Portland Monthly's Golden Holiday Hits Gift Guide

Toys! Sweaters! Food and drink! Accessories! The classics are classics for good reason. Sometimes, they just need a fresh spin.

By Eden Dawn Photography by Nicolle Clemetson With Kristin Lane December 1, 2014 Published in the December 2014 issue of Portland Monthly

Toys for all Ages

1. Give the gift of many tools with Leatherman’s Skeletool, complete with knife, pliers, cutters, and a handy bottle opener/carabiner to fasten the device to your belt. $70 at the Leatherman Store 

2. Hood River’s Ron Klebba carves his wooden sailboats out of your choice of walnut or Douglas fir. With glowing finishes and handcrafted detail, the nostalgic 16-inch schooners appeal as much to your inner child as to your actual child. $85 at Cord 

3. The 2014 World Cup may be long gone, but our collective love affair with soccer is here to stay. Pick up a Portland Timbers soccer ball and endow your little prodigy with proper Rose City pride. $20 at the Far Post

4. Give the gift of balance with Lululemon’s Hot (Towel) Yoga Mat. The absorbent, microfiber pad means toes don’t slide around when the sweat starts pouring, and when you’re through, you can toss it straight in the washing machine. $58 at Lululemon

5. Entertain your pint-size construction crew for hours with the nearly-200-piece GoldieBlox and the Builder’s Survival Kit. The GoldieBlox line, lauded by everyone from Oprah to the New York Times, is designed to inspire a new generation of female engineers with toys that bolster confidence and spatial skills. $60 at Finnegan’s Toys and Gifts

6. Getting fit is fashionable with the Tory Burch for FitBit metal hinged bracelet. A decorative brass bauble hugs your FitBit Flex close, so you can stylishly track your activity, sleep, and burned calories. $195 at Tory Burch, FitBit Flex $100 at

Seasonal Sweaters That Transcend Tackiness

1. Bundle that baby in Hanna Andersson’s Snowy Sweden Sweater Romper for heart-stopping cuteness and allover warmth. $59 at Hannah Andersson

2. You can’t go more local than the Holmes cardigan from Imperial Stock Ranch. Made with wool from sheep raised outside the living ghost town of Shaniko, this beauty boldly portrays Oregon style. $798 at Mercantile

3. Madewell’s Uphill sweater puts a modern spin on professorial, adding the traditional suede patches to the shoulders for a stylish twist on an everyday pullover. $135 at Madewell 

4. Channel that inner snow bunny with Icebreaker’s Fair Isle Aura long-sleeve turtleneck. The supersoft merino wool hugs the body from neck to wrist, while the timeless print says, “I’m down with winter.” $200 at Icebreaker

5. As traditional as fruitcake, Pendleton’s Shetland Double Buffalo sweater features buffalo roaming over a Fair Isle pattern in the company’s signature wool. $129 at Pendleton

6. This year, get him something he’ll actually wear: Saturday’s colorblocked crew features a heather-gray body and black-blocked shoulders for a little something extra. $160 at Frances May 

7. Dehen is a true veteran. The company’s timeless Varsity sweater comes from the same vintage knitting machines they’ve been using since the 1940s. $295 at

Local Food + Drink for a Bit of Extra Holiday Cheer

1. A French-inspired classic from the crew behind Montavilla’s the Country Cat, this Broken Cleaver’s baker’s apron cotton-poly coverup is sewn by our very own Portland Garment Factory. $80 at

2. Everyone nice on your list deserves Quin’s new Chocolate & Mint Twizzlie Rolls. Chewy dark chocolate fuses with hints of salt and breezy peppermint for a heavenly twist on the candy cane. $12 at Quin 

3. Oregon Olive Mill’s buttery Frantoio olive oil—from olives grown and pressed at the company’s Red Ridge Farms in Dayton—is a champ in the kitchen, adding hints of artichoke, hazelnut, and pepper to just about anything. $19 at Made in Oregon

4. Oenophiles will fall hard for TriBella’s multistream wine aerator. The handy, drip-free device adds oxygen to your favorite bottles before sliding back into its custom case. $40 at

5. Those who came of age in the ’80s will revel in Ink Whiskey’s Nintendo-inspired flasks, made from old-school gaming cartridges with dorky-hilarious names like Drunk Hunt and Super Bar Hop Bros. $20 at

