Great gifting ideas for the holidays

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and also the most stressful. Family dinners (and drama), inclement weather (the snowstorms), and easily gaining 10 lbs without lifting a finger (no comment). But, the biggest headache comes down to gift giving.

Everyone loves giving and receiving presents, but… not everyone likes to shop for them. People can be picky and presents can be pricey; very few have Zuckerburg-esque budgets.

What to do? Look for things that will please everyone on the list. How to do that? Keep scrolling down for an edited selection of items that are $50 or less (for most) and will keep you from the hassle of returning/exchanging them. (Note: Shop early enough in-store or online, and there’ll be plenty of time to kick back and relax with a glass of wine before December 24th.)

Go for something playful when it comes to stocking stuffers. A tabletop curling game, portable table tennis set, and 5-in-1 wooden games set (all at chapters.indigo.ca) will keep the family entertained for hours.

Beauty aficionados will appreciate a pretty package. The Balm Dotcom Trio (made up of a multipurpose lip and skin salve in a variety of flavors – Original, Birthday, Rose, Cherry, Mint, Coconut) and the Phase 1 Set (Milky Jelly Cleanser, Priming Moisturizer, Balm Dotcom) from Glossier (all at glossier.com) will make skincare lovers rejoice.

For the guys who want to get groomed, there’s the House Essentials Kit from David Beckham’s House 99 line (ulta.com). Although there’s no guarantee men will be #twinning with Mr. Beckham, these four products (Purefectly Clean Face Wash, Greater Look Face Moisturiser, Neat Cut Shaving Cream, Polish Up Body & Hair Wash) will surely help.

And while cashmere is usually associated with cash, there are options for those who don’t want to break the bank. A knit scarf, gloves or beanie (all at uniqlo.com) will go a long way for those who are accustomed to lengthy winters. Try a little color or pattern to brighten up those grey days of the season.

We do most of our reading in front of a screen, but nothing can take away the tactile feeling of a glossy coffee table book. Simple and delicious recipes are found in Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering from TV’s Fixer Upper co-host Joanna Gaines (amazon.com) and Brian Gluckstein: The Art Of Home (chapters.indigo.ca) offers pages of interior design inspiration. It’s time to bake and decorate!

Who doesn’t need a little help, every once in a while? The Google Home Mini (shop.google.com) – a smart speaker with the Google Assistant built in – lends a hand with schedules, reminders and more. Stream music, listen to an audio book or use it with the Chromecast (shop.google.com) to watch films on your TV. It might not make breakfast, but can turn on the coffee machine (using an adapter) with a voice command.

 

Even though some don’t drink coffee, most do enjoy a cup of tea. A steaming pot – or even just a mug – of Camellia Sinensis tea (camellia-sinensis.com) using a tin of their holiday blend (made with orange peel, star anise, ginger, and more) or their tasting kit of four flavors will fill the home with scents of the season.

An ideal host/hostess gift, alcohol can start a party with a couple of shots. Volcan De Mi Tierra Blanco tequila (astorwines.com, wallywine.com) has fruity notes that make it perfect for cocktails, and Volcan De Mi Tierra Cristalino tequila (astorwines.com, wallywine.com) has a richer palate with notes of vanilla, caramel and chocolate. Sip these to enjoy their subtlety.

While many love to mix drinks with vodka, I’d suggest alternative spirit. Monkey 47 Gin (reservebar.com) is produced in Germany’s Black Forest and is comprised of 47 botanicals, and has an almost floral – not to mention complex – composition.

And when all else fails, there’s bubbly. Bypass the usual brands and reach for Le Grand Courtâge (legrandcourtage.com). Crisp, light and refreshing, Le Grand Courtâge is available in Blanc de Blancs Brut and Brut Rosé. Get a bottle of each and see which wins the popularity contest (it’s almost always a tie).

No matter what you give – or get – it’s important to enjoy the holidays. Have fun shopping!

About The Author

Steven Carver
International Editor

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