Holiday Gift Giving Ideas

Top Picks from our Local Bend Lifestyle Team

Since our first issue launched in February 2016, Bend Lifestyle has been proud and honored to bring you inspiring stories from our community. No matter the topic, we give each issue considerable thought, planning every detail and handling it with care . . . telling stories that we hope matter to you. 

Each monthly issue of Bend Lifestyle would not be possible without the efforts of some very talented writers and photographers. Through the years we have been blessed to have many talented individuals bring the pages of our publication to life. Each issue is truly a collaborative effort between our Bend Lifestyle staff, writers, photographers and those whose stories we share.

This month, with the holiday season in full swing and gift giving on our minds, we wanted to treat you to a new twist to our annual December gift guide pages and offer an opportunity for you to get to know our current local Bend Lifestyle contributors. On the following pages we introduce you to each team member, and they share gift ideas they are considering giving this holiday season —from gifts for husbands and wives, to ideas for giving to local nonprofits who contribute so much to our community. We hope their ideas will inspire your holiday shopping this year.

As we reflect on the past year, we at Bend Lifestyle are thankful that you choose to spend time with us, and we are thankful for our advertiser partners who make this magazine possible. We wish you all a blessed holiday season spent with those you love the most. We are thankful for the opportunity to come into your homes, businesses and lives each month, sharing stories about our beloved community.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you all.

Miguel Edwards

Photographer, Sculptor, Artist

A photographer for Bend Lifestyle since 2021, Miguel Edwards is also a sculptor and artist, a community advocate, an entrepreneur and mentor. Miguel and his wife, Cori, moved to Bend from the Seattle area in 2018. A man of many hats, Miguel has established himself in our community as a prolific artist and sought after photographer. When it comes to shopping for his wife, Miguel enjoys the process of discovery and loves to shop locally, wandering around to see what catches his eye.

         Top: Pottery House in Tumalo never disappoints when shopping for gifts.

         Bottom: Layor Art Supply in downtown Bend offers locally handcrafted gift ideas.

Shop: Pottery.House & LayorArt.com

Donna Burklo

Executive Director of Family Kitchen & Writer

Donna has been writing for Bend Lifestyle since its first issue in February 2016. A Bendite for 19 years, she loves the collaborative nature of our human services world here. As the director of one local grassroots-formed nonprofit, Donna loves to help lift up other nonprofit organizations who do good work, but don’t have hefty marketing budgets to attract donations. Here are two of Donna’s favorite local organizations that can use a bit of extra love this holiday season.

            Top: REACH – A local organization providing assistance and outreach to address homelessness for local residents.

            Bottom: Hunger Prevention Coalition – A Central Oregon nonprofit working to end hunger in our community.

Give: ReachOutCentralOregon.org & HungerPC.org


Julie E. Furnas 

Feature Writer  

Originally from Denver, Julie moved to Bend in 2013 and has been writing for Bend Lifestyle since 2016. Julie and her family like to camp, hike and travel, especially to the Oregon coast. Julie absolutely loves to shop local and give gifts that are made right here in Central Oregon. Two of her favorite gift ideas for family and guests are made here in Bend, keeping her holiday shopping close to home.

            Top: Crater Lake Spirits – A bottle of vodka, gin or whiskey from this local distillery makes it a favorite gift for out-of-town family and friends.

            Bottom: Broken Top Candle Co. – Handcrafted candles and gifts made with a luxurious blend of Pacific Northwest scents.

Shop: BrokenTopCandleCo.com & CraterLakeSpirits.com

Maile Mason

Owner of Maile Mason Photography

A Bend Lifestyle photographer since 2022, Maile Mason was educated at the renowned Brooks Institute of Photography and started her career in fashion, commercial and advertising photography before finding her passion for family photography. She loves telling stories with her photographs and creating tangible memories to cherish forever. She is married to a fabulous man and is a mother to two snuggly little girls and a white lab. Here are her gift ideas for her husband. 

     Top: Treat the man in your life to a snowboard or ski tune up, or some new ski gear.

     Bottom: Power tools, like this impact driver, can make a great gift.  

Shop: Skjersaas-Bend.com & OregonWholesaleHardware.com


Orion Tupper

Photographer, Writer, Model and Artist

One of our newest contributors, Orion Tupper began working with Bend Lifestyle in March 2023 as a photographer, writer and model. Orion is a passionate person with a love for motorcycles, an affinity for travel and a keen eye for art. His diverse interests fuel a creative spirit that thrives on freedom, expression and aesthetics. Orion shared with us two of his favorite holiday gift ideas for young people.

            Top: Mini mobile photo printer with Bluetooth connectivity and sticker-backed paper is a great gift for a generation that treasures photos.

            Bottom: A water bottle sling bag is a perfect gift for those who live the active Central Oregon lifestyle.

Shop: Amazon.com & REI.com


Natalie Stephenson

Owner of Natalie Stephenson Photography

An award-winning photographer for children and families for seven years running, Natalie Stephenson has been in business in Central Oregon for 19 years. Her first photography assignment with Bend Lifestyle was in March 2023. On the personal side, Natalie is a happy wife of 27 years and the mom of two incredible grown boys, one of which is her associate photographer and the other is a U.S. Marine. Natalie shared two gift ideas for her sons.

            Top: Ski passes for each so the family can ski together.

            Bottom: A photo album documenting the past year, a family trip or childhood memories.

Shop: MtBachelor.com & Amazon.com

Lynette Confer

Bend Lifestyle Editor

 Lynette Confer has been Editor of Bend Lifestyle since July 2022. After graduating from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Journalism, Lynette headed west. A Central Oregon resident for 22 years, she and her three beautiful, talented kids share their home with beloved pets including dogs, cats, horses, chickens and rabbits. These are two of Lynette’s favorite gift ideas for dogs.

            Top: See Spot Run is a mobile pet gym with dog-powered treadmills, a healthy treat dogs love!

            Bottom: Rex Specs goggles offer protection for dogs with sensitive eyes, or just protection from wind and dirt while out on a hike.

Shop: SeeSpotRunMobile.com & RexSpecs.com

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