This winter, search for holiday gifts for family and friends at these six independently owned D.C. shops.
713 D St., SE, open Tuesdays to Saturdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Though trekking to Hill’s Kitchen’s cozy townhouse requires leaving the familiar Northwest D.C., this quick sojourn along the Blue or Orange Metro lines is worth it. You'll find the store’s signature product – U.S. cookie cutters ($1.75 each) – among plenty of other kitchen items, from kiwi peelers to castle-shaped baking molds, which make great gifts for parents. The store also offers cooking classes. You can’t go wrong with the state-shaped cookie cutters, but steer clear of Hawaiian family members – they haven't figured out how to turn the islands into a cookie cutter yet.
1807 14th St., NW, open Mondays to Saturdays 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sundays noon to 5:30 p.m.
Multicolored spatulas and Le Creuset pots are stacked up to the ceiling at Home Rule, the perfect shop for the sans-kitchen freshman itching to spend the holidays baking. Say thank you to the exhausted GW canvasser with the Proud to be a Democrat or Republican ornaments ($9.99). Home Rule brings out the fun in household products, like with the rabbit-eared pepper grinder mini magnetic pepperball ($6.99) and the gummy bear-shaped Gummy Goods Soap ($7.99). The M Cup Measuring Matroyshkas ($11.99), measuring cups shaped like Russian nesting dolls, could liven up the most mundane kitchen activity.
1130 Connecticut Ave., NW. open Mondays to Fridays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Looking for a gift for a friend with a wacky sweet tooth? Try the chocolate-covered potato chips ($8.95) or maple bacon bar ($7.50). Chocolate Chocolate was made famous by the Food Network for its large, three-dimensional chocolate U.S. Capitol Dome, Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial (each $14.95, Washington Monument $10.95). These impressive structures, which come in white, dark and milk Belgian Callebaut chocolate put a patriotic spin on the timeless tradition of holiday chocolate.
1803 14th St., NW, open Mondays to Saturdays 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
We all have that friend who's just a notch more cynical than everyone else. For that person, look no further than Pulp DC, which specializes in subversive and humorous knickknacks, like the six-card set of Happy Birthday Jesus greeting cards ($15.99) and “The Naughty and Nice Christmas Kama Sutra,” ($12.95) book. Try something a bit tamer for the junior historian in the family with the magnetic first ladies ($14.99). Film geeks will appreciate a set of StarWars coasters ($16.99). And for seniors settling down in the district, a D.C. flag ornament ($14.99) will add local pride to their Christmas trees for years to come.
1743 L St., NW, open Mondays to Saturdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Chocolate Moose should be your first stop for inexpensive gifts for friends and younger siblings. Impress kids and kids-at-heart alike with the rad Spider-Man comics table lamp ($48), which is sure to delight kids from 1 to 92. For those with more sophisticated taste, the colorful and ornately patterened flower heads handmade paper lantern ($12, $15 electrical cords sold separately) will bring class to even the drabbest room on the cheap. And if you know someone in need of an unorthodox addition to their Christmas tree, get them a purple, pink or silver sugar skull ornament ($12).
1601 Connecticut Ave., NW, open Mondays to Saturdays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Lou Lou’s vast collection of affordable and high-quality jewelry makes it impossible to leave empty-handed. Tables are arranged by color, making for a smorgasbord of blues, purples, greens, golds, silvers and whites awaiting eager accessory seekers. Whether your mother, sister or girlfriend prefers bright colors or simple metallics, Lou Lou has it all. The pauline earrings ($25) stand out for their preppy yet classic structure, a standard of Washington style. If you are in search of a piece for a friend with a unique fashion sense, drop some cash on the equestrian parade bangle ($49) or the Aztec-inspired starburst ring ($20).