It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but if you’re looking at your Christmas list at a loss for what to get everyone, then it can feel like the most stressful time of the year. Don’t worry, we’ve created this gift guide to help you buy things for all the different kinds of people on your list. Oh, and the best part? It’s all local.
This year has been a real doozy and our local economy has taken a real hit. There are plenty of locally owned businesses that might not make it through this pandemic if we don’t step up and support local. When you’re shopping for gifts this year, skip the big boxed stores and instead look to the small shops.
When you support local you’re helping to feed and house a fellow Londoner. You’re keeping the money right here in the city, which helps London to thrive.
If you’re looking to shop local, check out Shop Locorum. It’s all of your favourite local London brands under one virtual roof. It’s exclusive to local-only brands so you know you’re supporting the little guy. Plus, you can order from multiple stores and just pay one flat shipping rate, no matter how many stores you buy from! Plus, once the brands fulfill your order, it’ll be delivered within 24 hours! Oh, and as if that wasn’t enough, sign up for an account and you can earn rewards when you shop! Check it out!
Here is our guide to the best local Christmas gift ideas this year.
For The Foodie
Who doesn’t love getting a gift basket? It’s like getting a bunch of presents in one. You get to open it up and discover all kinds of little goodies, treats, and delights. We think London has some of the best options for foodies. Hit up these local businesses and grab a bunch of treats, then put it all together in a cute basket. The foodie in your life will LOVE it.
CRAFT CIDER @ HEEMAN'S
There’s nothing like a crisp, fresh Ontario apple. But what about taking those crunchy, juicy apples and turning them into hard apple cider? Heeman’s has done just that. You can find their Original, Berry Blush, Ambrosia, Dry Empire, and even Mulled Mead. They also have jams, honey, and other gourmet food items there too.
LOOSE LEAF TEA @ THE TEA HAUS
The Tea Haus has been London’s best loose-leaf tea shop for 20 years. It’s located on the upper level of the Covent Garden Market. You can find a ton of options and varieties of tea as well as teaware and awesome gift ideas.
FRITTERS @ THE FRITTER SHOP
From teachers, neighbours, friends, or…really, anyone. An unexpected porch drop-off with mouth-wateringly fresh and delicious fritters is a beautiful gift to receive. The Fritter Shop has 11 different flavours to choose from. Or, if you want to add it to a gift basket or don’t want to have to arrange timing to get the fritters to them fresh, get them 6 assorted fritters that they can redeem at their own leisure.
LOCAL HOT SAUCE @ THE HOT SAUCE CO.
The Hot Sauce Co. is a local company that makes delicious spicy condiments that wing lovers will adore. They have five different flavours: Habanero & Herbs, Suicide Siracha, Siracha, Habanero & Mango, and Peppers & Peaches. Or, if you happen to know a true hot-sauce aficionado, get them the Holiday Gift Box that has a bottle of each flavour, plus their super spicy and sour gummy worms, stickers, and even a reusable tote bag! You can find them at the outdoor Farmer’s Market on Saturdays.
SWEET DELIGHTS @ FORRAT'S CHOCOLATES
Forrat’s Chocolate is on a whole other playing field when it comes to chocolate. They have handcrafted truffles in amazing flavours. You’re not going to see any artificial ingredients or preservatives in their chocolates. You just get pure deliciousness.
MAPLE SYRUP @ MCLACHLAN SYRUP
Going to McLachlan Sugar Bush and Pancake House is a tradition that Londoners enjoy year after year. Head over to Komoka and grab some delicious maple syrup. What Canadain doesn’t love maple syrup?
For The Adventurist
You know that person who is always out doing things? They hike, bike, fish, kayak, and camp. Maybe they also travel and just generally explore the world around them. Here are some awesome gifts that they’ll love.
