Gift Guide 2020: The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide For Everyone On Your List

Gift Guide 2020: The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide For Everyone On Your List
Gift Guide 2020: The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide For Everyone On Your List

It’s that time of year again – the holiday season. It’s the time of year where we gift our loved ones: friends, family, co-workers (?). But what to get them this year? How can you pick out the ultimate holiday gift for your friends and family and still support some local Canadian business? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. And your holiday gift giving shopping list.

So let’s get started….

Gifts for the wanderluster
For those of us who can’t travel this year, consider the gift travel via a great design book like Escapology By Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan ($39.99 via Type Books). This tome is filled with beautifully designed cottages, cabins and off the grid retreats. It is sure to scratch that itch for those who want to escape this winter. Or maybe you have a friend who has always dreamed of escaping winter with a trip to Mardi Gras in New Orleans? Now that may not be in the books this year, but you could gift them the ultimate holiday gift aka vacation magic via the Hurricane Cocktail Kit ($82) at Cocktail Emporium. Want to give the gift of travel? Gift them a great weekender bag from Canadian brand Monte and Coe ($494) and toss in a gift certificate to the Drake Devonshire, the Andaz in Ottawa, or even Fogo Island Inn. Hopefully they will take you along as their plus one. And never forget the old standby for those who love to travel, the complete series of Planet Earth on DVD or BlueRay ($34).

Gifts for the home chef
Many home chefs and cooks get into cooking because they love the art of creation but also because they love to feed people. So why not gift them an apron from the fine folks over Cooks Who Feed. Every apron purchased provides a nutritious meal for 100 people in need. Now that’s a great gift that gives back (from $65 via Cooks Who Feed). Foodies and home chefs alike are always after the finest (and most interesting) ingredients, so why not fill a basket full of some of these goodies: Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup from Wabanaki ($100), Salted Wildflower Honey w/ Marcona Almonds & 6 Seeds ($11.49), or Rosen’s Babka Chocolate Cinnamon Spread ($7.99). Finally, any at-home-chef (or at least those who’s partners subject them to daily Instagram posts of the food they make) will tell you that half the battle is the plating. Beautiful plating makes all the difference, and in turn beautiful plates making for beautiful plating. Pick up some divine dishes via SpiritWares. Last but not least, doesn’t every home cook need a beautifully handmade oyster shucker holder ($45 from Arbol)?

Moderate mixologist
The perfect gift for anyone who is just starting out to make cocktails at home is the gift of the Cocktail of the Month Club from Reid’s Distillery ($90 a month). Each month, the recipient will receive a 750ml bottle of one of Reid’s Distillery signature gins plus all the mixers and fixings to make a batch of great cocktails. Not ready to spend the coin on a monthly cocktail subscription for a friend, why not send them a one time cocktail kit from Reyna on the Rocks. We recommend the Mobay Mule or Russian Holiday cocktail kits. And every at home cocktail connoisseur knows that the sauces and bitters make all the difference. So why not stock them up with some artisanal prairie berry or strawberry rhubarb syrups from Gourmet Inspirations (3 for $49.99) or some baking spice bitters from Abiding Citizen (3 for $55.00 via Simons Canada). And if you have a wine drinker on your list, may we suggest adding a bottle or two from Nyarai Cellars in Niagara. Canada’s only black owned winery has been turning out great wines since 2009.

Gifts for the TikTok star on your list
You could blame the stay-at-home culture of 2020 but TikTok was on the rise well before then. And it turn, we all have some sort of TikTok Star in our midst (or on our lists). So what do you get them? First, consider upgrading their smart phone to one that was designed with social media in mind like the LG VELVET 5G. The latest from LG combines fashion forward design with high tech performance. It’s a must for any Tik Tok Star. Also be sure to gift them a great ring light to help with all their broadcast moments. Or at home iDance Karaoke Machine ($89.99 from Mastermind Toys) for all those dance and singing challenges on the platform.

Gifts for the at home workaholic
We all have friends that never seem to stop working – even at home. So why not make their lives easier with some great tech and accessories to help get the job done? 2020 is the year of video calls, so pick them up a pair of Apple Airpods Pro ($329.99 from Staples) to make their lives easier. Give their eyes a rest by upgrading their work station with a 34″ UltraWide monitor from LG (they can even sync their laptop to it). While you’re at it, why not kit out their home office so well that they love to get in there everyday to work. May we suggest a Virtuo Next from Nespresso ($219 from HBC) for delicious coffee at the touch of a button? Or a Dyson Pure Hot + Cool ($799) to ensure perfect temperature control and air quality at all times. And finally every home office needs a slick (yet supportive) office chair, gift them the classic Aeron Chair from Herman Miller ($1745 via DWR).

