Small Business — 02 December 2011
Holiday gift guide: Local gifts under $12 make the holidays a cinch

Children face a difficult task when finding their parents a good gift for less than $12. This year, many Alexandria stores plan to make things much easier, with present ideas in a kid-friendly price range.

While the list is not exhaustive, it provides ideas for children — as well as adults — looking for quality presents with a modest price tag.

Old Town Hardware at 809 S. Washington St. has a number of gifts for parents. All items from the value tool table (for the parent handyperson), a set of screwdrivers, smaller items and glasses on the front shelves and many of the grilling tools ring up less than $12.

The Historic Alexandria History Center and Museum Store — at 101 N. Union St. in the Torpedo Factory Arcade — also has a number of affordable gifts for children to give their parents. These presents include a magnifying glass necklace, historic Alexandria coffee mugs, refrigerator magnets, playing cards, a pen with a clipper ship on the top, and a whistle.

Just a stones throw down the road is Zoe Boutique. The 130 S. Union St. boutique offers bright and cheery fashion-oriented note cards for $12, which will please anyone who loves dashing off notes to friends.

Fibre space at North Fayette Street, near the intersection with King Street, features bamboo needles and a ball of self-striping yarn for less than $12. The store also has cute $7 tote bags with the fibre space logo design.

The ever-inviting Decorium store at 116 King St. contains many gifts for less than $12, which are classical, whimsical and artsy. A few treasures available this time of year include various ornaments with hand-painted birds, vintage Santas and novelty cupcakes. The store also carries cat and dog ornaments and even a sitting moose Christmas decoration.

The Old Town Trading Post at 128 King St. proffers jewelry and trinkets in child-friendly price ranges.

Walking up King Street, Alexandria Spice and Tea Shop at 320 King sells many teas, tea infusers, olive oil blends and spices for less than $12. This inviting shop definitely deserves a look.

Ritz Camera at 600 King St. offers a number of gifts for less than $12. One fun present is a two-sided snow globe, with room for two small photos or hand-drawn pictures. Another idea is a pen or a hot beverage cup with space to insert a photo or drawing.

One of the newest shops in Alexandria is Bishop Boutique. While the 815B King St. store does not have any gifts less than $12, snazzy nail polish or fun bangles cost just a tad bit more.

The popular Ten Thousand Villages at 915 King St. employs a helpful group of store clerks who are willing to help children find affordable gifts. Rainforest seed necklaces cost $6, and while intended for children, they work as bracelets as well. The store also charges less than $12 for animal design plant feeders and other trinkets.

Indus Imports at 1010 King St. contains a number of items priced at less than $12. Those gifts include paper-mache boxes in a variety of sizes as well as Christmas ornaments shaped like balls, stars and other festive designs.

Laketana Ethiopian Crafts Shop at 1316 King St. has many beautiful bracelets and earrings for less than $12.

Over in Del Ray, Artfully Chocolate at 2003 Mount Vernon Ave. serves handmade chocolates by Rob Kingsbury, an artisan chocolatier. He creates a gorgeous assortment of specialty chocolates daily. Several truffles boxes cost less than $12.

Other places to satisfy a parent’s sweet tooth are Candi’s Candy at 107 N. Fairfax St. as well as the Sugar Cube at 210 N. Lee St.

Across the river, National Harbor’s Stonewall Kitchen provides specialty food selections, such as jams and other small gifts, for less than $12.

In the end, it is the thought that counts. These are affordable, quality gifts. But a homemade card will warm a parent’s heart on any holiday.

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