When you’re exceptionally good at waiting until you’re screwed during the holidays, you’d better be equally adept at unscrewing yourself. To do that, you don’t just need to know where to get great gifts. You need to know how to get Hail Mary, CYA gifts.
So, we asked some of our favorite Charlotteans where they go to save their bacon. Here’s what they told us. (Names are abbreviated to protect the innocent. Or, the guilty.)
The People’s Choice: Paper Skyscraper
330 East Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203
Dig in on Instagram.
Let’s get this out of the way: There are great ideas below, but there was a clear winner — Paper Skyscraper. When it comes to impressive, unexpected gifts, PS is king. It was mentioned by well over 50% of everyone we polled. Here are a few choice testimonials:
“From socks with swear words to mugs to jewelry to the perfect card – they have been saving me for at least 25 years. Any place that has the perfect gift for any friend AND where my daughter can find a gift for her dad is a win in my book.” – Melissa B.
“This store literally has something (real, hilarious, interesting, educational, decorative, practical, entertaining, beautiful, etc.) for everyone, including babies and older adults. [This] is my yearly tradition…to go to Paper Skyscraper the week before Christmas for all of my stocking stuffers and last minute gift items.” – Andrea D.
If you’ve never been to Paper Skyscraper, remedy that immediately. And, when you go, here are three Hot Holiday Picks from co-owner and founder, Tim Hamilton:
Field (brand) Outline Triangle ($59)
A beautifully object with a lovely finish and weight. You may not use it to draw, but you will love it on your desk. They also have the Outline Rectangle and Outline Half-Round tools. ($49)
Heng Balance Lamp ($59)
Beautiful LED table lamp. Elegant design with unique on/off switch. When the magnetic spheres are brought close together, the lamp illuminates and the balls are suspended inside the elliptical lamp.
A Few Minutes of Design: 52 Activites to Spark Your Creativity ($20)
A Princeton Architectural Press item by Emily Campbell.
Do climb the Skyscraper, but keep on exploring.
Paper Skyscraper is awesome, but here are some other posterior-saving recommendations:
“I constantly find myself unprepared for holiday parties and gift exchanges. Recently my husband and I went to a holiday party and we completely forgot to get a gift for our friends and hosts. [About an hour before a party], I quickly ran to Moxie Mercantile and found the perfect item. Our friends are big collectors of vintage barware and Moxie has a great selection of glasses, decanters and accessories.” – Nicole R.
“Right now they’re selling boxes that you can mix and match. Fill them with coffee, a tee, a book, a mug – whatever you can find in the store. We all need coffee… so why not knock out your daily boost with a personalized gift ready to go? And, Tony is simply the best!” – Brittany Y.
“If NoDa Co. isn’t the soul of NoDa, I don’t know what is. What makes them more awesome is their support for local artists. Walk inside and you’ll find a rotating gallery of work from your own neighbors. And, and everything is for sale! Go! NOW!” – Nalee T.
The Map Shop
1500 E Morehead St, Charlotte, NC 28207
“[For the one-present-limit gift swap], I pride myself in bringing THE gift that will be fought over. The Map Shop is the perfect place to find a quirky, brainy and beautiful gift on any budget. One year, I bought an artfully designed map of North Carolina’s best BBQ spots (combined with a pig-shaped cutting board from Paper Skyscraper). It started the kind of fight you want to start on Christmas…and no one is holding a grudge.” – Jess. G.
“Best plants in the city!” – Meighan S.
“HT is awesome prior to a hosted party because you can pick up a bottle of champagne and a bag of ice for the party. (That’s my secret party trick: Always bring ice). I also can pick up a card and cash at HT. A few years ago I totally lost track of time and just didn’t get my nephews anything for Christmas. I decided to stop at HT, get them each a card and $5 to put inside…they took their shirts off and ran around the house screaming ‘I’m rich! I’m rich!'” – Corri S.
“They have an amazing array of globally-sourced, handmade, eco-friendly, fair trade gifts. There is something for everyone. Pura Vida Arts has saved my butt numerous times. My go-to for a while was an amazing book called Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie. This book is always a home run gift for people.” – Torrie S.
“Girl Tribe in South End is my go-to place. I had a Friendsgiving coming in hot one weekend and totally forgot. Ran to Girl Tribe in South End and left feeling accomplished. I got needed gifts, as well as goodies for myself. I’m going to keep it real…the mall sucks during December.” – Heather W.
Self-Promotion is awesome when you’re awesome.
We asked these local makers where they do their last-minute shopping and they answered … “Um….us!” We love that! If you proud enough to plug yourself, we ain’t afraid to share it.
“A popular gift item is a Saturday cooking class at Johnson & Wales University. The classes cover a number of subjects – from baking, pasta, Superbowl food, Thai, etc. On a personal note, I will be teaching a pan pizza class on Feb. 9, and a bread class on March 16.” – Peter Reinhart, Chef on Assignment, College of Culinary Arts
“I gotta’ throw SkillPop in the ring as a great last-minute gift. Not only can you buy and gift online, we’ll also email you a cute & printable holiday card to jazz things up. You could be looking for a last-minute gift at 11:59pm on December 24 and still have time to give a SkillPop class. Boom.” – Haley Bohon, Founder of SkillPop
“Who doesn’t love gifts that give back? Cancer affects everyone and showing your support with a shirt that also supports pediatric cancer research gives you the warm and fuzzies, too. Free shipping and it arrives in days. Bonus.” – Erin Santos, Founder of Cancer Messed With
What are you waiting for? The clock is ticking. Get out there and save yourself.
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