If you're in the market for, say, a lotion-dispensing helicopter that flies and vibrates, all without batteries, you may enjoy a run-in with a mall-aisle salesperson. If you'd prefer a touch of sanity with your holiday shopping, take a cue from these folks.
What's the most memorable thing you've bought at a pawn shop? I bought a 200-year-old pearl-and-diamond ring nobody wanted. It had a broken band in the back, and they were only asking $150, so I put it in lay-a-way and bought it — this was years ago — and fixed it and I gave it away for Christmas to my mom.
What's your favorite local store for gifts? Saboz. I love the shoes and boots there.
What's the worst gift you've ever received? It was a sweater that an old boyfriend gave to me. It was purple and pink and so striped ... it was just gross. It was putrid. It looked like a plum.
Old North End
What's your favorite local store for gifts? Terra Verde.
Where would you go for an affordable gift? Family Dollar — that's cheap. The oriental stores. Then I like places, like little stores, that have spices.
If you had to give someone you hate a present, what would you give them? I'd probably give them some of my cooking.
What's the most memorable thing you've seen at a pawn shop? It's heartbreaking, but I've seen wedding rings and wedding bands there.
If you had never been to a pawn shop, what would you expect to find? Bicycles, music equipment, high ticket items — 'tis the season. People are going to start burning furniture here to stay warm.
If you had to give someone you hate a present, what would you give them? What goes around comes around ... I'd probably [still] give them $5 to Starbucks.
Nonprofit program director
What's your favorite local store for gifts? I would go to the nonprofits, see if I could help them out and see what I could find there.
What's the worst gift you've ever received? Thong underwear. For somebody my age that's just ... not it.
If you had to give someone you hate a present, what would you give them? Thong underwear.