Now What To Buy…
It’s a common conundrum. You have that one tricky person on your list that has you going “Now what to buy so and so?” You try needling them for ideas, they cheekily ask for money. You think you’ve found the perfect gift, they already have it. As the days tick by, you’re more and more stressed about what to buy for that tricky to shop for person. Today’s gift guide is your mid-shopping season saviour. I’ve picked out 10 gift ideas that are so universally appealing, at least one of them is bound to put a smile on your giftee’s face. And if not? Well, cut them from your list next year 🙂
The Gift of Musical Bliss: Adele – 25 – $13.97
I’m being a bit cheeky starting this gift guide off this way, but for anyone that saw SNL’s take on how Adele’s lead single ‘Hello’ can make a bickering family dinner into a blissful musical moment will appreciate the magnitude of Adele’s songmaking prowess. Her latest album has already broken opening week sales record and is set to dominate the charts for weeks to come, but for any family member that you’ve caught mouthing the words to ‘Hello’ to that hasn’t picked up the album yet, treat ’em to a copy of this eleven-track gem. Available on CD, digitally, and yes vinyl, this is the perfect affordable gift for any fan of the golden-voiced singer.
The Gift of Breathing Better: Navage Nasal Irrigation System – $59.95+
Like many Canadians that suffer through long cold winters, I have some sinus challenges. Some of you may have tried nasal irrigation systems in the past, which are designed to help clear out your sinuses and let you breath again – but I guarantee you’ve never tried anything quite like Navage. When I got sinusitis this past month as a result of moving, my doctor actually recommended using a nasal irrigation system and I was psyched to have Navage on hand to try. While there are pretty lengthy instructions for how to use the machine, in a nutshell you empty a saline pod into purified water and the machine automatically cycles through your nose and sinuses, giving you a refreshing ahhh feeling of relief when you’re done. It’s way easier to use than manual alternatives (such as the Neti Pot) and helped keep my systems clear for a solid day, even when I was busy running around and unpacking my house. It’s definitely an unexpected choice for the holidays, but if the person you’re shopping for suffers from similar sinus issues, you’ll be giving them the most amazing gift – the ability to breathe more freely!
The Gift of Functional, Fashionable Footwear: SKECHERS – Prices Vary
Everyone needs new shoes in their new life, particularly when you live in a climate that tends to wreck your winter boots after one mere season. This one takes a bit more effort – you’ll have to stealthily take a peek at whomever you’re shopping for’s shoe size – but it’s well worth it when you gift someone with a new, practical pair of shoes that’s loaded with fun and great features. SKECHERS is well-known for their lineup of playful sneakers, but they also stock a huge range of casual shoes, work shoes, sporty and fashion sandals, and yes, winter boots. They also have shoes for the entire family – from the tiniest of tots to styles with extra grip to suit older adults that are a bit more unsteady on their feet. Remember: Even if someone already has a pair of winter shoes, they’ll certainly appreciate having a backup set on hand!
The Gift of a Handier Home: Ryobi Ultimate Combo Kit – $399 @ HomeDepot.ca
If the person you’re shopping for has even the slightest inkling of being a DIYer, this awesome kit is a perfect way to indulge their handier side. It contains six tools to help you get the job done, from a circular saw to a cordless drill with screwdriver bit, all of which can be housed in the handy included bag. The products actually have the Energy Star logo because they’re so excellent at holding a charge, meaning lower power bills for you and less headaches from going to do a job only to find out your tool is dead. It’s also a great starter set for anyone that’s just moved out for the first time – they may not need another random serving dish, but they’ll certainly want something to help them fix that loose door.
The Gift of Tastier Kitchen Staples: Evoolution Custom Cedar Gift Boxes – From $52
Your giftee may not be a foodie, but they can certainly appreciate it when you upgrade their kitchen staples. Oftentimes people are wary about buying foodstuffs for friends and family because of dietary preferences or just not knowing what they have too much of. But Evoolution’s lineup of scrumptious extra virgin olive oils (including a huge range of infused oils) and tangy light and dark balsamic vinegars are too tasty to pass up. While these oils and vinegars can be used in their raw state for dipping yummy crusty bread in alongside a delicious meal or a glass of wine, those that aren’t in the business of dipping can also use these oils and vinegars to simply upgrade their recipes. Instead of cooking with off-the-shelf EVOO, gift them a bottle of Evoolution’s high quality olive oil, available in three levels of intensity. The vinegars too, can be used in a host of ways – in salad dressings, as glazes, mixed into sauces, you name it. With customizable cedar boxes available in a range of sizes, it’s a great gift for people who absolutely can’t cook (the dippers) and for people who cook but would never splurge on a fancier ingredient for themselves.
The Gift of Companionship: Merry Meow + Merry Mutt Gift Sets – $35 each @ Drake General Store
If the owner is a tricky one to shop for, go for the next best thing – treat their beloved pet. Drake General Store is offering up two pre-packaged gift sets specifically geared toward furry friends. The Merry Meow set features catnip and plenty of toys to keep kitty busy, as well as a shell-shaped water dish and for the owner, a fun lint roller to keep their holiday sweater fur-free. Meanwhile, precious pooches will adore the foldable water bowl, chew toys, and decorative bandana tucked into their gift set. It’s a win/win for the proud pet owner that’s also a pain to shop for!
