Best of Boston

BEST Gifts

2009 BEST Gifts, North

Peabody Essex Museum

Salem

Even if the proceeds didn’t benefit Asian-art mecca the Peabody Essex Museum, we’d still spend like drunken Qing-dynasty mandarins here. There are all-occasion gifts like Mariposa salad bowls alongside Far East-inspired finds both reverent (addictively collectible netsukes) and less so… read more»

2009 BEST Gifts, South

La Petite Maison

Hingham

A baby boutique, home décor haven, and antiques shop rolled into one and tied with a fetching French bow, La Petite Maison spans gift-giving needs with élan. Highlights include luxury linens from Lulu DK by Matouk, Luckson crib toys, and… read more»

2009 BEST Gifts

Abodeon

Cambridge

A tightly focused inventory is all well and good for precision shoppers. For hapless procrastinators—the other 99 percent of us—less focus and more serendipity goes a long way, especially when we’re floundering about for a special-occasion gift. Among Abodeon’s inspired… read more»

2009 BEST Gifts, West

Trove

Weston

In the overflowing box marked ‘Good Idea at the Time,’ you’ll find, along with DIY plumbing and getting bangs, plenty of gift-buying impulses gone wrong. Pewter-starfish-napkin-holder wrong. What you won’t find is anything bought at the rigorously tasteful Trove. A… read more»

2008 BEST Gifts, Shower

Tadpole

Boston

Baby-lust-inducing clothing (Pixie Lily onesies, Trumpette ‘cowgirl boot’ socks) and accessories (Skip Hop diaper bags, Dwell crib sets) make this whimsical South End shop our favorite answer to big-box hegemony. Whether your limit is $20 or $200, staffers are happy… read more»

2008 BEST Gifts, Shower, Eco-Friendly

Hatched

Jamaica Plain

Shopping for an earth-mother-to-be? Consider feel-good products that actually feel good—like the ones at three-year-old Hatched, whose soft cotton diapers, soothing all-natural lotions, and cloudlike merino wool blankets prove “environmentally friendly” needn’t equal “rough-hewn.” For those with a more playful… read more»

2007 BEST Gifts

Good

Boston

Owner Paul Niski culls the world for art and oddments seldom seen here in Boston, and consequently Good’s inventory of goods—which run the gamut from furniture to linens to pure objets d’art—is almost continuously refreshed. Among the constants in this… read more»

2006 BEST Gifts

Wild Goose Chase

Brookline

We know: It’s better to give than to receive. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Frankly, we beg to differ. But when we have to do the buying, we make our first stop Wild Goose Chase, whose owners, Irene Chang and… read more»

2005 BEST Gifts

Wild Goose Chase

Brookline

Birthdays. Anniversaries. Mondays. Gifted gift-givers can always find occasions (however obscure) worth buying for. And Wild Goose Chase’s eclectic crafts and handmade housewares make it simple. The Brookline boutique sells everything from beaded cake platters to blow-glass vases to carved… read more»

2004 BEST Gifts, Martha's Vineyard

Midnight Farm

Vineyard Haven

You may not be looking for anything in particular when you enter Midnight Farm, but once you lay eyes on its quirky and exotic collection of clothing, housewares, bedding, and gifts, you’ll surely find an excuse to slap down your… read more»