The Reader’s Digest Canada Gift Guide: 23 Gifts Worth Giving This Holiday
Whether they’re made in Canada, designed by Canadians, or simply conjure up that classic Canadiana vibe, these gifts are the greatest the Great White North has to offer this holiday.
For the geography buff
You don’t have to be into vintage cartography to appreciate the charms of artisan Helen Hawketts’ map pillows. Handmade in her Toronto studio, each design pays homage to an historic map of a Canadian locale, screen-printed onto a linen-cotton pillowcase filled with a cushy 100 per cent down insert. Find the map that matches the home base of everyone on your gift-giving list, and you can check them all off in one fell swoop!
Georgian Bay vintage map pillow, $70, Vintage Map Co.
For the natural beauty
Activated charcoal is the must-have beauty ingredient of the moment, and you’ll find it (along with seaweed, shea butter and beautifully fragrant rose clay) in “Pretty in Pink”—one of an eminently giftable range of handmade soaps from British Columbia-based Sealuxe.
Sealuxe soaps, $8 each, One of a Kind Show.
For the DIY decorator
Who better to reinvent a Canadian cabin staple than our country’s most in-demand interior designer? The legendary Brian Gluckstein gives the faux fur throw a thoroughly modern makeover in creamy white.
GlucksteinHome faux fur throw, $170, Hudson’s Bay.
For the Anne fan
Want to dine Avonlea-style? From Marilla’s Plum Pudding with Caramel Sauce to Gilbert’s Hurry-Up Dinner, these recipes from Kate Macdonald—the granddaughter of Lucy Maud Montgomery—will take your tastebuds on a journey to turn-of-the-century PEI.
The Anne of Green Gables Cookbook by Kate Macdonald, $25, Chapters Indigo.
For the cocktail connoisseur
To put it plainly, you haven’t had a Caesar until you’ve had one made with Walter Craft Caesar mix. The small batch Canadian producer has nailed the perfect blend of vine-ripened tomatoes, grated horseradish, Worcestershire, hot sauce and real claim juice from the North Atlantic. All that’s left for you to do is add a splash of vodka—and enjoy!
Walter Craft Classic Spice Caesar mix, $8, Walter Craft Caesar.
We’re counting down 10 Must-Try Canadian Dishes (and Where to Find Them)!
For the unapologetic Canadian
Guess this cheeky lapel pin saves you the trouble of actually saying it, eh?
Sorry maple leaf enamel pin, $10, Drake General Store.
For the magpie
Self-taught jewelry designer Sabrina Chin was born in Vancouver, educated in Toronto, and is now based out of Montreal. Having earned those frequent flier miles, is it any wonder this amazingly talented artisan takes inspiration from winged creatures?
Love at First Blush feather necklace, $89, One of a Kind Show.
For the master mixologist
When is a vodka not a vodka? When it’s made from premium Canadian apples, of course! Crisp yet smooth, this innovative new spirit from small-batch Toronto distillery, Nickel 9, will redefine the way you make a martini.
Northern Temple Premium Canadian Spirit, $40 (750 mL), Nickel 9 Distillery.
Want to impress your guests with your holiday spirit savvy? Here’s How to Sound Like a Whisky Snob in Five Minutes (or Less)!
For the armchair sleuth
Detective Armand Gamache is back on the case in Glass Houses, the latest (and to date, creepiest) crime novel from bestselling Canadian author Louise Penny. In this, the 13th instalment in the Gamache saga, Penny presents her complex hero with a truly compelling mystery that will keep armchair sleuths guessing to the very last page.
Glass Houses by Louise Penny, $24, Chapters Indigo.
In the mood for a gripping police procedural? These 11 True Crime Movies Will Chill You to the Bone!
For the condiment connoisseur
As you might expect, this peanut butter and jam combo from the One of a Kind Show is truly… One of a kind. Montreal-based Mamba makes hot (yes, you read that correctly) peanut butter from Haitian peanuts, while Toronto’s artisanal Penny Candy Jam boasts 50 per cent less sugar than conventional jam. Put them together, and you’ve got yourself a PB&J to remember.
D&D Mamba hot Haitian peanut butter, $10; Penny Candy jam, $6, One of a Kind Show.
Fun fact: Here’s Why the PB&J Ever Became a Thing!
