A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

The SAL Gift Guide

We hope you enjoy this holiday gift guide, featuring picks from the staff at Seattle Arts & Lectures!

With the usual emphasis on independent shops and literary-themed gifts for every budget, this year, we’re excited to feature largely BIPOC and women-owned businesses. (For more ideas, check out this small business search by Intentionalist.)

Jam from Junebaby. “Food is one of the greatest gestures of love, and I appreciate just how many people are involved in food making its way to me. From farm workers tending to the land, to grocers stocking shelves, to my mother cutting fruits and vegetables and setting the table. The collective effort to nourish people is a gift in itself. For this guide, I recommend a simple jar of jam from Junebaby—to spread onto toast, to bake into a treat, or as a glaze over roasted vegetables and meats. Jam is versatile, and everyone deserves a bit of its sweetness in their lives.”


The Wild Unknown: Archetypes Deck and Guidebook. 
“A gorgeous way to ask the universe to help me find all the answers in this time of massive uncertainty in the world. I bought one for myself from Third Place Books in Ravenna and want to give a set to everyone I know. Tell me, oracle cards, how this is all going to turn out?”


Common Power merch. For those who want swag that goes to supporting an organization working for a just and inclusive democracy. Currently, they’re extremely active in the Georgia race.”


Plants and art from Black Origin Plants. “This holiday season, expressions of care are extremely important; I’m really worried about what our handling of COVID-19 has to say about who matters and who doesn’t. I get to work from home, but every day I see how much of a toll being an essential worker takes on my friends. I recently began taking leaf cuttings and propagating them to be gifted. I have a strange relationship with plants where, in me nourishing them, I am reminded that I need and deserve that same level of nourishment and care. In gifting plants to my friends, I hope to say, ‘You are worthy and deserving of care. Here is a daily reminder.’ @blackoriginplants on Instagram is a plant shop that I love and trust. Simply send Syreeta a DM to schedule a pick-up! Wa Na Wari Seattle also has a pop-up right now.”


 Kari Gran skincare, Blackwing pencils, and a poetry/art collab. “What would a gift guide be without at least one skin care product? I discovered Kari Gran, a local, all-natural, skin line a couple of years ago, and the cleansing oil is just what my winter-dry skin needs. And the lavender scent is just what my soul needs. The mini kit is a great stocking stuffer or way to try it out. And, for most of us in the book biz, nothing thrills quite so much as the words “office supplies.” And even though I much prefer typing, when I write by hand, there’s nothing like a good Blackwing. Finally, how about the new collection of poetry and art from Poetry Northwest Editions? I’m certainly hoping that Theorem, by poet Elizabeth Bradfield and artist Antonia Contro, finds its way under my tree!”


Spice Waala and In the Footsteps of a Thousand Griefs. “Ordering out or buying a gift card to the SAL office’s next-door neighbors, the Indian street food restaurant Spice Waala. Their About page is so sweet and compelling, and their food is legit delish! I also recommend our fifth Youth Poet Laureate Wei-Wei Lee’s debut collection, In the Footsteps of a Thousand Griefs, which you can buy from Open Books here.”


Lemonade Puzzles and SAL gift cards. “Abigail Stavrand created Lemonade Pursuits to help relieve anxiety through puzzles and art kits. Their puzzles are beautiful, created by a team of female designers from all over, and are the mental recess I’d like to give my stressed-out loved ones this season. I’d also be a pretty terrible Communications Manager if I didn’t shout from the rooftops that SAL NOW HAS GIFT CARDS. For the first time ever, with the click of a button, you can send an e-gift certificate. Now that there’s a digital option for all our offerings, that can be to anyone in the whole wide world.”


Fran’s Chocolates. “You can never have too many chocolates, and they keep long past the holidays. A few of my favorites to send from Fran’s include double chocolate figs (besides being stuffed with ganache, they are also dipped in chocolate—yum!), truffles (it’s a delight to have an assortment and taste unique and complex flavors), and Gray & Smoked Salt Caramels (a mix of dark and milk chocolate covered caramels topped with smoky sea salt). SAL subscribers get 10% off—just call 800.422.3726 to pre-order a pick up or stop by the shop.”


“This holiday season, I’m thinking about how to give gifts that support the local artists and businesses I love. I have my eye on stylish masks from Erika Dalya Massaquoi’s Oula, sassy tote bags from local artist Katie Davis through Sad Shop, gift certificates to area bookstores, and gift certificates to the woman-owned restaurants I treasure, like Marjorie and Wilmott’s Ghost. And lastly, I always find special treasures at locally-owned Kobo.”


Anything from Paper Boat Booksellers. “A place to get wonderful gifts is our (still new) bookstore, Paper Boat. Since moving to West Seattle, I’ve wondered how this amazing neighborhood could get by without an equally amazing bookstore, and I am so happy to say we have one now! Every time I go in to pick up a book, I find something delightful to bring home for my daughter and am consistently impressed by the selection they pack into their relatively small space. I’ve been buying the Blanche White mysteries for myself, which I highly recommend! For kiddos, I recommend A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers, illustrated by Sam Winston.”


Posted in 2020/21 Season