last minute xmas gifts in ABQ

sales galore!

Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I know a lot of you are probably going a bit crazy today getting your gift shopping done. At the same time, I was looking over the last-minute gift-buying guide over at the NYTimes and NOTHING on that list was < $150. (Also all of it was only available in NYC.) So I thought I’d make my own list of last-minute Christmas gifts, which then turned more into a guide to where to get stuff in Albuquerque. Luckily, everything on this list is gettable for under $100. (Take that, New York!)

FOR DAD or other male relatives:

– Armagnac. This is really for the fancy dad. Armagnac is basically a type of brandy from a different part of France than Cognac. Bonus: It’s cheaper than Cognac, according to the New York Magazine sommelier. You can get a pretty nice bottle of the stuff for $50 or so (or $1,500 if you want to go all out), leaving you perhaps enough money to grab dad two brandy snifters to go with it. ABQ Place to get it: Jubilation Wine and Spirits off Carlisle & Lomas. If your dad is less fancy than Armagnac might suggest, you can get him a nice bottle of Scotch, too. Or just a six pack of microbrewed beer.

– Anything from Kauffman’s West. You cannot go wrong with finding something for dad at this store. It’s full of extremely interesting manly things, from military or police stock to Oakley sunglasses and Luminox watches or political gag gifts. You can get dad camping gear, too. I really like their hat selection. You’re sure to find something here for under $100, although if you wanna’ splurge, those watches can get pretty pricey pretty fast.

FOR MOM and other female relatives:

– A day at the spa. Moms do a lot of work and often don’t have the time (or money) to pamper themselves. Get your mom a massage, facial, mani-pedi thing for Christmas. Most of the spas around town are doing gift certificate specials, so you don’t have to set up the appointment for mom now — let her pick when she wants to go. Or you can surprise her and go with her. Prices vary from location to location, and for service, but you can probably get mom a good mani-pedi for $25-$50, with packages going up from there.

There are a few places to check out in ABQ, depending on your price point:

Mark Pardo’s — there are several of these around town. Mark’s the juggernaut of Aveda stuff in Albuquerque.

Betty’s Bath and Day Spa — this is the favorite local spa spot of everyone I know.

Picaflor Day Spa — a cute little spot in the heights that is a bit less expensive than some of the bigger day spas.

Any of the spas at the major hotels in the casinos will probably be good, too (Sandia, Isleta, Tamaya at Santa Ana, etc).

I also happen to know a few licensed massage therapists who do work around the area, including in-home massages, but I’m not comfortable putting their contact info up on here. Send me a message and I can get you in touch with them if need be.

– A handbag from Tres Boutique. Does their name mean “very” in French, or “three” in Spanish? Oh, who cares. This place has shoes, clothes, jewelry, and accessories, too, and nothing costs too much. Everything in there is pretty darn cute, so you ladies could probably find a thing or two for yourself while you’re in there.

FOR THE BF or close guy friend:

– A shaving kit. I’m talking about a real shaving kit, with a badger fur brush, lathering shave soap, and an old school razor. Boys in our generation have lost the knack for getting a real clean shave, and it’s really a shame. I know I’m trying to keep this local, but for the most part, I recommend the kits from The Art of Shaving, although it’s way too late to have that delivered by Christmas this year. Check out Crabtree & Evelyn in the mall. Sometimes Target has kits like these, but I’m not going to send you there.

– A gift certificate to Astro Zombies or Burning Paradise Video. Yes, I generally recommend against gift certificates, but if you don’t know exactly which strain of XMen comic your BF is following, or which zombie movies he’s already seen, the only surefire bet is to get him a gift certificate. The main thing about this gift is introducing him to these stores. These places are havens for any geek or nerd who’s into movies, comics, or other geek cultural artifacts.

FOR THE GF or close girlfriend:

– If you’re capable of figuring out her size (with or without asking), head to Seventh Goddess for the sexiest lingerie in town. Stockings + garters, nighties, cami sets… whatever you want to see her in, they have it there. And the staff is amazing. They also have toys and accessories in the back, if you’re feeling a bit more, ahem, adventurous.

– If you want to get her a piece of jewelry that’s not overly ambitious (I mean, not a diamond engagement ring or the like), Carolyn Pollack has some very reasonably priced and fun, funky jewelry. Most of it has a very Southwestern feel to it, but there are some very simple pieces you can find in her favorite color.

For the booty call:

I’ve gone over the etiquette of getting your fling a gift, and if you decide you want to but want to keep it “bedroom only”, head to Self Serve. They’re completely woman-owned and they know exactly what you need. Hell, you can probably find something for everyone on your list there, as long as they’re sex-friendly. Massage candles make awesome presents.

For the coffee or tea connoisseur:

My absolute favorite coffee shop in ‘Burque is Moon’s Coffee and Tea. Moon roasts her own coffee and blends her own tea. You absolutely cannot beat her piñon — she uses real piñon nuts! (Be sure to get it ground if you get it as a gift — a lot of coffee grinders can’t handle the nuts.) She also has accouterments galore, from pots for loose tea and French press kits to coffee filters and tea cookies. You can’t go wrong at Moon’s.

For the music buff:

Charley’s Records and Tapes is the place to find the music your beloved wants. Pick up a few CDs or some vinyl, and/or a tee shirt to match. This is another place you can get a gift certificate, just to introduce your friend to the store. Bonus: there’s a chocolate shop next door if you want to spruce up your gift a bit with a truffle or two.

For the heavy reader:

There are a few independent bookstores in Albuquerque, but my favorites fall in the Heights and the Valley:

Page One on Montgomery has basically every book you could think of, and if they don’t, they’ll order it for you. They also stock used books, and you can sell your used books there, too. If your friend is a serious book nut and you know exactly what first edition you want to look for, Page One does antiquarian, too.

Bookworks on Rio Grande (next to the Flying Star) is chock full of books for everyone, and toys for kids, too. They sell autographed copies for that fan you know, too. (Are people really huge fans of writers anymore? Really?)

For the kid in your life:

Out of the Blue has toys for every kid in your life, and many of them are of the educational sort, too. (I love being that aunt.) You won’t find the usual plastic subjects like Barbie here, but there are Legos! And the sales folk there can gift wrap like pros.

Anyone else got any ideas to share? Go ahead, post ’em in comments!

And have a happy, safe, warm holiday.

2 Responses to “last minute xmas gifts in ABQ”

  1. December 27, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    What a deliciously ABQ Undergroundly post, Kat. 😉

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