’Tis the Season to Refresh Your Festivities.

Our suggestions for an elevated holiday season.

Sponsored Content Presented by Straightaway Cocktails

Holidays are on the horizon, and though for many of us it approaches with all manner of obligations, it also brings opportunities for our own particular styles of celebration. This year, whether entertaining chosen family, braving seasonal travel, or spending the season solo, we’ve identified tips for thriving this holiday season.

1. Choose Local Quality over Budget Quantity.

As the nights grow longer, so does our propensity for gathering with friends and loved ones for revelries both large and small. If you’re hosting, co-hosting, or just performing your best guest etiquette, tis the season for local, quality food and drinks.

Straightaway Cocktails

The all-in-one convenience, sleek contemporary packaging, and colorful aesthetic of Straightaway Cocktails is overshadowed only by the quality of the mixed drinks this local brand produces. For the perennial hosts with or without a fully stocked wet bar, pivoting to Straightaway’s artfully mixed drinks will save more than just bar space. These drinks are a contemporary way to ensure each of your guests gets a consistent, expert-mixologist-level cocktail experience whether sipping Palomas on the patio or savoring a Maple Old Fashioned fireside. straightawaycocktails.com

Tails and Trotters

Tails & Trotters is renowned throughout the Pacific Northwest for its premium pork whose diet is notably finished on local hazelnuts. If your holiday spread is set to include a festive ham, pate spread, or smoky charcuterie, Tails and Trotters is a sure way to impress your guests - but pro-tip, make your celebratory orders early, these award winning pork products are a hot holiday commodity. Tailsandtrotters.com

Fat Cupcake

Everyone on holiday dessert detail should consider keeping Fat Cupcake on their radar. This Oregon City-based bakery’s Southeast Portland outpost is a candy colored hub of confectionary joy. While their custom cakes are a neighborhood favorite, it’s their namesake cupcakes that will have party guests asking for the shop’s insta handle. Our suggestion; The Charlie, a chocolate cupcake baked with a peanut butter cup in the center, and frosted with peanut butter buttercream and ganache is mouthwatering anytime of year. Fatcupcake.com

2. Be the Creative Gift Giver You Want to See in the World

Rather than another tired pack of poly-blend socks or silicone baking dishes backordered by 2 months, this year, consider a more creative gifting modus operandi. There’s no shortage of amazing local artisans to shop from, weekend workshops to share, and carefully restored vintage curiosities in our own neighborhoods. Some will even deliver right to your front door. Here are some out of the box ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

Gift a class at a local art studio

Outlet is a risograph print shop, illustration studio, workshop and pop-up event space whose intimate classes cover everything from fine-art riso printing to no-stakes drawing. And while the shop features a wide array of prints, stickers, zines and totes, gifting the closet creatives in your life with the opportunity to let loose and explore their artistic sides without the stress of expectations is a hard gift to top. outletpdx.com

Deliver a Holiday Spritz and Spirit Gift Set

Craft booze aficionados of all stripes will swoon for a sample pack of Straightaway Cocktail’s canned cocktails. This particular gift box is a true delight, that one recipient could slowly work through with a different taste for every night of the week. Appealing to a diverse assortment of tastes, it’s also a welcome addition to any holiday get-together or personal home bar. Available by same day delivery (for orders over $99) or curbside pickup at their location on SE Hawthorne & 9th, this sample set features four canned spritzers made with sparkling Willamette Valley wine and Straightaway’s house made amaro and liqueurs, as well as all six of their classic single serve cocktails. straightawaycocktails.com

Flamingo bomb a loved one’s home

For those firmly couched in the Keep Portland weird camp, the gift of temporary pink lawn flamingos might be the best possible option. Think Pink Flamingo Flocking is an event service that exists solely to plant entire flocks of celebratory, pink plastic lawn flamingos across the lawns of your friends and family members. If you’re considering gifts for a person who maybe appreciates high camp more than gift wrap, plan accordingly and they’ll wake up to a courtyard that will make them the talk of the neighborhood. thinkpinkflamingoflocking.com

Find the perfect vintage typewriter to bring the whole room together

Hear us out: Vintage typewriters are more than just a gift for the enthusiastic hobbyist with tastes that lie in antique tech and or anachronous creative tools. Fickle antiquarians will likely be thrilled with a gift from the vintage typewriter shop Typespace, but these machines also appeal to home decor enthusiasts, analog letter typers, stylish preservationists and anyone with a predilection for charismatic collectables. More than just an antique showroom, Typespace offers refurbished vintage typewriters as well as an event space and service shop. For the burgeoning novelist, rarity hunter or even the interior-decorative maximalist, a gift from Typespace is more than a functional collectible, it’s a potential heirloom. thetype.space/

3. Doing Good in Your Hood

For those whose cups runneth over there are a multitude of organizations ready to receive donations, either monetarily or in the form of volunteering. Participating in something greater than yourself during this, or any, holiday is a great way to feel all the best feels, and experience a greater purpose beyond cherished celebrations. Supporting a charity that aligns with your own ideals, or donating in a loved ones name, is a gift to your community, and to yourself, that’s worth every cent/second. Here are few resources to get you started:

Give!Guide Willamette Week’s annual Give!Guide is Portland’s easiest path to end of year donating. Each Give!Guide campaign runs from November 1st through December 31st, giving potential donors plenty of time to review and connect with charities that resonate most deeply with their own ideals. With close to 200 organizations to support, even the most tightly budgeted potential philanthropists can find a cause, and some nonprofits are even offering incentives like bakery, restaurant and coupon freebies. Give!guide.org

Blanchet House

For 70 years Blanchet House has offered food, shelter and aid to all those in need of a safe space. A pillar of their organization is the transformation of each life they touch via compassion and dignity, which they do through an interwoven tapestry of residential, meal, and clothing programs. Aside from monetary donations and volunteer shifts, potential Blanchet House patrons can pack lunches, build self care kits, or even shop Blanchet House’s Amazon wish list. Visit BlanchetHouse.org for more ways to get involved. Blanchethouse.org