*Update: If you live in Montreal or are planning a visit here, check out Ibrilo, a cool website that offers really unique gift ideas, namely workshops/classes/experiences and some great products, that showcase some of Montreal's most creative businesses!
I didn't have time to put together a Gift Guide for you guys this year, my apologies. I thought I would redeem myself with a last minute list of ideas for those of you who are still behind on your Christmas shopping. These are items that you can find in stores (online shopping is a bit risky this late in the game) and are meant to inspire, as some of you might not have these stores in your cities/countries. I hope this helps!
1. Amazon Gift Certificate: I know that this seems a bit obvious but Amazon is a great place to online shop and you're guaranteed that the recipient will always find something they love on there. Their shipping is very reliable and they offer three different ways for you to receive the gift certificate: email it, print it or express ship it.
2. A symbolic bottle of wine: Get a bottle (or two) that comes from a country you visited with the gift recipient or that reminds you of a special meal you once shared. You can also ask the store's wine specialist to find a bottle (within your budget) that should be ideally corked in 5, 10 or 25 years from now. It's a nice way of saying to someone that you have many future celebrations to share together!
3. DIY cookie mix: You can put this gift together using stuff in your pantry, perfect for when you need a quick hostess gift. Here's a link to a website that offers instructions but basically all you do is layer the dry ingredients for your favorite cookie recipe and include a card with the recipe. You can also give pancake mix, hot chocolate mix or even soup mix
4. Hudson's Bay Company Fleece Blanket: This is an affordable and very cuddly version of the original (and much coveted) wool Bay Blanket. It has an air of nostalgia that everyone will love.
5. Dip dyed kitchen utensils: Personalize a pair of wooden utensils with some paint for a customized thoughtful - and useful - gift!
6. Jamie Oliver apps: Get the foodie in your life a Jamie Oliver app for their Smartphone. The 15 Minute Meal app is perfect for people who love to cook but have busy schedules.
7. Soft, cozy bedding: Who can resist a set of warm bedding? You can find nicely packaged flannel or jersey sets for a bargain. This Heather Gray Jersey set is from Target.
8. Giant bath towels: I love giving this as a gift since it's something that people don't often splurge on for themselves. It's a little bit of luxury that all your friends and family will appreciate. I always go for white because it goes with everything and it makes you feel like you're in a hotel!
9. Dedicate a tree: There are countless websites that specialize in finding an organization in your community or country that will assist you in planting or dedicating a tree in honor of someone you love. Do a bit of Googling to find one that suits you. Here is a great example.
10. The New York Times 36 Hours: 150 Weekends in the USA & Canada: An amazing book for anyone who loves to travel. It will inspire anyone to plan a weekend getaway.
11. A great travel mug with your favorite tea: David's Tea has a great selection of travel mugs. Pair it with your favorite tea or coffee for a handy gift that will get a ton of use.
12. MEC Insulated Booties: They're not the prettiest looking slippers but they are the warmest and coziest slippers on the planet! They come in all sizes and a variety of colors. It's a great gift for cottage and camping lovers.