Now that you've bagged up Thanksgiving leftovers and digested your tofurkey, it's time to dive into the holiday spirit, Portland-style.

This Friday, Nov. 23, downtown Portland will look much merrier and brighter, thanks to the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Beginning at 5:30pm in Pioneer Courthouse Square, city officials will illuminate the 75-foot-tall Doug fir with 14,000 lights. (Just be glad you didn't have to untangle them!) Also at the ceremony, test your memory of holiday songs (or make up your own words—no one will mind) at the city's largest sing-along.

From now until Dec. 24, spend your dollars close to home to invest in Portland's economy—and the perfect place to find locally made gifts, the PDX Pop-Up Shops. For the ninth year in a row, PDX-based designers and artists will set up in vacant retail spaces to provide holiday shoppers with uniquely Portland presents. The Pop-Up Shops, which are located on the second floor of the Pioneer Place Mall, in Director Park and at 803 SW Morrison, have something for everyone on your list: A hand-knit hat from BlackSheepMade for your mom, an edgy t-shirt for your nephew from the streetwear brand dfrntpigeon, and a cheerful piece of art from City Pop for, well, yourself. (Why not? You deserve it.) These and other PDX PopUp Shops don't usually have permanent storefronts, so the holiday season is a unique chance to shop in person.

While you're in downtown Portland, make sure to put in a good word with Santa. He'll be listening to wish lists at Pioneer Place until Dec. 24; he'll even take an Insta-ready photo with your pet on Mondays from Nov. 19 through Dec. 17. And Hipster Santa is back again this year—hit him up for ironic cat t-shirts and beard conditioner on Thursdays. Don't tell any young believers, but there will be a second Santa in residence at Nordstrom Nov. 23 through 25 and 30, as well as Dec. 1 – 2, 7 – 9, and 14 – 24th.

No matter your behavior track record, you'll find much more than coal this year when you visit downtown Portland!

For more information on downtown events and happenings this season, please visit

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