A gift delayed can be a beautiful thing
Even more so if you buy it from an Alaskan artist
Face it: the gift you buy online today isn’t getting there by Saturday. I’m not being mean. Just want you to face up to the truth and, while you’re at it, to tank the guilt. I’m Jewish. I know from guilt.
Instead, flip your thinking and go in this direction: you’re still going to make your giftee very happy on the day that the gift was “supposed” to be there and, days from now, your giftee is going to get home after a hectic day of doing whatever to find your beautiful gift sitting there, waiting for them. And that day is going to turn into a marvelous day.
Now you’re a hero.
So, the how-tos…
Wander through the list below and the list in the last newsletter. Find that perfect thing. Purchase the thing. No need to pay for express shipping or any other foolishness like that.
Call or write (via email) your giftee and express your joy in searching out the exact right gift for them. Tell them you have finally found the thing. Do not blame the supply chain. You were warned in advance of all that. This is about solutions, not problems. This is about matching the person you’re thinking about with something they’ll love. This is about bending society’s musts in completely-lovely ways to fit your friendship and your life. The societal musts are legion but gifts shouldn’t have rules.
If you can’t hold off on sending something NOW, send the giftee a $5 or $10 e-gift card for their favorite local coffee shop. This is the only acceptable gift card on this plan. Nothing big. Just a tidbit. Not a must, the tidbit, but an if-you-want.
And that’s it. The plan is afoot. The only thing to do is wait for the call that the thing has arrived. There may be verbal beaming, perhaps some happy howler monkey sounds coming through the phone. This is what you want. This is what your giftee wanted but didn’t know.
To-do very well done.
As for that list: as I’ve mentioned before Alaska has an incredible number of artists and crafters and makers (oof, that word) and food producers and on and on. Buy from these excellent gift makers. Maybe buy an extra for yourself.
Made in Alaska Gift Guide, Pt. 2
For the writer, journaler, list maker, or note taker in your life: a handmade notebook from 10 Cups of Tea. I’m a bit of a notebook fanatic so I’ve kept my eye on Ferchu Waddoups line of handmade notebooks and journals since I started seeing them pop up around Anchorage. Her craftsmanship is top notch. For a dose of summer beauty to get your giftee through winter, check out the Sitka Rose notebook.
For the jewelry lover: Artist Jennifer Younger’s designs make me full-on swoon. While anchored in traditional Tlingit formline designs, Younger’s work plays with color and patina and materials and design (she freehands everything) in ways unlike any other work I’ve seen. She has a limited number of pieces available through b.Yellowtail. Also, follow her on Instagram.
For the art collector or nature lover (or anybody who has way too much open wall space): One of the hobbies I took up during ye olde but ongoing pandemic times was printmaking. So I love meeting other (far more talented) printmakers here in Alaska. One of my favorites here in Anchorage is Jordan Swan of Swanbad Press. Her cozy fox will keep your giftee good company.
For kids who want to help protect the earth: Give wee ones a strong girl to look up to with this full color reproduction of the cover of the 2021 Caldecott Medal-winning book, We Are Water Protectors, illustrated by Sitka-based Michaela Goade. Might as well send a copy of the book too. Yeah, that’s a good idea.
For outdoors-minded people (or those who want to look like they are): Homer-based Nomar makes some tough bags. Fisheries gear too. Their sea tarp bags will keep all your gear dry, no matter how rough the waves get. And, seriously, considering the quality of the bags, the prices are really good.
For quick getaways (on foot): Backcountry skating is big here in Alaska. And now there’s an Anchorage company turning out some beautiful Nordic ice skates. While Nordic skates do take a bit of getting used to, once your giftee knows how, off she’ll go….
For people with good taste who don’t always have time to cook: I am not a fan of pesto. Usually. But for some reason or other, I added a jar of Foraged & Found’s sea asparagus pesto to a recent order from my winter farm share—and that [beep] is TASTY. It never even made it to any pasta topping as, instead, I slathered it on home-baked sourdough bread. It almost has a bit of a vinegar tang to it. Sort of. Anyway, get some for everybody you know. (And it’s not like most people can just go out and harvest sea asparagus. So, yes, pesto but special pesto.)
Alaska Dog(s) of the Week
And that is all for this week. Merry Christmas, happy Kwanzaa, and see you for a year-end something or other next week including—perhaps, most likely, we’ll see—news about the newsletter’s companion podcast!