I really love the art of giving a wonderful gift. Not the most expensive, or the biggest…but a little something that is meaningful to you and the recipient that will help fill their holiday with a little bit of magic.

However, that doesn’t mean that I float in a cinnamon-scented cloud of effortless gifting, while I hand press sustainable wrapping paper with plant dyes and get it all done by December 1. Far from it! Typically, I do half my shopping on Black Friday weekend online and then the last half in a frantic flurry the week before Christmas, AKA NOW.

And then last year, there was the added fun of forgetting where I had hidden a bunch of the gifts…so that I couldn’t find them to give them on Christmas morning. I am not kidding. All I had was stocking stuffers for my mom until two days later. Yep, I can be a hot mess during the holiday season!

However, this year, was a bit different. No Black Friday spree. No frantic (so far) rush to finish it up. I can’t tell you what changed…but I’m looking to keep these easy holiday vibes going and thought I would share a few of my ideas with you. So yes, Christmas is next week. But yes, you can finish up your list and feel good about what you are gifting. Because the holidays are for feeling good…and enjoying a little bit of magic.

The Organic, Sustainable Subscription Box by Maple Magazine

My friend, Maple Magazine Editor-In-Chief, Katharine Herringer has the most exquisite taste; a gift from her is a really special treat.

She has just launched Maple’s first quarterly subscription box THIS WEEK (yay!!!) and so you can gift this to a friend (or yourself!) now and it will arrive in the mail in the New Year. I recommend buying a bar of fair trade dark chocolate with a little note about the upcoming surprise.

I have seen a lot of subscription boxes, and many just feel like stuff. This one won’t. This luxurious box is filled with organic, mostly plant-based goodies that are made in North America and sustainably sourced. I was given a sneak peek of what’s inside…and I want it all. It is beautiful, useful and pampering. It’s $220 worth of gifts for just $89. Get yours here.

Note: This post is generously sponsored by The Maple Box, created by my dear friends at Maple Magazine. Also, there is a small amount of responsibly sourced wool and beeswax in the box, as an FYI for my vegan friends!

Homemade Golden Mylk Mix

With all of the money people are spending on adaptogens and superfoods, what a treat to be gifted a turmeric latte mix! Sarah at My New Roots has a wonderful recipe that makes 120 servings so you can give a jar to everyone on your list. All you need is some mason jars, a bit of ribbon and a lot of spices!

To save money, be sure to buy large format spices from a South Asian market (or sometimes, even the Indian section of the supermarket has spices that are a better deal than the usual spice aisle. Like $8 for a half pound of turmeric instead of $8 for a tiny jar)

Plant-based Cookbooks

It goes without saying that I’m into cookbooks. Of course, it can also be easy as a shopper to forget that buying books is almost an act of rebellion in this day and age. So support an author…and give the gift of yummy home cooked food! Some of my tried and true cookbooks (most likely to still be on shelves!) include The First Mess by Laura Wright, Green Kitchen at Home by David Frenkiel, Sweet Laurel by Laurel Gallic (that one’s shiny and new!) and Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking. You may not have time to order online…but don’t forget that in person shopping is near instant. If you go to the bookstore, you can get a beautiful cookbook with no shipping hassles.

A Really Luxe Kitchen Ingredient

When you’re on a budget (and who isn’t?) buying fancy ingredients isn’t usually possible. However,  what’s too expensive for the grocery list is usually pretty affordable as a gift. For example, a really fancy maple syrup by Cosman & Webb (you can find it at whole foods). Or some gorgeous Nielsen Massey Fair Trade vanilla. Or yes, an adaptogen. I always hit up Gourmet Warehouse in Vancouver for these kinds of treats and I hear the Saks Food Hall at Pusateri’s in Toronto is a worthwhile stop! For adaptogens, try Detox Market in Toronto or look for Botanica Health, Sun Potion or Moodbeli brands online. A little basket filled with Blue Heron Cheese will also never be turned down!

A Subscription to One of my Fave Magazines

I have been a magazine lover since I was a kid. It’s nice to get something that feels like an actual treat in the mail…instead of just bills. I love Cherry Bombe magazine, it’s all about women in food. It’s got rockstar chefs, gorgeous visuals and plenty of entrepreneurial inspo. Maple Magazine is all about True North, Organic Living…and The Gentlewoman is packed with incredible, powerful, fascinating women.

The Gift of Effortless Home Cooking

I really love Fresh Prep…the food is super tasty and they are really good about taking all of their packaging back for recycling to close the waste loop. They’ve been doing some super cool plant-based colabs with people like The Juice Truck lately and I just found out they are making donations to Kiwassa Neighbourhood House this holiday season (until Dec 31) which supports the people of East Vancouver who need it most. If your recipient lives in the Lower Mainland, Sea-to-Sky or Victoria areas, consider giving a gift card.

Give an Experience

For the person that is living a more minimal life, the person that already has everything or the person who values experiences above all else…why not give the gift of a good time? For example, tickets to the ballet (I LOVE Ballet BC!) or a gift certificate to one of my favourite places, Scandinave Spa in Whistler (or Blue Mountain or Quebec). A gift to a wellness spa or even a girl’s night out (concert tickets maybe?) would be a wonderful way to give a gift and spend more time with the person you love.

Wishing you the best and brightest of the holiday season!