Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide
Christmas is sneaking up pretty quickly and I don’t know about you, but I unintentionally tend to be a bit of a last-minute shopper. This year I’ve found my groove a little earlier than expected and thought I’d share some things I love in case some of you are feeling under the gun this year. A lot of these make great stocking stuffers, too!
I’ll try to keep this short and sweet, but a quick disclaimer that some of these items may no longer be available in shops. With online orders getting trickier as we count down the number of sleeps till Santa, I’ve tried to stick with a few of my favourite local shops. My family is implementing a sustainable gift theme this year, so you might notice a bit of a pattern with some of the ideas below. For those of you who accidentally find yourself doing the “one for you, one for me” shopping trick (like me), a lot of these can help with environmentally-friendly new years resolutions to help mamma earth or even support a local maker!
Dans Le Sac bread, baguette, and bulk bags
Seriously cute and extra practical. These are made in Quebec and the bags are so beautiful.
We’ve recently stopped buying bagged / sliced bread and have been treating ourselves to fresh loaves. Whether you make your bread or buy it, these little fellas help keep it fresh for longer, can also be used for fruits and veggies, cosmetics, pencils, (anything really), and can even be frozen. And bonus points for the baguette one, which has a strap so you can throw it over your shoulder! These make a great hostess gift as well. Throw in a loaf of Birdie’s Bread sourdough and I’d be one happy camper 🤤
Bulk bags are another amazing option to help when shopping for all your bulk items like grains, vegetables, lentils, nuts, produce, etc. etc. sans plastic. My sister gave bulk bag sets to guests as their wedding favours and they’ve changed the way we shop. It’s such an easy swap that makes a big difference.
Help those you love say bye bye to plastic wrap 👋🏼 My friends from Australia sent us a set of blue gingham wrappers as a wedding gift and they’ve been the best for keeping leftovers and transporting our snacks. They’re pliable and heat up with the warmth from your hands to wrap around pretty much any shape, they protect food from air and moisture, and they’re breathable, helping to keep your food fresher with no plastic-y smell. There are loads of different options out there and patterns to suit everyone. I gave my brother these ones for his bday because the sharks reminded me of a pair of socks he might wear.
Offered by different brands and in prints, they’re often available at The Tare Shop, The Independent Mercantile, and Nutured in Halifax and at Kept in Dartmouth. Or, if you can get your hands on some beeswax, they’re not too hard to make yourself!
Nordic Taper Candles
Wintertime’s made better by candlelight. These candles have a flat bottom so they can stick into taper candlestick holders or add a sticky base (available at The Indepdent Merchantile) to let them stand on their own in a short, fat vessel. I suggest picking up three or so to make a set, or a gifting a solo stick with a special holder.
The Independent Mercantile offers different colours and they come without packaging for $3.50 per stick. They’re smokeless and dripless, with a cotton wick!
If you know me, you know I love a good picnic and thankfully Matt does, too. While sandwiches and finger foods are great and all, this book elevates the picnic and adds some really nice shit to the menu. If you want to work this into a themed gift, package with bubbly, a basket, and reusable napkins and blanket. PS this is something I’d love to see under the tree too 🤓
Available at The Independent Mercantile in Halifax and at Chapters.
BREAD AND BUTTER POTTERY
These little bowls make me so happy and it’s pretty easy to see why. They’re meant to be used again and again 🧜♂️
Mugs and bowls available at Kept in Dartmouth!
Palo Santo Bundle
There’s no doubt that there’s something special about burning palo santo sticks. I’ve just recently started to smudge my house with them and don’t know why I didn’t try them sooner. Nice smell and good vibes: check, check.
Bundles are usually available at Earth Goddess shop in Halifax.
Thief & Bandit Pillow CASES
Swapping out throw pillows is such an easy way to update a room. I really love these 18x18” covers by Thief and Bandit. The design is inspired by wildflowers at a New Brunswick cottage and the fabric is organic jersey with non-toxic water based ink 🌿 Plus, they’re machine washable!
Available online here - I’m not sure about delivery dates, but since they’re based in the HRM it might not be a problem
But make it adorable. 500 and 1000 piece puzzles are therapeutic, good team activities, and even better when they’re cute.
Atlantic News usually has a great selection, especially from The New York Puzzle Company.
Available in different sizes and shapes, Weck jars are made of glass, rubber, and steel in Germany. Perfect for storing things in the pantry, loading up on bulk food at The Tare Shop, and keeping leftovers. You can also purchase different tops (wood or plastic) separately at some shops.
I’m proud to be from and live in NS and how stinking cute is this patch featuring the mayflower? Drake General Store makes one for every province as part of a Canadian Pride collection.
You can pick one up at Kept in Dartmouth.
Kara Highfield EGG & MAtchstick HOLDERs
Give your eggs feet! I love miniature everything and I like eating eggs. These little egg pants make me happy and has officially made it onto my wish list.
