The holidays are in full swing, which means, among other things, it’s time to get your gift-giving act together! Maybe you love gift-giving, or maybe you don’t have much an idea when it comes to presents. But even if you’re gift-challenged, don’t sweat it. Armed with the Christmas gift ideas in this holiday gift guide, you’re sure to find the perfect present to warm the hearts of friends, family, co-workers, and foodies.
So much swag, and so little time! Where to start? After deciding how much to spend (don’t set yourself up for a debt hangover come January!), figure out a broad category for each recipient’s gift. For instance, if your co-worker is a coffee connoisseur, check out the coffee section. We’ve included categories that should cover just about everyone on your list:
Since we favour food products as the perfect gift, we bumped the foodie gifts toward the top of the list. But two categories have to come before food: Mom and Dad gifts. Let’s start with Mom.
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Since you probably buy Mom multiple gifts each year (her birthday and Mother’s Day, for example), you may find yourself running low on Christmas gift ideas. But don’t default to a bouquet of far-out-of-season flowers—your mother poured so much into you that you should go out of your way to find a gift she’ll cherish. Here are a few ideas for all price points:
Just as there’s no one type of mom, there’s no one type of dad. Is he an adventure junkie, a golf nut, a couch potato, or a wine lover? Some of those types are easier to buy for than others. But Dad’s sacrificed a lot for you, too, so don’t give him another tie unless it’s a classy bow tie he’s been salivating for. Browse through these Christmas ideas for some off-the-beaten-path presents.
Round Head VertuoPlus Deluxe Nespresso $279.00
Helping Dad brew the perfect single serve coffee or espresso drink with just one button.
This may be your most difficult type of person to shop for, since you may wind up buying extras for yourself! Again, you need to decide what type of foodies your friends are. Do they favour the savoury or the sweet? Do they like to whip up their own concoctions, or are they partial to hunting culinary hot spots in Vancouver and beyond? Fear not—we’ve got something for all stripes of foodies!
1000 Foods To Eat Before You Die By Mimi Sheraton $28.47
A mouthwatering list for a foodie to cross off as they travel, eat, and explore the world.
“I always tell people I’m great at eating but not so great at cooking. You won’t find me in the kitchen much unless it’s grabbing some ice cream from the freezer. When my mom told me she bought me an Instant Pot, I was sceptical. However after some intense investigation, I realized this is the easiest way to cook food, you just chop things and throw them in! Genius! You can make rice, soup, stews, even yogurt in this. Ladies and gentleman, if you want your significant other to cook more, this is the perfect gift to encourage that. If I can do it, anyone can do it!”
—Deanna Woo, Food & Lifestyle Influencer
Deanna Woo is a food and lifestyle Instagrammer. She has a passion for food but she has a love for helping people which is what drove her to work in healthcare. She is best known for her “funny” puns, her obsession over fried chicken, and her addiction to Earnest Ice Cream. Her sugar consumption is the real reason why she’s so sweet.
Buying for bakers is easy—and hard—because there are so many choices, from the latest stand mixer costing hundreds of dollars to a basic $15 cookie-cutter set. And don’t forget about all the ever-useful silicone goodies! But if your baker buddies’ kitchens are already chock-full of baking paraphernalia, you can always turn to consumables like an under-$20 collection of dessert and baking salts. Bon appetit!
5-Speed Ultra Power Hand Mixer Kitchenaid $44.99
Lightweight with adjustable speeds. For the friend baking you cookies in 2019.
“Not only is marble aesthetically pleasing, it is also naturally cooler than room temperature. This marble pastry slab and rolling pin keeps dough cool and firm while you roll it out, making buttery pie and cookie dough much easier to work with. When you’re not baking, the marble slab doubles as a beautiful charcuterie serving board. I love this for elevating your kitchen tools while being functional and versatile!”
—Gail Ng, Food Photographer and blogger of “Teak & Thyme”
Gail is a food photographer and blogger in Vancouver with an affinity for desserts. Her blog, Teak & Thyme, which launched Summer 2018, chronicles her foodie travel guides, weekend baking, and other sweet recipes. Her photography passion began much earlier than that, as a creative calling throughout university that eventually merged with her love of food.
Much like the bakers, these people are such fun to shop for! It’s especially easy since they’re bubbling with that newbie enthusiasm. The perfect Christmas gift for such a person might be a sturdy, sustainably-sourced cutting board or a granite mortar-and-pestle set. And you could always gift them with an ever-useful standby like the silicone Ove’ Glove, which costs a hair above $10.
