When holidays and birthdays arrive, finding the perfect gift isn’t as easy as we might hope. If you are like me, you probably want to give a gift that is thoughtful, sustainable, useful, and unlikely to create clutter. Finding a gift that meets all of those requirements can be a challenge…especially if you leave it to the last minute.
To help you (and myself!), I have curated a go-to list of mindful and useful gifts for everyone. These gift ideas range from practical to consumable, beautiful to experiential. I think you will easily find something for those hard-to-shop-for coworkers or your partner who already has everything. Come take a look…
Practical Gifts Under $50
1. The Lululemon Crossbody Bag is for that person in your life who is always on the move. With easy-access pockets and waterproof fabric, it’s ideal for Victoria weather. I use mine daily for dog walking, grocery shopping, and city walks. The new caramel colour is also the perfect “go with everything” neutral.
2. Crate and Barrel delivers functional beauty with this lovely Glass Salad Bowl, complete with a beautiful wood acacia lid. This is the perfect multipurpose set for your friend who loves to host. The cover can also be removed and used as a tray for a delicious cheese board. I love multi-purpose items.
3. The Pré de Provence Soap on a Rope is just as perfect for him or her. It smells amazing, with gentle notes of peppery citrus and an amber base of leather. An added bonus? It won’t get all mushy in the soap dish. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
4. ASH Refillery has become my go-to for so many gift ideas. From non-toxic skincare to low-waste kitchen supplies, it’s a one-stop shop for curating a box for anyone on your list. This is a fantastic way to support a local Victoria business while shrinking your environmental footprint. Win, win.
Eco-Friendly Gifts Under $100
1. Not only do Bala Bangles look stylish but these 1-pound weights can also be worn comfortably on either wrists or ankles to add extra resistance to any workout or activity. I personally love using them while doing chores around the house. Bala Bangles are also an Eco-Conscious Design with a low environmental footprint.
2. The Multi-Pocket Canvas Market Tote is perfect for a trip to the farmer’s market, the beach, a picnic, or your favorite winery. It has a spot for everything, including an insulated space for your dairy-fresh goat cheese. This well-made, reusable tote will surely become well-loved by anyone on your list.
Daily-Use Gifts Under $200
1. I’ve wanted an Always Pan for some time now, and I firmly believe anyone would be happy to receive this as a gift. With a variety of colour choices, it can become a dual-purpose kitchen item: beautifully as a display piece when not in use and deliciously useful for cooking daily meals. Indigo now offers 2 colours in their Canadian stores, so support local!
2. A Chef’s Knife doesn’t tend to be an item we buy for ourselves, which is why it makes sense as a gift for anyone who loves cooking. I found a fantastic shop in the Inglewood neighborhood in Calgary, and they are super helpful in sourcing exactly the right piece, from usage to maintenance. This Japanese Utility knife is the ideal starter for slicing, dicing, and mincing.
3. I am obsessed with every piece from Jenny Bird Jewelry. The quality and modern simplicity of this successful Canadian designer’s collection will bring sophisticated glamour to a night out or casual elegance to daywear. My favourite pieces include the Stevie Chain Necklace, Viviana Ring, and Teeni Detachable Link Earrings.
Bonus: Gift Ideas for Experiences
What could be better than creating memorable moments for the ones you love? By giving the gift of experiences rather than items, we are facilitating rich connections and lifelong memories. It doesn’t have to be a trip to the day spa (although that is a lovely idea). It can be as simple as offering tired parents a free night of babysitting. More likely than not, a special experience is a gift that will be remembered forever.
Here are a few of my favourite ideas:
- Theatre or symphony tickets
- Movie passes
- Ski or snowboard tickets
- Spa or massage booking
- A local amateur sports event for a family of 4
- A guided tour of your city
- Local classes
Although gifts are a great way to show your love and gratitude during the holidays, remember to be present, take time to create memories, and enjoy the season with your favourite people. That’s what really makes this time of year so special, don’t you think?
Until next time,