Holiday shopping is as dreaded to me as paying rent; it must be done, but I really don't wanna. To make the experience as pain-free as possible, I make a list, check it twice (maybe three times) and feel no shame about giving the same gift to many of my friends and family. If Nob Hill is your shopping district of choice, then your options are many and getting something for everyone on your list will be no problem.
For the ultimate last-minute shopping experience, head to Beeps (#1, 3500 Central SE, 262-1900). They have fuzzy slippers, do-it-yourself ice sculpture kits, picture frames, contemporary Japanese tea pots and so much more that you'll have to be careful not to spend your whole budget there. If stocking stuffers are your forte, Beeps has oodles of funky trinkets.
Just around the corner is The Herb Store (#2, 107 Carlisle SE, 255-8878) which has herbs, of course, as well as some awesome gift items such as Henna tattoo kits, a seven-scent incense sampler and bath salts by the scoop with cute jars for presentation. If your list includes media hounds, Natural Sound (#3, 3422 Central SE, 255-8295) and Alphaville Video (#4, 3408 Central SE, 256-8243) both offer gift certificates in various amounts. The Book Stop (#5, 3410 Central SE, 268-8898) always has its $1 bargain book rack out front, providing coffee table book options for your intellectual friends. For the prankster types, The International Spy Shop (#6, 3023 Central NE, 266-0088) and The Magic Jugglers Shop (#7, 3205 Central NE, 255-2303) offer various tools for mischief, magic and general stupefaction.
One of my favorite holiday money-saving, shop-time-reducing tricks is making simple necklaces with awesome beads from Stone Mountain Bead Gallery (#8, 3100 Central SE, 260-1121). You can also create little do-it-yourself kits: Get some unique beads (like Jade, color-changing or Czech glass), some string and a clasp, place them in a bag and you have a great gift for your more creative friends. If “last minute” means only enough time to stuff it in a box and ship it, Stone Mountain also has necklaces, rings and bracelets that are reasonably priced.
Off-Broadway (#9, 3100 Central SE, 268-1489) and Larry's Hats (#10, 3102 Central SE, 266-2095) both have some great looking antique and vintage jewelry for some stylish gifts. Off-Broadway has some snazzy cuff links, and Larry's Hats has berets in almost every color as well as some very hip bracelets.
For some tasteful (and tasty) adult gifts, Martha's Body Bueno (#11, 3105 Central NE, 255-1122) has lingerie, massage oils and novelties for that super-special someone. They also have a variety of bath goodies, such as cucumber shave crème and custom scenting, which allows you to create a unique perfume, lotion or body oil with the scented oils of your choice. These are only a sampling of what Nob Hill shopping has to offer. It's certainly one of the best neighborhoods in the city for zippety-quick holiday gift buying.