It’s the little things

Share Button

When choosing the perfect gift for a friend, family member or significant other, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all present. I’ve always found that the closest thing to a rule worth following when scouring for the perfect gift is to pay attention. What do they like? What do they already have? Have they dropped any clues?

The good thing about guys, be it your dad, brother, son or husband/boyfriend is that we’re simple. You could probably just ask us. Although we may say, “Anything you get me is great,” and then mope around Christmas Day because we’re upset you got us scissors for our nose hairs.

In all honesty though, you may not need to spend that much. One of the best gifts I ever gave was a picture frame.

It was the Christmas of 1998 and my grandfather had just passed. I had a hand-drawn picture of my Grampa Harvey lying around my room, and with the help of my aunt I put it into nice frame and wrote my dad a note that read: from one son to another. Not a dry eye in the room when I gave it to him. I’m getting a little misty just thinking about it. I’m also proud to say that picture still hangs in my dad’s office, the note I wrote taped to the back.

The point here is that, yeah buying stuff is great and all, but you don’t need to spend anything to let the people you love know that you care.

But if you do want to buy them something, the list that follows can help shorten your shopping trip.




So hot right now. If you’re out of ideas and have an aspiring filmmaker on your list, or a tech-nerd, a drone may be the perfect gift. They vary a lot in price and capability but on the low end you’re looking at around $60 for an RC Drone Altitude with 0.3MP Camera, all the way up to $1150 for the Dji Mavic Pro with 4K Camera.

Wireless Headphones

While Apple and Samsung release a new phone almost every year, a tech gift that usually stands the test of time are wireless headphones. Great for music lovers, gamers or students who need to drown out noise, wireless headphones have a years-long life span. Wireless headphones start at around $20 but if you want noise-canceling headphones you’re best off going with Beats by Dre or Bose. Beats wins the branding and style war, but Bose edges out Beats on the performance end. It all comes down to what the person you’re getting them for prefers.

Record Players

This one may sound a little retro but vinyl is making a comeback and a record player could be the perfect gift for that music lover in your life. In this digital age, where we have the discography of the planet at our fingertips, it can be nice to slow down, listen to some B-sides while you wait for your favourite song to play. Starting at $40 for the JORLAI Vinyl Record Player, 3 Speed Suitcase Turntable with Speaker, the high-end models for professional DJs can cost you up to 10 times that. A nice middle ground is the Audio-Technica AT-LP60BK-BT Fully Automatic Wireless Belt-Drive Stereo Turntable with Bluetooth currently selling for $149 on Amazon.


Starting at $130 for its most basic model, the Fitbit is a health-monitoring device in the form of a wristwatch. As you go up in price, so does what you can do with it. On the low end, it tells time and monitors your steps, heart rate and other health related metrics. On the high end, it you can call and text. It’s the great gift for a jogger, athlete, or someone who’d like to get more serious about their physical health.


Beer of the Month Club

The perfect addition to any man-cave is a fridge stocked with exotic brews. But when you’re up north, selection might be a bit limited. That’s where Beer of the Month Club comes in. The club will deliver 12 bottles of rare and award-winning microbrews from across the continent to your door every month. The service starts at $54.95/month and gets a bit cheaper if you sign up for the year.

Coffee Club

If there’s a coffee connoisseur on your list, you may want to look in to the Atlas Coffee Club. Like the Beer of the Month Club, this service sends you a curated bag of coffee each month from around the world. Just $14 a month will get you a 12oz bag of coffee that will make up to 30 cups. You can also go down to a half bag for $9/month or double down for two bags a month at $28.
Ember Mug

This smart cup combines tech and coffee, and if the person you’re buying for is into piping hot coffee, this might be for them. The Ember Mug is a ceramic cup that heats and keeps your coffee, or tea at the perfect temperature. It even has an app that monitors the beverage’s temperature from your phone and requires a charging mug. The website offers a 30-day-money-back guarantee on the mug that starts at US$80.

Indigenous Threads

Section 35

Co-founded by a Plains Cree from Maskwacis, Alberta, (formerly known as Hobbema), Section 35 is a relatively new streetwear company that frames their designs as wearable activism. From their “Kill the Mascot Save the People” line to their “Red Mocks” (not to be confused with Red Sox) hat, its clothing often satirizes the way sports teams co-opt and dehumanize Indigenous peoples. The clothing is loud and not afraid to make a statement. The perfect gift for someone who’s not shy about their culture.

