Local Holiday Shopping Guide: 10 Gifts for Under $10 in Kensington

Cookies for Santa

Perhaps the recession is over… but no one told my bank account. To keep holiday spending under control, we’ve pulled together 10 gifts for $10 or less, and all gifts can be found in the neighborhood, no shipping necessary. In no particular order:

• Visiting friends for the holidays? Present home baked brownies on Walgreens’ (114 Beverley Road) “Cookies for Santa” plates – 2 for $5 – leaving your hosts with the perfect Christmas Eve platter.

Coffee Beans at Brancaccio's

• Splurge on a $10 Steeplechase (3013 Ft Hamilton Pkwy) gift card so your coffee connoisseur can indulge in a morning latte and muffin. If your coffee lover prefers home-brew, Brancaccio’s (3011 Ft Hamilton Pkwy) has a pound of D’Amico whole beans for $9.50.

Sock Monkey Hat

• Keep little ones’ heads adorable and toasty warm with a sock monkey hat, $6 at a kiosk on Church Ave and E 2nd, good for a boy or a girl. Matching hat-and-mittens sets – pink kitties for girls and blue puppies for boys, a retro concept, I know – can be had at Walgreens for $8.99.

Hair Color

• $7 is the going price of a manicure at Ava Nails ( 219 Church Ave), one of the many nail shops dotting Church Ave. Including a tip, $10 will buy your leading lady 30 minutes of fingernail pampering. If she’s a tween and enjoys experimenting with hair colors, Rite Aid (302 Church Avenue) sells a temporary hair color box set for $9.99.

• Going to the mountains? Rite Aide has fleece throws – 2 for $5 – cheap enough to bring one for everyone. Your generosity will be as heartwarming as your blankets.

Walgreens Plush Frog

• Don’t forget Fido! The Hamilton Dog House (155 E 3rd St) at Sean Casey Animal Rescue has stocking stuffer chew toys in bright red and green, $7.99 for a pack of three. Allergic to cat dander? A hypo-allergenic, bright-eyed green tree frog at Walgreens is looking for a good home, $9, food and vet bills included.

**BONUS** The best deal we found was for $2 wallets sold on a table Church Ave and E 2nd. Buy one for each and every person on your Christmas list, and you still have money left in your own wallet.

Do you have a favorite place in the neighborhood to shop? A favorite gift to give? Please share so we can all spend our money a bit wiser.

Happy holiday bargain hunting!