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.
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.
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.