Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens may be some of Fräulein Maria’s favourite things, but here are a few of my favourite things that would make fantastic gifts for someone on your list this year, and will surely quickly become a favourite of theirs as well!
The Perfect Cup – Chemex, 6-cup $37.95
There is a growing trend in the capsule/pod coffee machines like the Tassimo or Keurig—it’s super fast, easy, and convenient. However, I find that nothing compares to a cup of coffee done right, using a “slow” method. The pour-over method has been making a resurgence in popularity amongst coffee purists and small, hipster coffee shops. The result is a superbly smooth and clean-tasting cup of joe. The Chemex is a particular favourite—a single piece of glass craftsmanship that has been selected as one of the 100 best designed products of modern times, with its unique, hourglass figure that acts as both coffeemaker and carafe. The Chemex isn’t for everyone, but for the coffee purists and serious coffee lovers who appreciate the art of coffee-making, this would be a dream item to have. Not only is it a practical gift for any coffee aficionado, it’s a beautiful household item that would be a perfect addition to any kitchen counter or table.
This House is a Very, Very Fine (and Delicious) House – Gingerbread House Kit $35.00
Forget those cardboard-like gingerbread kits from the grocery store. Sweet Flour Bake Shop has gorgeous gingerbread house kits that are beautiful when assembled AND taste delicious! The kits include everything you need to assemble the house: royal icing mix, an 8” x 8” cake board on which to build your house, pre-baked Gingerbread House pieces, and the all-important candies to decorate the house (includes jujubes, M&Ms, mints, red sanding sugar, and mini candy canes), all wrapped up in a convenient tin gift box. It’s bound to be a fun activity for the whole family, and will make for a wonderful hostess gift.
Available at Sweet Flour Bake Shop and Holt Renfrew.
A Subscription Worth Getting – Lucky Peach $36 for a year’s subscription (4 issues)
The hottest novels and cookbooks are always popular gifts, but don’t forget about magazine subscriptions. It’s the gift that keeps on giving long after the holidays are over when that magazine arrives in the mail. I’m a big fan of Lucky Peach, the brainchild of Momofuku’s David Chang and his partner-in-crime, writer Peter Meehan. Each issue of the quarterly journal focuses on one specific theme, which is flushed out through a mish-mash of essays, opinion pieces, art, photography, and recipes by some of the food industry’s finest, brightest, and hippest. This is food journalism at its best—insightful, in-depth, at times shocking, other times laugh-out-loud funny or borderline ridiculous, but always with an original and quirky voice that has made Lucky Peach stand out from the rest of the pack. Each issue is a thoroughly enjoyable read, and considering the magazine retails at $12.00 on the newsstands, the subscription is a steal at $36 for 4 issues—allowing you to be able to afford a subscription for a friend and yourself! Be sure to check out their free printable ‘zine, which you can gift to your receiver now as they wait for their first issue to arrive in the mail in February.
Available at lky.ph.
Ornaments for the Hair – Hair Fascinators by Love Charlie $36.00 – $49.00
We have Kate Middleton to thank for bringing back hats and the even trendier fascinators to the forefront. I love that they’re a fun and unique way to add some pizzazz to an outfit. Love Charlie is based in Charlottetown, PEI, and specializes in gorgeous handmade custom hats and hair accessories. I especially love their line of hair fascinators. These whimsical hairpieces come in a wide variety of styles and colours, made with feathers, fabrics, silk flowers, and/or buttons. The fascinator also doubles as a brooch (it features both a hairclip and a pin on the back) that allows you to accessorize your hair or your clothes, depending on what you’re feeling (and wearing) on a particular day. Best of all, Love Charlie offers free shipping to anywhere in Canada.
Available at Love Charlie Online Store.