How many times have you meandered aisles, wandered markets, or poured through websites looking for that just perfect Seattle-made gift? You know, the one they’ll open with wide, grateful eyes – knowing you hit this one spot-on.
Look. No. Further. I’ve curated my perfect list of go-to Northwest items – so you don’t have to! And yes, while it’s the right thing to shop small and shop local (as I hope you all did last Saturday), it also comes down finding something you know is just the thing to surprise and delight (hopefully for many years).
Making Spirits Bright
Every year I look I give advent calendars the once-over, knowing most just aren’t what I’m looking for. Honestly, I’m not sure what I’ve been looking for – until I found it. Heritage Distilling‘s Advent Calendar truly is a simple thing – it’s a box … full of booze. But what a way to get into the spirit of the holidays than with a box of spirits! That’s right: They’ve creatively boxed 24 boozy miniatures for your Christmas count-down pleasure. And at under $60, it’s a great holiday deal (as I’ve seen individual 50ml bottles for up to $4 at my local grocery store). Too late for advent? Their legendary BSB (Brown Sugar Bourbon) is perfect for eggnog, Old Fashioned’s or your favorite hot coffee drink: https://heritagedistilling.com/products/spiritsadventcalendar
Something For Everyone
Wishing there were a place where you could go to find all things merry, bright and Northwest, but without the crowds of the public market? Look no more – my favorite one-stop shop is Bartell Drugs. Maybe George Bartell didn’t have hipster nutcrackers, nor bobblehead Seahawk twins in mid back in 1890, but the Bartell’s of today has a trove of locally-sourced items perfect for your in-stocking or under-tree space. https://www.bartelldrugs.com/
Big Screen In Your Pocket
No, it’s not Northwest-made, but this mod for Motorola’s Moto-Z 3 will blow your mind. Seriously! The Motorola Insta-share mod takes this phone to a new level – allowing you to share images and videos on your phone, watch favorite tv shows, or spend an afternoon streaming college bowl games all from an ultra-thin projector that snaps onto the Moto-Z in seconds. If you’re on the internet, you’ve almost certainly heard of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, but if you’re not into anime you may not know quite what it is. With an integrated kickstand, you’ll be able to project an image up to 70″ on just about any flat surface. It’s basically like having a big-screen television in your pocket.
Give the Gift of Travel
Who doesn’t love to travel? Our state is home to amazing experiences in hundreds of unique cities. Why not make this holiday the time to gift a certificate to one of the Washington Bed and Breakfast Guild‘s 50 unique inns and bed and breakfast properties? Love the beach? My personal fave: Long Beach’s Boreas Inn has sweeping views, the state’s friendliest hosts, and a breakfast that’ll knock your socks off. Mountains and forests more their thing? Arlington’s River Rock Inn has a lodge type feel set in the forest. Let your recipient do the picking with a gift certificate in nearly any denomination: https://www.wbbg.com/gift-certificates
Sip and Savor
Want to take your friends or family on a food or winery tour, but don’t have the time? Savor Seattle‘s made it easy for you with their new self-guided tasting passports! Best known for their stellar food tours in Seattle, Savor Seattle now offers two tasting apps – choose between a self-guided wine tour with 10 wine tastings (choose from 25+ participating wineries) and a $50 Lyft credit for a designated driver or a food passport with 10 local food tastings (choose from 20+ participating restaurants and food vendors). Bonus idea: Purchase both and enjoy food with wine!
It’s not difficult to find a locally-owned store in your own neighborhood, but why not find the motherlode? Pike Place Market is just that! With over 110 years running, hundreds of independent vendors offer everything from hand-knit hats to wine-barrel-crafted lazy Susans. Bonus points if you need to pick up fresh ingredients for a special holiday dinner. Missed my ‘Market 101’ blog? It has invaluable tips for making the most of Seattle’s ultimate one-stop shop. http://pikeplacemarket.org/
A Whaley Good Time
Know what’s in our backyard? Whales! Why not give the gift of experience this year and share the chance to see the majestic mammals that make their home in Puget Sound with everyone on your list? Three generations of Puget Sound Express‘ Hanke family have crafted an on-the-water experience that will leave your jaw-dropped, and turn you into an advocate for the Salish sea and its inhabitants. Operating 10-months out of the year, you can let your guest choose the perfect time to get out on the water from the Edmonds marina on their brand-spanky new vessel – the Saratoga. http://pugetsoundexpress.com
Shuck It To Me
Nothing seems more of a quintessential PNW experience than slurping a perfect, briny oyster, yet nobody would expect a dozen under the tree. The salty folks at Hama Hama Oyster Co. make it easy to bring these bi-valves to everyone on your holiday list. Don’t want to drive out to their flagship store on Hood Canal, or simply don’t have the time? You’re in luck, as their online store has everything you’ll need to dazzle the pickiest folks on your list. Bonus points: – They even offer next-day shipping!
Elves Do The Work
For those who truly don’t have time to shop, or have simply run out of ideas, local company KnackShops offers of trove of on- and off-line options for your holiday shopping needs. With beautifully-curated and easily-customizable gift sets, you’re bound to find something for even the hardest-to-satisfy on your list. From custom-etched glasses sporting street maps of the city, to a salami-sampler gift set (and literallyeverything in between), you’ll love this one-stop shop! Sure, the online shop is easy, but visit their brick-and-mortar store in tucked away Chophouse Row on Capitol Hill and celebrate your shopping success with a craft cocktail at Bar Ferdinand. You deserve it.
All Is Calm
Though you’re unlikely to buy a Christmas tree for others, you can streamline the process and bring calm to your holiday home. Through Swanson’s Nursery’s Pick-the-Perfect-Tree program, you can order the perfect tree directly through Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using the #HeySwansons hashtag. Allow 48-hours for Swanson’s elves to choose the one that’s just right for you, then they’ll have it available for pickup (or delivery!).
However you do it, wherever you wander, take the time to make yours a unique Pacific Northwest holiday season.