THE ONLY COOLER YOU'LL EVER NEED @ MAPLE MOUNTAIN
Whether it’s got a getaway to the cottage, a day at the beach, a backyard bbq, or a weekend of camping, a high-quality cooler is an essential item. Maple Mountain is a premium Canadian brand that offers high-quality coolers. Their products keep your food and drinks ice cold for days (yes, DAYS) while also being stylish and representing Canadian pride. Oh, also they’re built to last you a lifetime and are incredibly durable. Plus, each one comes with a basket to keep dry items separate from the ice as well as a light so that you can grab the right beer in the dark.
FANSHAWE LAKE CONSERVATION AREA PASS
Did you know that you can buy gift cards for the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority? They’re the ones who run Fanshawe Lake, Wildwood, and Pittock. So if you have someone on your list who loves biking, fishing, boating, camping, or all of the above, give them the gift of the great outdoors!
For The New Parent
If someone in your life just had a baby, there are so many things that they need, but the truth is that most of them were already purchased for baby showers or handed down through family members. Get them unique gifts that they’d never think of themselves.
BABY MUST-HAVES @ THE OVER COMPANY
The OVer Company makes high-quality products made from natural cotton. You can expect ultra-soft and stretchy materials, modern designs, and incredibly creative products. Take the NODO gown, for example. These gowns are breathable and soft, but they also have quick tie bottoms, which is perfect for late-night diaper changes. They also have fold-over cuffs to keep babies from accidentally scratching themselves. Or, grab them a stylish OVER cover. It can be used as a car seat cover, a 360-degree coverage for the nursing mom, and even a shopping cart cover!
NO-STRESS DINNER @ DOS TACOS
New parents are stressed, sleep-deprived, and probably forget to grocery shop every once in a while. Be the hero that they didn’t know they needed and get them a gift card for Dos Tacos. They can pick up some seriously scrumptious tacos to scarf down in between diaper changes and feedings.
For The Fashionable
Do you know what’s terrible for the planet? Fast fashion. Poorly produced clothing items that are meant to be worn for a couple of years and then thrown out are killing the earth. Do you know what’s not terrible for the planet? Local clothing companies that emphasize sustainable business practices, creating high-quality clothing that is meant to last. Plus, these apparel companies are creating classic and trendy designs that also show off Canadian pride.
THE ICONIC ANCHOR AND MAPLE LEAF @ ILLBURY & GOOSE
Whether you realized it or not, you’ve witnessed someone wearing the iconic logo from Illbury & Goose. This is a company that is socially conscious and supports local. They source their materials and their manufacturers locally to reduce their ecological footprint. Their classic anchor snapback hat is a sure-fire win as it’s a look that will never go out of style. Or, grab a knit beanie, a pair of the coziest sweatpants, or their “Truly Unique, Entirely Canadian” black tank.
COZY SWEATERS @ FIVE ONE NINE CLOTHING CO.
Five One Nine Clothing creates high-quality and seriously stylish clothing that represents the Forest City. Plus, as a company they donate part of their proceeds to support mental health initiatives at the London Health Sciences Center, so you can feel good with every purchase you make. Grab their “Black-out” hoodie for any guy or girl on your list!
For The Earth-Lover
We only get one Earth, and unfortunately, we haven’t been taking care of it as well as we should have. Finding companies that have sustainable practices, give back to earth-saving initiatives, and use natural products is something that the Earth-lovers on your Christmas list will adore.
GLASSES OR BRACELETS @ 2050
2050 has an incredible mission to fight climate change, and help to conserve endangered species all by saving rainforests. They’ve partnered with Rainforest Trust so that every single product that you purchase from 2050 will protect one acre of the rainforest. Grab a pair of comfortable and stylish bamboo sunglasses or one of these awesome beaded and cord bracelets.
NATURAL SKINCARE @ PURDY NATURAL
So many products nowadays are filled with harsh chemicals and dangerous fillers. Not only are we putting those things onto our skin (the body’s biggest organ) but we’re also allowing those chemicals into the landfills and oceans. Purdy Natural only uses ingredients that are grown from the earth. They use sustainable practices to make sure to leave a small footprint on Mother Earth. Give the gift of natural products like deodorant, soap, aroma body mists, and bath soaks.
