Christmas shopping doesn’t have to be stressful. Sure, Amazon provides an easy one-two click, but it’s nice when you can add a personalized touch by actually hand-picking a gift. Avoid the internet and chain retailers (which are sure to be mobbed this time of year) and stop in at one of these local boutiques, instead.
For the reader in your life
163 Court St.
9 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday
10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday
Stop in at this beloved independent neighborhood bookstore before it closes for good on Dec. 31 — after being in business 35 years. According to bookseller Jacob Schraer, you can’t go wrong with one of the latest titles from acclaimed novelists Zadie Smith (“Swing Time”), Michael Chabon, (“Moonglow”) and Colson Whitehead (“Underground Railroad,” winner of the National Book Award), currently topping the bestsellers lists and going for 30 percent off in store. For history buffs, check out Julie Scelfo’s “The Women Who Made New York” a compelling read that highlights the female game changers of this city, from Zora Neale Hurston to Fran Lebowitz.
For the dogs (or dog lovers)
434 Hudson St.
Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Sunday 12 p.m.-6 p.m.
Treat your favorite canine — or canine enthusiast — to a gift from this trendy West Village pet boutique. For flashy Fidos, there’s the Zoomies Cabana reflective collar and leash, equally bringing the bling and the safety. Or, suit up your pup for the colder weather with a Zoomies’ NY Sport All-Weather coat. And don’t forget about the actual treats, says co-owner Angelique M. Rufty-Graux: Zoomies all-natural dog biscuitsin flavors like New York Pizza and Fromages de Paris.
For the avid chef
231 Bedford Ave.
Monday- Saturday 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
The upscale cookware shop provides plenty of gadgets and goods for any cooking hobbyists. A creative foodie kit, like the Craft Your Own Bitters from Hella Bitters, allows your foodie to play mad scientist in the kitchen, while a set of Brazilian Soapstone pots will come in handy this winter for simmering soups and stews, says manager Jessica Young. And for some real merriment, at Whisk's Flatiron location you can order custom-designed cookie cutters, which they make via their 3D printer. Bring in your design to the shop or email the designer at 3D@whisknyc.com; expect at least a week turn-around.
For your pal who could use a little self-care
370 Myrtle Ave.
Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m.- 9 p.m.
You could easily while away an afternoon in Fort Greene’s neighborhood lifestyle boutique. Jill Lindsey has stocked her flagship shop with soothing, feel-good goods sourced from both local and international makers. Her signature all-natural JL body balm uses essential oils, nourishing to all skin types. Local Lathers bar soaps are made in Brooklyn and categorized by neighborhood (Fort Greene’s scent is Ever Clean, made with fir needle and rosewood). For the witchy men and women in your life, the Sphinx and the Priestess ritual tarot candles, each themed after different Tarot symbols and archetypes, include hand-written mantras to burn as manifestations. And for a sweet, healing treat, Lindsey recommends the Zenbunni Gheenache, which combines organic cocoa with ghee (clarified butter) and immune-boosting reishi mushroom.