For the outdoor enthusiast
Bring on the white stuff! Temperature rated to -40 Celsius and tall enough to plow through some serious drifts, these winter boots are as hardcore as they look—and as hardcore as you’d expect, given they’re designed right here in Canada. Even if he’s a city slicker who’s spared the full extent of winter’s wrath, the camouflage print alone is enough to put these boots at the top of his wish list.
Crossfire winter boots, $195, Baffin.
Check out these 12 Surprising Ways Your Body Deals With Freezing Weather!
For the savvy chef
Regardless of whether they’re naughty or nice, all foodies want one thing this Christmas: the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker. Designed in Canada, the sleek small appliance slashes cooking time (it’s as much as six times faster than conventional cooking), and effectively replaces everything from your slow cooker to your yogurt maker. The best part? Your recipient will be so grateful, they’re bound to have you over for an Instant Pot dinner in the New Year. Score!
Instant Pot Duo Mini programmable pressure cooker, $107, Amazon.ca.
Craving comfort food? Check out 7 of our Best-Ever Slow-Cooker Recipes!
For the sweet aesthete
Although potter Leora Israel’s petite ceramic dishes are the perfect catch-alls for rings and things, they’re chic enough to be considered jewelry for the home. Embellished with real gold, and finished with an incredible attention to detail, these One of a Kind Show finds would provide a welcome bit of bling on any vanity or nightstand.
Cat whiskers dish, $27, One of a Kind Show.
For the jaded Torontonian
Ask anyone who lives in Toronto, and they’ll tell you there are a million reasons to love the Big Smoke. Unfortunately, TTC streetcars are not one of them. This saucy stocking stuffer is sure to put a smile on the face of even the most cynical city slicker.
Streetcar iron-on patch, $7, Drake General Store.
For the host who deserves the most
As a guest at a holiday dinner party, it’s expected you’ll bring a bottle of wine—but it’s also a bit predictable. For an easy upgrade, string this fishy fellow from the neck of the bottle with a length of ribbon. You’ll win over your host hook, line and sinker.
Corkscrew, $15, Winners.
Bonus: Check out these 5 Inspired Ways to Pair Wine With Flowers!
For the condo dweller who dreams of the country
Got a room without a view? This large-scale print is the next best thing to a full-size window looking out into your very own “land of the silver birch.”
Oversized birch tree artwork, $200, HomeSense.
Check out these expert tips on How to Start a Home Art Collection (Without Breaking the Bank)!
For the dad who doesn’t need any more ties
If these socks were just a *little* bit bigger, they’d make the perfect addition to a fireplace mantel. But whether they’re hung by the chimney with care, or keeping dad’s toes toasty warm, the silhouettes of Mounties, beavers and maple leaves strike the perfect patriotic note.
Canadiana socks, $5 each, Winners.
For the tea partier
We’re calling it: Turmeric will be the trendiest spice of 2019—and that’s a fact worth celebrating. Extraordinary healing properties aside (it does everything from soothe sore throats to help prevent Alzheimer’s), this hard-working super-spice makes for a delicious tea—and the perfect present in the form of a gift box from Turmeric Teas. The best part? For every six gift boxes purchased, this Canadian company donates 24 meals to Food Banks Canada—one for each pouch.
Turmeric Teas gift box, $34, Turmeric Teas.
For the frequent flyer
What better way to ensure she gets her beauty sleep en route? This dreamy hand-made sleep mask from Orillia, Ontario-based Ohhh Lulu would make the purr-fect stocking stuffer.
Floral kitty sleep mask, $22, Ohhh Lulu.
Battling insomnia? Check out these 12 Secrets to a Deeper Sleep!
For the person who misses Mr. Hockey
As a hockey player, Gordie Howe was a hero to Canadians from coast to coast. Off the ice, however, “Mr. Hockey” was an even more heroic figure as a father to his three sons, one of whom, Murray, delivered the eulogy at Gordie’s 2016 funeral. In Nine Lessons I Learned From My Father, Murray Howe expands on that eulogy to deliver a heartfelt story that will resonate not just with hockey fans, but anyone who’s lost a parent.
Nine Lessons I Learned From My Father by Murray Howe, $30, Chapters Indigo.
Check out these 10 Juicy Biographies That Make Perfect Beach Reads!