Vancouver Eats By Joanna Sasvari and Kevin Clark $35.06
Get inspired and make 90 recipes from 45 of the Vancouver’s best restaurants.
“While sous vide cooking is often associated with professional chefs and fine dining, it’s actually one of the most fool proof methods available for the beginner chef and will immediately elevate your cooking. Using the Anova immersion circulator, food is cooked to the exact desired temperature with no risk of over cooking! Steaks, chicken, fish and some vegetables and sauces all benefit from the sous vide cooking method. Even better, the built in Anova app allows you to control the temperature from your phone, and access hundreds of recipes and recommendations.”
—Drew Munro, Founder and Culinary Director of Drew’s Catering & Events
Drew Munro is the Founder and Culinary Director of Drew’s Catering & Events. He started the company as a meal delivery service out of the back of his car and has since grown it into one of the largest and most reputable event catering companies in Vancouver, winning the National Top Choice Award for Vancouver’s Best Caterer for the past 5 consecutive years. Drew and his talented team are frequently hired by world-class brands such as Microsoft, KPMG, Ferrari, Facebook and Apple to deliver memorable food experiences for their events.
Drew grew up in Chilliwack, BC and is passionate about helping young entrepreneurs in food follow their dreams. He regularly speaks at culinary schools and conferences to share his experiences, and his articles and recipes have been published in BC Business Magazine, Home Makeover Magazine, The Vancouver Sun and more.
A jolt of java is a welcome gift for true or aspiring coffee connoisseurs. Since this is a consumable gift, it’s not necessarily one-and-done. If the recipient sincerely raves about the gift, you might want to follow it up with the same gift in the future—not the next holiday season, of course, or the recipient might think you lack imagination.
Temperature Control Ceramics Mug Ember $124.83
A mug that keeps your coffee at the perfect temperature with an app.
What kind of wine lover is your friend? Dabbler or connoisseur? Red, white, or whatever? To play it safe, you can present this type of person with tools for perfecting her own wine or a subscription to a drink-of-the-month-type club. Read on for other suggestions.
French Kitchen Marble Wine Cooler Crate & Barrel $39.95
Aesthetically chills your wine like a boss. You can’t go wrong with marble.
“For the wine-lover in your life, I recommend Windows On The World Complete Wine Course by Kevin Zraly. I first bought this book back in 1992 and it was one of the first wine books I ever owned. When it comes to talking about wine, author Kevin Zraly had a great writing style without any pretentiousness. The guide offers a great history of his career starting from when he first began his course atop of the former World Trade Center. This book from one of the true wine director pioneers will always have a special place on my shelf.”
—Andrea Vescovi, General Manager & Wine Director of Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio
Born in Rome, Italy, into a family of chefs and vintners, Andrea realized at an early age that food and wine can bring joy and goodwill to any dinner table. Andrea has endeavoured to add this sense of celebration to every diner’s experience throughout the course of his culinary career.
After climbing the culinary ranks at several leading restaurants in Vancouver and Whistler, Andrea brought his deep passion and culinary knowledge to the renowned Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar in the spring of 2001. In the 14 years he served at Blue Water Cafe, Andrea played an integral role in guiding the restaurant to numerous local and international awards. During his time there, he was named Sommelier of the Year at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival in 2009, and garnished eight consecutive Platinum Glass awards for his wine list programs.
As the new general manager and wine director at Ancora, Andrea looks forward to bringing the same level of passion and focus on fine food and drink as he embarks on this new chapter in his career. And he’s equally as enthusiastic about mentoring the next generation of culinary stars as they hone their skills.
When it’s cold outside—and even when it’s not—these people relish the vacation-in-a-cup that tea provides. But what would enhance their sipping pleasure? Maybe it’s a Turkish teakettle-and-cups set or herbal tea. Whether it’s loose tea packed with a reusable silicone tea bag or an oversized mug, read on to score the perfect treasure for the tea lovers on your list.
Best of 2018 DAVIDSTEA $26.00
The 12 knockout looseleaf teas from DAVIDSTEA’s 2018 run.
Men are notoriously difficult to shop for since they often don’t volunteer gift requests or even acknowledge that they want anything. Still, you want to communicate care and respect, so get something that they didn’t know they wanted or needed until you gave it to them. Check out the Dad suggestions, and look into these gaming, fashion, and macho gear choices.
