Need a holiday gift idea? I know. I’m a little late out of the gate, but here’s the deal. I love Christmas. I just don’t subscribe to dedicating two months to it, which is why I’ve waited until now to turn my thoughts to the holidays. (Better late than never, right?)

Ah, the season of … shopping?!

These days, I’m kind of anti-stuff. I buy little that I don’t need and (take note, friends and family) I’d honestly be delighted if my loved ones made charitable donations in lieu of gifting me. For that reason, I hemmed and hawed about whether to even write a seasonal post.

That said, I appreciate there’s great joy to be had through giving. I wouldn’t want anyone to suppress their desire to give, nor would I want anyone to call me Scrooge, so to heck with it! Let’s do this.

What follows is a list of holiday gift ideas inspired by things that have truly brought joy and value to my life. Each of the items below has been tried, tested and loved by me. Have a browse. Maybe you’ll find a winner.

#1: Routine De-Odor-Cream

holiday gift idea routine

Photo credit: Routine® Natural Goods

Say whaaaaat? I know. Deodorant may not sound like a great holiday gift idea, but trust me, friends, this isn’t your ordinary deodorant. For starters, Routine® is a clean, wholesome, handcrafted, Canadian-made formula that contains no aluminum zirconium, aluminum chlorohydrate, parabens, triclosan, or propylene glycol. Also, it’s a cream, not a roll-on or a stick, so it comes in a classy-looking container that looks pretty and also happens to be refillable should you live near a local supplier.

Remove the lid, take a whiff, and you immediately know you’re onto something good. I took my Sweet Jane on a girl’s weekend with me and my friends couldn’t resist dipping their fingers into this yummy stuff. Plus, can I just say … and I know it may sound weird … there is something sensual about taking the time to apply a quality cream to your underarms versus skimming a stick over them as if they’re something to be ashamed of.

Routine turns a basic hygiene task into an act of self-love. So yeah, I’m a fan!

#2: Collapsible Stojo Coffee Cup

My Stojo cup is pink. Everywhere I go, people comment on how cute and clever it is and I’ll be honest, I love the attention but that’s not what makes it a great holiday gift idea.

I have a couple of regular reusable cups that are perfectly functional. The problem is, they’re large and cumbersome, so if I’m not heading out with the intention of buying coffee, I don’t take them with me. The thing is, though, one can never be sure when a caffeine craving is going to strike, which means that despite my best intentions, I often end up buying my coffee-to-go in a paper cup and creating waste.

At least, that’s what I used to do — until I got my Stojo. Once it’s collapsed, it fits right into my coat pocket so I can take it everywhere, no hassle, and always enjoy my coffee with a clean conscience. SNAP!

#3: Buddha Pants

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As someone who tends to be significantly behind the curve when it comes to style, I’m no one to dish out fashion advice but I’m pretty savvy when it comes to comfort. Let me tell you — these Buddha Pants® are the bomb!

Experience has taught me that you get what you pay for. I’ve picked up cheap harem pants before that feel so crispy, they practically stand up by themselves. Not these. They’re made from quality fabric. Plus, they have deep pockets. And they come in solids and patterns. Oh, and they’re unisex, too.

Fact: I own six pairs. Disclosure: I’m an affiliate. This means I get to offer you a 10% discount (see promo code below) and earn a small commission on any sales I send their way. But hand on my heart, I’m sharing this with you because Buddha Pants truly are one (six) of my favourite things.

P.S. They have a drawstring waist, which comes in kinda handy around Christmas!


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4. Mushroom Growing Kit

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Need a holiday gift idea for the foodie on your list, or the scientist, or that friend who’s into all things crafty? Last year, I was gifted a Blue Oyster mushroom grow kit from my friend Laura. She purchased it from Kelleys Gourmet Mushrooms on Wolfe Island near Kingston, Ontario. OMG, how I loved it — in an oddly maternal way.

The kit comes with everything you need to grow gourmet mushrooms in your kitchen. Yes, yes, I know you can buy full-grown mushrooms at the grocery store but it’s simply not the same. Watching these babies bloom right before my eyes was … well, I just felt so proud!

Every morning I’d come downstairs and assess their progress and they never failed to impress. If you’re even the slightest bit curious, read more about my mushroom growing experience here. Know someone who might geek out on a mushroom grow kit as much as I did? Try Kellys or a local supplier near you.

#5. Eco-Soy Candles

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Photo credit: Whitewater Premium Candle Co.

