yuletide finds

I get excited about a good deal; especially when I come across a good deal for a quality item and the purchase supports our local community. So–in the holiday spirit–here are a few of my most coveted Yuletide finds.

Cutting out the work of cutout sugar cookies
A little while ago, 8 Arms Community Bakery sent an email with their top 20 holiday gift ideas. Among the list of favorites (like scrumptious bars, spicy polenta crackers, and caramelized onion tarts), was a decorate-your-own-cookie pack. Two dozen holiday cutout cookies with a choice of icing. Considering the time it takes to make the dough, refrigerate it, roll it out, cut it out, bake it and let the cookies cool…well, I was sold! All my kids had to do was decorate.

Buying unique nicknacks at Oly’s toy store
Thank goodness Captain Little toy store is up and running in downtown Olympia after the departure of Wind Up Here. Although many downtown shops sell a few items for kids, this store is dedicated to loot for little ones. There are loads of toys, stuffies, dress-up clothes, games and more. My husband and I stopped in there the other night (without the kids) and I was pleased to see they have a decent number of unique and clever lower-cost items–perfect gifts for neighbors and holiday exchanges.

Avoiding crowds while visiting Santa
My family has a tradition of driving to Alderbrook Resort for our annual visit with Santa. Beautifully decorated, the lodge and Hood Canal are a great backdrop for family photos. It’s calm and serene; no crowds and no lines to see Santa. While the cost of the brunch in the lodge’s restaurant wouldn’t necessarily be considered a “deal,” the photo with Santa is free!

Scavenging for a Christmas tree
After years and years of buying a potted tree for Christmas (then planting it in a family member’s yard after the holidays), we decided we’d take on a little adventure. We bought a $5 Christmas tree permit from the US Forest Service and planned to combine the collection of the tree with a nice country drive and hike in the woods. Unfortunately, a few family members got sick, so we didn’t actually do this…but I do think it’s a good deal to keep in mind for the future.

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