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December 15, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Holiday shopping: Show your appreciation to the host with a special thank-you gift


By Andrea Dashiell / Special to Sunday Market

Holiday-party season is in full swing, and no one wants to show up empty-handed. A bottle of wine or pretty candle are the traditional standbys, but maybe this year you want to spice things up a bit.

Here are a few gifts you can pick up at local stores that give an extra-special “thank you” to your host or hostess.

The gadget-obsessed can keep her hands toasty warm on cold mornings with Touch Tech Cashmere Gloves ($38 at Nordstrom), which feature a smartphone-friendly fingertip and thumb. A variety of bold colors, including hot pink and sea green, are available. Prefer something neutral? Gap’s Cable Cowl Scarf ($35) has chunky cable-knit charm in heather gray or oatmeal.

L’Occitane’s five-piece Hand Creams Of Provence gift set ($42 at Nordstrom) is a little luxury that will make her day. With scents of lavender, cherry blossom, almond and more, she’ll have a lotion to suit her every mood. Or take the classic candle gift up a notch with the Simpatico Hobnail Candle ($28 at Anthropologie). The textured-glass vessel can be enjoyed long after the candle has burned away.

Shopping for the woman who has everything? Surprise her with Seattle’s best-kept beauty secret: Kari Gran. The local skin-care line is eco-friendly and luxurious, featuring only natural, plant-based ingredients. Try the Lip Whip Gift Pack ($40), a set of four oil- and beeswax-based lip balms, or the Skin Care Starter Kit ($35, both available at Kari Gran, Westlake), which includes Cleansing Oil, Hydrating Tonic and Essential Serum.

An interesting coffee-table book is thoughtful and an instant conversation starter. Bring “Lost Seattle” ($19 at The Elliott Bay Book Company, Capitol Hill), by Rob Ketcherside, which contains many previously unpublished photos of lost landmarks from the Emerald City’s colorful past.

Skip the wine and bring local brewery Pyramid’s Winter Variety Pack ($19 at grocery stores). The 12-pack includes four different seasonal brews, including the new Fascinator Doppelbock, a full-bodied lager with a hint of caramel malt. Or give the beer lover a bottle opener he won’t have to dig for, such as the handmade Bottle Opener Bike Natural ($38 at Click! Design That Fits, West Seattle), which hangs on the wall for effortless top-popping.

The gentlemanly art of carrying a handkerchief is making a comeback. Get him the hippest one available — an olive Japanese cambric D-2 Handkerchief ($43) from Scout Seattle on Capitol Hill. Navy and cream variations are also available.

You don’t need a sweet tooth to fall in love with Seattle-based Jonboy Caramels ($11 at PCC Natural Markets). The soft, buttery confections come in flavors such as Fleur de Sel, Molasses Ginger and Absinthe with Black Salt.

Visiting an avid baker? Get her Cupcake Royale’s Cupcaking Mix + Frosting Bundle ($19.50 at Cupcake Royale), a new make-at-home kit that includes mix for the local company’s beloved vanilla cupcakes, a pint of buttercream frosting, plus sprinkles and a gift box.

Design lovers will fall for the sleek Porcelain Fortune Cookies ($16 each at the Frye Art Museum Store, First Hill) by local artist Aleksandra Pollner. The charming cookies contain fortunes written by a local psychic.

Or go for rustic charm with a set of four Birch Branch Coasters ($16 at Butter Home, Capitol Hill), which are hand-sanded and finished with beeswax. Add a few favorite holiday words (joy, noel, merry) in metallic ink for a personal touch.

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