This holiday season, treat yourself, your spouse, your mom, and your overwhelmed sister with two remote-schooled kids whose home office is the only refuge from chaos. After all, it's looking like we'll have several more months of life in quarantine, not to mention the multitudes of desk workers who've already gotten the go-ahead to work from home full-time in the post-pandemic world. May as well make things cozy, functional and inspiring for the long haul.
ELECTRIC DESK RISER
While many of us gladly ditched stressful commutes in 2020, moving routinely from bed to desk to couch throughout each sedentary work-from-home-day can also take a toll on the body, causing aches, pains and stiff muscles. Help relieve your giftee of these discomforts with a standing desk, offering healthy breaks from all that prolonged sitting. While standing desks could cost a pretty penny even a few years ago, locally owned Kershaw's Office Supply (operating since 1900!) stocks several incredibly affordable options. To easily convert any tabletop into a sit-stand workspace, consider a desk riser. This one (ask for model number LLR99552) even has a quiet electric motor to make lowering and raising a breeze, and if something is accidentally placed underneath, like a coffee cup, it'll automatically stop moving. $269, Kershaw's Office Supply & Furniture, 119 S. Howard St., kershaws-spokane.com, 456-6500
Coffee is the essential fuel that fires all hard-working desk warriors. Make sure the pot doesn't run out for your WFH family member with a delivery subscription to Thomas Hammer Coffee Roasters. Sure, you can find the Spokane-based roasters' products at several area grocers, as well as the numerous Hammer cafes around town, but why not have it conveniently porch-dropped each month? Options abound, from the lightly roasted White Zombie to a traditional French roast, but you also can't go wrong with Thomas Hammer's most popular, its Signature blend, offering a balanced acidity and notes of raisin, toffee, spice and chocolate. Add a mug or Hammer-branded, vacuum-insulated stainless tumbler for the ultimate functional gift package. 1-pound bags start at $11.75, with a 5 percent discount for subscriptions. Thomas Hammer Coffee Roasters, hammercoffee.com
Most professional workplaces don't allow candles, scented wax warmers or essential oil diffusers for safety and sensitivity reasons, but you get to set the rules in your home office. Sometimes, all it takes to settle into a day of productive, sweatpant-powered work is good ambiance — sounds, sights, scents all in harmony. A flickering candle flame illuminating yet another dark winter evening in quarantine can also be unexpectedly comforting. Lucky for gift givers and candle collectors alike, the Inland Northwest is home to several artisan candlemakers, including Knightlights Candles. The company's Spokane Parks Collection offers another layer of comforting nostalgia with scents inspired by the city's iconic public parks. During those long, dull Zoom sessions, your gift recipient can pretend they've been transported to a sunny day in Cannon Hill Park via notes of apple and evergreen, or Huntington Park overlooking Spokane Falls where sweetgrass and violet linger on the breeze. $12-$32, From Here, 808 W. Main Ave., fromherespokane.com
APPLE AIRPODS PRO
If you're the type who likes to give (or receive) the most practical gifts possible, look no further than Apple's high-end earbuds, the Airpods Pro. OK, yes, we realize that not everyone out there is an Apple acolyte, but those who are are likely to use these buds daily during work and play. They're ideal for video meetings and phone calls, and even puttering around the kitchen looking for a third (or fourth, or fifth) snack of the day while engrossed in a podcast. Having recently purchased these for my partner, who uses them daily for fun, and to focus, I can definitely vouch. Noise-canceling tech is also useful when the rest of the house is abuzz but you're not done working for the day. Pricing for the Pros is pretty much the same no matter where you shop, so consider supporting local and hitting up Huppin's, which sells this model in-store only. $250, Huppin's, 8016 N. Division St., huppins.com, 893-5588 ♦