The Gift of Looking & Feeling Amazing: Waterl’eau Products – From $12 USD
When in doubt, soap and body care products are an excellent go-to for those tough cookies on your shopping list. But be wary; it can get a bit tiresome if you’re on the receiving end of a bunch of mall brand bath products. Instead, opt for a brand that feels a little off the beaten path and special, and carries universally appealing products for him and her. Case in point? Waterl’eau, a Belgium-based brand with 20+ years of history behind it. Their products (favoured by high end hotels throughout Europe) are designed to promote relaxation and wellness in equal measure, with three soothing yet refreshing fragrances – The Green Deep, The Sea, and White River Falls. French Studio Imports in the U.S. is a key place to experience the brand; they carry their full line of soaps, bath foams, body milks, shampoos, conditioners, and candles. You can also pick them up at Soap and Water Everyday in Oakville and Bacci’s in Vancouver. With prices under $30, it’s a snap to pick up a complementary line of products to treat that special someone that is otherwise tough to shop for!
The Gift of the Past: AncestryDNA Kit – $149 (Ancestry.com Membership = $9.99 / month)
If whomever you’re shopping for is rubbish at telling you what they want in the future, then perhaps it’s best to look into their past. Ancestry.com is offering up a new product called AncestryDNA. Through a simple saliva swab, they’ll compare your DNA to over 700,000 locations to help identify your cousins (all the way to your third and fourth), backtrack your ancestors to up to 1,000 years ago, and give you a clearer picture of just where you came from. Are you really a purebred Briton? Or is there some Russian or Portuguese blood lingering in there? What’s really cool about services like this is you have the potential to earn some bragging rights – perhaps you’re a descendent of royalty or a notable scourge in history. I mean, if Tom Hanks can be related to Abraham Lincoln, then anything is possible – just use the kit to find out!
The Gift of Something Special: PhotoBox – Prices Vary
Instead of going for something from the mall this season, go the personal route – even the biggest Scrooge won’t be able to resist something that’s been custom-crafted just for them. PhotoBox.ca has a crazy awesome collection of photo gifts you can choose from, starting with standard items like individual prints and poster prints, as well as photobooks and calendars, (which are particularly great for the in-laws). But they also offer stuff I truly haven’t seen in other spots – for example, for the techie in the family, they’ve got options to photo print your own cell phone or tablet case (from $24.99). Another cool idea? Make the living room pop by adding some custom photo printed cushions (from $47.99) – which is actually a gift you can continually refresh as you commemorate new occasions or milestones in your family. There’s plenty more beyond that – wall-hung canvas, desktop photo blocks, and coffee mugs are just a few other ways to add a personal touch to your hard-to-buy-for Christmas gift.
The Gift of Buttery Soft Hands: BLISS ‘Glow’ of Hands Gift set – $12 @ Hudson’s Bay
There’s always that person on your list who just insists on you not buying them anything. And they *may* mean it, but that doesn’t mean you feel any less weird showing up to their house empty-handed. The solution? A thoughtful, affordable gift with a practical purpose. Every Canadian needs a good hand lotion in their back pocket (or more literally, their purse) to get through our dry winters. BLISS has some of the very best – and this cute two-pack of hand lotions is a perfect way to battle the winter weather.
Exciting news ladies and gentlemen! I’m giving away a selection of items from this post, including:
- Navage Nose Cleaner, 3x Original SaltPod 30-Packs and Drying Rack
- Evoolution 3-Bottle Customizable Crate
- Waterl’eau The Green Deep Liquid Hand Soap, Body Milk and Soap with Cord
- $100 to PhotoBox.ca
Grand total? Well over $310 in prizing for one lucky winner! Want to win it? Here’s how to enter for your shot:
1) First of all: you must be a subscriber to the Canadian Gift Guide to enter this giveaway. It’s as simple as finding ‘The Gift of Gab’ box in the righthand column and dropping in your email or clicking follow. Then leave me a comment below by December 10, 2015 telling me your favourite gift ideas for those hard to shop for folks from this list!
2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around December 11, 2015 to select the winner, who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.
3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible for this promotion.
4) Bonus Entries: Do as many or as few of the following as you’d like. For every bonus entry you rack up, be sure to leave a separate comment with proof (i.e. a link) or your bonus entries won’t count! For example, leave one comment to start, as per step 1 above. Then, if you decide to like one of the brands on Facebook and leave a wall post, leave a link back to your wall post in a separate comment below. And so on! Google is a helpful resource for learning how to link back to social posts online.
Navage – Like them on Facebook and leave a comment on their wall about why you’d like to try them out. You’re under no obligation to mention the CGG.
Evoolution – Like them on Facebook and leave a comment on their wall about which product / flavour of theirs you’re most interested in trying. You’re under no obligation to mention the CGG.
Waterl’eau – Follow French Studio Imports on Instagram and either regram one of their images or share an image from the Waterl’eau collection on their site onto your own feed. Be sure to tag French Studio Imports in your post!
PhotoBox.ca – Follow the brand on Twitter and Tweet about what you would use the $100 for if you’re the lucky winner of this giveaway. Make sure to tag @PhotoBoxCanada in your Tweet and link back to this post!