Christmas is a holiday that always reflects the cultural values of the community where it is being celebrated. For unique Christmas items that have cultural significance, shopping at galleries is a good place to start.
Seattle has countless galleries, but here are two that really add something special to Christmas retail options in the Northwest. You can buy something special for the holidays here, or just buy a really amazing gift for someone in your family.
With locations in Pioneer Square, Westlake Center, U-Village, and Bell Square Mall
Call 1(800)505.8882 for more store information
Fireworks is a chain of Pacific Northwest gallery stores that exhibit the work of local artists. You will find great gifts here any time of the year. They have neat clocks, beautiful jewelry, lamps, mobiles, sculptures, home decorations, and books by local writers.
The store is a charming mix of inventive pieces and bright colors. Fireworks celebrates the holidays in a big way. All the stores are decorated with zest, and most of the decorations are for sale. They have some of the most creative ornaments around, including snow globes, nutcrackers, and decorative Santa Clauses.
They all sell a wide variety of hand painted angels. The ornaments have a fun feel to them, rather than solemn religious connotations. Some of them have a very bright, northwest style, which adds a different tone to the usual red and green Christmas. Some are hand painted and absolutely adorable.
You can also find nice cards and unique stocking stuffers here. They always have small holiday novelty items, which are great for small gifts. Fireworks is a good place to go for new holiday decorations, because once someone is featured here, it seems like the artist becomes an instant hit.
You start to see their work around the community way more. It is a good place to see what is happening in the local craft art scene. Fireworks was named one of the top 100 retailers of American Craft, so you can count on finding a nice selection of unique items when you come here this Christmas.
La Tienda Folk Art Gallery
With Ballard and U-District locations
La Tienda gives you a wide selection of gifts that you won’t find anywhere else. As the name implies, the inventory is folk art in nature, and hails from all around the world, although there are always items from local artists.
If you want to buy something different this year, check out both of the locations, as they both feature different items. Handicrafts have an international, exotic flair, many with cultural significance: Day of the dead dolls from Mexico, carved wooden bowls and furniture from the Ivory Coast, delicately beaded vanity sets from India.
Most items serve a functional purpose, and if the function doesn’t seem clear to you, you will be happy to see that they are accompanied by a full history of their place of origin and how they are used. Around Christmas, La Tienda celebrates Christmas or its equivalent all around the world.
You’ll see different representations of Santa Claus, Pere de Noel, and Father Christmas. Dolls and hand woven stockings that celebrate Christmas can often be found. You can also find wonderful ornaments, and home items that celebrate the season with rich, hand dyed color.