A guide to holiday gift-buying in Phoenix

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Frances Vintage, on Central Avenue and Camelback Road, currently sells holiday items alongside its home products, paper goods, books and accessories. (Evie Carpenter/DD)

Holiday shopping is a daunting task that even the bravest of shoppers tend to wrestle with.

But never fear! Phoenix is home to some of the most amazing boutiques sure to provide a plethora of choices for all the lovely people on your list, within all budgets. Many of the boutiques are only a light-rail ride away and by shoppping locally, you’re helping Arizona, too. You’ll practically be Santa Claus.

Butter Toast
Address: 908 N. Sixth Street
Light rail stop: Central and Roosevelt

Butter Toast is a vintage boutique with fashions for both men and women. The best part of Butter Toast is its affordability. Most pieces range between $15 to $30. Your loved ones are sure to look hip in the clothes or accessories you buy.

Take this high-waisted pastel plaid skirt, for example. It is great for going to work or a barbecue. The skirt’s versatility allows it to be worn in any season, and its timeless attributes ensure its will stay in her closet for a long time.

“But there’s no way I could afford such a beautiful item,” you say. Au contraire, my friend: This skirt is only $18.

Smeeks
Address: 14 W. Camelback Road
Light rail stop: Central and Camelback

Smeeks is a “sweet little shop for sweet little folks.” Filled with all sorts of treats from gumballs to wax-bottle candy, candy cigarettes, lollipops and saltwater taffy, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your taste buds — or your friends’ taste buds. Smeeks also has many delicious specialty sodas — and who doesn’t love a tasty beverage?

While you’re there, don’t forget to take a couple of pictures in the old-fashioned photo booth.

Bunky Boutique
Address: 1437 N. First Street
Light rail stop: Central and McDowell

Although Bunky Boutique may be a little pricier than the aforementioned shops, it is worth the extra cost. Bunky Boutique carries brands such as Out of Print, Spindle and Canister, Hippy Tree, Amy Kathryn and Bobi. This Birds on a Wire necklace ($68) would make the perfect gift for any lovely lady in your life — girlfriend, best friend, mom or sister. It’s delicate yet bold enough to make a statement.

In addition, Bunky Boutique is right next to Giant Coffee, so you can buy gift cards or take a quick shopping break and get yourself a honey vanilla latte.

Frances Vintage
Address: 10 W. Camelback Road
Light rail stop: Camelback and Central

Frances Vintage sells a vast mix of items, including new and vintage clothes for men, women and children, as well as home products, paper goods, books and accessories. You could almost buy something for everyone on your list at this one shop alone. They even carry Toms, so you can join the “One for One” movement without even having to pay shipping. Perhaps the greatest things you can find at Frances are paper goods — you’re guaranteed to find incredible cards to give with all your gifts.

Stinkweeds
Address: 12 W. Camelback Road
Light rail stop: Camelback and Central

Stinkweeds is an independent music store that carries CDs and vinyl LPs from genres ranging from indie-rock to blues and reggae, including some local bands. You can also purchase band shirts and concert tickets. Located between Frances and Smeeks, Stinkweeds is a one-stop music shop, and for the music lovers in your life, it is the place to go. I recommend Atlas Sound’s album “Parallax” ($14).

Contact the reporter at kendra.worsnup@asu.edu

Correction: December 8, 2011

An earlier version of this article stated the address for the boutique shop Butter Toast as 718 N. Fourth Street. The correct address is 908 N. Sixth Street.

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