Martha Kyak

Blending the beauty of Inuk tailoring and trimmings with modern design, Ottawa-based designer and artist Martha Kyak is a designer like no other. She has sent her haute couture designs down the runway and also has accessories and gloves that are great for everyday wear. Kyak’s visual artwork is also on display on her Instagram account. Have a look at her Facebook page:

Warren Steven Scott

A member of the Nlaka’pamux Nation, Warren Steven Scott is a luxury fashion designer, tailor, and craftsperson from White Rock, BC. For the moment, he has some very hot accessories available on his website that have a West Coast-meets-modernity feel.

I Am Anishinaabe

Featuring everything from powwow regalia to pieces that can be worn every day, I Am Anishinaabe is a spectacular fashion design company that sells garments and accessories that are like pieces of art. Featuring items like skirts with layers of detail, men’s regalia, earrings, aprons, spectacular wrap-around scarves, and ribbon skirts, this fashion house has gear that is perfect for traditional events and stuff that is just fine to show off your Indigenous pride every day.

Roberta Anderson Design

If you are looking for some really intricate beadwork done by a master, look no further than Roberta Anderson’s spectacular works available through Instagram. An incredibly versatile beadwork artist, Anderson makes things like vibrant cuffs, belts, neck pieces, pieces for mukluks, coats, earrings and just about any other kind of adornment. Have a look at her work on Instagram at @robertaandersondesign


Kijaro Kubie Multi-Use Outdoor Blanket

This multi-use blanket can function as a poncho, ground cover, canopy, sleeping bag, hammock and pillow, among other things. It may be the perfect gift for the outdoorsperson in your life and sells for $104 on Amazon.


There are few forms of manual labour as satisfying as splitting wood. It’s a workout, it’s primal, and in the end you get to make a fire. Maybe it’s just me, but I love it. An axe can be a great gift, just be sure the person you’re giving it to likes to chop wood. You can get a fine axe at your local hardware store, but if you want to spend up you can find all kinds of options online. The Pulaski Axe | 1055 High Carbon Steel Split Blade comes with a leather sheath and a removable hex nut for easy re-handling. It just looks cool too. Currently $108 on Amazon.

Life Straw

Marketed as a personal water filter, Life Straw is BPA free, removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites, and filters up to 4000 litres of water. Simply place it into a body of water and drink. It’s the perfect addition to a hiking, camping, or hunting kit.

Self Care

Bath Bombs

A perfect gift for someone who loves (or needs) pampering, the HanZá bath bomb set sells for just $18 on Amazon and includes eight unique golf-ball-sized hits of scented relaxation. They’re hard-packed mixtures loaded with essential oils and fragments that diffuse when placed into a warm bath. The French company Lush also offers perhaps the largest selection of bath bombs in the known universe. Their website allows for a more personalized selection of bath bombs for that special someone.

Himalayan Salt Lamp

For the soothing light of a pink sunset indoors, grab a Himalayan salt lamp. They’re available in many health-food stores and retail from $20-$60 in stores while Amazon is charging $19-$46 for all sizes and styles of salt lamp. In addition to the warm orangey glow they’re also said to improve air quality and reduce allergens.


Yoga lessons aren’t just for women any more, I mean it’s 2018. And while it may be tough to find a studio in Eeyou Istchee, an instructional DVD and yoga mat could make a great gift for someone who spends their days sitting in an office. The Home Travel Kit Yoga sells for $66 on eBay and includes a yoga mat, yoga strap, and workout CD.


For the Young Ones

Geelife Archery Bow and Arrow Set for Kids

For the future hunter, the Geelife Archery Bow and Arrow Set for Kids is a great present. It’ll get them outdoors (hopefully) shooting targets and improving their survival skills for the impending fall of society. It’ll also improve hand-eye coordination and motor skills as well as just being a blast for the kids and dad too. It sells for $33 on Amazon.

SmartLab Toys Smart Circuits Games & Gadgets Electronics Lab

For the aspiring electrician/inventor, and/or Dr. Frankenstein, the SmartLab Toys Smart Circuits Games & Gadgets Electronics Lab is the perfect gateway into a life of creation. The toy, selling for $27 on Amazon, includes a 48-page manual and allows kids to learn about the process of electrical engineering. With it they’ll be able to make an unlimited array of electronic gadgets and games.

National Geographic Mega Fossil Mine

Who knew National Geographic made toys? Not me. But for the future archaeologist the National Geographic Mega Fossil Mine may be just the thing to spur on your child’s imagination. It comes with a 16-page learning guide, 15 real prehistoric fossils and is sold for $40 on Amazon.

Share Button

Comments are closed.