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Give Your Wallet A Break: Affordable Holiday Gift Guide

The countdown is officially on, and you haven’t started to conquer your ever-growing holiday shopping list. Fear not. We’ve got a list of affordable options on The Sunset Strip that will make your wallet happy and those near and dear to you sing your praises. And to help get you into the holiday spirit, those shopping this weekend can enjoy carolers roaming Sunset Plaza Friday and Saturday nights from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. (Dec. 17 and 18), and warm cocktails served by the fire on The London West Hollywood’s rooftop from 5-9 p.m. Now, back to your list… 

 

For the environmentally-friendly fashionista, look no further than LIVE! On Sunset for their collection of Envirosax. These eco friendly, reusable bags feature hip designs from mod shapes and solid patterns to the face of one of your childhood favorites – Oscar the Grouch. The bags hold up to 44 pounds, so they are sure to withstand your farmer’s market haul, and they can be rolled into a small pouch for storage ($8.90). Order online. Extra bonus: You can receive a 1% discount per one can of food you donate to LIVE! On Sunset’s canned food drive during the holidays (up to 20%). You were never going to eat those green beans, anyway, so why not donate them for a good cause and a good reward? www.liveonsunset.com

 

Winter’s gloom got your party down? Transport the family and friends to The Standard’s always sunny pool deck with their “Standard Sounds Volume IV, 4:19” album. Their latest musical offering boasts an eclectic, international flare with tracks that showcase “mellow vocals and rich beats.” Brazilian Girls’ “All About Us” and Darondo’s “Didn’t I” are sure to have you dreaming of lazy, sunny days. Preview the album. Available online or at The Standard, Hollywood ($20). www.standardhotels.com/hwood

 

Venture beyond the stoic, black double doors of Tobi Tobin Design and explore a store that is a true visual gift. In addition to the vintage finds, high-back chairs and one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, Tobi Tobin boasts a chocolate bar featuring premium, handmade confections. Handcrafted in Los Angeles, the Tobi Tobin Chocolate Collection is a perfect choice for those “shop local” enthusiasts on your list who also happen to have a serious, sophisticated sweet tooth. Varieties include “turtles” with walnut clusters, caramel, chocolate and Mediterranean Sea salt; dark truffle fudge topped with French grey sea salt; caramel and truffle fudge topped with red Hawaiian sea salt; and dark chocolate coated truffle fudge bars with various flavor choices. Available individually in 1 oz or 2 oz options or in small, medium and large boxes. www.tobitobindesign.com

 

The music lover in your life will shout with joy when he or she unwraps an unlimited show pass from the Key Club. While this is the priciest item on our list, when you do the math, it is the best deal in town. The “Key Club Pass” is valid from Jan. 1 – June 30, 2011, and allows the passholder AND one guest access to shows during the next six months. That’s nearly 180 shows! Passes are available for $100 at can be purchased at the Key Club box office or via their site. www.keyclub.com

 

Nicole Miller lets you give a great gift and support a good cause with their collection of Indego Africa woven and braided bracelets. The hand woven bracelets showcase vibrant colors, and 15% of the proceeds is donated to Indego Africa, a nonprofit that empowers women in Rwanda through educational programs ($25). www.nicolemiller.com

 

Foodies will rejoice when you present them with gift certificates to experience The Strip’s newest restaurant, Night + Market. A late night communal dining spot boasting tapas style plates based on Thai street food items, Night + Market lets you travel to Thailand without leaving L.A. The restaurant space also features a rotating art exhibit and projected Thai movies. Plans are underway to incorporate live music, outdoor patio dining and an herb garden in the new year. Extra bonus: Purchase the gift card by Dec. 24, 2010, and receive a 10% discount! www.thenightmarket.blogspot.com

 

While iPads and Kindles are all the rage, sometimes there’s nothing better than curling up with a real book. Book Soup has an assortment of art, music, history, nonfiction and fiction books that is sure to please more than one person on your list. Some fun gift-giving picks include an autographed copy of satirist David Sedaris’ “When You Are Engulfed In Flames” ($25.99); “Mad Men: The Illustrated World,” which includes Sally Draper’s cocktail menu, Pete and Trudy’s dancing lesions and bonus paper dolls of Joan – a definite must for the Mad Men fan in your life ($15); and Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing,” celebrating the 20th anniversary of the acclaimed film with behind-the-scenes photos and interviews ($39.95). Extra bonus: Spike Lee will present and sign copies of "Do The Right Thing" at Book Soup on Jan. 9 at 3 p.m. www.booksoup.com

 

In addition to a selection of stylish, celebrity-friendly frames, Dan Deutsch Optical Outlook also boasts a collection of customizable La Loop necklaces this holiday season. The necklaces, designed by Elizabeth Faraut, feature a loop that provides the recipient with a place to store their eyewear when not being used. It is a far more fashionable option than the librarian-style eyeglass chains of yore. As an added bonus, you can customize the necklaces to include gemstones or personalized engravings. Priced at $22 to $500, they are sure to fit every budget. www.dandeutschopticaloutlook.com
 

Photos (clockwise l-r): Tobi Tobin Chocolate Collection, Key Club Pass, “Standard Sounds Volume VI,” Envirosax, Indego Africa bracelets.
 

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