Shopping local for holiday gifts is a great way to sustain small businesses and find unusual items that don’t appear at the typical mall. Whether you’re shopping for a board-gaming biker or a sharp-dressing anarchist, here are some specialty gift items you can find right here in JP this season:
Table-top and board games are back in fashion, with a sometime bewildering variety of new products available. JP Comics & Games stocks co-owner Paul Bryant suggests two games for Gazette readers.
The card game “Sushi Go!,” $11.99, is a good choice for kids 12 and under, Bryant said.
“It plays fast with a lot of people without slowing down. The art is wonderful, cute and clean,” he said.
For older gamers, Bryant suggests “Aliens Legacy Encounters,” $59.99, a board game adaptation of the “Alien” sci-fi/horror movies.
“It lets you play out all four movies. Mechanically, the game play is really sound and has a lot of variation,” he said. But fair warning: like the movies, it gets gory at times.
Where to buy: JP Comics & Games, 603 Centre St. in central JP, 617-553-4247, jpcomicsandgames.com.
Perhaps you have a male friend with a marvelous beard to maintain—or who needs subtle hint about doing so. Either way, for dapper gentlemen, Tatiana Tejedo, co-owner of Caramelo Clothing Co., suggests a “Gentlemen’s Kit” by Brooklyn Grooming.
The $40 kit includes beard oil, shave oil, a facial serum and aftershave. The products are all well-scented, Tejedo said.
Where to buy: Caramelo Clothing Co., 606 Centre St. in central JP, 617-942-8127, carameloclothing.com.
For guys who like to keep casual even while dressing up, Centre Fashion has a wide selection of guayabera shirts.
Guayaberas are dress shirts meant to be worn untucked and without a jacket. This traditional Caribbean garment is usually made of linen, with very fine pleats or embroidery and four front pockets.They come in long- and short-sleeve varieties.
Centre Fashion has guayaberas in sizes Small through 4X (in some styles) for $40 to $45.
Where to buy: Centre Fashion, 362 Centre St. in Hyde Square, 617-522-0005.
For motorcycle enthusiasts, Milwaukee Iron Cycle Works offers everything from mechanical parts to helmets and leather jackets—with the Harley-Davidson brand being the house specialty.
Owner Rick Stevenson suggests a practical gift: a battery tender, available for $50.
“It takes care of the battery while no one is using the bike,” he explained. That can be especially useful for motorcyclists who put the bike in storage during the winter months.
Where to buy: Milwaukee Iron Cycle Works, 3508 Washington St. in Stonybrook, 617-524-5452, milwaukeeironcycle.com.
For the politically leftist or outright radical, the Lucy Parsons Center offers a huge selection of new and used books, magazines, newspapers and more.
A center volunteer, who declined to give his name, suggested an “Organizational Calendar” that includes important dates in social justice as well as reference materials that are “of general interest to the left-wing, non-traditional crowd.”
Where to buy: The Lucy Parsons Center, 358A Centre St. in Hyde Square, 617-522-6098, lucyparsons.org.