More Holiday Shopping in Cambridge
Malls and shopping complexes often have just what you’re looking for when it comes to holiday shopping, but sometimes there are people on your list who could use something a little more unique.
Shopping local is not only fun with family and friends, it also supports the local economy and builds community. Score your loved one a unique treasure that can’t be found anywhere else. Here are some of my favorite local shops to find just the thing.
Holiday Shopping in Cambridge: Abodeon
Looking for a gift for your friend with a taste for vintage décor? As a home decorating nut and a lover of all things vintage, Abodeon is my heaven. Abodeon is the two-time recipient of a Best of Boston Award by Boston Magazine, as well as a Boston’s Best Award by The Improper Bostonian.
Somewhat of a cross between Ikea and the coolest antique shop in town, Abodeon specializes in anything modern, bringing together pieces from the present day as well as from decades past. Their website explains that new items “are chosen for the design, function and quality” while vintage pieces are “meticulously cleaned and professionally restored when required.”
It’s easy to get lost in the possibilities when exploring Abodeon, especially as someone who is in the process of decorating their first apartment. Give your loved one a housewarming gift that is also a practical, sleek conversation piece.
Holiday Shopping in Cambridge: Stereo Jack’s
Stereo Jack’s is one of the only stores that has the perfect gift for your siblings and your parents. Records, as you may have noticed, are no longer a thing of the past. My own collection spans from Billie Holiday to modern French trip-hop, where my mom’s is mostly my first love: classic rock.
Established in 1982, Stereo Jack’s has a selection that runs the gamut. New inventory is added every day to their thousands of CDs and records. Stereo Jack’s even sells wooden shelves for your collection, so you don’t have to worry about running out of room.
One of my favorite things about Stereo Jack’s is its authenticity and laid-back attitude. Anything but flashy and hip, Stereo Jack’s feels like stepping into a time machine. A big part of shopping or browsing here is the experience, and I wouldn’t buy my vintage records anywhere else.
Stereo Jack’s is located at 1686 Massachusetts Avenue, only a short walk from Porter Square.
Holiday Shopping in Cambridge: Tokai
Tokai Japanese Gifts opened in the Porter Exchange Building (now Lesley University) in 1989 is where I go when I need to look at pretty things and unwind.
You wouldn’t believe how much can fit in this tiny little boutique: calendars, decorative papers, soap, authentic kimonos, figurines, dishware, toys, and much more.
On top of being filled with inspiring crafts and lovely gifts, Tokai has the most wonderful atmosphere. The people who work there are always welcoming and kind, the music is soothing, and the other customers are just as stress-free as you are.
Tokai is the perfect place to go for your introverted friend who wants to stay in with a cup of tea and some origami papers. Tokai is located at 1815 Massachusetts Avenue, temptingly close to Porter Square and Bourbon Coffee (yum).
Holiday Shopping in Cambridge: Cambridge Antique Market
Finally, my favorite on the list. Often times, antique shops are what some people describe as “hit or miss.” It is close to impossible to leave five floors of the Cambridge Antique Market empty handed when there are
over 150 dealer spaces to explore.
The Antique Market has great prices on furniture, artwork, china, toys, books, jewelry, collectibles, clothing, and so, so much more. Some of my favorite finds include vintage typewriters and John F. Kennedy presidential campaign bumper stickers.
One of the best things about the Cambridge Antique Market is that visitors have nothing to lose. Even if you do manage to leave empty handed, the experience is such an adventure through older and more recent history that it is worth spending a few hours anyway.
Take this holiday season as an opportunity to explore this wonderful city and all that it has to offer. Some of my favorite gifts have been the ones that could not have been found online or in the mall, so make a change from the usual commercialism of the holidays and support local businesses.