By JACQUELINE FERNANDEZ
The average American will spend around $752 on Christmas gifts this year, according to a Gallup survey. We set that as our budget when we went shopping – well, window shopping – across the Eastside and came back with these gift ideas:
Leaf Bracelet: $140
Artisan LA in Los Feliz features the work of owner Julio Benez, and also vintage and custom made jewelry. This leaf bracelet designed by Benez sells for $140. It’s great, unique piece for the person who can never have too many pieces. His work has been featured on several TV shows including “How to get away with Murder.”
Vegetarian Restaurant Gift Certificate: $50
Who doesn’t love food as a gift? Founded in 2006 by 3 band mates, Elf Cafe in Echo Park features vegetarian cuisine in a casual atmosphere. The restaurant offers gift certificates with no minimums. However, the average main plate goes for $20. Can’t go wrong with spending $50 on this gift certificate and have the gift receiver bring a friend…it could even be you!
Plant Pot & Coffee Mug: $70
Dustmuffin in Silver Lake offers an array of fun items, from pillows to perfumes. This Christmas instead of buying two of the same item, you can switch it up with a plant pot ($38) and a mug ($32). Clay & Fabric created this adorable pair locally.
2 Bilingual Kids Books: $9.99/each
Be the cool grown-up and get your friend’s kid the best gifts. Vroom Vroom Bitsy Boo, a Highland Park children’s boutique, sells rock’n roll inspired clothing, locally made jewelry and toys. They also sell bilingual books! These fun and educational books are printed in L.A. and are only $9.99.
Local Boogeyman T-shirts: $40
Cosmic Vinyl record shop in Echo Park has an array of cool items, including T-shirts made by Echo Park-based Local Boogeyman. These funky shirts sell for $40. While you’re there, check out the living room area where you can preview music at a listening station.
Set of 10, Handmade, Classical Guitar Strings: $100
Got a guitar player on your gift list? Then the handmade strings of Guadalupe Custom Strings, a City Terrace workshop, are worth considering. The workshop makes strings for ukuleles, harps, Mexican bass guitars and other instruments. “I have two guys busy making strings, one by one,” said owner Jacob Hernandez. Guadalupe Custom String shares the workshop with Gabriel Tenorio, who makes strings for electric and other guitars. Best to call ahead before stopping by to make your purchases, which can also be made online.
Yoga Gift Certificate: $45
For the yogis in your life, you can surprise them with a $45 gift certificate from Rise Hot Yoga in Atwater Village that can get them their special of one month of unlimited classes! The deal is only valid for new students and those who haven’t been to the studio in 6 months or longer. Rise Hot Yoga offers Bikram, Vinyasa and Fusion (Bikram and Vinyasa) classes. They’re open 7 days a week, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Soy Chai Cookie Candle: $24
Leanna Lin’s Wonderland in Eagle Rock is the source for hand-poured and scented soy candles. Chai Cookie joins the shops collection of saffron, coconut, green tea, sorbet and scented candles.
Wine, Cheese & Snack Gift Basket: $159
Santa Ornament: $12.99
The nearly century-old San Antonio Winery in Lincoln Heights operate a large wine shop stocked with a wide selection of wines made the family-owned business as well as wineries from around the world. In addition to individual bottles of wine, customers can pick up pre-wrapped gift baskets complete with vino, cheeses, nuts and snacks. Trim your tree with a wine-sipping Santa ornament or shop for other gifts – and beer, too.
Doggie Blanket: $40
The blankets sold at Rosie Bunny Bean are cut and sewn by hand, so no two are exactly the same. Perfect for the pooch who wants to be unique.
Unicorn Necklace: $58
A 16-inch, gold-filled unicorn necklace is one of the many pieces of jewelry you will find at Spitfire Girl in Los Feliz.
If you kept track, the gifts above come a grand total of $758.97, which is $6.99 over our budget. That’s okay. It’s the holidays – you are allowed to splurge!
Jacqueline Fernandez is a Los Angeles-based reporter who’s written for various media outlets such as Los Angeles Wave, The Miami Herald and WLRN-Miami Herald News.
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