When it comes to gift-giving, I'm notorious for gifting things that people need, like bed sheets and homemade toothpaste. After so many years, I like to think I'm getting better at giving gifts (but it may just be that those on the receiving end of my giving have only become more tolerant). 

When I'm not giving gifts of practicality, I like to give experiential gifts (ie. a dinner out with a friend, tickets to a theatre production, a gift certificate for a facial) — a gift that's an experience! I've gifted infrared sauna sessions to friends who could use a bit of extra care, and I'll have spa dates with gal pals at Body Blitz, which doubles as time spent together and some sweet R+R. 

I also love making my own gifts and every year, I'll always do some holiday baking to share with friends and family. These cookies have been a go-to for years, and I'm looking to try out some new recipes like this one.

But, outside of useful gifts, experiential gifts, or sweet treats and edibles, what I'm also good at gifting: products and services I can get behind, either because I've tried and love them or I know I'm about to try and love them.

For gifts I can get behind (and hey! there's multiple that are useful, experiential, or edible), I wanted to share my top picks for this holiday season. With the exception of a couple items, everything is by local and/or Canadian-made companies and creators. 



1. The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur, $13
The second book by poetess Rupi Kaur. I saw Rupi perform a few years ago and I was instantly hooked — women (and men) everywhere: consume her words.

2. Abeego Beeswax Food Wrap, $18
These wraps are hands down one of my favourite kitchen discoveries of this year! For the eco-conscious friend, who sometimes needs to wrap the other half of that melon, these are a must-have.

3. Beekeeper's Naturals Propolis Spray, $14
Anything from Beekeeper's Naturals will make a great gift. I always reach for their Propolis Spray when I start to feel rundown. It's rich in antioxidants and has immune-boosting properties — gift to whomever in your life is always on the go!

4. Wild Chaga Mushroom Rootbeer Elixir, $25
Delicious, super shroom powers. Yes, this stuff actually tastes like rootbeer. And yes, it can support healthy digestion, promote brain focus, and boost your immune system. This makes a great gift for anyone, from foodie friends to those interested in health and wellness.

5. Copper Tongue Scraper, $8
Give these to everyone, seriously. It's the daily detox gift that keeps on giving. Great for anyone looking to take their morning ritual game up a notch. See why I love tongue scraping.

6. Province Apothecary Healing Eczema Balm, $19
Lifesaver, and not just for eczema. Rich in zinc, full of calming herbal essences, this balm is wonderful for the friend with extra sensitive skin (and who is maybe more susceptible to dry skin in the cooler months).

7. Province Apothecary Organic Aromatherapy Facial, $70+
My favourite place for skincare treatments in Toronto. The ladies at PA will treat you so well, you'll never want to leave. Give this gift to the guy or gal who really needs some pampering.

8. The Putty by GRAYDON Plant Powered Skincare, $35
Y'all know how much I love this line of skincare. For anyone who loves skincare as much as me, for anyone with sensitive skin, for anyone who is looking for a super non-toxic option in skincare, that works: this. 

9. Phillips Wake Up Light Alarm Clock, $120
It's no fun waking up to a blaring alarm clock, am I right? A slightly more expensive item, but worth every penny, this alarm clock wakes you up with a gradual light, meant to mimic the sun rising. For your friend or loved one who deserves a gentler wake up call.

10. Soft Focus Pyjama Sets + Robes, $245+
By friend and designer, Sammi Smith, these luxurious PJ sets are absolutely dreamy. Though I have yet to get my hands on my own set (holiday gift to myself?), I know they are of utmost quality and design. Made from Tencel, a natural, eco-fabric, these gorgeous pieces do double duty as loungewear at home, and dressed up for a night out on the town.

11. Algonquin Tea Co. Lucid Dream Tea, $10
I only tried this tea recently, but wow. Not only did I experience really deep sleep after drinking this, but my dreams were so vivid and zany (I love it). It has a gentle calming effect, gift to anyone in need of a de-stress.

When I can, I like to gift responsibly, supporting local brands as much as possible and reducing waste throughout the season. Instead of buying wrapping paper, I'll use materials that I already have on hand (recycled papers and bags will do just fine). For holiday cards, I'll send e-mails. But if you're going to send a card in the mail, I recommend checking out the local company, Good Card Co. by Sustainable Joe's, who plant 2 trees for every card purchased. 

*This post is not sponsored.

Genevieve KangComment