2020 Stocking Stuffer Gift Guide
My favourite part of holiday gift-giving is creating stockings filled with lots of great finds. Stockings can be more than vessels for toothbrushes and toiletries, and they’re a perfect opportunity to highlight local makers.
Below you’ll find some inspiration for your holiday gift-giving – whether it be for someone’s stocking or for a secret Santa gift exchange. My criteria for the list was fairly simple – the gifts are all:
- $25, or under
- Useful – no gimmicky gifts found here
- Beautifully designed
- Designed or made by small or local producers, inspiring us all to #shoplocal and #shopsmall this season
2020 Stocking Stuffer Gift Guide
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ten and co. Swedish sponge cloth
Launched in 2013, Ten and Co. is an eco-conscious home goods company that has brought classic Swedish sponge cloths to Canada. Swedish sponge cloths have been used for over 60 years and are popular because they can absorb 15X their weight in liquid (~3/4 of a cup). They’re also compostable and reusable. The cloths are not only more functional than your everyday paper towel, but they’re also more sustainable.
The founder, Christen, learned to screenprint by hand which means you’ll find unique and beautiful patterns at Ten & Co. The Swedish sponge cloths will be sure to bring a little joy to any kitchen.
credobags Mesh Grocery Bags
Credobags was established by Judy Lazar in 2008 in Montreal with a mission of getting people to adopt a “bag habit”, which is to “routinely carry a reusable bag or two with you, rather than use plastic or paper bags provided by retailers”. Their mesh reusable produce bags help reduce the use of the plastic grocery store bags.
All of their bags are easy to carry & easy to use and is a great shift to become more mindful when choosing products with less packaging. In today’s world, it’s also a great alternative to avoid touching too many things in a high-traffic grocery store.
Shop the made-in Canada starter pack here.
Modern Sprout seed starter kit
Modern Sprout is a Chicago-based company that began by a wife-and-husband duo with the goal of making indoor gardening uncomplicated.
They have a number of amazing products, but the two standouts for stocking stuffers are their 3-pack culinary seed lolipop starter kit (perfect for someone who loves to cook) and their seed poppers (which are so darn cute and are perfect for holiday festivities).
You can shop online, and if you are Toronto-based you can also purchase their products at some of my favourite retailers, including Brodawka & Friends, and many more (check the Modern Sprout website for a list of retailers).
Bonus: Modern Sprout is also committed to domestic sourcing and manufacturing where possible. They make a conscious effort to reduce plastic packaging and use sustainable materials when developing products. They also partner with a number of organizations to support causes dear to their hearts, including ecosystem protection and employment for Chicago’s most vulnerable residents.
lohn Mini Candle
Lohn candles are hand-poured in Toronto. They’re made with clean scents, a non-toxic wick and recyclable packaging. On top of smelling heavenly, all candles are vegan, paraben-free, and phalate-free, cruelty-free. I attended a virtual perfumery workshop with Lohn back in the spring and have been following their journey ever since. The founders – Kat and Vic – are incredibly talented, knowledgeable and charismatic. Spoil someone with one of Lohn’s mini candles in their stocking this year.
The Mōglea planners are amazing for multiple reasons. Firstly, the inner pages have blank lines on the left and Monday through Sunday boxes for weekly planning on the right side. There are no dates, which is amazing if you’re like me and use a planner sporadically. That means if you miss a few weeks, you no longer have to throw away any pages, since there are no prescribed calendar dates. Secondly, Mōglea is a letterpress studio that handmakes each piece. Many of their products are hand painted or dip dyed, which means you’ll end up with a one-of-a-kind piece. The hand-painted journals are all done by their team in their Audubon, Iowa studio.
Watch this mesmerizing Instagram video to understand their process.
yield design co. wick trimmer
Wick trimmers are important for improving the longevity of a candle and helping ensure you get a clean burn. Gift Yield Design Co.’s stunning stainless steel wick trimmer to the candle-lover in your life. Yield Design Co. is based out of St. Augustine, Florida. They aim to create functional products that is both accessible and beautiful.
Purchase the wick trimmer from the great Toronto-based shop: Merchant of York.
The Cocktail Emporium is a fantastic store in Toronto to shop for all things cocktails. They have plenty of bar tools, cocktail ingredients and more. A bar spoon is a great gift for a cocktail lover.
