Baristanet Holiday Gift Guide: Easy Last Minute Gifts


The traffic is rushed and bothersome. Time is running out. Maybe you’ve been invited for a gathering or perhaps you have a neighbor who could use a pick-me-up. Finding a meaningful and as-close-as-possible-to-unique gift is easy, with lots of fun and varied finds all over Montclair — you just need to know where to look! Follow along for ideas in many price points, and please leave your favorite gift suggestions in comments.

LeSouk at 51 Watchung Plaza has beautiful gifts of many varieties. With tasty boxes ($8-$15) of Middle-Eastern treats, artful items like the Hamsa amulets ($30) made by Montclair artist Vicki Pollack, and rubbed silk ($55) and hand-embroidered shawls ($200), you’ll find something for everyone. Highly recommended: The baklava!

The Creativity Caravan at 28 South Fullerton Avenue is an artist’s haven for inspiration and materials. For the writer or journaller in your life, consider the lovely writing prompt jars ($20). And packs of hand-made marbled paper (~$15) are wonderful for children or adults who love color and being creative. Larger sheets are also available upon request. Looking for something truly unique? The Creativity Caravan is also hosting a “5 & Under” art show through January 5th — and all the art is for sale!

Have someone on your list who is still in touch with her/his inner kid? (Or is an actual kid?) East Side Mags at 7 South Fullerton Avenue has POP! figurines (including Star Wars characters!) starting at $8. Naturally, the store has lots of comic books, but if you’re shopping for a hardcore fan, ask to browse the racks behind the register. These rare and more valuable comic books run from around $10 to $200 for super-rare editions! Owner Jeff Beck will help guide those unfamiliar with comic book nuance.

For that animal lover or vegan/vegetarian on your list, Mundo Vegan at 20 Church Street has wonderful treats and stocking stuffers at several price points. Pins for backpacks and jackets are just $1, and magnets, patches, and stickers hover around $5. T-shirts with environmentally friendly and animal rights messages make a cozy, useful gift ($32), and they are all made in the USA. If you’re looking for consumable gifts, consider giving organic Chai or Green Tea packs, or perhaps some organic, vegan chocolate treats.

Culture Couture at 53 Church Street has colorful and fun items for the yogis, artists, and the “hard to buy for” people on your list. Many change-purses and wallets ($8-$22) have flora and fauna adorning them, a bird lover will adore your choice of decorative gift, and if you have a Frida Kahlo admirer, this is the shop for you whether you want an inexpensive stocking stuffer or a more substantial gift. Incense, candles, jewelry, and many other lovely items are also represented at all price points.

Looking for a gift with sparkle and attitude? Table Leg Home at 4 South Fullerton Avenue has lots to choose from. Cute headbands for the star on your list make a fun gift, and notebooks for jotting down thoughts and wishes ($15) will be handy for a forgetful friend. Know someone who has just moved or just loves keys? A New Jersey-centered keychain ($32) makes a useful and unique gift. Table Leg Home also has special higher-end gifts of decor and for the kitchen. And the jewelry collection is both quirky and bold.

Verdigreen Home at 182 Glenridge Avenue has furniture, paint and supplies, and creative decor for sale. If you’re in the market for a buffet, this deep blue beauty ($599) can be yours! Crystal clusters ($40-$100) serve double-duty as a design element and conduits for positive energy. And the super-strong, handmade magnet sets ($16) are both cute and useful, and they’ll be appreciated by anyone on your list. Want something more focused? The Little Spells kits ($20) make a fun gift for someone who loves scents and motivation.

If you’re really stuck, all of the above businesses offer gift certificates, as do the local book shops, restaurants, and stores. Shop local and spend more time noshing and socializing with your loved ones!

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