for $9.

13.  B-movies on DVD are great for a snowy evening or rainy beach afternoon.  Titles include “Drive in Monster” and “Kansas City Confidential.”  Groovy Graveyard, $5 and up.

14.  Cutout woman’s scarf by G in orange, winter white, beige, turquoise and aqua makes a big style statement.  TK Reflections, $19.

15.  Lucky Feather small crown necklace with a satin gold finish.  Dana Rici in Allenhurst, $18.

16.  Geography frosted glassware inspired by patterns sold in souvenir shops in the 50’s and 60’s.  Flying Saucers, $10 each.

17.  Reversible extra-large pashmina in jewel tone colors.  Comfort Zone in Ocean Grove, $15.

18.  Miniature one-dimensional wood pieces replicate historical Ocean Grove and Asbury Park sites and buildings like the Grand Auditorium and Palace Amusements.  Gingerbreads in Ocean Grove, $20.

Wicked Tales from the Highlands has tons of local historic dish

19.  “Wicked Tales from the Highlands” by retired Red Bank teacher John King tells the dishy stories of jailbreaks, mobsters, murder and other local dastardly deeds.  A great gift for anyone interested in our area’s history.  Bookstores everywhere and Amazon.com, $20.

20.  Glass swizzle sticks from London’s Claridge and other hotels.  Shore Antique Center in Allenhurst, $20 for two.

For overlooked holiday gift suggestions, click here.

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