Christmas is less than two weeks away.

If you’re like me, you don’t have a personal assistant, are on a budget and have more than a handful of gifts left to buy.

I’m here to help. I spent the last few weeks combing through stores in Lewiston, Clarkston and on the Palouse, finding presents for $25 or less at more than 15 independently owned stores. Many are made by local artisans.

Keep in mind these are examples. Even though I stopped at lots of places, there were many I didn’t get a chance to visit. Consider this list inspiration and encouragement to explore stores you haven’t shopped previously.

Find them here, organized alphabetically by store name.

A & B Family Foods

456 Thain Road and 1234 Eighth St. in Lewiston

Spiral Rock at the summit of the Lewiston Hill has been fine-tuning its kombucha for a number of years. A & B sells it in flavors such as raspberry pineapple and ginger lime for $7.39 for 32 ounces.

Ampersand Oil & Vinegar Tap House

609 Main St., Lewiston, and 519 S. Main St., Moscow

This north central Idaho store is selling two of its most popular items together for the holidays, caramelized garlic naturally infused extra virgin olive oil and dark balsamic for $19. The balsamic is from Modena, Italy, and barrel-aged for 10 years.

Blue Lantern Coffee House

326 Main St., Lewiston

Yes, Blue Lantern is a laid-back place to grab coffee with friends or conduct a business meeting. But the business also has a carefully curated selection of jewelry, art and gourmet food from local producers. Someone on my list is getting a quart of raw blackberry honey from Waller Apiary in Clarkston ($16). He’ll add it to tea, slather it on biscuits or even eat it straight to soothe a sore throat.

BookPeople of Moscow

521 Main St., Moscow

Mister Rogers’ Bath Soap

BookPeople has a variety of gifts besides books, including the very affordable and nostalgic Mister Rogers’ bath soap ($3.50) and “Encouragemints” ($2.99). These are two of my most favorite stocking stuffers ever.


814 Main St., Lewiston

Catkin carries multiple colors of Hanky Panky lace thongs in two styles, low rise and original, for $22. One size fits most women. The underwear is comfortable and designed not to show, even if you’re wearing a form-fitting garment like tight jeans, said Catkin’s owner, Elizabeth Coleman.

DZ Designs

821 Main St., Lewiston

Sure, it would be fun to buy all your favorite family members and friends all-expense-paid trips to Paris, Costa Rica or even somewhere close like Walla Walla. Since that’s not possible for most of us, consider helping them savor the adventures they’ve had with the “Everywhere You Go” journal ($21.25). Its prompts take some of the stress out of writing entries.

The Diamond Shop

700 Main St., Lewiston

Few feelings are better than dry, warm feet, especially in the winter. A product line at The Diamond Shop makes it possible to give that experience. The store has several styles of socks for less than $25 in numerous colors from a brand called World’s Softest, which describes wearing its socks “like walking on clouds.”

Eclips Salon and Spa

821 Sixth St., Clarkston

The first time I smelled The Potted Plant’s Hemp Herbal Blossom body wash ($15 for 16.5 ounces), it reminded me of a scented hair mist I purchased in Athens on a storybook trip to Greece. This Christmas, I gave it to myself as an early present. At least one of my family members will find it under the tree, along with another kind from the same brand, Hemp Vanilla Chai, that has an equally captivating fragrance and is sold at the same price.

Erb’s Ace Hardware

141 Thain Road, Lewiston

My adult daughter played with Melissa & Doug wooden toys and I’m happy to see they are still a staple at a number of stores. The sturdy, reasonably priced toys encourage children to develop creativity and interact with others away from electronic screens.

Erb’s Ace Hardware has a good selection, with many priced at less than $25. One set of 15 included a school bus, fire truck, taxi cab and traffic signs. I imagined the pieces spread out on a living room floor with siblings, parents, cousins and grandparents joining the youngest members of the family in the fun on Christmas Day, enjoying the activity so much the set would be brought out again and again.

Essential Art Gallery & Fine Gifts

203 S. Main St., Moscow

This retailer carries works of art from more than 100 artists in the United States and Canada. Many are less than $25 and serve practical purposes. I especially liked the glass ring bowls ($23) in blues, greens, pinks and purples made by David Smith, of Ballard, Wash. They were beautiful enough that if one was given to a high school girl, she might keep it through college as a small reminder of her teenage years and even pass it on to one of her own daughters.

Hodgins Drug and Hobby

307 Main St., Moscow

A few years ago, my daughter and I began an unofficial tradition of putting together puzzles during her Christmas break, sometimes staying up well past midnight. Our favorites are of places we have traveled or hope to visit.

What we started has turned into a hobby. My husband frequently gives me puzzles. Tables in our living room and kitchen have become places where I work puzzles year-round.

Hodgins Drug and Hobby has one of the most comprehensive selections in the region that I have found. The store has puzzles for $25 or less from brands such as the New York Puzzle Co. that feature covers from iconic magazines, like the New Yorker and Sunset.

Idaho Memories Gift & Souvenir Shop

Newberry Square, 800 Main St., Lewiston

Don’t write off Gold Dredger Dried Goods soup mixes ($5.75) even if you dislike lentils. I made the Idaho Farmed Lentil Potato Soup for a group of five adults who have a wide range of food preferences, putting my own spin on the healthy base with celery, carrots and turkey sausage. The preparation was super simple, basically adding liquid, bringing everything to a boil and allowing it to simmer. We all loved it and there were plenty of leftovers, even though most of us had seconds.

It’s among six varieties of one of the most local culinary products I’ve found that’s from north central Idaho.

The dried legumes are from Pacific Northwest Farmers Cooperative in Genesee. Vikky Ross, the owner of Idaho Memories Gift & Souvenir Shop, assembles the mixes with her mom and one of her granddaughters.

Nez Perce Traditions

Newberry Square, 800 Main St., Lewiston

Floral Medicine is a line made with natural ingredients sold at Nez Perce Traditions. It’s made by Kim Pate, of Lenore, a descendant of the eastern band of the Cherokee and the Mississippi Choctaw.

It includes lip balm ($5), eye repair ($8), foot rub ($10) and hand salve ($8). I picked up the eye repair for myself. I have never seen eye cream for such a reasonable price, especially one made with natural ingredients. It’s too soon for before and after pictures, but so far I like the results of the gentle, hydrating formula with a mild smell.

Palouse Games

141 N. Grand Ave., Pullman

Finding the sweet spot with games can be tricky. If a game is too easy, players will get bored and find excuses to do something else. If the instructions are too complicated, would-be participants fade even before a decision is made about who goes first.

Palouse Games keeps about 40 games in stock that all cost $25 or less, chosen because they are challenging enough to be fun, but not so difficult they feel like taking an exam. Among them are Codenames, a word-guessing game introduced in 2015.

Patt’s Garden Center

1280 Port Drive, Clarkston

Time-strapped shoppers can buy their Christmas trees and pick up affordable presents at this Clarkston retailer.

The store’s gourmet food section carries more than 10 Papa Rays Marketplace scone, biscuit and pancake mixes for $10 in flavors such as jalapeno cheddar and southern butter pecan.

Wasem’s Pharmacy

800 Sixth St., Clarkston

The shelves at Wasem’s still have plenty of giftable Christmas decor. Plush mooses decked out in holiday- and snow-themed attire have been customer favorites and many are $25 or less, according to Wasem’s staff.

Williams is the Tribune's Business editor. She may be contacted at or (208) 848-2261.