Choosing meaningful things to get for meaningful people in your life every year can be very difficult. There is a lot of crap out there. But I have some ideas:
This cream deodorant from Garden City Essentials WORKS. And it's $21 for 6 months of deodorant. And they're Canadian!
I've been using this cream for three months and I won't go back to the drugstore brands. My underarm skin is soft. I don't get pit stains. I think it might not be legal to fly with this stuff though, unless you put it into a smaller travel container. Worth it.
Turkish towels are a style of towel made of long-spun Turkish cotton. They are light and decourous. They have dozens of uses, at home, work, fashion, baby care, camping, beach and kitchen. They dry really quickly and are easy to pack. They aren't just towels though, you can get hand towels, hair towels and a variety of wearables.
A few good options for sellers include these everyday standard ones from Sunday Dry Goods, also available online and in-store for $26-$40 from Hamilton retailer Canoe.
Gratitude, by Oliver Sacks
I just did a one month residency rotation at an inpatient addictions treatment centre and Dr. Oliver Sacks' Gratitude was for sale in the book shop, alongside the Big Book of AA and other such personal development bibles.
I stood in the gift shop for 30 minutes devouring the first three essays. I was asked to either buy the book or get back to work. I bought it. I think I am going to give it to my father-in-law for Christmas, and I can say this here because he will never read this.
The book is thin, will fit in a stocking and will shake your own socks right off.
Get. This. Book.
Then. Give. It. Away.
Elizabeth Arden Eight-Hour Cream Skin Protectant
I first learned about this stuff in 2006. I was in Ottawa and my face had developed a sudden sandpaper like quality. I went into the pharmacy and the cosmetic counter lady gave me a knowing glance and told me to buy the Eight-Hour Cream from Elizabeth Arden. I had that same tube for 4 years, which is a little gross, but it was my trusty aide in times of dryness. It never let me down. And in remains part of my winter pickling process. It has an herby smell but feels really lovely on.
Turquoise Mountain Jewelry
Turquoise Mountain is a non-profit non-governmental organization that is dedicated to regenerating the city of Kabul and sharing Afghanistan's unique craft culture with the world. It is a joint venture between the governments of the UK and Afghanistan. A friend of mine used to work for them in Kabul and we can confidently support their work and their ethics.
The Far + Wide Collective is a fair-trade company that sells Turquoise Mountain jewelry and other social enterprise products in Canada. They mostly feature my favourite stone, lapis lazuli which is a deep, gold-flecked cobalt. It is the most elegant and hopeful of stones. My wedding earrings were lapis. My favourite earrings are lapis. When I was in Afghanistan, I collected lapis. It is everything. Click the images below for links to these, my favourite Turquoise Mountain Jewelry available from Far + Wide.
The Craziest Thing
And this is just great. Temp tatts from Tattly.
Skills: Sewing, Cooking, Baking, Knitting.
People always like to explore hobbies. And when you purchase a skill experience from a local business, you're funneling real dollars into the local economy as well as building community. That's what holidays are all about.