You’re working hard, you’re making sh*t happen, you’ve had a busy month — heck, a busy year — and the last thing on your mind is picking out your best friend’s Secret Santa gift. It's not that you’re heartless, selfish or broke (well, maybe...but), you can’t help it if ‘holiday shopping’ keeps getting pushed on your calendar.
Before you read on, take a breath. When was the last time you did that today? It’s all too easy to forget ourselves in the bustle of the season, but remember that the best gift you can give yourself is time. Be patient and forgiving with yourself, and don’t forget that you also deserve the love that you want to share with others.
If you’re anything like me, gift-giving is your favourite part of the holiday season. It's an opportunity to show your friends and family that you’re thinking of them and that you know them better than they thought. Finding the perfect gift for that special someone can be a little stressful but we’ve got you covered!
One of my goals for the new year is to shop more locally and support small Canadian businesses when buying gifts for others or myself. Whether you’re looking for something for mum, your partner, your best bud or yourself, here are some great ideas and places to start for the women in your life.
1. An Aesthetic Candle
Minimalist, feminine decor that also serves a purpose? Yes, please! Not to mention that every time this person burns this candle to create a relaxed atmosphere, they’ll think of you. Cardea Auset’s June, named after co-founder Jennifer’s grandmother, is hand-poured and crafted with natural, GMO-free soy and pure essential oils.
This vegan, plant-based brand is run by friends Taylor Williams and Jennifer Bonato.
Click here to find a shop/stockist near you.
Click here to shop their site.
2. Mags, Zines and Books!
A subscription to their favourite magazine or zine is THE BEST GIFT EVER! Or introduce them to something you love by sharing a single issue of your favourite with them.
3. A Cozy Tee
A great idea to gift a friend who works from home! This super-soft tee, featuring the work of Lauren Tamaki, doesn’t sacrifice style for comfort and adds a little something unique to their wardrobe. Buying clothing items for another person can be tricky, when in doubt, size up. The boxy lines and cropped fit makes a killer oversized look! As someone who has worn this piece to bed and out to dinner with friends in the same week, this has been the most useful clothing item I’ve ever gifted myself.
This forward-thinking loungewear company is run by Toronto-based designer Sammi Smith.
Shop Soft Focus at The Abode Holiday Boutique
Speaking of self-gifting, why not treat yourself to a new set of cute and comfy lingerie or loungewear? It may sound silly, but investing in underwear for yourself can be a powerful experience, wearing that new pair around your room while you have a dance party is electric!
We love the Logan bra set by body-positive, Toronto-based lingerie brand, Mary Young. The functional, modern design is made to celebrate your natural shape and last you a long time. These garments look great under everyday wear and on their own!
Want a friend to feel powerful in their underwear too? Get them a gift card so they can choose something that makes them feel confident.
5. The Gift of Glow
Try LOVE U BODY OIL by Sarisha Beauty ($48 CAD) and Radiance Complexion Mist by Essentials by Temi ($18 CAD).
Skincare and body care products are an amazing gift for the 'self-care Sunday' queen in your life. It is always fun to have new natural products to test out! We love this travel-friendly body oil by Sarisha Beauty made up of luxurious and 100% natural ingredients, like lotus extract, bergamot, frankincense, patchouli, to name a few. This deeply nourishing dual-purpose mist and toner from Essentials by Temi keeps skin calm, radiant, balanced and hydrated.
Shop Sarisha Beauty IRL at the Girl’s Girl Holiday PopUp December 14-15
Click here to shop Sarisha Beauty
Click here to shop Essentials by Temi
6. A Productive Day
Do you have a friend that needs to get sh*t done? A day pass or membership to Make Lemonade might be just the thing to spark their productivity. Make Lemonade is a Toronto-based inclusive co-working space for women who are tired of coffee shop hopping while trying to work on their dreams. Unlimited coffee, fast wifi and an inspiring daylight-filled space. Want to join your friend on their productive day? Every Monday, Make Lemonade can be you and your biz BFF’s office for the price of a single day pass.
Make Lemonade is run by Toronto wonder woman, Rachel Kelly.
Click here to shop passes and memberships.
On a budget but still want to give the gift of productivity? Invite your friend to a ‘get sh*t done’ date. Offer your space, your time, your coffee and your thoughts. Having a friend to support you and take time for you is a wonderful gift worth more than anything you could buy.
7. An artist print
For the artsy person in your life moving into a new place or redecorating their room, gift them something special to add to their home. An art print is a great way to show your loved one you know a thing or two about the kind of work and aesthetic they would feel connected to. Quinn Rockliff is an interdisciplinary feminist artist whose work contemplates topics of sexuality and reclamation through self-representation. Her honest, minimal line drawings are not only beautiful but tell a powerful story of womanhood.
Click here to shop her work.
Click here to find out more about Quinn.
8. An Everyday Necklace
Gift them a timeless piece of jewellery that they never really have to take off. Choose a necklace style that you know suits their sense of fashion and that will go with any outfit they put together. We love this flat chain style necklace from Toronto-based brand, CUCHARA Jewelry. The elegant silhouette is a great base for layering other pieces your loved one might already have in their collection.
Fun fact: CUCHARA's inception began when designer, Edilou Canedo, and a friend created necklaces out of vintage collector silver spoons.
Shop CUCHARA in real life at Milk Glass Co December 15th and Open Studio December 20
Click here to shop their website.
9. Camera Strap / Accessories
This is the gift for the film photographer you know who would die before leaving their camera at home. A few rolls of film with pre-paid development and a unique, high-quality leather camera strap like this one from Jolie Laide is sure to win their heart. The Toronto-based company was created by photographer and designer Jacqueline Flaggiello, after discovering a need for a sleek, simple leather camera strap.
Shop Jolie Laide IRL at The Abode Holiday Boutique December 17-30
Click here to shop their site.
10. Donation in Their Name
My favourite gift idea is to donate to a charity that aligns with your loved one’s beliefs and causes. Giving back is a great way to spread the spirit of the holidays. If you’re on a budget, you can donate your time to an organization as well. Perhaps your loved one might want to join you!