Friday, December 14, 2018

A PNW-Centric Gift Guide

Treat your people right this holiday season

‘Tis that festive, twinkling season when hot toddies warm our bodies and the spirit of giving warms our souls. If you’re like us, you’re probably over presenting generic gifts that merely get the job done. That’s why we’ve gathered some unique, local treasures we think will make the perfect present for someone (or someones) you love.

Alternatively, if you’d rather pass along an experience versus more stuff, consider gift cards that lead to awe-inspiring outings like: shows at  STG venues (The Paramount, Moore and Neptune Theatres); films at SIFF; productions at 5th Avenue Theatre and performances at Benaroya Hall—from Seattle Symphony concerts to National Geographic Live lectures. (Better yet? Send family and friends on a unique 2016 adventure in a nearby treehouse or glampified tent.)

Quest Trail Water Filter courtesy GRAYL

Quest Trail Water Filter courtesy GRAYL

This also seems like a great time to support local entrepreneurs who’ve dreamed up some pretty enticing products:

H20 ON THE GO—Outdoors enthusiasts will go gaga for products by Seattle-based company GRAYL®. “Committed to making practical and durable filtration and purification,” GRAYL created a filtration cup that operates like a French press—in 15 seconds turning up to 16 ounces of water from any trailside source into clean, drinking water (taking out any bacteria, parasites, heavy metals and chemicals).

sea16-combo-530x405

LOCAL LOVE—Pass on the gift of savings with the almighty Chinook Book, a bountiful collection of coupons that support hundreds of community-minded and eco-conscious local businesses (available in paper form for $22 or via downloadable app). Score awesome deals in categories from dining and entertainment to gifts & home and far beyond.

Image by Jayne Truesdell

Image by Jayne Truesdell

SWEET TREATS—This town certainly does dessert right, and one can never go wrong picking up decadent delicacies from Theo Chocolate, Fran’s or Seattle Chocolates, where seasonal goodies include “hot buttered rum bars” and cubes of assorted truffles.

And now Hot Cakes, the HQ for all things delicious at Molten Chocolate Cakery outposts in Ballard and Capitol Hill, launches a Wilderness Collection, “a family of confections whose sales will benefit a variety of organizations that work to protect our wildlife and wild places.” Relish the rich flavors of new caramel sauces (like the “Campfire Caramel Sauce,” made with mesquite and hickory-smoked sugar plus alder smoked sea salt), as well as the Smoked Chocolate Chips and S’mores Kit. Ten percent of the proceeds for this collection go toward protecting wilderness (initially divided between Forterra, Washington Trails Association and the Sierra Club). Other gift ideas: Faribault Woolen Mill blankets in signature black and cream gingham, enamel camp mugs and natural canvas totes available in Hot Cakes shops and online.

Field Trip Society: Make Your Holiday Centerpiece Workshop

Field Trip Society: Make Your Holiday Centerpiece Workshop

CLASSES & ADVENTURES—With a tagline that calls to all “dreamers, makers and do-ers in the Pacific Northwest,” we’re intrigued. Nudge your friends and family members beyond routine and comfort zones by connecting them with the Field Trip Society, an organization that offers unique classes encompassing natural pursuits (wild edible foraging, intro to fly fishing), cooking and entertaining (pie school with Kate Lebo, sourdough bread-making, craft cocktails, food photography), as well as handmade arts (kokedama, shibori indigo dyeing, modern calligraphy and lettering).

Field Trip Society: Braising 101

Field Trip Society: Braising 101

GET FIT INSPIRATION—Seattle startup Pivotal Living first made its mark in the wearable fitness marketplace by introducing a $12 Pivotal Living activity + sleep tracking band. Their latest show-stopper? A Smart Scale that tracks all the key weight parameters from Body Mass Index (BMI) to Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) ($39.95).

Pivotal Living

Though we’ve merely scratched the surface of PNW-focused gems, we hope this gives you at least a few ideas on how to make the gift-shopping season merry and bright.

About Corinne Whiting

Corinne, an east coast native who relocated here from the other Washington in 2011, was bit by the travel bug early on. She lived in Strasbourg, France (during her junior year at Georgetown University) and in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she got a masters degree in Cultural Studies. She feels very grateful to have explored incredible spots on our globe ranging from Bolivia and Egypt to Turkey and China, but there are passport pages yet to fill (and travel tales yet to be written!). After serving as associate editor at Where magazine in D.C. for five years, Corinne has embarked on a new adventure here in the PNW as a freelance writer and photographer, contributing to publications like National Geographic Traveler, the Alaska Airlines in-flight magazine, Amtrak's OnTrak, 1889 Washington, 1859 Oregon, Visit Seattle and so on. She loves exploring this incredible corner of the country while debunking the rain myths, upping her coffee quotient, hearing heaps of live music and finding her Zen near the water as often as possible.
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