Tuesday, December 23, 2008

10 wondrous places to shop for holiday gifts

If you're looking for a store with a bit of a difference for holiday gifts, here are 10 of the more unusual places to go to fill a Christmas stocking.

1. Unclaimed Baggage Center
Scottsboro, Alabama

Culled from the bags of travellers who, for whatever reason, never claimed their luggage, the Unclaimed Baggage Center carries everything from cameras to canvases at bargain prices.

Unclaimed Baggage Center
(image credit: J-Rad)

Unclaimed Baggage Center

2. ABC Carpet and Home
New York City, New York

Selling everything from vintage furniture to environmentally friendly bedding, ABC Carpet and Home's almost 350,000-square foot home emporium is a favorite among in-the-know New Yorkers.

ABC Carpet and Home

ABC Carpet and Home

3. Deyrolle
Paris, France

In business since 1831, this taxidermy store carries everything from stuffed zebras and black crows to anatomy posters to mounted butterflies. A fire this year destroyed a large amount of the shop's stock, but Deyrolle's owner has vowed to rebuild.

(image credit: mathewfoster)

(image credit: saragoldsmith)

4. The Norwegian Booktown
Fjærland, Norway

Open in the spring and summer, Fjærland is filled with unattended bookstores housed in the town's abandoned buildings, including old banks and grocery stores. Purchases are on the honor system...you decide what a book is worth and drop your money in a lock box at the front of the shop.

(image credit: Steve Deger)

Norwegian Booktown
(image credit: -Kj.)

5. Daslu
Sao Paulo, Brazil

Part store, part social club, Daslu is so chic and so well-known in Sao Paulo society, it even has a "News and Gossip" section on its website. Comes complete with its own helipad.

(image credit: Luís Guilherme)


6. James Smith & Sons
London, England

Established in 1830, James Smith & Sons specializes in umbrellas and walking sticks. Still run by the direct descendants of the eponymous Mr. Smith, both the shop and the service from the helpful staff are reminiscent of an earlier, less hurried age.

James Smith & Sons
(image credit: McBadger)

James Smith & Sons
(image credit: ♥pixel)

7. 826 Valencia
San Francisco, California

If you're in the market for mermaid repellent or a new eye patch, San Francisco's premier pirate supply shop, 826 Valencia, is the place to go. Its stock is impressive and all profits from the store go to an educational writing centre.

826 Valencia
(image credit: Amit Gupta)

826 Valencia

8. Edinburgh Bagpipe Company
East Sussex, England

Edinburgh Bagpipe Company carries everything from tartans to how-to books to drums. This fascinating store has provided the pipes for some of the world's best players.

Edinburgh Bagpipe Company

Edinburgh Bagpipe Company

9. The Dutch Market
Chatham, Ontario, Canada

The charming Dutch Market carries all things Dutch, including wooden shoes and special gifts for Sinterklaas himself.

Dutch Market

wooden shoes

10. Allied Trains
Culver City, California

Any kid who has ever dreamed of waking up to an engine puffing around the Christmas tree will love Allied Model Trains. Housed in a retro art deco storefront, this store has everything from scenery supplies to miles of track.

model train

model train

(source: VirtualTourist.com)

Previously on Lists Galore!
Season's greetings
10 of the most extraordinary places to take a bath
10 unusual monuments to rub, kiss or pat for good luck

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