The holiday season is upon us! Holiday shopping begins in earnest this coming weekend starting with the oh-so-early Black Friday sales, shopping local steals on Saturday and then those jaw-dropping Cyber Monday deals! We travel around the world and across the street, we shop local, and we have a little something for everyone on your list! We at Wander with Wonder have compiled a little holiday gift guide of some of our favorite things during this holiday season!
Susan—Founder & Editor-in-Chief
I travel for the experiences and the connections, so I frequently find gifts that reflect those connections. If I’m looking to share something from right here in Arizona, perhaps one of my all-time favorite local products is Olivespa lip balm stick in pink grapefruit from Olivespa. This is all natural, made from Arizona olive oil and is the only thing I’ve ever found that really nourishes my lips against the tough desert climate.
I would also suggest stopping by the Carlson Creek Vineyard tasting room in Old Town Scottsdale to pick up a bottle of wine for the holidays. I am partial to the Rule of Three, a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Of course, the ultimate holiday gift for me would be a spa day. Or, in the case of real pampering, how about a spa journey?
In this crazy world, there’s no better place to rediscover yourself than in Sedona and you can book that special someone a 3-, 4-, or 7-day journey at Mii amo spa. I think that would be the ultimate in creating a life changing experience for someone special—and an unforgettable way to experience Arizona. Find out more about Susan.
My favorite things are the experiences in life! I love once in a lifetime adventures, concerts, museums, and even amazing dates! It may be an intangible gift but it is a gift that won’t ever get lost! Being Arizona-raised, my favorite gift to give is a fabulous “staycation”. With some of the best resorts in the country right here in Arizona my family of seven is lucky to be able to escape for a weekend away without having to catch a plane!
However, my favorite gift to get and give is always a “date”. My husband and I love to sneak away for a weekend—but not too far away! Our favorite romantic escape is to the gorgeous Arizona mountains and Red Rocks of Sedona. Dinner at Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill and a room at the luxurious Amara Resort is just what we love in order to recharge our minds, bodies and spirits. Find out more about Kamilla.
As somebody who has too much stuff in a small house, I always appreciate edible gifts. Oregon grows lots of hazelnuts, so those are a favorite. Portland’s own Albina City Nuts offers hazelnuts with different spice blends, and a lovely gift box. We’re also blessed with wonderful chocolate makers. Woodblock is the great-granddaddy of our local bean-to-bar chocolate movement.
During a trip to New Mexico this year, I was impressed with the drinking chocolate at Kakawa Chocolate House in Santa Fe. All of these sell online, and make delicious gifts.
For something more enduring, I’ve fallen in love with the Horizon Boot by BZEES shoe company. These are cute, super comfortable, water resistant for rainy Portland, and perfect for vegetarians like me looking for quality-non leather boots. Find out more about Teresa.
When you travel in Oregon, Washington or California, you’ll no doubt come away impressed with the mountains—Mt. Rainier, Mt. Hood and Yosemite’s Half Dome. You’ll also develop an affinity for craft brews and spirits. Three Portland, Oregon friends with creativity and design experience developed beautiful glassware with 3D images of the beloved mountains in the base.
Their company, North Drinkware, started out with one mountain and a pint glass and were supported via a Kickstarter campaign. They have now branched out and feature three beautiful handmade pint glasses and tumblers. They are packaged individually and wrapped in custom topographical map newsprint. Glasses are priced at $45 each and can be purchased online. Find out more about Elizabeth.
A splash of Whistle Lake cliff jumping, a slice of Cranberry Lake, and a dash of sea breeze creates the ultimate Washington handmade gift–a candle by Anacortes Candles. Most scents are based on Anacortes adventures like Deception Pass, Anacortes Rain, or Farmers Market Herb. As a resident of this seaside community, I give candles to remember time spent together in Anacortes, or share my home with long-distance family and friends.
There are also Pacific Northwest experience fragrances like Pacific Northwest Coffee, Sasquatch Cinnamon, and Lavender Seastar. Their eco-friendly soy-based candles are made with 100 % hippie love. And, if you want to take gift giving to a whole new level while visiting Washington, which is something I like to do, get hands-on by creating a candle using their scent profiles or personalize it with your own aroma concoction. Price: $10, $15, $25. Candle making sessions prices: $20 and $30 (buy two get one free). Find out more about Lara.