I’m also a huge fan of the matchstick holder — if you follow me on instagram you might have seen the pink piece of pottery housing my matches pop up a few times. I bought one a few years ago and it’s one of my favourite things. The bottom has grooves underneath so you can pick it up, strike your match, and light your candles ✨
Kara posted recently to IG that she’s doing deliveries in Halifax this Friday!
Foxhound Collection Candles
There’s a scent for everyone and the packaging and the smells are both 👌🏼 Grapefruit and Fig is my go-to but you can’t go wrong with any of them. Made in NS with soy wax and they last forever!
North Brewing Blanc
The team at North Brewing recently released Blanc, a Grisette fermented on Sauvignon Blanc grape skins — a collaboration with Benjamin Bridge. This beer was created to launch the North Brewing Conservation Initiative, a fundraising effort to acquire ecologically significant land in Nova Scotia in partnership with the Nova Scotia Nature Trust. For each can sold, $0.50 will be donated to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust.
Available at both bottle shops (on Agricola Street in Halifax and Battery Park in Dartmouth)
Kikkerland Fish Corkscrew
Matt & I were gifted this corkscrew for Christmas a few years ago and it’s one of our favourites still. It is made of stainless steel with a light wood grip and comes with a cutter to help break into that good stuff a little faster 🍷
Available at Kept in Dartmouth
String bags are the perfect reusable bag to bring on the go: they scrunch up super, super small when not in use and can expand to hold larger, heavier items.
This one is the Kungsfors available at IKEA (lots in-stock) but The Independent Mercantile in Halifax offers a variety of colours.
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
This book has actually changed my life and to be honest haven’t even finish my “tidying festival” yet 😬 It wasn’t until reading this book that I started to take my interest in interiors seriously, and it was through the process of focusing on the things I love that I decided to do something about it. It also led to huge consumption changes that have started in my closet and have been slowly seeping into other areas of my life. Maybe I’ll write more on all of this later.
But for those in your life who are curious, or might be into this kind of thing, the book makes a wonderful gift. There’s also a second book (Spark Joy) with more detailed steps for anyone who has already read the first.
I’m determined to finish the process in 2019 and I really can’t wait to binge watch Marie Kondo’s new Netflix series.
If you’re in Halifax, you can pick it up at Bookmark! Or through Chapters or Amazon.
This is another awesome gift that we received from my brother and sister-in-law. A universal growler size that you can bring to your favourite bottle shop for an eco-friendly fill up. Most offer their own glass growlers too, which is an equally great option. Growlers are one of our favourite gifts to give pals because it’s a gift that keeps on giving! Bonus points if you fill it with their favourite beer.
I saw two of these available at The Independent Mercantile in Halifax this weekend.
MERI MERI Magnetic Frame
An easy, fast way to hang art and swap it out as you like! It’s also available in white and comes with hanging cords in three colours.
These are available at Kept in Dartmouth
Sarah Sears Jewelry
It’s hard not to fall in love with all of her pieces 🖤 Sarah’s jewelry is inspired by architecture and the earth’s elements, and patina’d to perfection. You can tell her pieces are made with love, made to last, and only get better with time.
Rifle Paper Co. Recipe Tin
I have this tin and love it so much. It includes 12 dividers for different categories and comes with 24 blank recipe cards. They also sell other card sets separately when you run out and I have fun making my own. If you’re gifting it to someone on your list, I suggest adding some of your own recipe cards for your favourite appetizers, meals, and desserts to pass along.
Available at Kept in Dartmouth.
This coffee table book has also made its way onto my list. Eat, Drink, Nap: The interiors, lifestyle, and food book from Soho House. With beautiful recipes, photos (of food and interiors), and tips for making your house a home what more is there to say?
Available at Chapters!
Oscar Jarsky 2019 Calendar
I was recently gifted this beautiful 2019 calendar and was blown away when I found out that it was created by an incredibly talented teenager in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Mixing ink and watercolour, Oscar Jarsky created twelve intricate illustrations of Atlantic Canadian plant-life and birds, full of vibrant colour and strong contrast. Pictured above are a couple of my favourite months!
A limited edition of 100 prints, each print is 6" X 9" and unbound, ensuring they can be easily framed, displayed on the fridge, or pinned to cork board. Available on his website here.
Calica Studios Soft Studies Scarves
Soft and beautiful, the culmination of detailed observations of stone surfaces, Calica Studio designed these one-of-a-kind scarves. Use them around your neck or as a blanket on the plane, the design for each scarf was painted by hand before being converted into a digital rendering and transferred using rich dyes onto the surface of the wool.
Designed in Canada and made in India. Available at Sattva Boutique in Halifax.
Hope this might have helped a bit or sparked some inspiration. Good luck out there! 💪🏼