FOR THE HARD-TO-BUY HOST
If the host has an immaculate home that looks like it came out of the pages of a decor magazine, search for something that’s finely crafted and one of a kind.
Curated by an interior designer, Espace d. carries Scandinavian decor, local art and beautiful items for the home. The Cousu de fil blanc hand milled French soap is an exquisite find, available in chestnut milk, coffee, and seaweed. Inside Litchfield, browse through a handpicked selection of cast iron tea kettles, porcelain dishes and high quality housewares crafted in Japan. The Hinoki Cypress Aroma Bath Flakes are unconventional yet luxurious scented tea bags that are therapeutic and re-usable.
For the hostess, bring something cheeky, like the gold lipstick printed mugs and tea cups with saucers, available L’Atelier Home. If she appreciates locally made finds, Nouvelle Nouvelle carries cool art objects and products that are handcrafted by up-and-coming designers, like the Wasted Effort pyramid-shaped candles.
Otherwise, you can go green with Parilament’s collection of Kermodi Living Art. From mini succulents to small zebra-striped haworthias, Kermodi’s mobile plants will liven up any space. You can also keep it fresh with a holiday floral arrangement. Drop into Olla Flowers for fair trade roses and unconventional bouquets, or have a floral artist at Heathers the Flowershop design a custom arrangement with European flair.
Or, give something that’s timeless and sentimental. Print a photograph of a special moment captured digitally, or commission an artist to create something from the heart – and put a frame on it. Kimprints creates custom pictures frames, from plaque mounts to mat cutting and everything in between.
For a family-friend gift, Orling & Wu carries D.I.Y. Board Games, a set that will spark creativity in the little ones. The box is jam-packed with boards and counters to colour in, pieces to assemble, and five games in one. For a fun, educational gift, consider Bird Bingo, a beautifully illustrated bingo game that features species of weird and exotic birds from around the world.
FOR THE MAN OF THE HOUSE
The man of the house will certainly appreciate a gift that will help let out some steam. Cigar Connoisseurs has an exceptional selection of Cuban cigars that would amaze even the finest collector. You can expand his collection with Dominican, Nicaraguan or Dutch cigars and cigarillos at Gassy Jack Cigars.
Or, he can let loose Don Draper and Harvey Spector style with an obligatory glass of scotch. Chic European glass decanters at FortKnight Boutique provide stylish encouragement. Accompany it with a rare bottle of vintage single malt whisky – if you’re feeling extra generous.
FOR THE COCKTAIL CONNISSEUR
If you’re heading to the home of a cocktail connoisseur, Old Faithful has a few options. The Morris Gibson all-natural grapefruit hibiscus or ginger spice cocktail mixer is a great addition to their liquor cabinet. It’s a delicious tease that might even entice your host to practice their cocktailing skills after dinner. At-home bartenders can try their hand at rapidly aging their favourite spirit with the Barrel Aged Spirits Kit.
And if they’ve mentioned dreams of owning a craft distillery, start them off with the Homemade Gin Kit. It contains everything they need to transform a generic bottle of vodka into a unique home-blend of their very own gin.
You can’t go wrong with an edible gift. Ditch the typical Turtles chocolate box and opt for a gourmet treat. In-house artisan chocolate creations by East Van Roasters will satisfy the pickiest sweet tooth. The local chocolatier offers assorted gift boxes and holiday sampling boxes filled with chocolate caramels, hand-dipped single truffles and other sweet confections for the holidays. If your hostess loves to bake, you can also choose between baking chocolate, Hives for Humanity honey, and other gourmet cooking products.
And then there’s coffee – an ideal gift for the busy host that lives on the go. Grab a bag of hard-to-find quality beans like Christmas Coffee, a Guatemala Santa Barbara roasted espresso by The Barn Coffee Roasters, found at Revolver Coffee. Or, they can experience three different processing methods in the Geisha Varietal Pack by Calgary-based roasters, Phil & Sebastian. If they’re too busy running errands to brew their own coffee, treat them to many rounds of Revolver’s slow pour coffee with a gift card.
Timbertrain is another hotspot for coffee hobbyists. Their signature local roasted beans are also available for at-home use, along with their coveted 8oz or 12oz KeepCup premium glass tumbler, a great vessel to appreciate the craft of specialty coffee.
For more gift ideas, check out our recent holiday posts: