By Nicole Vernon, Manager of Chukar Cherries in Pike Place Market
Wear a wool sweater, hat, scarf, and gloves. Come expecting to be out in nasty weather and then be pleasantly surprised when it’s just a light rain.
Take your time. Allow yourself to stop in for a relaxed cup of hot chocolate at Local Color, a treat at Piroshky Piroshky, or tea and crumpets at The Crumpet Shop. It’s hard to shop on an empty stomach.
If you come between 10am-6pm on Decemeber 1st-15th and park in the Public Market Parking Garage, 2 hour parking is free! All you have to do is present $30 of receipts from market vendors.
Do your holiday gift and holiday food shopping all at once. At the Market you can find not only gifts but ingredients for a super easy holiday party appetizer like crackers with cream cheese and Cherry Pepper Jelly.
Last year I used Berry & Pistachio Mix in my Thanksgiving stuffing. With apples, pears, baguettes from Le Panier, sage, rosemary, and some other spices suggested by Diane of Diane’s Market Kitchen, it was a total treat. Made me curious why we don’t eat stuffing and mashed potatoes for every meal in the winter!
Shop small. We can all pretty much agree that the gift giving traditions of the holidays can get a bit out of hand. Would your family members really prefer you buying them another four shirts just because they are on sale, or would they rather enjoy one small, handmade treasure that really spoke to you?
My boyfriend, Erik, buys earrings from the Market for his mother every Christmas. It’s a tradition that makes gifting easy for him, and she delights in the local creations he picks out every year. Some of our favorite vendors are Tink McCoy (Tinker McCoy Jewelry Arts), Fusion In Glass, and Nature’s Twist.
Let stores take care of the shipping for you. Two years ago I took all of my gifts (Chukar’s Original Assortments for all my extended family) to the post office. I had to cover them in brown paper, address them, stand in line, and in the end the cost was equal to the $6.95 flat rate shipping Chukar offers.
So, last year I let the folks at Chukar Headquarters worry about packing and shipping my gifts, which saved me a lot of time. Plus, this year I got a packet summarizing all the recipients I mailed to last year; I just have to fill in what I want to send them this season! So easy.
You can order through chukar.com but if you want to come down to the Market to see (and taste) what we have to offer, we will happily fill out a mail order form in-store for you.
Last but not least, soak it all in. The Market makes every effort to stay bright and cheery even at night. The arcade lights that shine are the same that lit the thoroughfares of the Market a hundred years ago. Twinkle lights crisscross Pike Place outside and glitter off the wet cobblestones. The Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority (PDA) hangs banners for all the Market businesses and plenty of locally grown greenery is draped on every accessible ledge and gutter. It’s truly a magical experience.