IN THE BAG: HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS FROM LOCAL RETAILERS (SOME WITH PRICES BETTER THAN AMAZON) MAY SURPRISE YOU

Hot Sand in Asbury Park has a new selection of hand crafted tablescape items.

Hot Sand in Asbury Park has a new selection of hand crafted tablescape items.

The perfect holiday gift for everyone on your list is right around the corner, literally, at one of the area’s popular small businesses.  Gifts for your family and favorite teacher?  The Coaster has you covered.

For years, Hot Sand in downtown Asbury Park has been known for some of the area’s most elegant and beautiful handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gifts.  This year, the creative team has outdone themselves with a selection worthy of “heirloom status.”  Whimsical home décor pieces, cheery ornaments and spectacular tablescape accessories are waiting for you with prices starting at $15.

Zoe Accessories in Avon is filled with fun costume jewelry, women’s wearables and home accessories.  Chandelier necklaces for $18, alligator print handbags by Miss Unique for $38 and – a local favorite – fancy Mud Pie Bow clutches in red, black or gold at $25.

The weather outside is frightful so how about a super-soft and stylish Shiraleah scarf in navy and coral

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Glass snowpals are collectible gifts from Hot Sand.

plaid; $34 at Bungalow Road in Avon.  Or wool hook cover throw pillows in rich and vibrant colors in a variety of sizes by Peking Handcraft, $50 each.  Bungalow also has the most charming wine gift bags in a variety of materials embroidered with seasonal proclamations for $13. Candle lovers, check out the beautiful selection here too.

Gigi Consignment, off the beaten path on Fourth Avenue in Neptune, may be the holiday bargain hunter’s secret weapon with like-new Coach handbags starting at $30 and new in-the-box Tory Burch iPhone 4 and 5 cases for $12.

Check out Tess’ Closet in Ocean for the tween or adult style icon on your list. From the Dictionary of Men book to pendant earrings with dime-sized colored stones to a peek-a-boo wide-neck black blouse with a cut that’s flattering for almost every figure.  Our favorite is the ultimate-girly lace and flower sleeveless cocktail dress.

For the chef on your list, Shore Cake Supply in Wanamassa has the fantastic and tricky to find supplies they usually buy online.  Also, Shore Cake offers parties and classes for the burgeoning baker.

The Dawg Joint in Asbury Park has what your canine companion wants from Santa.  Toys and treats start at $3, plus grooming and pet sitting by professionals who care for your pet as much as you do.

Mud Pie bow clutch is cheaper at XXXXX than on Amazon.

Mud Pie bow clutch is cheaper at Zoe Accessories than on Amazon. Shop local!

Feed your companion animals like family year-round with the help of Yellow Roof Pet Care in Asbury Park.  Founded by a veterinarian, Yellow Roof offers prescription nutrition plans, pet supplies, grooming and accessories.

Choosing the right eyeglasses can be a daunting prospect.  Dr. Fridel of All Eyes on You on Bangs Avenue in Asbury Park has you covered with fab designer frames that fit your face coupled with top tier service.  Give the gift of stylish sight for 2015.

The holidays are for dreaming, right?  Someone on your list has visions of a shiny new sugarplumb-color Passat dancing in their head.  With Shrewsbury Volkswagen’s Sign Then Drive Event, it’s the best (and most festive) time of year for a new ride. Elves not included.

Glass beach scene ornaments and beaded seashell stockings, $5 and $8 respectively, keep the summer going through the holidays from Forever Useful on West Sylvania Ave. in Neptune.  Vintage Annalee Dolls have a new generation of collectors and are hot, hot, hot gifts. The store’s owner is a talented fine furniture refinishing and modernizing expert.  Give a gift certificate to someone you know whose favorite dresser is ready to be reinvented.

Speaking of gift certificates, the gift of an entertainment escape at the perfectly vintage Beach Cinema in

Consider a gift that gives back to a local charity.

Consider a gift that gives back to a local charity.

Bradley Beach is a all-season treat.  With a new digital projector, it’s a gift that always wins.  Book of tickets on sale now for $20.

Every day brings a new bargain at East Coast Cookery restaurant and sports bar on Route 66 in Neptune. $1.50 Yuengling drafts and $5 bar pies (select days), make sure your gift certificate recipient gets the maximum fun and food.

Tech the halls with a gift card from On-Site Computing in Ocean Grove. There’s little more satisfying than a speedier computer or home devices that synch seamlessly with a new smartphone.  Save your sanity and leave it to the experts.

Finally, consider a “gift that gives back” from a local nonprofit.  One of the best ideas is from Second Life Bikes on Main Street in Asbury Park.  Buy a completely refurbished adult bike and get a children’s bike free to pay it forward.  Remember the feeling you had when you got your first bike?  Let Kerri Martin, founder, help you find a child’s life to change this holiday.

Tech heads are the new rock stars and InfoAge Science Center in Wall is the new Stone Pony.  Show the technology or communications fan where the very beginning of mobile communications started. Tickets ($5) and donations to exhibitions support local high school educational programs.

Pick up a new or vintage home accessory from the store Nate Berkus called “an amazing resource” – Coastal Habitat’s ReStore resale store in Asbury Park.  The ReStore has rare and discontinued US-made patterns of Lenox and brand new Seiko wood mantle clocks.  “Extravagantly wrap a set of Mid-Century champagne flutes and you have a gift people will remember,” said Berkus.  Prices starting at $3.

Richard@TheBPlot.com

EVERY WEEK IN THE AREA'S ONLY AWARD-WINNING WEEKLY.  THEBPLOT: FOUR MINUTES A WEEK = SOMETHING WORTH TALKING ABOUT.

EVERY WEEK IN THE AREA’S ONLY AWARD-WINNING WEEKLY. THEBPLOT: FOUR MINUTES A WEEK = SOMETHING WORTH TALKING ABOUT.

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