For those of us born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, we’re abundantly aware of the bounty of products, experiences and opportunities available here. My 2019 guide moves a half-step away from being a guide full of the “stuff” so many have become accustomed to, and a step closer to finding moments that can be shared, too. No, this doesn’t mean my 2019 guide is missing items that’ll nestle perfectly under your tree – it simply means I’ve chosen a balance of select Northwest-centric items (or those I just can’t resist), along with a bevy of experiences that’ll also last a lifetime.
Not everything on my list is Seattle made, but most items are. That said, if you’re looking to #ShopLocal, the Seattle Made organization has made it easy for you to find local artists, designers, manufacturers and everything in-between to satisfy your holiday shopping needs. Small Business Saturday is Saturday, November 30th. Get out and meet the makers, and take home some gems along the way!
‘Tis the season to be cooking up a storm, and I’ve found a local company who makes my time in the holiday kitchen more enjoyable. Chef’n‘s office sit quietly in the shadow of CenturyLink Field, but there’s plenty of stirring going on. With fun gadgets, Chef’n’s creative group offers specific tools to help you with nearly every task. Two personal favorites (because I eat a lot of garlic and avocados, naturally): Their garlic chopper – which looks uncannily like R2D2 – and their avocado slicing/coring/scooping device.
Sip, Sip, Sip
The Northwest has an abundance of opportunities for sipping – from sparkling wines to boozy eggnog to coffee and craft brews. While the choices are seemingly endless, unique vessels are not. Sunkiss Unlimited brings unique color-change mugs and pint glasses that are perfect gifts for Seattle, Washington and UW fans. Have a Seattle football fan on your list? Sunkissed’s one-of-a-kind Seahawks mug is sure to become their favorite!
An (Ugly) Child is Born
Whether you’re seeking gifts for children, or for those young-at-heart, you’ll love Ugly Baby – nestled in the bowels of the Pike Place Market and in Ballard. With ready-to-ship whimsical (and naughty) options, you’re sure to find something for even the toughest-to-buy-for person on your list.
Visions of Sugarplums
In a small, charming town just a few miles from Leavenworth is gem of a sweet-spot cooking up delicious jams, roasting nuts, and apple butter. The parent company, Watkins Farms, was the first to be known to me – they’d been a favorite spot for me to pick up fresh eggs when in the valley, but grew to craft delicious sweets. Watkins’ rhubarb jam is a favorite for my charcuterie boards, as are their roasted delights (officially branded Almond Blossom) of nuts and brittles. Both can be found at various retail establishments in the valley (click for list).
These woodcut coasters are one of my favorite things – given as a gift from a favorite person, they’re function and beautiful at the same time. Five Ply Designs creates coasters, and an array of high-quality designer wood products from their Seattle studio the old fashioned way – by hand.
As with my 2018 holiday guide, a Northwest holiday guide just doesn’t seem right without an electronics shout-out. These are the bomb! Although not Northwest by design, here’s the tie-in: Nothing feels better on a day full of winter gloom than the joys of music dancing through your head. With spectacular sound, Jabra‘s Elite 65t earbuds offer wireless, bluetooth technology, with a ton of useful perks: 4-microphone technology, 15-hour battery life, a portable charger/case and exceptional sound. Yes, these were given to me as a perk from Jabra, but I’m under no obligation to give a thumb’s-up to these. Get in my stocking … now!
Merry and Bright
Looking for the perfect PNW Holiday 2019 source? Once again, Visit Seattle’s holiday site hits all the celebrations, tree-lightings and must-do events throughout the region. Visit www.seattleholidays.com to plan your holiday travel – with all the bells and whistles! Bonus points: Visit Seattle is a huge supporter of Enchant Seattle – with acres of lights and holiday cheer, and a locally-curated food and gift market! Take the family, enjoy the light maze, and walk away with gifts for friends and family.
Who doesn’t love something Seattle-centric when it comes to having something to pull-on and cozy-up? Viaduct, a new Seattle business, began their business on the shirttails (literally) of when Seattle’s iconic ridgeway saw her last vehicle. With soft-fleece hoodies and fun locally-inspired tee’s celebrating Seattle’s rich neighborhoods and history, Viaduct has a little something for everyone on your holiday gift list.
All Things Bright
Nestled next to the US/Canadian border, Shantiva offers brilliant copper water pitchers with beautiful design and Ayurvedic benefits. Their counter-business, Moscow Muled, boasts hand-crafted copper mugs for (of course) your favorite ginger-spiked drink. These brilliant, beautiful vessels warrant a bow, but the savvy gift-giver will leave them unwrapped to add a little sparkle under the tree.
Up On the Housetop
Looking for the perfect staycation for 2020? Look no further than a stay in a local B&B! Enjoy a night out on the town with the promise of a mouth-watering breakfast in the morning with the Seattle’s Bed and Breakfast Association’s choice inns.
Meet Your Maker
Pike Place Market may be the best place for locally-made, creative gifts of every variety. Pick up fresh flowers for your holiday table, hand-crafted hats for every member of your family, or browse the array of food and gift options from one end of this Seattle icon. Looking for tips? My insider’s guide has a few helpful suggestions, and my favorite spots to nibble along the way.
Puget Sound Express offers the only half-day whale watching excursion in the greater Puget Sound region. With the fastest passenger vessels on the west coast, they’re able to get to where whales are in Puget Sound – allowing more time to watch them and for you to learn from their passionate naturalists. With 34-years of experience, three generations of the Hanke family bring not just whales, but their grandma’s blueberry buckle, to the party. Gift certificates for their tours from Edmonds/Seattle and Port Townsend are available on their website.
Countdown to Midnight
Once again Heritage Distilling, a PNW-bred distiller now with multiple locations in the greater Puget Sound area, is offering their holiday advent calendar. With 24 adorable miniatures, this will undoubtedly be a holiday you’ll want to start counting down to immediately!
It’s A Wrap!
No time to make the holiday magic? Call, or visit, the pros at Made in Washington in Westlake Center downtown. Judy and her incredible team can put together the best made-in-the-Northwest gift packages around. With hundreds of local-inspired and locally-made crafts, gifts, foods and art, they’re masters at taking the stress out of holiday shopping. Want to design your own gift basket? They make that easy, too!