The Cocktail Emporium has plenty of other gift ideas under $25 for complimenting someone’s home-bar.
Nawrap Tea Towels
Nawrap is a Japanese brand that was founded in the 1930s. They produce innovative textiles using a traditional weaving technique. Nawrap tea towels are incredibly durable and functional – the multilayer weave helps increase absorbency. The cloths are also infused with a Japanese oak charcoal that is naturally antibacterial and anti-odor. All of these qualities help the towels last longer and smell better. Plus, they come in a variety of different colours.
Shop for them at The Cookery, a Toronto kitchenware retailer & cooking studio.
Food And Drink
Kvas Fine Beverage Co. Syrups
KVAS FBC is run by husband-and-wife team Amy and Zac Kvas. Their last name, Kvas, literally means yeast, so you could say their knack for making great cocktails runs in their blood.
Their mission is to provide bar-quality syrups and garnishes that are simple to use, all-natural and full of flavour. I’ve done my fair share of taste testing KVAS syrups and can attest they’re easy and delicious. A perfect stocking stuffer to facilitate a holiday celebration!
jack rudy cocktail co. Cocktail Cherries
Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. is based in Charleston and their handcrafted cocktail cherries are highly sought after. They combined Bourbon from their home state of Kentucky with Oregon cherries to create the perfect cocktail companion.
You can pick some up at the store for all things cocktails in Toronto – The Cocktail Emporium.
Salty Paloma Cocktail Rimmer
Toronto-based Salty Paloma makes great cocktail rimmers. One of my favourites is the Heartbreaker, which is made of cane sugar and grapefruit zest. It adds a sweet touch to the perfect cocktail.
Walters Caesar Mix
Invented in Calgary in 1969 by restaurant manager Walter Chell, the Caesar is a classic Canadian cocktail.
Walters Caesar Mix is made in small craft production runs in Canada. The mixes are gluten free, contain no artificial colours, flavours or high-fructose corn syrup and have won 17 medals. They’re also an Ocean Wise partner and worked with the Vancouver Aquarium to ensure their clam juice is Ocean Wise recommended.
You can drink the mix on it’s own for a virgin cocktail or add vodka for a traditional caesar. Feel free to top up the stocking by also gifting the Walter Caesar’s Rim.
Alicja Confections postcard CHOCOLATE
One of their coolest products the Postcard Chocolate bar. You can send it directly in the mail throughout Canada by adding only a $1.94 letter mail stamp directly to the back – no additional packaging required. Alicja Confections can even mail it for you! It’s truly the perfect gift to give remotely this year.
There are many variations to choose from, including the particularly festive one pictured. Shop here!
Kanel Premium Salts & Spices
Kanel is based in Montreal and was founded by two food and wellness-loving young moms. After the births of their babies, they were seeking ready-to-cook ingredients that would enable them to make mouthwatering meals quickly. The only products they could find on the market were lackluster, with artificial ingredients and allergens. And so, Kanel was born. They use flavours found around the world and source the freshest herbs and spices. They have plenty of salts and spice blends to choose from under $15. The Summer Black Truffle Salt sounds particularly delicious!
In 2014, Drizzle was launched in Calgary with the objective of bringing a beautiful brand to market that showcased real honey, utilized bee-friendly operations and supported local beekeepers. It began as a backyard operation and Drizzle is now sold across Canada. When you gift Drizzle you are helping create a shift in the food industry, promoting socially responsible products and job creation for local beekeepers. As they say in their own words, “Drizzle honey is an everyday luxury you can feel great about.” And really, who doesn’t want that?
escuminac Maple Syrup
What’s more Canadian than gifting locally made maple syrup? Escuminac produces maple syrup from trees in a region of Quebec where the mainland of the Appalachians ends, in Baie-des-Chaleurs, in the Gaspé. The bay is protected from winds and has a particularly favourable climate and soil composition for maple cultivation. This one is slightly above $25, but I couldn’t resist adding this multi-year award winner to the list.
Alternatively, you can purchase smaller sizes at lower price points from this Stratford, Ontario store (they offer free shipping over $100).
Heartbeat Hot Sauce
Heartbeat Hot Sauce is a Canadian brand that makes small batch production runs out of their facility in Thunder Bay, Ontario. They don’t add water to their hot sauces, which means each bottle is packed with flavourful goodness. The Red Habanero has quickly become one of our household favourites and we are looking forward to trying their other flavours.