My manly man loves a candle and he knows a good one when he finds it! Our house is always peppered with these soy candles from White Water Premium Candle Company. Check out the cute enamel containers they come in. They’re great for storing paperclips, earrings, you name it, well after the last flame has flickered out.

Another eco win — soy wax is natural and renewable, and because it has a lower melting point than paraffin wax, it burns slower than paraffin candles so they last a decent amount of time. They’re also made in Canada. I’m a big fan of shopping local. If, like me, you’re in East or North Toronto, check out the selection available at Collected Joy. Or order from them directly online.


#6: Seeds of Intention Cards

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Photo credit: May You Know Joy


For that friend or family member who strives to live life with intention, these intention-setting cards are a gift in every sense of the word. Designed to inspire daily reflection, they were created by Adrienne Enns of May You Know Joy, a beautiful heart-first soul I’ve had the pleasure of meeting on more than one occasion.

Like me, Adrienne believes we get to choose how we’re going to show up in the world. As much as we might like to show up with joy every day, life often gets in the way of us making wise choices. That’s where these delightful daily nudges come in — nudges like, for today, I create a new goal. Or, for today, I savour each moment. Or, for today, I connect with nature.

Heads up: North American orders must be placed by December 11 for guaranteed delivery by Christmas! Want’em? Get’em now! Missed the deadline? order a pack of Seeds of Intention cards anyway — for yourself!


#7: Simply Yoga Online

Experiences make the greatest gifts! If you’re noodling around in that territory, here’s a thought: gift a loved one a subscription to a few months of online yoga.
A few years back, I attended a weekend retreat led by Dallas Dellahunt (how great is her name)? Dallas has a voice like honey. (Hit play on the video above for a sample.) Plus, she’s a genius when it comes to giving verbal cues, so much so that you can take an entire class with your eyes closed. That’s why her audio classes are so effective.
For $25 a month, subscribers get a new audio practice every Sunday. The classes are mindful but they’re not super-challenging, making them ideal for newbies who want to dabble in yoga at home, as well as experienced yogis looking for a gentle at-home practice to supplement their studio routine.

#8: Smash + Tess Romper

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Photo credit: Smash + Tess

Oh, how I love thee. As I mentioned earlier, I’m all about comfort. Friends — I could LIVE in this. Like the pants I mentioned earlier, the fabric is super soft and it holds its shape really well after washing. I should know. I’ve washed my romper about 100 times (yep, I wear it a lot).
Smash + Tess is owned by three women who share a passion for loungewear (that’s what they call it) but I don’t limit mine to the sofa. I wear it out all the time. In the summer, I wear it on its own or with a white tank underneath. Come fall, I layer it over a long-sleeve t-shirt. Once or twice, I’ve even worn it to yoga.
The one pictured above (mine) is called the Saturday Romper. Visit their website to check out the other days of the week!

#9: Fragrance

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Photo credit: Le Labo®

While fragrance is always a nice idea, it’s tricky. You never know how a scent will react with an individual’s chemistry. That’s why I was thrilled when I received a sampler set of Le Labo fragrances from my hubby two Christmases ago.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the actual set on their website so you’ll need to enquire in-person or by phone if you like the idea of this. In a nutshell, though, the set included more than a dozen sample-sized fragrances with a gift voucher for a bottle of my choice. It took me a year to decide which one I wanted; their collection is that lovely.

#10: Instant Pot

holiday gift idea instant

Photo credit: Instant Pot®

I know, I know. It’s not the most imaginative holiday gift idea but I couldn’t leave it off my list. It’s seriously one of my favourite things and if you’re looking for a gift that’s sure to warm the cockles of someone’s heart (and belly), don’t overlook it simply because … well … it’s boring!

Just 30 minutes ago, I tucked into a hearty bowl of vegetable soup that took all of five minutes to prepare. I simply sauteed onion, garlic and ginger directly in the Instant Pot, added tomato puree, carrots, green beans, and vegetable stock, threw in a bunch of herbs, set the timer and bam. Dinner happened while I was busy making other plans! That’s the way I like to roll for weeknight winter suppers.

And that’s all I got for ya, folks!

A final word about gift-giving. If you find yourself totally stressing out, stop, take a breath, and remember what the holiday season is all about. Have enough faith in yourself to trust you can give your loved ones comfort and joy without battling the malls or spending a penny.

Viv for today xo

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