Visual

Stocking Stuffers

A last-minute giving guide

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

When a close friend dropped off a basket of artfully wrapped homemade caramel sauce on my front porch Monday afternoon, I bemoaned the fact that, once again, I’d neglected to get equally creative for Christmas. In the weeks leading up to the big day, I did not fashion pendants out of beach glass, conjure batches of tasty baked goods, knit fingerless gloves or make ornaments out of stained glass.

Luckily, the abundance of artists, crafters and original thinkers in our corner of the world means that even though I waited until the last minute to procure unique gifts for my friends and family, there are still plenty of shopping options available that don’t rhyme with “stall”—and don’t require me to put in much leg work.

One such resource is a handy giving guide put together by Downtown Bellingham Partnership. The online Holiday Marketplace includes a carefully curated collection of retail offerings to be found in the urban core, including more than 1,600 items available as part of Allied Arts’ 41st annual Holiday Festival of the Arts, which can be purchased on their website or in person through Dec. 24—as can many of the items on the Holiday Marketplace.

Also on the list: Chain rings at Apse, air plants from Babygreens, cold-weather clothing at Backcountry Essentials, leather ski mitts at Boardworks Tech Shop, Boundary Bay Brewery’s canvas totes (which are the perfect thing to fill with libations), board and card games from the Comics Place, hand-poured soy candles at Fringe Boutique, Bellingham Flag caps at the Lucky Monkey, framed photos from wildlife guide Drew Hamilton’s “Waiting for Ice” show at Mindport Exhibits, gifts for cat lovers at Neko Cat Cafe, Turkish drop spindles sourced from Northwest Yarns, Salish Sea maps by Fire & Pine at Third Planet, hand-painted ornaments (and so much more) at Whatcom Museum’s Museum Store, and Peaceful Feeling blends available at Wonderland Tea & Spice. Numerous gift cards are also listed, including the Think Local Gift Card redeemable at a plethora of businesses throughout Whatcom County.

In Fairhaven, Good Earth Pottery is filling online orders and providing curbside service through Christmas Eve for those wanting to limit their holiday hassle—and you can also feel good knowing a portion of the proceeds from their “Celebrate Handmade” exhibit (part of which is pictured above) will go to Whatcom Land Trust. Village Books and Paper Dreams, Fairhaven Runners, Fairhaven Toy Garden, Current & Furbish, Posh Upscale Resale, Whatcom Art Market, Peter James Photography, the Silvery Moon, and Renaissance Celebration are also among those staying open to fill your last-minute gift-giving needs. Even if you can’t find the time to get creative on your own, you’ll still be covered for Christmas.

For more info, go to http://www.downtownbellingham.com/marketplace or http://www.enjoyfairhaven.com

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