This gift guide not only serves as a suggestion list for those on your shopping list, but it’s also a great way for me to do a roundup of my favorites from the year. I am very particular about the things that I suggest to you (know that they are all tried and tested by me first!) and having the opportunity to create a “loves list” for you to shop from is not something that I take lightly.
Last year I divided this guide into categories based on The Five Gift Rule: Something they WANT, Something they NEED, Something to EAT (or drink), Something to WEAR, Something to READ. But this time, I’m dividing it by categories of all the things that I love!
The Most Luxe Gifts
As much as I believe in giving practical gifts of things people need, I am also someone who loves to gift things that people want – especially when it’s something that they really want but would never buy for themselves. That makes the surprise on someone’s face all the better when they open it; a luxurious gift that they’ve had their eye on but would never treat themselves to.
These gifts are luxurious but also items that can serve a practical application…if you’re a creative thinker (wink!).
Gorgeous Gifts From Decorté
I am a huge fan of Decorté’s skin care and beauty products so when they launched their new perfumed hand and body lotions. I knew I had to include them in this guide. I am also someone who is quite particular about frangrance but I love the Decorté fragrance lineup, even if just to display on your vanity in their classically elegant bottles.
Luxurious Skincare Gifts From Vivier
Vivier is another skin care brand that I love. I love that they’re Canadian and that their products are really effective! I have collaborated with them several times because I honestly believe in their products. Now why do I suggest the gift of skin care? It’s because this is yet one more area where people aren’t always willing to treat themselves when they really should. I also include it because the holiday shopping season is when beauty brands release all the best sets. It’s the perfect time to try a new brand or buy their mini collections for when you travel.
Classic Jewellery Styles From Paris Jewellers
I am a big fan of Paris Jewellers because they are owned by two amazing women from Alberta. I also love their products and how much they give back to the community. I’m really loving the paperclip chain style right now. It’s classic and timeless while still being modern. It’s delicate but also makes a statement, so it’s the perfect balance in a gift for someone. You can shop their entire holiday flyer HERE with gifts for every budget.
Limited Edition Sparkle From Hillberg & Berk
It would appear that my love of Hillberg & Berk sparkle balls knows no bounds (stay tuned for a video of my jewelry drawer!). Stud earrings are my favorite jewelry item and I say that “if it fits, buy it in every color!” These are pieces that I love to gift to friends for special occasions, clients and myself. They’re simple and elegant and go with everything from jeans to dresses. I personally love their holiday sets because they always release limited edition colors as well as bundles that are a great value!
Giftable Leather Accessories from Poppy Barley
Poppy Barley is another great female-owned, Alberta-based business that I love to support. They’re famous for their boots and shoes, but when it comes to gifting, I love some of their other items. I recently picked up their passport wallet and weekender bag for myself and knew they had to be included in this guide! P.S. This bag is my all-in-one purse and diaper bag. I can keep my minimal diapering essentials, wallet, keys, wipes, everything in this bag and still have room, plus it features an external phone pocket which has now become a must-have for me.
Classic Luxury from YSL
I love designer things but I struggle with owning pieces that can only be used once in a while, which is why I very carefully selected this particular bag for this guide. The Saint Laurent LOU Camera Bag comes in a variety of colors from classic black and tan to more trending limited edition tones. What I love about this bag is its versatility. It works with jeans, business attire and formalwear and goes perfectly from day to night. It also features an external phone pocket (my aforementioned new dealbreaker feature).
Not sure you want to splurge on this one? I also recommend the Saint Laurent Uptown Leather Clutch or the Saint Laurent Wallet-on-Chain. I love it because it fits beautifully into any classic tote making it perfect for travel.
Luscious Hair From Viviscal
I am a huge fan girl for Viviscal hair products and I recommend their products to everyone and anyone. I highly recommend this set for anyone going through a stressful time or dealing with postpartum hair loss. It was a game changer for me. I noticed visible results within the first week of using it! The packaging is also really pretty, too, which I love.
Gifts For The Outdoorsy Ones
QALO Silicone Rings & Wedding Bands
If you know someone who loves fitness or the outdoors or plays sports or does anything with their hands that precludes them from wearing their wedding ring for fear of losing or damaging it, these QALO rings are an amazing option. I love them for when I’m hiking or at the lake because they’re comfortable and stretchy (so they’re easier to slide off after a long day) and they come in a ton of different patterns or colours. My personal favorites are from their collaboration with Eva Shockey because they feature really pretty neutral colours and outdoor themes.
