Shopping for Christmas gifts notoriously gets put off until the last minute for a variety of reasons. Cost is always something to consider, and shopping (even online) takes up a decent amount of time.

One of the biggest reasons is having trouble finding that perfect gift — that unique item that makes the recipient feel special. In downtown Kankakee, shoppers can find unique items for everyone on their list, all in just 800 feet of walking distance.

Starting at Merchant Street Artist Gallery for Artists, 356 E. Merchant St., shoppers will find a gift shop full of one-of-a-kind items to help knock out Christmas shopping.

The variety of pieces include puzzles, ornaments, jewelry and much more. Select artist pieces that are displayed in the gallery are also an option for purchase.

“All of our gifts are handmade,” said the gallery’s director Janice Miller.

In addition to the gift items, artists at the gallery also have created designs for Christmas cards, which have been a top-selling item this season. Miller has added additional hours for last-minute shopping and will be open from noon to 4 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21, and Tuesday, Dec. 22. Appointments for shopping outside of those hours can be made by calling 815-685-9057.

Going from Merchant Street toward Festival Square are two more shops to find unique gifts — both right on Schuyler.

Moon Cookie Gallery offers a variety of handmade items and works from local and regional artists. From candles to hand soaps to paintings and more, Moon Cookie is as quirky and sweet as its name and can be found at 187 S. Schuyler Ave.

A few doors down from Moon Cookie is C&L Fine Goods Boutique, a clothing store featuring both new and used items for men and women. In addition to clothes, C&L has a wide selection of accessories, including handbags, jewelry, shoes and embellished headbands. Select items even have an extra dash of creativity, making them truly one of a kind.

“My husband and I hand-painted multiple items,” said owner Leondra Williams about the Workshop Collection created by her and her husband, Courtney.

In addition to having hand-painted, unique denim dresses to feature during the summer, they also have different units of the collection including jeans, shirts and skirt sets. The store is located at 155 S. Schuyler Ave.