Between the streets of Bond and Henry on Atlantic Avenue, it’s actually possible to do all of your holiday shopping for essentially everyone on your list. Since the development of the Barclays Center, many establishments haven’t survived the rising rents, but fortunately interesting stores like the fashion-forward and sustainable boutique, Kaight, remain. There are also plenty of places to look forward to after you’ve shopped the avenue. Pop into the brand-new natural wine bar Pips, run by the team next door at Colonie, or get a cocktail at the Long Island Bar. You deserve a treat for doing your holiday shopping in person.
This adorable little gift shop opens an annex next door for the holidays, which is literally bursting with ornaments, doodads and specialty items. For instance, one of the best holiday traditions to entertain kids is a hand wrapped surprise ball ($18). It’s a tangle of crepe paper that as you unroll, it reveals tiny inexpensive gifts. It sounds frivolous but provides hours of entertainment for kids who have to endure long holiday parties. I used to buy them at Brooklyn Women’s Exchange, but the woman who made them stopped doing them last year. Now I know where to stock up. Also, look for gift books, grooming supplies or candles. For the new mother-in-law in your life, I’d spring for a few teatowels ($30) by textile designer Betsy Olmsted. Hand-designed watercolors of nutcrackers or bears will bring life to any kitchen, although they will certainly be too gorgeous to wipe your hands on. Colllier West & Annex, 377A Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn
Nothing says “I Love You,” like some high-end perfume. Twisted Lily specializes in “hard to find, niche, indie and natural fragrances from all over the world.” Buying fragrances here ensures that you won’t inadvertently smell just like your cubicle mate. Unfortunately, choosing a scent is a very personal preference. That’s why Twisted Lily stocks up on “discovery boxes,” a box with mini-sizes of different perfumes from one brand. This could be a great way for your loved one to learn about new fragrances and try them out before investing. Gorgeous packaging and transcendental scents of perfume or cologne range from $30 to $150. Whether you are planning on getting engaged during the holidays or you just want to rekindle the flame, this is the way to do it. Twisted Lily, 360 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn
This is the Waldorf of toy stores, where you can come to get hand knit bonnets and some very impressive wooden peg people and fairy houses made out of a tree stump. The items here are magical in the way that every new parent wants their household to aspire to, before the plastic, the video games and the iPad swoop in to ruin it. Keep the dream alive for a little longer. Any child would love to receive the Atlas of Adventures ($35), an illustrated trip around the room in the form of a beautiful coffee table-sized book. It’s filled with interesting facts and figures, but also lovely things to spot as you go through the book, which means it can be read again and again. While we were looking at a copy, it was literally bought from under our hands. For older kids, invest in a charming wooden backgammon set ($130) handcrafted by the brand Wolfum. This will be the kind of gift that will be treasured long after the iPad is obsolete. Acorn, 323 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn
For your favorite couple or hostess: Mud Australia
If you’re obsessed with handmade ceramics these days (who isn’t?), you and everyone on your list will love the idea of ceramic stemless wine cups. They come in an array (19 to be exact) of beautiful colors like Green, Blue, Plum, Yellow, Steel, and Pink and would look adorable on the table or at a home bar. They are thinner than your average ceramics and feel very good in the hand. Plus, like all of the Mud homewares, you can stick them in the dishwasher. Priced at $58 each, you may not want to buy too many—but I love the idea of buying two for a couple. For the teetotalers, there is also a selection of gorgeous organic-shaped ornaments that would make a stunning hostess gift. $43 might be more than you would usually spend on a holiday decoration, but these are handmade in Australia and will be keepsakes that can be passed down (as long as they don’t take a tumble from the Christmas tree). Mud Australia, 402 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn
If you’re constantly looking for gifts that straddle that line between elegant simplicity and Amish, this store/cafe lays it out for you. Somehow they make ankle length nightgowns and a bucket of nail brushes look absolute must-haves. For the right person, I’d love to gift a multi-colored handmade broom for $68 that looks straight out of a GOOP gift roundup of unnecessary products that, once you see, you’ll never stop thinking about. Too extravagant? Then you can’t go wrong with handmade, small-batch Mater Soap ($14) that is made from 100% natural and sustainably-sourced plant ingredients. The packaging looks inspired by fertility goddesses, but the smells are simple: rose, pine and holy. Salter House, 119 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn