Now that Thanksgiving is over, we’re headed full-throttle towards Christmas (and Hanukkah, too). There’s no getting around it: we’re in the thick of holiday madness, which means you should probably start thinking about presents. Buying holiday gifts for friends and family can be a grueling, anxiety-inducing experience — that is, if you don’t know where to look. We’re here to help.
For your inner hippie: Organic floral and herbal soaps, $10 each (Brooklyn made)
Saipua is a small, family-owned flower shop that makes beautiful and sweet smelling olive-oil based soaps peppered with fresh blossoms and herbs, and each bar is hand cut, dried and cured on-site. The flavor combinations are unique, and the hand-made packaging gorgeous — and at $10 a pop, you can’t go wrong putting a bar or two (or five) in someone’s stocking (or under the Hanukkah bush).
Saipua [147 Van Dyke St. between Conover and Van Brunt streets in Red Hook, (718) 624-2929]. Saturdays and Sundays only. For info, visit www.saipua.com.
Welcome to the first installment of your holiday shopping guide, designed to help you select the best gifts for the ones you love — without spending a fortune, or leaving the borough. The best part? Most of the items we’ve selected are produced locally, which means you’ll be supporting the economy, small businesses and, of course, Brooklyn.
For the gardener with no garden: Twig Terrarium, $60 (Brooklyn made)
In this city, not everyone has the luxury of a backyard. So, why not make your own personal biodome?
Brooklyn Collective [198 Columbia St. between Sackett and Union streets in the Columbia Street Waterfront District, (718) 596-6231]. For info, visit www.brooklyncollective.com.
Reach Arts Editor Juliet Linderman at email@example.com or by calling (718) 260-8309.
For the shutterfly: Blackbird, Fly Camera, $130
Inspired by its new exhibit, “Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties,” the Brooklyn Museum is now offering a selection of these beautiful 1920s-style twin-lens reflex cameras; one lens is used to expose the film, while the other is used as a viewfinder. Unlike most cameras of this design, the Blackbird Fly uses 35mm film, so you can take all the photographs you want — and drop your film off for one-hour processing at your local drug store.
Brooklyn Museum [200 Eastern Pkwy. at Washington Avenue in Crown Heights, (718) 638-5000]. Closed Monday and Tuesday. For info, visit www.brooklynmuseum.org.
For the quirky home decorator: Dellamorte & Co. octopus candlesticks, $140
These gorgeous candlesticks, cast in bronze, are shaped like the tentacles of an octopus, and crafted by two Manhattan-based artists and designers.
Homebody Boutique [449 Seventh Ave. between 15th and 16th streets in Park Slope, (718) 369-8980]. For info, visit www.homebodyboutique.com.
For the lover of leather: Maxx and Unicorn wallet, $88 (Brooklyn made)
Check out the limited-edition, camouflage, tri-fold wallet by this Greenpoint-based leather designer, whose wares are sleek, expertly crafted, and well worth the money. These designs are unisex, which means a lover of leather of either gender will love it.
Alter [109 Franklin St. between Greenpoint Avenue and Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 784-8818]. For info, visit www.alterbrooklyn.com.
For the sports aficionado: Aviators tickets, $24 for two (Brooklyn made)
There’s no way someone who loves sports — and loves Brooklyn — isn’t going to jump at the chance to see our very own hockey team, the Brooklyn Aviators!
Aviator Sports Complex [3159 Flatbush Ave. at Floyd Bennett Field in Marine Park, (718) 758-7500]. For info, visit www.aviatorsports.com.
For the urban jock: Dining table ping-pong set, $29
Ideal for someone with a love of table tennis — and a very small apartment.
Paper Source [102 Smith St. between Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Street in Cobble Hill, (718) 858-4524]. For info, visit www.paper-source.com.
Let there be light: Judi’s lampshades, prices vary (Brooklyn made)
We know what you’re thinking: buy someone a lampshade as a gift? That’s too weird. But wait! Judi’s custom lampshades are so colorful, beautiful and creatively crafted that you should think of them more as pieces of art — illuminated! — than pieces of furniture.
Judi’s Custom Lampshades [1720 Avenue M between E. 17th and E. 18th streets in Midwood, (718) 336-0366]. By appointment.
For the truly disorganized: Animal print Baggu mini pouches, $8 for a set of three (Brooklyn made)
For anyone who has organizational issues, these Baggu pounches are an adorable and ideal way to arrange your bag, from the little stuff — keys, makeup, iPod, pens — to the slightly bigger stuff, such as notebooks, planners, sunglasses, and the like.
Baggu [242 Wythe Ave. at N. Third Street in Williamsburg, (800) 605 0759]. For info, visit www.baggubag.com.
For the beach bum: Boombox Cooler, $55
Who wants to dwell on the fact that we’re freezing, and have to bundle up to our ears to go outside? Summer is (cross your fingers!) just around the corner, so this is pretty much the perfect present for that friend who loves the beach (and who doesn’t?). It’s a soft, durable, extremely portable cooler with a pair of built-in speakers for your iPod, so you can enjoy some hot jams while keeping your beverages nice and cool.
Blue Ribbon General Store [365 State St. at Bond Street in Boerum Hill, (718) 522-9848]. For info, visit www.blueribbongeneralstore.net.