2021 Holiday Gift Guide
Well it's that time of year! The shops (and ads) are bombarding us with holiday consumerism. I really do love the holidays - the cozyness, the holiday drinks and the get-togethers. And I also really like gift-giving (it's my love language) - which kind of goes against the idea of minimalism and sustainability. I've done gift guides in the past: here and here and I think all the suggestions I've made in the past are still great ideas. I was definitely thinking about budget-friendly, DIY options with an emphasis on more sustainable brands.
This year, so much has happened and so I wanted to keep the gift guide suggestions pretty minimal and within a pretty reasonable budget. Like I mentioned in one of my previous gift-guide posts - I shop year-round for the holidays and I'm big on purchasing secondhand for gifts. I know some people may think thrifting gifts is icky - but honestly, if it's clothing I'll wash it or dry clean as needed, and if its homeware or accessories I'll simply clean them! Wrap them up super nicely, and it's just like gifting a brand new item, except in a more sustainable and budget-friendly way. I do think, when purchasing secondhand, the effort in the gift-wrapping is a huge player. I always fold everything nicely and use (recycled) tissue paper, boxes, ribbon, etc. Just to keep the gift feeling extra special and personalized.
So without further ado - here are my suggestions:
P.S. This post is not sponsored and nothing is an affiliate link. These brands don't know I exist! Either I've shopped from the brand before (using my own money), or I just love perusing their online shop. These items are purely for inspiration and you can find similar pieces at different shops and price points!
I always think coffee or tea is a great idea. Gifting consumable items means you're not giving a knick-knack or potentially useless item to a loved one. Make sure you know their favourites ahead of time! You can purchase from small businesses or buy a specialty blend from a store like Winners! If they have a single serve coffee machine, you can get pods for them in different flavours, for them to try out.
Homeware items are great, if you know that it is something they are looking for. This ceramic container is actually a piece that I’m currently looking for, because I want by bedside table to be a bit more minimal, but it is convenient to have things on the top surface. I think this would be a great little container for lip balm, my rings, etc. Kind of a catch-all but is still cute and keeps the tiny messes hidden! The one pictured here is from Canadian shop, Hunter & Hare and is only $16.
Another beautiful homeware item (kind of a classic but also has been trending lately) is a semi circle vase. This one is another Hunter & Hare budget find at $22.
FASHION & BEAUTY
The Sephora Sale is currently underway and this would be a great time to stock up on a beauty item that you know someone loves or would like to try. Well.ca also had a similar 20% off beauty event recently, and they are always rotating sales, so I would keep an eye out on their site if you're interested in supporting Canadian and emphasizing clean beauty. If you do end up purchasing a Value or Gift set - consider splitting up the items and gifting different pieces to different loved ones. This is a great budget way to shop for multiple gifts at the same time. In the Sephora kit here, it comes with 3 full size products and a bunch of minis!
Hair clips and hair claws have been a big trend lately - but I always find that it is hard to find a nice, quality hair clip and often they are a little pricey for what they are - so this would be such a thoughtful gift! Especially if you know the person has been searching but can't justify spending on something more "frivolous". These clips are from Hunter & Hare, but I would also recommend Simply Aria Boutique (they also carry masks, scrub caps and headbands) and Chelsea King for scrunchies.
Previously I have mentioned a love for Mejuri, but I'm finding that their price points are increasing and their new collections and less and less my style. So I've been looking for a different Canadian brand to recommend and I think I have found the one! So Pretty Cara Cotter is an Alberta-based Canadian brand and carries really feminine minimalist pieces at a variety of price points. Everything is sterling silver, gold plated or gold and is really great quality (I've been testing a couple pieces that I bought and so far - I'm loving them! Review will be coming soon). The one I showed here is an adjustable bracelet. It is probably the most pricey item on this gift guide, but I think for good quality jewellery - this is a good price. I'll also mention - they offer free gift wrap at checkout and the wrapping really is top-notch (comes with a cleaning cloth, bag, ribbon, etc.) for you to assemble when it arrives.
Now of course, some of the items I've already previously mentioned (like in the homeware section) are also gender-neutral, but another great option is a carry-all pouch. This kind of pouch could be used for makeup, travel, holding tech items, etc. The one pictured here is from Poppy Barley (Alberta-based) and I have the tan beige colour. I use it to store my makeup and love the size and quality of the leather. The zipper did seem a little stiff at first but after using it for a month, it has relaxed. This is a more expensive pouch (considering it's ethically made and a Canadian brand), but nice pouches can be found at all price points!
Shackets have been all the rage and there are so many nice ones out there. If you know their size and don't need a gift receipt - I would recommend thrifting one at a local store or on Poshmark! The one here is from TenTree and I think it's so cute! But honestly, you can find equally amazing ones for under $40.
Finally, I think gifting scent (perfume, cologne, candles, etc.) is a great gift because this is another "frivolous" item that people may not want to purchase for themselves. I personally purchase these types of items from Winners to find a really great deal (I usually hop by Sephora, smell a bunch and write notes and then pop over to Winners to see what they have in stock). All of my perfumes have been either gifts or purchased from Winners. It's a great long-lasting gift too! If perfume is too pricey, body sprays are equally lovely to receive and usually come at a lower price point. I would just try to pick one that comes in a nice classy bottle (rather than something that looks like a free gift-with-purchase or plastic one).
I know I've already harped on this before, but honestly purchasing secondhand is really ideal in my opinion! A lot of items that are secondhand still have the tags attached, are a great deal and are no an added consumer market pressure on our planet. If you're comfortable doing so, I would highly recommend. It's the route I've taken in the past and this year I'm doing the same for most of my holiday gifts.
If They Have Expensive Taste?
I definitely have some people in my life that have a little bit more pricey tastes. In this case, I usually opt for something that is still within my budget (let's say they love designer items - I may get them a designer beauty item from the Sephora Sale or Winners) or, if I know that what they truly want is something very expensive or if they’re particular (let’s say they want clothing but are picky) - I wouldn’t hesitate to give them a gift card to put towards the item or thing that they are truly wanting! I think it’s still thoughtful because you really had to think about what brand they would want to shop from and if they’re interested in ethically made clothing, or something that is hard to buy for someone else, your gift is going towards that, which I’m sure they would be really grateful for.
I hope this holiday gift guide helps you out!