On this, our second COVID Christmas, we’ll be doing all we can to make spirits bright. For me, that means snagging a few adult advent calendars before they sell out. And making sure I don’t leave my shopping to the last minute. This year I’ve been scouring high and low to find those perfect presents and I think my research has paid off. Here’s some suggestions for even the trickiest person on your list.
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Table of Contents
For the Active Set
BE Outfitter’s Campo Utility Hammock + Poncho, is the perfect gift for those outdoorsy folks who seems to have everything. It’s also ideal for someone just starting to build their kit. It’s a hammock, rain poncho, shelter and ground cover all in one. Lightweight and waterproof, you’ll be prepared for whatever comes your way. For the hammock functionality, be sure to also purchase the tree straps.
I tell everyone who doesn’t know what to gift a guy, to check out the Casus Grill. It’s a lightweight, portable eco-friendly grill you can put in your backpack. After grilling in the great outdoors, burn the whole thing down. Did I mention they’re super affordable?
For anyone who wants to ski in the Canadian Rockies, the Sunshine Super Card is the way to go. It’s on sale for $99 until Dec. 31. With it, you get your 1st, 4th and 7th ski days free at Sunshine Village, Jasper’s Marmot Basin or Revelstoke Mountain Resort. On all the other ski days you get 25% off. Even if you only ski one day the card pays for itself. You can buy it online or at Sobeys, Safeway, AMA, SportChek and a host of other spots.
I just caught wind of Swiftwick’s Pursuit Hike sock. I test drove a pair this fall and was so happy with them, I ordered their hockey sox for The Huz. They perform great in managing moisture, are light and have this performance-quality fit with ankle and arch compression for muscle support. Besides hiking and hockey, you can use them for skiing, winter running, or any outdoorsy activity.
For Kids (and Dads)
The Japanese word suminagashi translates roughly to floating ink. It’s a marbling technique that makes for a fun, EASY art project for kids and Jodys. This Aitoh Origami Marbling Kit is an affordable option.
On a recent spa break, I came across some wooden balancing stones. They’re cut at different angles so stacking them is both soothing and a light challenge. They’d be great for kids, teens and adults who are into meditative activities.
Did we get our puzzle fill over COVID? I think not. This 500-piece winter themed puzzle has enough snow in it to make it challenging, but the scene is so pretty and pleasant you won’t mind working away at it. It’s only $16.98 at Staples.
A recent LEGO® study found that 92% of surveyed Canadian parents said that play through building helps them connect with their children – and 74% of adults said that play through building helps them be more creative. Jump start the creativity and connection with an Adult LEGO set.
The LEGO® Art World Map can be reimagined in a number of different ways. Customisable brick-built pins can be placed on destinations you’ve visited or serve as a reminder of where you want to go. It results in a personalized masterpiece you’ll enjoy making and looking at.
If you have a plant lover, LEGO® Creator Expert Birds of Paradise is a relaxing, build of an elegant plant that you won’t mind displaying in your home.
For kid crafters, check out LEGO DOTS Summer Vibes. Kids can expand their creative skills as they decorate a bracelet, a picture frame and different items in the kit. Pattern ideas are included or they can wing it. At only $39.99 it’s a good, device-free investment.
Cooking & Entertaining
If you’ve got a comfort food lover on your hands, they’re sure to love the new Pioneer Woman cookbook: Super Easy! It’s 100% on my list. I hope someone in my family is reading this…
I love champagne towers so much, I had one at my wedding reception. But it’s the retro coupe glass I really love, which makes this Pottery Barn Champagne Tower high on my list.
You’ll be the hostess with the mostess if you’ve got a festive punch cascading through this vintage-inspired party fountain.
Nobody wants to get an appliance for Christmas. But a set of elegant, non-toxic cookware? Yes, please! Our pots and pans are all old and if I’m being honest, scorched on the bottom. Goop Cookware has some special mineral in it to safeguard against PFAS, PFOA, lead and Cadmium; while reducing environmental impact. Best is how stylish the cookware looks with its gold finishings and stay-cool metal handles.
If you subscribe to the notion: if it’s not moving, monogram it, you’ll love this personalized cutting board. You can engrave anything you like on it, which makes it a thoughtful, useful gift with a very personal touch.
If you know someone who drops an ice cube into their wine, don’t shame them! Simply set them up with these Freeze Cooling Wine Glasses.
Bath lovers take note! I received a similar tub caddy last year and I love it. More importantly, I still use it!
Nordic Ware pans are so festive and make holiday entertaining easy. You could throw a box cake mix into one of these pans, sprinkle some icing sugar over the grooves and impress the heck out of everyone.
In no particular order, my favourite books of the year that I can wholeheartedly recommend are:
Greenwood, an epic family saga that is so not boring.
Fault Lines by Email Itami. A tore through this book in a weekend. As a bonus, the main character was from the beyond rural province in Japan I spent four-years living in.
Treats for Others (and You!)
Tea can be a luxurious yet inexpensive treat. I’m normally pretty picky about my cuppa, but on a whim I tried the Cozy Faves Sachet Tea Wheel from DAVIDsTEA. I was hooked. First off, the circular box looks like a small version of a hatbox and is so pretty there’s no need to wrap it. Second, the teas in this collection truly dole out comfort and joy. For a herbal lift go for the blueberry pancakes. For a sweet buzz try pumpkin earl grey.
Pro tip: I’m going to bash the tea leaves from some of the more exotic blends with a rolling pin. Then I’ll put those crushed tea leaves into a sugar or shortbread cookie recipe. It’s the only way I know how to intimidate the pros at holiday cookie exchanges.
Want to infuse your holidays with a touch of Parisian magic? Mai oui! Ladurée’s limited-edition macaron gift boxes are just the thing. Designed in collaboration with a jewellery house, the packaging is as exquisite as the macarons you’ll fill it with. Gift boxes start from $40 and you can order online for delivery across Canada.
After reading so many positive reviews, I’ve been test driving several Murad products lately. I have to say I’m impressed. Their gift sets are a fun and easy entry in their product lines which delivers clinic-level results. I went for the Revitalize Gift Set as it comes with a full size cleanser and retinol serum, but I was pretty tempted by their Start Glowing kit, too. Take their skin quiz to find out which regimen is right for you.
Everyone could use a bling over the holiday season. I love colour, for many reasons, but especially because its cheerful and black is so basic. When I saw this Starlight Trillion Ammolite ring I was immediately drawn to it. Korite is a gemstone that’s only found in Alberta. It’s unique, precious and extremely pretty. Next on my list is likely to be this Radiant Ammolite Station Necklace. It’s strung on 18K gold with garnet, citrine and white topaz.