Not Your Average Gifts: 8 Unique Holiday Shopping Spots in Boston

Yes, holiday season is about much more than presents. But, let’s be honest, the gift-giving tradition isn’t going anywhere quickly. Whether that makes you grin or groan, it’s the truth: loved ones expect something around the holidays (even if they won’t admit it).

Right away, some of you might cash it in. And at the last minute, you’ll end up buying your best friend whatever you can find at the nearest convenience store. Hope she enjoys her generic bath salts and five pack of gum.

But, if your plan is to win the holidays by bringing the best loot, each gift will require some genuine thought. (Money, too, but you can worry about your wallet in the new year.) Luckily, Boston is a haven for small businesses where you can bypass the gifts that people could get ‘anywhere’ and find something truly special at one of Boston’s unique shops. 

Room 68

Where: 1323 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215

What: Locknester Dogs

Now you can give your kids a puppy … sort of. It's really a three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle that looks like a dog. Cruel joke? Maybe. But these Locknester Dogs are cute, too, and fun. So your family gets a toy and a ‘dog’ all in one. And you're likely to find additional gifts at Room 68, from stocking stuffers to art, so it will be a fruitful trip no matter what you choose. 

Olives & Grace

Where: 623 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02118

What: Greeting Cards 

You’re probably thinking there’s nothing unique about cards. But that’s just because you haven’t seen the ones at Olives & Grace. Besides, unless you’re really strapped for cash (in which case, the lone card becomes even more important), the one you choose is probably just a compliment to a Gift Box or Botanical Soap Set. And these punny holiday cards will surely set your present apart from the others!

Bostonian Barber Shop

Where: 92 Van Ness Street, Boston, MA 02215

What: Beard Oil

A man with a big beard deserves a (small) batch of beard oil. And, since Bostonian Barber Shop specializes in all types of beards, they are naturally the authority on handmade, hand poured beard oil. And they’d be the first to tell you, your boyfriend isn’t so hard to shop for, after all.

On Centre

Where: 676 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

What: Clever Mugs

Be honest, you were probably going to default to coffee mugs for your parents anyway. This way, they will at least be very clever coffee mugs. There are options for the music fanatic and the parent that prefers alcohol, amongst others. Whichever you choose, it will make for a more enjoyable morning jolt. 

Craft Beer Cellar & King’s Row Coffee

Where: CBC: 98 Van Ness Street, Boston, MA 02215; KRC: 401 Park Drive, Boston, MA 02215

What: Samplers

Whether the gift getter’s vice is coffee or beer (or both), sampler packs at these two establishments are always the right choice. And you can find them within a few blocks of each other, so maybe you can get both and win the day. Because people don’t just like coffee and beer at the holidays, they need it.

Uncommon Yarn

Where: 1386a Beacon Street

What: Colorful Yarn, obviously.

No surprises here, at the yarn store, we recommend you buy yarn. If you know a knitting or crocheting fanatic, then you can’t go wrong in this shop. Not only will they be thrilled with your thoughtful gift, but they might also make you a sweater. Win-win. 

Tasty Burger

Where: 1301 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215

What: Baby Onesie

Someone you know is pregnant? Your nephew was just born? They probably don’t need more baby clothes, unless it’s a onesie with your favorite burger joint’s logo on it. Everyone needs that. Bonus: You get to eat while also being thoughtful. 

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