Now that we are back to celebrating the holidays in-person, it seems that everybody is keen on making up for lost time. Whether your mom, uncle, or friend is hosting you for a dinner or cocktail party, ensure that you convey your thanks for their ardent preparations with a little thought.
In other words, this year perhaps forego the grocery store flowers. The name-brand bottle of wine. The tea towel that doesn’t match the décor. When so much effort goes into preparing the holidays, make sure to bring a gift that stands out among the rest.
East Van Jam
East Van Jam is delicious and adorable, which makes these little jars undeniably giftable. These artisanal jams are well-priced ($22 for 4) and are suited to a wide variety of taste buds. Flavours include Ollie Onion, Serene Nectarine and Poppy Cock Pepper Jelly. Your host or hostess could use these alongside their charcuterie board or for other holiday recipes, like bird’s nest cookies. Since they are made in BC, you can order them online, find them at local retailers or even pickup at their warehouse. Bonus: they are much lower in sugar than other comparable jams on the market!
Mala the Brand Candles
Choosing Mala the Brand as your go-to candle not only benefits the home, but also the environment. This Canadian brand has partnered with Veritree to ensure that with every candle sold, a tree is planted. So far, they have planted over 55,110 trees globally with a goal of planting 100,000 by 2024. Despite its impressive contributions to being green, the packaging is incredibly chic and the candles smell decadent ($38 for 8 oz). The cult classic scent is cereal, but the mistletoe and candy cane scents are must-tries for the holidays. If you’re in the mood to spoil your host, the advent calendar ($85) includes four limited edition and very festive scents.
LIVØM is a Canadian brand featuring Scandinavian minimalism and repurposed materials. From furniture to décor, this chic line has an array of gifts to choose from. This ceramic vase ($35) stands beautifully on its own but would feature a single flower perfectly, too. Their bowls are also on-trend with imperfect lines and neutral, monotone colours. The stylish host or hostess in your life is sure to be impressed with any selection from this beautiful line.
Grounds and Hounds Coffee
Just like the bag says, every cup helps a pup! Through the sale of their delicious eco-friendly coffee, Grounds and Hounds supports rescue organizations providing dogs in need a helping hand. 20% of all profits are deployed to rescue initiatives, making this amazing mission a reality. It’s quite unusual to encounter someone who dislikes coffee in addition to dogs (especially in Vancouver), so you can be assured that this gift will land well with your host or hostess. Whether you choose a light or dark roast, you’ll also be keeping the Christmas spirit alive by supporting this brand’s formidable charitable element. Choose from pods ($13.99), whole beans ($15.99) or ground coffee ($15.99) in a wild variety of flavours from all of the world. All coffees are small batch roasted.
Cloud House Infused Rum
Cloud House is a blend of rum and cold brew coffee from Colombia ($37.95). The handpicked 100% Arabica coffee is cold brewed at a high-altitude farm nicknamed “cloud house”, where this decadent liqueur gets its name. This irresistible infusion creates a perfectly balanced spirit that will surely liven up any cocktail. Guests can drink it over ice and tonic with a lemon zest, or simply splash it into coffee when an age-old family debate kicks up. This item is currently only available in Ontario, but will be available to West Coasters in the new year.
Leis de Buds Bouquet
If you are going to opt to bring flowers to your host’s house, make sure they’re something special. Leis de Buds in Kitsilano has an array of bouquets that will dazzle any room. “A Little Cheer” ($58) is a holiday-inspired bouquet with fresh greens, and “A Little Sumthin’” ($48) is a smaller but just as pretty baby bouquet. If your budget allows, the larger arrangement from Leis de Buds are breathtaking, and there is even dried arrangements for those who want something to last a little longer.
After cooking, cleaning, and dealing with the emotional stress of the holidays (not to mention the uncomfortable shoes), an appointment at Footworks Relaxology would be welcomed by any host or hostess. The Kitsilano gem has become a neighbourhood staple, so appointments are strongly recommended. The signature reflexology service offers an ultra-relaxing experience without the fuss of completely changing, making it easy to incorporate into a busy schedule. Warning: the 50 minute signature foot service ($63) can become a little addicting.