The ultimate gift guide to shopping local for the holidays

The one where we make a list and check it twice! 📝

By Kristy Archibald | December 7, 2021 |10:54 pm

Photo: Shutterstock

‘Tis the season of the ‘Holiday Armadillo!’ If you don’t know what I’m referring to, watch this clip, which I can promise you will hook you in and have you binge watching the best TV show essentially ever made. 

Many weeks ago we asked you all to nominate and submit small businesses and local makers for our holiday gift guide. As per usual our readers understood the assignment and we were overwhelmed with submissions — a very good problem we were stoked to have. 

All of the items listed below are created, designed, and handmade in Calgary. Keep your dollars local this Christmas and be the hit at your company gift exchange or simply find a gift that’s meaningful and intentional for everyone on your list.

The one where we all relax

We’re all exhausted, tired, and perhaps a little overwhelmed and burnt out with yet another COVID variant and a looming lockdown in our midst. We got you! 

This holiday season, more than ever before, we collectively need to stay home, rest, relax, meditate, and just C-H-I-L-L. Here are some locally-made bath bombs, soaps, face masks, and more to help give the gift of relaxation this Christmas! 

Pure Marine Glacier Face Mask from Oh My Garden

Oh My Garden

Who doesn’t love a good clay face mask? Detoxify and nourish your skin at the same time, as you enjoy a steamy bath, good book, and me time. This mask is great for blemish-prone and sensitive skin.

Shower Steamers from Lamb’s Soapworks 

Lamb’s Soapworks

Place at the bottom of your shower, turn on the water, and breathe! Get ready for your bathroom to turn into at-home spa instantly.

Soap Bars from Suntree Soaps 

Suntree Soaps

These beautifully scented bars of soap make the perfect stocking suffers to go right in the depths of the toe. These bars are plant-base, made in small batches, and come in seasonal flavours, such as Winter Spice and Christmas Tree, or classic favourites such as Patchouli Mint, Juniper Rosemary and Cedar, Coconut Milk and Lime, Lemongrass Orange, and more!

C4 Perfume from Manday Grooming 

Manday Grooming

Boasting a distinctly masculine complex fragrance, this concentrated essential oil perfume is aged for nine months before coming to fruition. Perfect for gifting to anyone who enjoys a bold scent filled with cognac, cedar wood, and coffee.

Beard Grooming Duo from Diggers Beard Co. 

Diggers Beard Co.

Choose your preferred scent and grab the matching beard oil and beard balm combo. This duo will have you heading into 2022 with a nourished and conditioned beard that looks good and feels even better.

Holiday Scented Bath Bombs from Without Co. 

Without Co.

You didn’t think we’d forget these little relaxation bombs did you? Made from all natural ingredients, they are great for soaking your bones, releasing tension, relieving aches and pains, and nourishing your skin. Their holiday scents include gingerbread, cranberry spice, butterscotch, and more. They sound good enough to eat — but don’t do it. Instead, toss in your bath water and watch the magic happen,

Mini Skincare Set from T’oria Skincare 

T’oria Skincare

Never let your skin suffer another day from Calgary’s bone dry winter. This pack includes their three best sellers from their body collection — Sweet Orange Body Lotion, Vanilla Coco Morning Body Butter, and Lemongrass Body Scrub. This is an award-winning combo your skin will thank you for immediately.

Hand-Painted Press-On Nail Kit from Fingernails are Pretty 

Fingernails Are Pretty

Manicures are expensive and only last so long. These press-on nails are a great way to keep your fingers looking fun, fresh, and fabulous at all times. Choose from a variety of designs and even get bold and mix-and-match the designs — 2022 is all about a bold and vibrant expression of who you are — we’ve decided.

Hygge Diffuser from Milk Jar Candle Co. 

Milk Jar Candle Co.

Let’s be honest, the Danes know how to properly relax and get cozy. Set this diffuser out and manifest warmth, connection, and togetherness this holiday season.

The one where Monica doesn’t have to cook

Let’s be honest, who isn’t a foodie — especially around the holiday season! Receiving your favourite sweet treat, libation, or specialty item is simply the best.

They make great hostess gifts, potluck additions (when you just don’t feel like baking), or stocking stuffers. Here are the tastiest food-inspired gifts to give made in Calgary just for you.

Christmas Meal Kits from YYC Growers

Bring Alberta’s farms to your table and cook Christmas dinner this year with ease. With both vegan and meaty kits that feed groups of two ranging all the way to eight, they’ve got this year covered with turkey dinners and all the fixings.

Gingerbread Granola from Sunday Granola 

Sunday Granola

Make your mornings a little more festive this holiday season with a healthy and nutritious breakfast. This granola is sweated with maple syrup and molasses, spiced with ginger and cinnamon, and mixed with candied pecans.

Cozy Chia infused honey from Three Foragers Bee Co. 

Three Foragers Bee Co.