Cumbrae’s is an excellent Toronto butcher with multiple locations. Cumbrae’s has many perfect stocking stuffers for the foodie in your life. Their spices are a staple in my house and have become a go-to housewarming gift. They also carry many other house-made products as well as other popular Canadian food brands (like Pinch Hot Sauce).
If you don’t live near a Cumbrae’s, pop into your local butcher shop. They’ll often have their own house-made line of spices and sauces.
terroni's Peperoncini Piccanti
Terroni’s Peperoncini Piccanti are borderline famous. They’re imported from Puglia, Italy and have become a staple condiment at all Terroni restaurants – and in many people’s homes, thanks to the ability to buy them from Terroni. They’re perfect on pizza, pasta, sandwiches and everything in between. You can purchase them via the link above or at Stock T.C. See our earlier post on Stock T.C. here.
Toronto Popcorn Co. popcorn
Popcorn makes for a great snack any time of year. Toronto Popcorn Co. has plenty of flavours to satisfy any taste buds, all made with premium ingredients. As they say, “Sweet or salty, mild or wild, Toronto Popcorn Company has got your cravings covered!”
Accessories, Beauty & Self-Care
Silk Lab Scrunchie
Frank Body Coffee Scrub
I have dry skin, so I love a good scrub. I recently tried the A-Beauty Body Scrub from Australian brand, Frank Body. Frank Body was an idea that began in a coffee shop between five friends. They set out to make a great coffee scrub that worked.
Their reviews are plentiful and insanely good, and their branding is hilariously cheeky (it’s probably the only packaging I have read start to finish and actually enjoyed). Most importantly, I can attest that their scrub works wonders!
The Green Co. Cotton Rounds
California-based The Green Co. is on a mission to provide eco-friendly alternatives to everyday products. Their values are rooted in environmental sustainability, ethical production and creating high-quality, long-lasting products. Their reusable bamboo and cotton rounds are an easy replacement for disposable cotton rounds. You can use them, throw them in the wash and reuse them (yes – even if you put nail polish remover on them!!). They are 100% biodegradable and can replace many disposable cotton rounds. It’s a really simple switch you can make to help protect the environment.
They also come with the cutest laundry mesh bag!
Check out a Canadian alternative here: Boho & Hobo (handmade in Canada)
Raw Nails Non-Toxic Nail Polish
The brand introduced me to the concept of 10-free, which means the nail polish was created without 10 of the most common chemicals found in polishes. Nail polish is one of the most harmful products that we put on our bodies, so I was thrilled to see the introduction of these beautifully coloured, non-toxic products.
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Sunday's Company Under Eye Remedy
Sunday’s Company was built based on the concept of celebrating slow living and slow beauty. The brand offers a beautiful selection of botanical and herb-based body care products created using the whole plant. Many of the products are harvested from the founder’s own land and all are handmade. The Under Eye Remedy is perfect for someone who is now spending a lot of time on video calls.
Sunday’s Company also sells their products at one of my favourite shops in Prince Edward County called Field Made Goods.
PEREGRINE SUPPLY CO. beard oil
Peregrine launched in 2015 as a small hobby between friends, and is now owned and operated by a husband and wife duo out of Vancouver, BC. Their brand was built to promote “healthy, well rounded men’s culture, that didn’t rely on traditional or hyper-masculine stereotypes”.
The Marin Beard Oil was inspired by the coastlines of British Colombia, with notes of sage, lime, bergamot, ylang ylang, and Japanese peppermint.
If you’re shopping for someone sans-beard, Peregrine has plenty of other great products under $25.
You can shop via Peregrine’s website or pick up their products from one of Toronto’s great gift shops: Scout.
Major League Socks
Major League Socks is a Toronto-based company that offers fans a way to celebrate their favourite NHL players everyday, by sporting an image of them on their socks. Two lifelong friends launched the company in 2015, with their original (and hugely popular!) Babsocks. Now, they offer several pairs of socks featuring popular hockey players, perfect for every NHL fan!
There can be so much pressure with finding the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. My recommendation is to find something sentimental or with a story, that way, your gift ends up being more than just an object.
The top places to order takeout from in Toronto for Valentine’s Day 2022. These takeout options are certainly meant to impress!
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