Gifts for self care
First step in self care is comfortable and cozy robe that you can wear all day (and never get dressed yet still answer the door for deliveries). Pick up a classic tiger fleece hooded robe from Reigning Champ ($230) or The Robe from All You Are ($140). Next, a great bath soak from Bathorium; their signature Crush Bath Soak will help with relaxation and stiff muscles (from $9). Toss in an all natural face and neck mask from The Cure Apothecary ($40). And don’t forget to take care of those lips with great lip balms from Lip Service Beauty (from $8). Or gift them Traditional Native Medicinal Handmade Soap from the Mountain Sage Co. Their soaps contain traditional healing ingredients such as Sage, Sweetgrass, Bear grease, Cedar, Mountain Pine, and Lavender ($12.95 via Wanuskewing Gift Shop)  Oh, and don’t forget about your/their bush. Yes, we said it – bush. It deserves a little extra attention via Bush Balm. These balms and oil treatments are sure to make it all good down there ($36 via Bush Balm).

Gifts for the binge watchers
We all have a friend (or maybe it’s just us) that loves to hibernate all winter curled up watching some great TV.  But what do you gift them? All things comfy and cozy. Start off with a great cozy hoodie from Local Lover Hoodie by Ross Mayer ($75). Or keep them on trend with a full tie-dye jogging suit from Masha Apparel ($178). Throw in some cozy chunky knit socks from OkayOK ($24). Or opt for the hottest new gift of the season; it is part cushion, part footrest and all comfort. Inspired by Japan’s Kutsurogi lifestyle, The Kushie works by providing warmth and pleasure in the feet, leading to total full body relaxation ($51). It’s like a sleeping bag for your feet. And if you are ready to go all out, you can gift them a full theatrical experience care of the LG 65″ 4K UHD HDR OLED Smart TV. They will thank you for years to come.

And don’t forget the snacks, may we suggest some great Chocolate Bons Bons from Chocolat de Kat (from $11), or gourmet popcorn from  Vancouver based That’s Amore, or some low sugar high flavour candy from Smart Sweets. Pack them all up in a gift basket, add in a little note and you’ve got the Ultimate Holiday Gift of Snacks.

Gifts for the design savvy
The ultimate (and easiest) holiday gift for the design savvy on your list is a beautiful art book for their coffee table. Check out the latest from Assouline; they have everything from a book about Dalhi to one about Dior and everything in between. But why not step it up with a more personal design gift. May we suggest that you gift them the beautiful Confluence blanket from a Tsimshian artist ($203 via Eight Generation); it is the perfect balance of modern design and indigenous artistry. We also know that the design savvy crowd appreciate the lost art of penmanship, so why not gift them a beautiful designed fountain pen from Ferris Wheel Press. Further, the holidays are the perfect time to give the gift of art; check out the works of Benny Bing or Tony Koukos.

Gifts for home workouts
One of the easiest (and most appreciated) gift for anyone who works out is the gift of new workout gear.  You can pick up some great options for the active ladies or men in your life from Free Flow Active; this Canadian brand makes fashion forward performance driven gear. If they are into spin classes but can’t make it to class due to local health regulations, maybe it’s time to get them onto a Peloton Bike. This is one gift any fitness fanatic would love to find under their tree. And last but not least, you can always gift them a virtual class or two from their favourite local gym or fitness centre.

Gifts for the streetwear savvy
They are lots of Canadian streetwear brands out there that any streetwear lover would love to cop this holiday. So why not pick up the classic ‘Michael’ Champion Reverse Weave Crewneck from Legends League ($90).  Or the Liberty Print Bubble Jacket from Montreal– based Atelier New Regime ($490). If your giftee has a cheeky sense of humour, pick them up one of the designer bootleg series sweatshirts from Leeloodles; the sweatshirts feature hand drawn designer logos. Tracksuits are the new jogging suits, so pick one up from the collaboration collection from Bustle x Playboy magazine. These are the types of tracksuits that Run-DMC would wear today (from $175). And everyone needs a pair of the best jeans out there – from Kollar Clothing. This Canadian brand has perfected the perfect slouchy skinny jean that you see all the ‘cool kids’ wearing (from $98). Finally, top it all off with a dope hat from Jaycow Millinery (from $375).

Still not sure?
If you still can’t decide on a gift for that special someone? Save yourself the time and stress by using Wonderkind’s gift catering service. It’s so simple, just answer a quick quiz  and they’ll put together a box of premium goods from Canadian female-owned brands. (from $125-$525).

Christian Dare

Christian Dare spent much of his formative years working in the fashion industry as a Visual Manager before pursuing a Masters’ Degree in Design. He is the Principal at Christian Dare Creative, the co-founder of Stylist Box and runs a successful men’s lifestyle blog, Christian Dare Edited,focusing on menswear, interior design and craft cocktails. You can find him online at www.christiandareedited.com or follow him on Twitter @christiandare but he is more fun on Instagram christian_dare. 

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