Novel Duffle Herschel Supply Company $89.99
Spacious, fashionable, and even has a shoe compartment 👟
“Recently I was given samples of Louis Vuitton’s new men’s fragrance line-up that launched earlier this year. I had never tried a Louis Vuitton fragrance (or even considered trying them to be honest), but all 5 from the collection are fantastic. Orage is my personal favourite from the collection. With the perfect mix of citrus and musk, it’s one of those versatile colognes that can be worn on multiple occasions.”
—Jacky Chui, Lifestyle Influencer and Marketing Manager
Jacky is a Vancouver-based lifestyle influencer and marketing professional powered by creativity, passion, and big ideas. He has an appreciation for coffee, an avid runner, and a penchant for eating all chocolate chip cookies that cross his path.
Unlike men, women will often communicate what they want or need for Christmas, so just ask and tailor your choice to your budget. There’s no specific “woman” gift, so you may well find the perfect gift by browsing other categories. If none of those fill the bill, consider the fashion, beauty, and food items you’ll find in this section.
“Wearing a watch is a great start to add interest to an outfit. The Horse can provide you an absolute essential time piece for any special ladies in your life. The designs are minimalistic and clean, as it is also offered in several trendy colours such as pestle pink.”
—Jacqueline Chui, Lifestyle Influencer
Jacqueline is a social media personnel who is a part time student by day and a full time dessert enthusiast by night. She enjoys exploring Asia to try signature restaurants and spending time with her two corgis – The Stumpers.
A Secret Santa can be surprisingly difficult to shop for since you feel so invested in the outcome. Relax—with the suggestions in this holiday gift guide, you’ll come up with the perfect Christmas gift! Since knowledge informs your choices, find out what you can about your Secret Santa. Then review the suggestions (check out the other categories, too), buy what feels most like what your recipient would appreciate, wrap, and give!
OK, so you’ve bought something for everyone on your list. You’ve done well, but hold on—no job is finished until the paperwork is done. Give your gift a final flourish by wrapping it up with paper and topping it with a bow culled from your gift-wrapping stash.
What? You don’t have gift-wrapping supplies stockpiled? Scoop up some deeply discounted paper and bows in a post-Christmas shopping spree. In the meantime, head to the dollar store, snag an appropriately sized bag, sign the tag, and stuff some tissue paper in the bag if it needs a little filler.
Deliver your gifts with a flourish, bask in the compliments, and enjoy your holiday season, confident that you’ve played your best gift-giving game of all time!
Looking to add some easy-to-make seafood dishes to your repertoire? Seafood marketplace, Coastline, has created Hooked Cookbook: a free collection of 16 simple and delicious seafood recipes, created by Vancouver’s most esteemed and rising Executive and Sous Chefs (from Botanist, Minami, The Victor, and more).
Diabetes is on the rise and affects over 422 million people. Registered Dietician Renee Chan, noticed that the grocery store aisles were filled with products filled with harmful additives. She created True NOSH, which specializes in diabetic friendly cooking products and healthy alternatives to prevent onset of diabetes.
Dumplings shine in cultures and cuisines all around the globe from Ukraine China and beyond. They can be big, small, filled or unfilled, sweet, savoury, spicy, or sour – the options are limitless. Here are several Vancouver restaurants you can visit to discover the different varieties of dumplings from around the globe.
Every summer season, Malaysian food stall Mamak La makes an appearance in the top food picks for the Richmond Night Market. Their Western approach to traditional Malaysian food items like roti has been loved by many. We spoke with owner Eugene Loh about Mamak La.
Cherry Blossom season in Vancouver is a treat for not only your eyes, but also your belly. Various restaurants around the city are crafting limited-time menus celebrating this blooming of the beautiful pink and white cherry blossoms. Here are 9 places in Vancouver where you can catch a taste of sakura-inspired menus, from sushi to desserts to drinks.
Tucked away on the corner of West Broadway and Vine is a small cafe unlike any other. What makes Platform 7 so unique is that their Paris train station interior design, commitment to high-quality coffee and a chill vibe that spawns from the 70s.
Cold-pressed juice isn’t a new trend. There are a ton of juice shops in Vancouver. But what’s so good about these colourful juices? Learn about the health benefits of cold-pressed juices and our picks of the best juice cleanses in Vancouver.
With the consumption and interest of bubble tea rising in Vancouver, so does the concern of its environmental impact. We spoke with Carrie and Derek of The Reusable BBT Cup, a product made to reduce the use of single use plastic bubble tea cups and straws.
The Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival is upon us! With some of the best cafes and patisseries on the west coast, we’re pretty lucky here. Learn more about the annual hot chocolate festival, which Vancouver cafes are participating, and the ones you should have on your list.