Carhartt x Rumpl Gifts
I love when two brands come together to make one set of amazing gear. Think of the incredible durability of Carhartt meeting the high-quality versatile and comfortable blankets from Rumpl. I have one of these blankets and it is something that will not leave my truck because it’s perfect. It is the best of both worlds and one of the most perfectly giftable items on this list! I also love their Beverage Blankets which are perfect for keeping drinks cold and hands warm1 They’re also an amazing stocking stuffer!
Cozy Up With Solo Stove
Solo Stove products might be one of my favorite discoveries of the year! Their stoves and firepits come in a variety of sizes and are incredibly portable! They’re perfect gifts for anyone who is looking for a backyard firepit and/or loves to go camping or hiking or in the backcountry or just for a little day trip to the perfect picnic site! I also love that these are a gift that you can build off of! They’ve got roasting sticks, cookware and so much more that make perfect stocking stuffers and add-ons. Get 10% off with code CARLEE10.
Fun + Practical Pelican Coolers
I know that a cooler is a great gift, but let me tell you why these coolers are so fantastic. They keep stuff cool for a long time and feature subtle details like a built-in bottle opener with magnet, a dry box that’s designed to keep personal items dry and an inner tray for non-perishables that keeps them cool and dry, too.
I feel like this is a really underrated gift for how frequently we all use a cooler! It’s something that can be used all year round and with multiple size options you can gift anything from a personal-sized lunch cooler to a family-sized one! They also come in multiple colours.
Want to take it one step further? Why not personalize it with your Cricut?! Or fill it with your pal’s favorite beverages or snacks!
Gifts For The Home
Elegant Cedar Planters
When researching simple options for garden boxes in my yard (instead of building them myself) I stumbled upon Cedar Planters and I am very impressed. This Canadian company offers both planters and garden boxes in a variety of sizes so there is something for every yard or outdoor space. I personally love the idea of gifting one of their smaller planters with a holiday arrangement from a local greenhouse or even a larger garden box with a gift card for bedding plants or a variety of seed packets for next Spring!
Holiday Home From Shop Eva & Co.
It’s no surprise by my love of the outdoors and all things home and lifestyle that I find myself to be a fan of Eva Shockey. Her latest Holiday Collection of home items is really wonderful. I am finding myself wanting everything from each collection! I love the modern play on traditional holiday styles for the table. You know I gravitate towards styles that are timeless so that I can use them year over year!
Home Wellness From Saje
Saje is another one of those brands that I save up to shop for the holiday season. This wellness brand always releases the best sets of essential oils, personal care products and home accessories for the holiday season. If you’ve always had them in your mind as an essential oils brand, that’s great, but they are so.much.more.than.that. Their foaming hand soaps and lotions are among my favorites for my entire home and they make incredible hostess gifts. They also have really gorgeous Aroma Lights that even if you choose not to use them as a diffuser, they make a stunning accent lamp in your home!
Holiday Collection From Milk Jar Candle Co.
Milk Jar Candle Co. is one of my all-time favorite made-in-Calgary brands. I love to buy them for my own home, but I especially love to gift them. Their wood-wick candles are not only gorgeous, they are beautifully scented. I just stocked up on their holiday scents which are perfect as I’m not planning on getting a real live Christmas tree this year, so this will take care of those nostalgic holiday aromas for me!
Cricut Makers For Everyone
Some of you may be asking yourself “What is a Cricut?!” or saying things like “I don’t scrapbook” or “I’m not someone who ‘crafts’ so this isn’t for me”. Cool. Me neither. I don’t craft. I don’t scrapbook. I don’t make plaques or decorations for every season. Although I could because I have a Cricut and it is incredibly capable of assisting with all of those things, but that’s not my jam. Let me tell you why I love my Cricut and why I think you’re going to want to gift one to everyone you know this year!
Do you know someone who loves home organization? A Cricut takes label making to a whole new level. Do you know someone who does their own reloading and loves to customize their competition shooting gear, ammo cases, gun cases, or anything else you can think of? That person would love a Cricut. I love the Cricut Maker 3 because it is the most versatile, but for those starting out or who are just looking to take their label making to the next level, the Cricut Joy is perfect!
Eat, Drink & Be Merry
Limited Edition KitchenAid Artisan Mixers
I have had a KitchenAid Stand Mixer for almost two decades now and I don’t think I could ever look back. That being said, every season a small part of me wants to get a newer version because of the gorgeous limited-edition styles that they release. If you’ve read through the entirely of this guide, it’s safe to say that I love limited edition items of any kind as they just feel a little extra special. This gift goes far beyond anyone who likes to bake, too. I use mine with various attachments for grating cheese, making pasta, whipping up homemade whipping cream, grinding meat for homemade sausage and so much more! This one is a Crate & Barrel exclusive!
