Skip the Supply Chain: Last-minute holiday gifts with heart from the CWM Team
As many of us prepare for holiday festivities this season, global supply chain challenges are already delaying shipments, leaving retail shelves bare and generally threatening to play the Grinch in traditional holiday gift-giving. Thanks to COVID-19 shut-downs, limits to international travel, scarcity of components and other challenges, manufacturing and shipping times have doubled for everything from puffer jackets to toys to sparkling wine.
Give an experience
Gifting experiences instead of tangible gifts is a great idea even outside of pandemic supply chain issues. Think of it as gifting a lifelong memory, instead of one more thing that might take up space in their closet. A gift certificate printed at home is the ultimate go-to for the last-minute gift-givers, and a gateway to endless experiences shared with a loved one:
- Theo Chocolates in Fremont offers factory tours to chocolate-making classes sure to inspire the chocolate lovers in your life.
- For holiday themed experiences, Woodland Park Zoo’s Wild Lanterns event runs through January 30, and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium host Zoolights through January 2 – and both offer outdoor (and COVID-safe) fun all year round.
- If you’re traveling and don’t want to weigh down your luggage with gifts, a subscription to a digital service like Audible.com, the New York Times Crossword Puzzle, or an online news magazine is a great alternative to toting around gifts.
- The exhibits at Seattle’s venerable Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) cover everything from hip-hop to science fiction to the art of the Disney costume.
- How about concert tickets for the music lover in your life? While Ticketmaster is a go-to resource, including concerts at Seattle’s amazing new Climate Pledge Arena, you’ll also find a range of acts at smaller venues via the KNKX community calendar. The Edmonds Center for the Arts and other community-based spaces are fantastic local destinations.
- If you're located south of the Seattle area, Pierce County hosts Ice Bumper Cars at the Sprinker Recreation Center in Tacoma, for entertainment and fun for the entire family.
- For other small events in a host of categories across the country – including virtual and in-person paint-and-sip evenings – check out Eventbrite’s dynamic filtering feature.
- Take a class together – virtual or in-person. PCC Cooks offers classes taught by chefs featuring a variety of cuisines, and REI Events offers opportunities for guided daytrips for activities like snow shoeing, hiking or biking.
- For the lifelong learners, purchase a set of lessons for an ongoing activity like tennis, voice practice, piano and more.
- Depending on your budget, a contribution toward travel or an adventure tour might be on your list, such as a food tour through Italy with Earthbound Expeditions (headquartered on Bainbridge Island) or a dog sled tour through the Canadian Rockies.
- A gift certificate for a massage, haircut, manicure/pedicure, or facial is sure to be appreciated by anyone who loves self-care.
- Schedule a day for the outdoor enthusiast or athlete in your life, including a local hike, a round at the batting cages, or a day at the bowling alley.
Give a one-of-a-kind piece from a local artist
Give a unique gift to your loved one while also supporting local artists! Etsy, Society6, and even Instagram are great places to find independent artists – or you can even do some Google searches for local craft fairs. - (Hot tip: our own Molly Winney features her macrame artwork each month at community bazaars.) Buy an existing piece or – thinking ahead to holidays in 2022 – commission a one-of-a-kind creation for your loved ones. Don’t limit yourself to paintings or drawings – small-batch ceramics, quilts, and all manner of crafts can make delightful gifts.
Get creative yourself
Have you taken up embroidery, knitting, bread-making, canning, or another craft during the pandemic? Give your loved ones the fruits of your own labor for an extra-personal touch. Here are some homemade gift ideas to get you started:
- Make your own candles with Martha Stewart’s Introductory Guide to Candle Making complete with links to equipment or The Spruce Crafts’ how-to for beginners, or dive into the popular (and simple) soy wax candle trend via Candle Science.
- Go for the clean option with homemade soap from The Spruce Crafts’ 21 creative handmade soap recipes for beginners.
- Batch-bake a package of goodies, such as cookies, brownies, or rum cake, for loved ones. Our favorite recipes include chocolate chip cookies, big soft ginger cookies, fudgy brownies, and a pecan and pudding rum cake.
- Create a seasonal basket using prepackaged food items like hot chocolate mix, cookie mix, etc. in cute mason jars, to be augmented by homemade house decorations like pinecones or inexpensive Christmas lights and a bow. This is an economical option in that you can acquire the ingredients and make multiple gifts at once. Just call in all your elves for help.
- Make a pressed flower frame by gluing together two frames from the dollar store and popping some flowers in there. Follow the how-to video here:
- Gift nail polish mugs, which look like marble and are very simple to make. Follow the how-to video here:
Give the gift of education
We at CWM would be remiss if we didn’t mention the idea of a gift toward education, and grandparents or other relatives may appreciate the opportunity to contribute to their grandchildren’s 529 plan to save for college, private school, or other future educational expense.
Share the gift that keeps on giving
Why should the fun stop in December? Share a card with your loved one letting them know you’ve signed them up for future deliveries of something fun, quirky, or a complete necessity– talk about a gift that keeps on giving!
- Fatcork: A Seattle-based champagne subscription club supporting small-batch growers in France.
- MeUndies: Underwear and socks in fun, colorful – and even punny – fabrics delivered on a monthly basis. You can even order matching sets for a favorite couple in your life.
- Seattle Coffee Gear: Curated or custom boxes featuring a host of delicious java, including many locally based brands.
- Metier Brewing: Washington state’s only Black-owned brewery recently launched a subscription program, enabling members to try new brews monthly with pick-up locations in Woodinville and Seattle. Like wine clubs, many local breweries are starting to offer club-based programs – see if your favorite brand offers this option.
Spend time together with a game
Although video games and board games are great options here, you can also create your own games from scratch to make memories that last a lifetime.
- Enjoy holiday-inspired Minute to Win It games like the Reindeer Antler Challenge or Face the Gingerbread Man.
- Exchange names and craft snow people designed after a friend or family member. Start by having everyone draw a name from a hat then give a time limit and some materials to craft a snow person lookalike. Be sure to keep your snow people hidden for a finale surprise reveal!
Take an errand off their plate or prepare for upcoming needs
Many people have a love language of “acts of service,” making it the perfect gift idea for the holiday season. Handle a household task they normally do to give them a break (examples: Do the dishes if they always do the dishes, take out the trash if they do, do the meal planning, etc.) If they don’t have any current tasks weighing on them, think ahead to the next year and what they may need help with.
Make a charitable donation in someone’s name
The gifts of generosity and goodwill are always in season. Consider gifting a donation to a cause your loved one cares about, in their name. For the animal lovers in your life, consider donating to PAWS, the nationally recognized animal rehabilitation and adoption program located in Snohomish County. CWM is currently matching all donations up to $5,000 through December 31, in memory of our Linda McCormack. Read more about Linda’s campaign here – and learn how you can make the most of your charitable giving.
No matter how you celebrate, we wish you and yours a wonderful and memorable holiday season – and cheers to a happy New Year!
Schedule a complimentary, no-pressure phone call with a CWM financial advisor to learn if our breadth of consulting services and purpose-driven approach aligns with your needs.