For The Homebody
Have someone on your list who just loves being home? They love the comfy cozy of being curled up on the couch in their sweats enjoying their family and time at home. Well, why not give them a gift that they can see all the time when they’re home?
HOME DECOR AND PLANTS @ GROW & BLOOM
Plants have been shown to improve moods, eliminate odours, and be good for both your mental and physical health. So by giving someone a plant, you’re giving them good health! Grow & Bloom has plenty of amazing options for your home. If you don’t want to have to think about taking care of the plant before you gift it, why not give the gift of stunning home decor? Like this stunning gold pot, this minimalist watering can that is both beautiful and functional, or this charming starry night garland?
CANDLES THAT MAKE SCENTS @ MOOD & CO.
There is nothing more homey and cozy than having candles burning while you’re home. They fill your home with beautiful scents, give off that beautiful glow, and even give off a little warmth! Mood & Co creates incredible and unique handmade candles that are meant to suit any and every mood. Give them this cozy pack that includes Birthday Wick, 50 Scent, and Scent and the City. Mood & Co also has partnered with so many different local businesses. You can find things like Fire Roasted Milk Tea, which is a Chatime candle.
Trying to buy for someone who already has everything? Have a minimalist friend who doesn’t want more stuff? Tired of getting the same things year after year? Why not branch out and try giving the gift of an experience? From lessons, wellness, and fun, you can give someone a gift that will make memories for them, enrich their lives, or help them achieve their goals!
YOGA CLASS PASS @ EVOLATION YOGA
Have someone on your Christmas list who could use a little zen in their life? Stress is bad for our bodies, health, and mind. Help them relax and strengthen both body and mind with the gift of 10 shareable class passes with Evolation Yoga London! These classes can be done either online or in-studio. They don’t explore and can be shared! It also includes access to Evolation Yoga London’s on-demand video library.
A TRUE SPEAKEASY ADVENTURE @ THE MOCKINGBIRD
The Mockingbird will bring you back in time to the 1920’s prohibition era when enjoying a cocktail was a more daring and thrilling event. The Mockingbird is located in the charming neighbourhood of Old East Village. In order to actually get in, you have to enter through a cabinet that is located in Whistling Dick’s Barber Shop. And when the barbershop is closed, you can access the Mockingbird by walking around the back and finding the glowing red light. The door reads “R. Milburn & Co.” to throw people passing by off the scent. On top of the speakeasy entrances, the Mockingbird serves classic cocktails and signature cocktails. They often host live music and DJs. Give someone on your list the thrilling gift of a gift card to London’s coolest speakeasy.
MUSIC LESSONS @ JUNCTION BEATS
Have an aspiring musician on your list? Maybe you know someone has always wanted to learn how to play drums, or guitar, or maybe even a Ukulele. Give them a gift that they will never forget: a month of music lessons! Junction Beats is a place for anyone, of any age, to be inspired and allow musical exploration while they learn the techniques and fundamentals. Junction Beats has music teachers that are passionate about music and love helping others find their sound. The gift is for one month of four hour-long, one-on-one lessons!
PERSONAL TRAINING SESSIONS @ HI-IGNITION FIT LAB
Personal training is a different experience than just going to the gym. With a personal trainer, discuss goals, needs, wants, and what routines will be best to suit those things. Give your loved one the gift of two 45-minute personal training sessions. They’ll love being equipped with knowledge and training to crush their goals next year.
ESCAPE ROOM FUN @ TRAPDOOR
Give the gift of fun this season. Trapdoor is London’s favourite escape room and with good reason. Each escape room is meticulously crafted and engineered to create an immersive, puzzling, and exciting experience. Once you’ve experienced one adventure here, you’ll be planning your next! Give someone on your Christmas list that kind of fun!
For all your local shopping, visit www.shop.locorum.ca