By: Zoe Bernardi, Community Editor

As the holiday season approaches, the sudden urgency rushes to everyone wondering the same thing, “What am I going to gift?” This question is repeating, occurring year after year and for everyone on our list. One of the best parts of the holiday season is gift giving. Having those gift exchanges with a big group of friends, giving your sister the necklace she keeps talking about, the overall joy the season brings.

It is also so stressful trying to keep within your budget, making sure it’s unique and perfect for the person. Portland is full of small shops, boutiques and store, all able to fulfill the needs for everyone on your list. This article will break down what shop to go to and exactly what they offer and where. Rather than scrolling through Amazon, hop on the husky line and walk into Portland. You will find exactly what you need.

Here are 12 shops to make your holiday season easier:

1. Coast City Comics (643 Congress St) This comic book store not only has a large collection of comics and graphic novels, it also has a lot of t-shirts. The shirts range from having the store logo on them to other comic book characters. Support a local store and get a Coast City logo tee.

2. Found (142 High St) This vintage thrift shop offers old costume jewelry, fun sunglasses and other accessories. This is perfect for the friend who wears a lot of jewelry or needs one more pair of sunglasses to their collection.

3. Yes Books (589 Congress St) This little shop is a used book store, a cool idea for someone who is a book worm and has already read everything in the library. Pick out a few old books that they can read over this holiday break.

4. Strange Maine (578 Congress St) If your Secret Santa is into vinyls, antiques or old books and objects, head to Strange Maine. This little antique shop is filled with a variety of things that no one else will have.

5. The Sock Shack (564 Congress St) Socks are the perfect way to add a little something to a gift. Or a fun way to give a unique gift. The Sock Shack has socks for everyone, and it is fun to pick out the best design for your giftee.

6. Find (16 Free St) This is the perfect spot to pick up lightly used clothing. You can find brand names like Patagonia, J Crew, Banana Republic, Urban Outfitters and much more. Plus, everything is at a fraction of the cost. It’s better on your wallet and better for the environment. Just make sure you leave time to shop for yourself.

7. Pinecone & Chickadee (6 Free St) Just next door to Find you will come across a cute little boutique. In this shop you can find home goods, local art, prints, handmade jewelry and clothing. For the friend who likes funky stickers and cool artwork this is definitely a place you should go.

8. Crystal Joys (191 Middle St) For the person who loves crystals, astrology and more, this shop is the one stop for you. You can pick up home goods, jewelry and much more.

9. Folly 101 (101 Exchange St) If you are shopping for a homeowner, head over to Folly 101. They have a cute selection of holiday decor and ornaments. This shop has a lot of home goods, kitchen goodies and things to spice up the home.

10. Lisa-Marie Made in Maine (35 Exchange St) This little shop has jewelry, scarves, body care and other bath goods. Everything is local and made in Maine. If you are an out of state student it would be nice to gift something from Maine to your giftee. A little piece of your new home to someone back home.

11. Se Vende Imports (4 Exchange St) I personally love this store. It’s small with a little red awning and filled with a mix of local and imported jewelry. They also have things for every price range: small studs, large hoops and an assortment of rings and bracelets. If you are looking for something handmade or simple and dainty, they have it all.

12. Mexicali Blues (10 Moulton St) Of course I couldn’t not add Mexicali Blues to this list. This is a perfect place to get jewelry, incense, headbands, stickers, posters, calendars, hats and anything Grateful Dead related. No matter who you are buying for, you can pick something up here and even use your student ID for a discount.

Although ‘tis the season for giving, it doesn’t have to be in gift form. I also enjoy experiences as gifts such as a planned lunch out, or making a meal together with someone. You can host a holiday party or potluck, plus you can find the perfect playlist in this issue as well. You don’t need to spend money either; making homemade holiday cards or volunteering is also a good way to give back.

Whatever you decide to do this holiday season, make sure you are surrounded by loved ones and friends. Happy Holidays.


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