Ideas for Non-Traditional Gifts for the Holidays

COVID-19 is soon turning two years old and it’s safe to say that it has taken a toll on everybody and teachers especially. They adapted in a way never seen before. Online curriculums, zoom calls, grabbing kids attention at a distance, keeping distances in the classroom, you name it! 

This applies to many other professionals and loved ones in our lives and giving them a gift during this holiday season can be a way to recognize their hard work in a simple and thoughtful way. Of course, as always, while supporting small and local businesses that have adapted in an incredible way or have found other paths to rebuild their lives and start new businesses.

Looking to upgrade your gift giving game? Skip the mug, the candles and the lotion. Here is a list with ideas of gifts for teachers, coworkers, and friends.

Indigenous Art: I have to confess that this was my absolute favourite gift last year and our region is full of talented artists. My favourites are Luke Swinson and Alanah Jewell from Morning Star Designs but you can check a few of them at the biannual indigenous art market. (@iamkitchener)

Made with Love by Lore: I always turn to local small businesses to shop for personalized items. Think beyond the typical mug and go for a personalized ornament, a keychain, an advent bag with special messages. You can find them on instagram as @madewithlovebylore (and hopefully on Etsy soon).

Sweets and treats: You can’t go wrong with a few sweets and treats. Try “Chocolate Barrs’ Candies” in Stratford, the Stone Crock Bakery in St. Jacobs, Delighted Sweets and Treats, a local small business on instagram that makes exotic Brazilian sweets with vegan options or Sugar and Flame for handmade marshmallows with holiday flavours like eggnog or peppermint bark.

Gift cards: these are always a win and no one can deny it! Why not make them local? I would highly recommend Play-a-Latte with so many spending options inside.

BONUS: If you are looking for unique gifts and a whole experience buying them, I would highly recommend shopping at the Benjamin Tree Farm gift shop while enjoying a nice cup of hot apple cider or at Snyders Farm, inside their brand new Gift Barn or strolling down St Jacobs Village and its unique stores.