December's here! It's cold, "Feliz Navidad" is suddenly playing on every single radio station, and for some reason I smell allspice everywhere I go. If you're in the enormous majority of Americans who celebrate some holiday or another this month, you probably have some shopping to do. For the past couple decades we've published these hopefully helpful compilations of gift ideas from retailers around town, in the hopes of preventing just a little bit of shopping stress.

This year, we figured it might be more helpful if we told you about the places we find those gifts—the weird and wonderful places we visit in our annual rounds. (If you really like silly photos of our staff playing with borrowed stuff, we haven't forgotten you; a second, last-minute shopping guide comes out Dec. 15.) We picked a few of our favorite Portland shops to highlight here, from a dollar store to an ostentatious boutique or two, and organized them by neighborhood.

The whole package is wrapped up in a very Portland pattern designed for us by Julia Rothman (whose other gift-wrap designs can be purchased at Use it to wrap a small gift—we printed it on better-than-usual paper for the purpose. May I suggest something from Dollar Scholar?

—Ben Waterhouse


EDITOR: Ben Waterhouse


COPY EDITORS: Kat Merck, Sarah Smith

WRITERS: Craig Beebe, Ruth Brown, Kelly Clarke, Christina Cooke, Jonathan Frochtzwajg, Marianna Hane Wiles, Riley Hooper, AP Kryza, Caitlin McCarthy and Matt Singer

ART DIRECTOR: Carolyn Richardson


PHOTOGRAPHERS: Roger Bong, Cameron Browne, Taylor Schefstrom

AD DESIGNERS: Adam Krueger, Soma Honkanen, Dylan Serkin