Canadian stocking stuffers for all budgets
Published Tuesday, December 15, 2015 6:30AM EST
Christmas is less than 2 weeks away - yikes.
If you're doing a mental tally of your gift giving and it has as much "wow" factor as fish-faced selfie, you need to consider stepping it up (big-time) in the stocking-stuffing department. After all, for many, it's the opening of the stockings that brings the most excitement anyway.
You know I love supporting Canadian businesses and you know that I love great, unique finds that are not mass-market items.
Here I have curated a group of great stocking stuffer ideas that will wow and surprise even the most grizzled of family grinches. In fact, I think most of these items would make great stand-alone gifts too.
Best stocking stuffers (To make up for lacklustre gifts under the tree)
Hillberg & Berk: From Regina, this handmade semi-precious jewellery company is owned and operated by women. Fast becoming one of Canada's best-known designers, their collection is well-priced, high-quality and full of impact and sparkle. Add a bracelet, earrings or pretty necklace to someone's stocking!! Visit www.HillbergandBerk.com to shop or find a retailer.
Virgin Hill Coffee Roasters: Located in Knowlton, Quebec (Eastern Townships), Virgin Hill Coffee Roasters is a family-owned business supplying smooth, rich, incredible 100% Arabica coffee to gourmet shops, cafes, restaurants and businesses across Canada and the globe. Instead of a huge multi-national that mass produces, if you love coffee, you've got to try their fresh, aromatic and unique small-batch blends (Knowlton Blend is my fave). Prices are very reasonable (under $6 per 1/2 pound) and available in whole bean, freshly ground and K-cups too!!! Toss some java in a coffee-lovers stocking this Xmas! www.VirginHillCoffee.com
Squish Candies: Montreal-based Squish Candies knows that you don't have to be kid to love candy. Their gourmet, artfully crafted, high-quality, all-natural gummies feature classic flavours and delicious grown-up ones such as, Mulled Wine, Strawberry Rhubarb and Cranberry Elderberry, as part of "Santa's Picks" collection. Beautifully packaged and ready for gift-giving, these trendy treats are available at select retailers and online. Starting at $6, check them out at www.squishcandies.com
Mother Earth Essentials: Founded by Carrie Langevin who comes from a long line of Cree Medicine women, this Aboriginal skin-care, body-care, candle and tea line is loaded with traditional natural ingredients based on recipes from ancestors. From the finest essential oils to berries, medicinal and ceremonial plants it's a perfect stocking stuffer for anyone who deserves to be pampered. www.motherearthessentials.ca
Over The Rainbow: A denim and apparel destination since 1975 in Toronto's swank Yorkville neighbourhood, Over The Rainbow offers some pretty cool winter accessories from the Tuck Shop Trading Co. that any hip, on-trend guy would love. Check out their lumberjack plaid toques emblazoned with "YYZ" or "TRUE NORTH" lettering ($40.00). Visit www.rainbowjeans.com
Under Armour: One of the hottest brands in athletic apparel and equipment, Under Armour offers something for the whole family with lots of great smaller accessories that fit perfectly in a stocking. From the Ozsee Sackpack (for trips to the gym), the Boy's 4-in-1 Graphic Beanie, Fleece Band for girls, even boxer shorts, your local Under Armour store carries a huge array of products for any activity and sport loving man, woman or child!
EQ3: If you want to surprise a home cook or foodie with something really special, EQ3 has a gorgeous copper-finish measuring cup set for $49.99. Really, a gift in its own right, wrap it up and put it in a stocking...especially great if the recipient is hosting Xmas dinner!! High-end, high-quality and high-impact! www.EQ3.com
Essence Cosmetics: Affordable, fun and high-quality - three words Essence Cosmetics uses to describe itself. Makeup is always a fun stocking stuffer and a visit to Shoppers Drug Mart or Pharmaprix is all it takes to load up on a great red lipstick or other beauty must-have. My favourites are their "How to make smokey eyes" kit and " How to make brows wow" kit.
Charlotte Tillbury: As a UK-based makeup artist working with some of the most iconic faces across the globe, Charlotte Tillbury is the must-have, must-wear name in beauty today!! This is supported by my own pal and makeup artist Joy Tilberg who's eyes bulged out of her head when I mentioned Charlotte's name. Click here to find a retailer near you.
The Face Shop: Located in most major malls, The Face Shop is a made-in-Korea beauty shop that's part of the Fruits and Passion family. They have some incredible kits that make perfect stocking stuffers. Check out their Hand Care Set - complete with Hand Mask, Hand and Cuticle Duo and Nail Serum. With the amount of dishes I do, this is truly a beauty essential.
Canadian one-stop shops...
Dollarama: This is your go-to one-stop shop for all the fun stuff kids and adults adore in stockings. From craft supplies to stationary supplies to hair and beauty supplies, around-the-house goodies and essentials, Dollarama has it all and is conveniently located in most towns across Canada! With items priced between $1-3, this is major bang for the buck.
Indigo/Chapters: If I could spend two hours anywhere, it would be here. Really and truly, this great Canadian retailer has so much more than books. I would love to personally thank their buying team for continually amazing me with exclusive high-quality accessories for the home that I cannot find anywhere else. They also have dedicated stocking-stuffers for the whole family throughout. Shopping online is a great way to find deals too!
Winners/Homesense/Marshalls: As I type this, I am preparing for one of my thrice-weekly visits to Winners or HomeSense. It is physically impossible to enter a location and leave empty-handed. Just check my credit-card statement for proof. Designer-finds, discount prices and loads of smaller items that would add a lot of impact and excitement to any Xmas stocking. You can even buy stockings while you're there.