Glenfiddich Bourbon Barrel Aged Scotch
To know me is to know that I love whiskey but struggle to find a Scotch Whisky that I like to drink neat. All of the men and many of the women in my family are Scotch Whisky drinkers which is why I jump at any opportunity to share new bottles, pairings or exciting new recipes on my blog. That being said, I recently was able to try the Glenfiddich 14-Year Old Bourbon Barrel Reserve and it was an instant favorite. Now, consider that I am a lover of Bourbon, this is the perfect bottle to blend these two worlds (pun very much intended).
Veuve Clicquot Anything
Just when you didn’t think I could use the terms “limited edition” or “holiday set” any more, here we are again. Bubbles are one of my absolute favorites and I would have to say that Veuve Clicquot makes my favorite champagne. I believe that champagne is not something to be saved for a special occasion but rather something to make the every day special. Wine and spirits are yet one more category that releases something special for the holidays. My best advice is to pop in to your local Wine and Beyond store and check out their Veuve Cliquot display for gifting or to treat yourself!
This Year’s Best Books (according to me)
If we’re friends, you’re probably expecting this recommendation and annoyed that I have told you yet again to read Michelle Obama’s first book Becoming. I don’t know what it is about her: her writing style, her relatability, or just the way she tells a story in such a way that makes you feel like you were right next to her while it happened, but I will buy anything that this woman pens. I was fortunate enough to see her in Calgary a number of years ago where she sat on stage and conversed with our own Cassie Campbell-Pascal. The relatability captivated me. Oh, and in case you haven’t read her first book, pick up that one, too. I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of American history or politics as it serves as such an incredible snapshot in time and perspective on American life in the late twentieth century.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a social media influencer? Yes, I am promoting my own book in this guide, but that is really because I poured my heart and soul into my first publication (yes, I said first!) and I’d love for you to read it. It’s an inside scoop on what it’s really like to be in the social media industry; the good, the bad, the girl drama, the work, the notoriety and more. It’s a fun and easy read and I think it makes a fantastic stocking stuffer.
There are few athletes in Canada that stand out to me like Christine Sinclair. I’ve watched from my living room as this woman put an entire team and an entire country on her shoulders and make us proud even when she seemed to fall short of her own personal goals. When Team Canada won gold at the last Olympics, watching the outpouring of support from her current and former opponents made me proud that this Canadian Ambassador of sport was so well respected at an international level (it wasn’t just us Canadians ‘seeing’ our own). I can’t wait to dive into this one!
Dr. Jody Carrington is perhaps one of those most amazing speakers I have ever listened to live. This past summer at the Wine Women Wellbeing Manifest Tour in Calgary, I had the privilege of meeting this incredible human and felt instantly connected to her. Her magnetism, her relatability and the power to see into your soul and show it to you is beyond compare. This is a book that I will be gifting to countless people this year and think that you should, too. P.S. this isn’t her first book, either!
I love a lot of programming on HGTV but have been a huge fan of Joanna Gaines and the empire she and her husband have created. From a small town girl to having her own TV network, I cannot wait to read her memoir. I know it will be full of heart and thoughtfully told stories of the struggles and good times that shaped the inspiring woman that she is today.
Gifts For Furry Friends
The UGG Dog Bed
Yes, it’s the same UGG that you’re thinking of! A couple of years ago this bed sold out so quickly that I wasn’t able to get one for Hattie, so I settled for one of their amazing blankets for her. This bed is so soft and cozy, like being wrapped in the warmest shearling. I can’t wait for this bed to make her Christmas morning extra comfortable! P.S. these beds are only released in limited quantity for the holidays and they aren’t available every year!
Carhartt For Dogs
Carhartt is known for their fantastic workwear, but they should also be touted for their amazing pet products. Their great wind-breaking dog vests and coats fit pets of all sizes and their toys are incredibly durable even for the most destructive of chewers (don’t let Hattie’s small stature fool you – she will destroy toys!).
Fun Gifts For Kiddos
Lovevery Play Kits & Blocks for Babies & Toddlers
In a world of trending toys and cartoon obsessions, some things stay the course that last for generations. That is exactly why I love Lovevery toys. Their playkits and block set are among my favorite of their products. I have also gifted their play tunnel and baby playgym to several of my friends. They’ve also got a small capsule collection in select Target stores that complements their playkits and block set.
Posh Kids Play Kitchen
One of the things that my kids play with the most (and on a daily basis) is their play kitchen. This one from PB Kids is gorgeous and of course speaks to my love of midcentury modern design. It takes a kid’s kitchen up a notch, too, so it’s not something you’ll hate looking at if it’s in your living room or an open space in your home.