Made with aromatic spices this is the sweetest addition to your morning oatmeal, toast, hot cider, and obviously chai lattes.

DIY Gingerbread House Kit from Pretty Sweet Bakeshop 

Pretty Sweet Bake Shop

The best part about this gift is that you get to do it with the person you gift it to. Make it a challenge or create a theme — an accompanying Pinterest board is not taking things overboard at all. Just try not to eat it all before it’s built…..

Holiday Candy Boxes from J.Co Wrapology

J.Co Wrapology

Show your friends and family you care in the sweetest way possible! These curated candy boxes are the best mix of sweet and savoury mixed with candy and chocolates galore. Yet another great stocking stuffer to add to the list.

Baking Kit Subscription from Lazy Bake

Lazy Bake

Purchase a baking subscription for the one who loves to bake, but never has the time! These easy kits typically require a stick of butter and an egg — simple. Each month you’ll receive two baking kits.

Spiced Apple Gin from Burwood Distillery

Burwood Distillery

This seasonal specialty is made in small batches, so it’s best to get your hands on a bottle sooner than later. With hints of cinnamon, cloves, and juniper this spirit is perfectly paired with a hot apple cider, spiced apple sangria, or a simple tonic with lime. Add tonic, soda, or citrus and watch a light show reminiscent of the Northern Lights take place in your glass.

Winter Spice Cocktail Kit from Confluence Distilling 

Confluence Distilling

This hand DIY kit includes all the ingredients you need to make your party libations the talk of the holidays — it even includes the glassware. This kit also doubles as a great gift pack for the one whose always shakin’ things up at momentous gatherings.

Cookie Decorating Kit from Crave 

Crave

Another DIY project that hones your creative side. Choose between sugar cookies or ginger cookies, either pre-baked or a raw dough log, and decorate them with Crave’s iconic buttercream and sprinkles.  Just bring your rolling pin and cookie cutters, and let the fun begin!

Growler Punch Card from Last Best Brewery 

Last Best Distillery

The perfect gift for the beer-loving soul on your Christmas list. Treat them to a three or six punch card and the 64 oz growler is included. Growlers can also be filled at any of their sister locations — Jasper Brewing Co., Banff Ave Brewing Co., and Camptio Brewing Co.

Sun Dog Maple Garlic Habanero Hot Sauce from Knox Your Socks Off Hot Sauce

Knox Your Socks Off Hot Sauce // Inglewood Night Market

This family-run business knows their hot sauce! We can guarantee that the flavour profile of this sauce is just as vibrant as its name. 

Gold Bar from Goldie Chocolate 

Goldie Chocolate

This bar is their best seller and we aren’t surprised in the slightest. Made with a golden hue of white chocolate this bar simply melts in your mouth with the flavour of salted butter toffee. Their secret? Each ingredient is caramelized before being ground.

Truffle Honey Blend from MOB Honey

MOB Honey

This truffle flavoured honey will be the star of any meat platter or charcuterie board. MOB offers a variety of flavoured honey, but we won’t lie — this one is by far the best!

Christmas Chocolate Orange Panna Cotta from Pie Junkie 

Pie Junkie

This pie is creamed with Santa’s face, moustache, red hat, burly beard, and all. It truly doesn’t get any more perfect — it’s almost too pretty to eat — almost.

Gourmet Truffle Popcorn Kit from Jolie Pop!

Jolie Pop

Clearly, we’re big fans of truffles over here at Calgary Citizen! This truffle popcorn kit has all the essentials to take a holiday movie night to the next level. The kit includes coconut oil, truffle salt, and popcorn kernels.  

The Holiday Breakfast Box 

Five 21 Coffee Roasters

Not sure what to get that hard-to-shop-for person on your list? This box features coffee beans from Five 21 Roasters, Buttermilk YYC Pancake Mix, and syrup from Fertile Creek. $10 from each box sold will be donated to the Rainbow Society of Alberta. You can’t go wrong with a breakfast that simply keeps on giving!

The one where we all stay home

This can be anyone who loves a good redesign to make their space fresh and cozy to the one who simply cherishes those moments spent curled up at home. Your living space is a sanctuary, something COVID made crystal clear, so let’s incorporate a little warmth and character to make it your favourite place in the world. 

From cozy crews to well-designed mugs to hand-tufted rugs — all created here in Calgary. Here are some ideas to get you started!

Festive Crew from The Happiest Collection 

The Happiest Collection

Skip the ugly Christmas sweater and get festive — and happy — in this cozy crew as you curl up to enjoy all your favourite holiday flicks. First up, Home Alone?

Notepad from Stevie and Bean Paperie 

Stevie and Bean Paperie

These vibrant pads are the best for writing down new ideas, to-do lists, reminders, or anything you need to jot down quickly. Plus, they look fantastic wherever you place them!

