Your friends aren’t like other friends, and therefore the usual style of gift giving (bottles of wine, socks, tins of popcorn) won’t work. That’s why we’ve put together a great list of great places where you’ll find gifts that are just as weird and unusual as the company you keep.
Made in Milwaukie
Okay, one of my favorite Portland shops isn’t exactly in Portland—it’s in Milwaukie, which is just a two-minute skootch over the Southeast city line. It’s Made in Milwaukie, a former video/DVD shop that sells local art, buttons, hats, doodads, and the funniest, coolest T-shirts I’ve seen in ages… all championing Milwaukie and stuff in its vicinity. Expertly designed, these shirts feature old-school renderings of Milwaukie Bowl, local mini-marts, chopper shops, Oaks Park skating rink, Blazers stuff, and my personal fave, a parody of those Southern California tourism tees that’s singing the praises of “Unincorporated Clackamas County.” These are witty, well-made, and a must for any Milwaukie lover (like ME) on your gift-giving list. (2026 SE Monroe, Milwaukie) WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
Andy & Bax
Everyone loves Next Adventure for its colorful raincoats and very cool water bottles—but have you been introduced to its old paranoid uncle who lives in a booby-trapped cabin and hasn’t bought a new pair of wool socks since the ’70s? Meet Andy & Bax, the army surplus store that carries both high-quality wilderness adventure gear and an extensive selection of gas masks and parachutes. Pick up a new water filtration system, camp stove, sleeping bag, or knit hat for your adventurous friends—and maybe a communist-era Russian hat and survival guidebook for your own old paranoid uncle. (324 SE Grand) ALEX ZIELINSKI
Kinokuniya, the Japanese-based retailer that recently took over the long-vacant Guild Theatre space, offers a carefully curated selection of books guaranteed to enthrall lovers of art, design, and adorable animals. Upstairs, you’ll find an entire loft dedicated to imported anime and video game art books and manga. Elsewhere, stationery supplies, Studio Ghibli gear, toys, games, and delightful Nanoblock kits make for ideal stocking stuffers. Once you’ve picked out a unique gift for everyone on your list, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy some sweets and authentic Japanese tea from the Book of Tea Café that’s tucked away in the back of the store. (829 SW 9th) CHIPP TERWILLIGER