120 Amherst NE 717-1535 theyarnstoreatnobhill.com Store Hours: Tue.-Thurs. 10am-6pm, Fri. 10am-7pm, Sat. 11am-6pm and Sun. 11am-4pm
If you’ve got a desperate need to shop and a shortage of time, then there’s nowhere better in Albuquerque than Nob Hill. Park your car a couple of blocks away from Carlisle and Central, so you don’t have to pay, natch, and meander your way down the half-mile of Burque’s best and most diverse local shops. We recently covered favorites like Astro-Zombies (for action figures and comic books) and Masks y Mas (for the Santa Muerte enthusiast in your life), but the great thing about this neighborhood is that there’s always, always, always more. If you’ve got a crafty type on your list, for instance, make sure you stop in at the Yarn Store. With a million different accessories, from spindles to spinning wheels to interchangeable needle sets, you’re bound to find something to appeal to the witty little knitter, and you can always plunk down cash for a gift certificate if you’re feeling stumped. The Yarn Store also offers locally made crafts like felted hats and ceramic bowls, so it’s worth a look even if you don’t know crochet from croquet.
The Chocolate Dude
3339 Central NE, Suite E 639-5502 chocolatedudeabq.com Hours: Sun.-Thurs. 8am-9pm and Fri.-Sat. 8am-10pm
Just a short walk up the street, and you’ll hit newcomer The Chocolate Dude. When I’m in a rush for a present, edible gifts are my go-to choice, and the confectioners at this tiny little shop specialize in handmade fudge, brownies, truffles, chocolate-covered potato chips and just about any other variety of candy-coated whats-its you can think of. If you’re interested in fostering a dangerous new addiction in your recipient, stuff their stocking with a wafer of Chupacabra, a fudge-infused slab of peanut butter decadence.
3500 Central SE 262-1900 Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10am-9pm, Sun. 11am-8pm
And finally, there’s Beeps. This Nob Hill standby is something of a double-edged sword for last-minute gifters, honestly. On the one hand, you’re bound to find the perfect oddity for your irony-obsessed brother-in-law or distant wacky aunt. On the other, you’ll be paralyzed by the number of choices. “Would Mildred rather have an authentic reproduction phrenology head or a solar-powered waving Mona Lisa? Would Harry really appreciate the unflavored, uncolored Nihilist toothpaste, or should I go for the creepy horse head ornament?” you’ll ask yourself right before noticing the Band-Aids featuring Shakespearean insults, the tiny soaps molded in the shape of baby-doll hands, the sock puppets from Canada and several books featuring holes in which to place one’s penis. My suggestion is that you pick up an unassuming muslin pouch labeled “bag of outer space adventures.” I’m not sure what’s inside, but considering that everybody loves outer space and everybody loves adventures, it seems like a good bet.