The Right Stuff

Little things do the big job of filling out those Christmas stockings

December 15, 2007|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,sun reporter

You snagged the Wii. The sweaters, slippers and dolls are bought and wrapped. But before you sit back and enjoy your hot chocolate by the fire, take a look at those stockings hanging from the mantel. Looking a little limp? There's still time to find a few small gifts that will brighten Christmas morning without adding substantially to the after-the-holidays credit-card shock. Here are some finds from area boutiques and artisans:

Bite Me Spears Dog Toy

Your pooch has the organic dog treats and the hand-knit sweater, and now he can have his own pop icon to play with. If you think Britney's already been chewed on enough, you can opt for the Doggy Depp or the Brad Pittbull toys.

Cost: $14

Where: Yuppy Puppy Pet Boutique, 8120 Main St., Ellicott City

Chocolate Mice

This adorable pack of three mice comes in white chocolate, dark chocolate and milk chocolate.

Cost: $6.99

Where: Ma Petite Shoe, 832 W. 36th St., Hampden

Bananagrams

Here's the game that's perfect for the puzzle lover on your gift list. Create anagrams from the letter tiles in the bananas case. The first player to use up all his letters wins. No board, pencil or paper needed.

Cost: $14.95

Where: Mumbles & Squeaks Toy Shoppe, 8133 Main St., Ellicott City

Kimono Button Pendant

Maryland Institute College of Art grad Allison Fomich creates these unique necklaces (as well as matching rings and bracelets) from silk kimono fabric.

Cost: $8

Where: Tigerlillyshop.etsy.com

Flame Massage Oil Candle

You might want to keep this one for yourself to soothe those tired muscles from all the shopping you've been doing. Just light the candle, then use the melted oil for a massage or moisturizer.

Cost: $10.50

Where: Earth Alley, 3602 Elm Ave., Hampden

The Worst-Case Scenario Daily Survival Calendar

Know someone threatened by corporate layoffs? Let him or her know things could be worse. This handy calendar provides tips on how to land a helicopter if the engine fails, how to outwit a pack of wolves, and what to do if your tongue gets frozen to a light pole.

Cost: $11.95

Where: Hometown Girl, 1001 W. 36th St., Hampden

Magic Garden

Sprinkle on the magic water and in a few hours you have a snow-covered mountain and trees blossoming with pink flowers. It's nontoxic, but kids under 10 should be supervised.

Cost: $5.50

Where: Mumbles & Squeaks Toy Shoppe, 8133 Main St., Ellicott City

Lump of coal

Know someone who's been more naughty than nice? Put this lump of hand-painted coal in his stocking.

Cost: $3

Where: Su Casa, 901 S. Bond St., Fells Point

Paper coasters

Made in the Philippines from recycled newspaper, this set of four coasters makes a statement. It not only says you support conservation and recycling, but also, because it's sold at Ten Thousand Villages, a fair-trade organization, it lets others know you care about providing fair compensation to the artisans who made it.

Cost: $18

Where: Ten Thousand Villages, 1621 Thames St., Fells Point

Bicycle-chain bracelet

If you've got a cycling enthusiast on your list, or someone who appreciates clever reuse of old materials, this bracelet is the perfect gift.

Cost: $12

Where: 2910 on the Square, 2910 O'Donnell St., Canton

Bath foam

These delightful bath gels sure beat soap on a rope. They are available in a variety of shapes and fragrances, including vanilla, spearmint and frost.

Cost: $3

Where: Su Casa, 901 S. Bond St., Fells Point

Crab bottle holder

This wine bottle holder has the right amount of Maryland kitsch. It's a crab, but it's a tasteful crab. And it's functional to boot.

Cost: $9.95

Where: Maryland Bay Co., 1643 Thames St., Fells Point

Luggage Tags

The traveler on your list will be amused by these plastic luggage tags, which have phrases such as "This is not your suitcase" and "Nothing worth stealing in here."

Cost: $13 for six

Where: Sankofa African and World Bazaar, 2442 N. Charles St., Charles Village

liz.atwood@baltsun.com

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