Looking To Shop Local for Last-Minute Holiday Gifts? 12 Stores To Know

When it comes to holiday gifting, there are many compelling reasons to shop locally. Small businesses are a vital part of their community. They understand the people they serve in a way no national chain ever could. And they’re often among the first to lend a helping hand when neighbors are in need.

Doing your holiday shopping with local businesses is a way to show your gratitude for all they add to your community year-round.

And when you’ve waited until mid-December to shop, buying in person reduces stress. No need to worry about shipping delays when you can leave the store with your items in hand.

Fortunately for those of us in and around Boston, there are dozens of outstanding small businesses worthy of our support.

Whether you’re looking for home goods, specialty foods, books, or even children’s toys, we have a suggestion for you.

Custom Made Design Elements

If you have a design-focused friend or family member in your life, stop by these shops for unique and beautiful items.

Nesting, Concord Center

This store’s name conjures images of a cozy, inviting space — and its curated collection of goods for your home and garden delivers!

Whether you’re looking for vintage cordial glasses to gift your sister who loves a Grandmillennial aesthetic or some calming incense and crystals for your friend from yoga class, you’ll find it at Nesting.

Elena Boiardi Studio (various)

We love it when an artist flips a traditional idea on its head. Ceramicist Elena Boiardi has reimagined shagreen — a decorative material with a rough surface, traditionally made from shark skin — as a pottery technique.

In her completely original pieces, Boiardi hand paints tiny dots onto decorative trays, coasters, pitchers, and more. She even makes jewelry with ceramic shagreen charms.

Her work is sold at several local shops; you can find her at Elizabeth Home in Boston or WM Cole in Stonington, Connecticut, or online at M. Flynn or Gates & Co.

Shake The Tree, North End

A North End staple for over two decades, Shake the Tree offers an array of home design elements and clothing. 

The store’s vibe changes seasonally. It brims with coastal decor and ultra-bright colors in the summer. As the weather cools, the shelves fill with cozy knits, pumpkin spice candles, and kitchen essentials for holiday cooking.

The selection is so well-curated that you just may find yourself leaving with one gift for a loved one and two for yourself!

Acquire Good, Hingham

Acquire Good is a South Shore destination for modern and coastal home essentials and decor. Whatever you’re seeking, you’re likely to find it here.

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We especially love their collection of drinkware and accouterments for the bar. Grab some octopus old fashioned glasses, marble coasters, and a set of marine-themed tea towels for the budding mixologist in your life!

Goodlinens Studio, Gloucester

If you’re on the other shore of Massachusetts, visit Goodlinens Studio and get lost for hours in its collection of modern, minimalist home goods and personal care products.

Select a lobster pot and set of simple wooden vegetable brushes for your cousin who loves to cook, then grab a whimsical animal clock for his son.

And while you’re at it, pick up some nail brushes for parents — the gardener’s variety for your mom and her green thumbs, the craftsman version for your dad, who enjoys tinkering in the garage. 

Food and Drink

The holidays are a time to gather your loved ones for a good meal. And for the gourmand in your life, you may wish to gift them some specialty items to savor at home.

Here are some local shops to peruse if you’re seeking the ideal foodie present.

The Urban Grape, South End

The Urban Grape uses a proprietary system to help you find the perfect bottle to suit any palate. Its Progressive Scale allows you to shop for wines by body, weight, and acid level.

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If you know your oenophile in-laws love a bold Italian red and want to get them something they haven’t tried, you can head to the correct area of the store and pick out a varietal with all the qualities they enjoy.

Salumeria Italiana, North End

If you’re looking for the finest, freshest Italian delicacies, why would you head anywhere other than the North End?

Salumeria Italiana has everything an Italophile could want. You may pick up a variety of cured meats and cheeses for your friend from book club who’s passionate about cheese boards. Or grab some artisanal pasta and homemade sauce to enjoy at home before heading to your company holiday party.

American Provisions, South Boston and Dorchester

American Provisions offers a smartly curated selection of food, wine, spirits, and beer. You’ll surely find something to delight the tastebuds of any food-lover in your life.

American Provisions can create a charcuterie board that will be the talk of your holiday gathering. Image source

And if you’re looking for assistance with your holiday meal, American Provisions offers catering that includes meat and cheese plates for your hors d’oeuvres hour or dessert trays brimming with fresh baked goods, fruits, and nuts.

Books, Stationery, and Other Gifts

We all have at least one hard-to-shop-for person on our list. If you’re seeking a unique, indulgent, or surprising gift, look no further than these stores.

Black Owned Bos., South End

What do you get for the loved one who has everything? Black Owned Bos. features an exciting range of products created by some of Boston’s top Black entrepreneurs.

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Pick out a curated gift box filled with locally crafted goodies they won’t already own. Whether your friend is a self-care maven, the queen of candles and incense, or a lover of gourmet treats, there is something here for her.

Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner, Brookline

For your literary loved ones, there is often no gift more treasured than a thoughtfully selected book. Brookline Booksmith has titles that will delight any reader in your circle, and the store shelves are adorned with staff picks to help guide your search.

If you have others on your list who are less enthusiastic about reading, Brookline Booksmith also has a wide selection of gifts and housewares — they were even named Boston Magazine’s Best Gift Shop for 2022.

The Paper Mouse, West Newton

A beautiful notebook, elegant pen, or whimsical office supplies can be wonderful gifts for your work-from-home family and friends.

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The Paper Mouse has it all. They even have gifts for the calligrapher in your life, with brushes, nibs, and ink bottles in a rainbow of colors.

Rock Paper Scissors Toy Store, Duxbury

For the little ones on your list, stop by Rock Paper Scissors in Duxbury. The store has something for children of every age and area of interest.

And if you’re buying for a niece, nephew, or child’s friend and don’t know much about what’s age-appropriate or popular these days, the knowledgeable staff is happy to point you in the right direction!

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The Boston area is filled with many talented local business owners, makers, and artisans. We’re certain these shops offer gifts that will delight even the most discerning recipient on your list.