6. Brighten winter mornings with a lovely One/Two coffee set from Mingleware. Locally made, double-walled glazed ceramic mugs align perfectly with the pour-over topper, ensuring a flawless pair of cups every time. $88 at

7. Liven up some mineral water or create a master cocktail with Raft’s Trio set, including Hibiscus Lavender, Lemon Ginger, and Smoked Tea Vanilla. $29 at 

8. Portland woodworker Annie Beedy hand-carves these rustic walnut sushi sets, each one complete with a board, an adorable bowl, and chopsticks fit for a king (salmon). $145 at 

9. Big Bottom’s new Hillsboro-distilled spirit, Barlow Trail, named after the historical Mount Hood route, is a blend of three well-aged whiskeys with a bourbon base. The final product retains the spice of bourbon but offers a lighter, smoother finish. $30 at Big Bottom Whiskey

10. Satisfy both savory- and sweet-seekers with a Bunches & Bunches gift basket stuffed with Oaxacan smoked mole sauce, airy cloud cookies boasting crisp meringue and chewy macaroon, and spicy gingersnaps. $13–25 at New Seasons

Perfect Accessories for Everyone on Your List 

1. Rev the cute factor into overdrive with Lola and Stella’s adorable fox-print baby hat. The organic cotton cap comes in three sizes, from newborn to 12 months. $15 at

2. The latest addition to Betsy & Iya’s expanding bridge collection, the Steel Bridge cuff bracelet shows off love for Portland, architecture, and plain good taste. $77 at Betsy & Iya

3. Classic meets classy in Bowyer & Fletcher’s Archibald tie. Made from a lightweight wool crepe in a traditional tartan print, this above-all-trends tie will be in style forever. $100 at Bowyer & Fletcher 

4. From Frank Sinatra to Michael Jackson to Justin Timberlake, we know the coolest guys do fedoras. Bring out your dapper side with Bonnet’s wool Sterling fedora, keeping heads warm and style high. $73 at Bonnet

5. Sock It to Me’s over-the-knee beige cable socks are veritable sweaters for the legs, complete with a detailed, cable-knit pattern. $18 at

6. Poler’s cool new Wy’East Gloves are made from what they call Duffaluffagus hide (we call it leather) and lined with a water-resistant membrane tough enough to withstand daily use in our beloved winter climate. $89 at Poler

7. Heritage company Woolrich gets into the shoe game this season with cozy offerings like these Chatam Chill slippers, complete with buffalo plaid and cushy fleece lining. $59 at

8. Outfit your pup in a handsome leather collar from Filson, with tough-but-supple leather and brass hardware for a touch of bling. $38 at Filson 

9. Barrow’s modern Curve necklace is all about easy elegance, its porcelain base notched with grooves filled with gold overglaze. $85 at Amelia

10. Gussy up the furball in your life with Business Catual’s David Bowie cat bow tie. That’s right—kitties can be glam rockers, too. $10 at

More Ideas!

Giftable Reading List

  • Introduce the kiddos to the pixie creatures that live under the Fremont Bridge with Monsters Under Bridges: Pacific Northwest Edition by Rachel Roellke Coddington. $17 at Powell’s
  • The only thing cuter than a puppy? The 61 puppies shimmying in Portland photographer Carli Davidson’s new book, Puppy Shake. $18 at Powell’s
  • Just in time for the 30th anniversary of Born in the USA, local writer Ryan White gives the play by play in Springsteen: Album by Album. $28 at Powell’s 
  • Gear up for the Portland Art Museum’s February fashion exhibit with Italian Style: Fashion Since 1945. $40 at Portland Art Museum Gift Store

Choose a Charity

  • Urban Gleaners tackles food waste by redistributing excess to the Portlanders who need it most.
  • College Possible attacks the cycle of poverty by teaming up with the city’s low-income students. 
  • Operation Pitch Invasion unleashes the power of Timbers fans on unloved parks and soccer fields.
  • Zenger Farm cultivates healthy eaters and sustainable farmers at their 101-year-old urban farm.

Hot Tickets!

  • Out on tour promoting the psychedelic pop double album Pom Pom, Ariel Pink cruises into the Hawthorne Theater on February 9.
  • Take care of the holidays and Valentine’s Day with Motown crooner Smokey Robinson’s February 14 show at Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.  
  • Canadian composer Dan Snaith and his band Caribou bring dance-inducing tunes to the Wonder Ballroom on March 3.  
  • NPR contributor and snarky essayist David Sedaris charms with his signature wit on May 2 at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. 
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