Sustainably-made planter from Surppot 

Surppot

There’s no denying that plants are the ultimate accessory that ties a room together and gives it life, which is why you should also be intentional about the pot you’re planting it in. These pots are brightly patterned with lots of texture that will double as a pop of colour in your space. It’s all in the details!

Candle from Land of Daughters 

Land of Daughters

This candle is literally named ‘Homebody’ — could it get more perfect? This candle boasts notes of bergamot, lemon, and vanilla with a lead-free cotton wick with a burn time of up to 50 hours.

Flash Fuel instant coffee from Calgary Heritage Roasting Co. 

Calgary Heritage Roasting Co.

Need an instant pick-me-up? Calgary Heritage has got you covered. Plus, the eclectic box can be easily reused as a decor piece or creative storage once it’s empty.

Minimalist ceramic plant hanger from Thumbprint Studio

Thumbprint Studio

This beautiful and dainty piece is the perfect vessel for displaying air plants or dried florals.  It will most definitely be the centre of attention in any room.

Holiday-themed matches from Matchstick Boutique 

Miranda Weston Photography

The perfect compliment to a new candle — did someone say, stocking stuffers? They might be gorgeous to look at, but strike these matches and be rest assured that there are no chemicals, sulphur, or any of the bad stuff being released into the air. Just natural aspen wood.

Ceramic mug from The Creative Traveller

The Creative Traveller

These aren’t just any ordinary mugs. They’re inspired by nature and the great outdoors, making them the perfect vessel to hold your coffee, tea, or cocktail as you dream of mountain adventures. Watch their Instagram closely for shop updates.  

Hand-tufted rug from Lucky Bear 

Luck Bear

These are 100% handmade with a whole lotta love! They will add some serious character, texture, and personality to your wall or floor — wherever you choose for your piece to live.

Home scrub from :Am Cleaning 

:Am Cleaning

This gift is not to give any suggestions to your friends and family’s cleaning habits, rather be the lifesaver they never knew they needed to make their homes shine. It’s natural, efficient, and great for getting the grime off hard services. It’s their MVP product for a reason!

Holiday arrangement from The Series by Court 

The Series by Court

There’s nothing better than a living piece to spice up your holiday decor! Choose from an assortment of Christmas greens and enjoy their fresh fragrance for up to three weeks.

Pom pom throw from Le Nid Curated Living 

Le Nid Curated Living

Cozy up with a soft Moroccan pom pom blanket by the fire with a glass of mulled wine or hot cocoa. Get the large size and use it as an extra blanket during the upcoming cold winter months.

Hand pinched ceramic spoons from Something Wild

Something Wild

Each spoon is uniquely made and great for stirring, dishing, and mixing your delicious concoctions this holiday season. They also add a spark of colour to your kitchen — win win!

Birth flower tote from Morgan Hanson Art

Morgan Hansen Creative

These totes are hand-drawn, reusable, and gorgeous at the same time. Plus it’s personal!

Sky painting from A.S. Helwig 

A.S. Helwig 

These big sky prints are the best way to add a dreamy punch of colour into any room.  Plus these paintings will forever inspire and remind you of Alberta’s gorgeous skies.

Rundle Bear art print from Nakcreative 

Nakcreative

Bring your wild side indoors with this watercolour piece detailed with ink and natural foliage. Combine the best of the Rockies and the ones who roam them.

The one where we fill up the stockings 

Last but not least, we can’t forget the little ones! 

They’re the reason for the season and what makes the holidays such a gleeful, happy time. Taking them to see Santa for the first time, helping them send off their Christmas list, and creating new traditions — they are what keep the Christmas season alive and filled with that special bit of magic. 

From toys to clothes to exciting adventure boxes, here are some locally made brands and products to tuck into their stockings this year. 

Princesses Don’t Wear That from White Cat Books 

White Cat Books

Perfect for kids who love to dress up — no matter what the season. Inspire them to use their creativity when getting dressed in the morning, while instilling a little wisdom when it comes to considering Calgary’s temperamental weather.

Outdoor-themed subscription boxes from The Wild Life Outdoor Adventures

The Wild Life Outdoor Adventures

Give the gift that keeps on giving and get your kids excited about heading into the great outdoors. Each adventure kit is packed with outdoor gear, 10+ hours of activities, games, crafts, and a merit pin.

Loungewear from Chasing Darlings

Chasing Darlings

This micro-fashion is just too good! Made in Portugal, these quality pieces are created with form and function in mind. They look great and cozy at the same time.

Handmade teether’s from Little Bo & Co.

Little Bo & Co.

Made with high quality chewable silicone, these make the perfect first toy, for your baby’s first Christmas.

Bamboo Knit Toque from Little Lott Clothing 

Little Lott Clothing

The perfect toque to keep those little ears warm all winter long. They are made in Calgary and come in beige, millennial pink, taupe grey, and navy.

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Kristy Archibald

Contributor at Calgary Citizen

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