When I moved to Merida in the old Jeep I learned one can not pull a U-haul across the border. At the border you will be scalped. So I left all my treasures in Texas at my cousin´s house for safe keeping. I never saw that stuff again but what I did discover was more important. In no time flat you can fill a house full of stuff. Then you can rent an apartment next door and fill that floor to ceiling with crap too if you are not very careful. After 20 years it seems there´s less stuff to buy and it cost more than it did when you were the only gringo on the block that wanted a 3 legged chair or headless saint.
Shopping for gifts and crafts might as well start on Paseo Montejo. Get an early start and have breakfast at Pan y Kof.fee or El Barrio. Casa T´ho has the best shops and a little cafe. The success of T´ho has attracted many other shops up and down the boulevard. You should also visit one of the Casa Gemelas and Palacio Canton the anthropology museum two of the great mansions on Montejo. There is good Fonart store in the Hotel San Angel.
Have lunch at Cafe Volta and the visit the shops at Carmesi on the corner of 62 and 53. Calle 55 is the place to browse and Coqui Coqui is the anchor. I love the shops that sell crafts from Chiapas along calle 62 going north from the zocalo. The ladies dress shops are nicer than the mens shirt shops but almost everyone should go home with a Jipijapa straw hat or two. There is a nice shop, Artisanias, on the corner of calle 55 & 60 with crafts from Yucatan and many other states of Mexico.
The Mercado Lucas de Galvez is full of fabulous junk and photo ops. You can buy nice handmade sandals in the market. Paseo 60 is a great place to have lunch or dinner if you are with a group as there is a food court with some of the best restaurants in town represented. On the second floor is a very good craft shop with some of the best hammocks I have seen outside a prison.