Meaningful gifts. We all hope that what we give, and what we receive, have some sort of meaning. There are many options that either give back or have something uniquely made and equally unforgettable. Here are some ideas that we’ve come across this holiday season.
Wonderkind: Thoughtfully selected gift boxes ($125 and up) with meaning. Start with a quiz so the elves can select the most relevant items for the box. All items in the box come from Canadian women-run businesses and artisans. Each box includes small description cards about the artisans. The beautifully packaged gift box can be sent directly to your recipient. 10% of the sales are donated to a charity (there are at least three charities to select from).
#AllTheFeels by HelloNomad: this latest collection focuses on exposing the stigma of mental health and anxiety, and the corresponding labels that are commonly associated with them. Shirts, hip bags and sweats include sayings like “Emotional Baggage”, “Drama Queen”, “Hot Mess” and “Overreacting” are just a few of the sayings. All goods are made sustainably in North America. A percentage of proceeds of the clothing in this collection will go to mental health organizations focused on working with youth across Toronto and the GTA.
Naeela Designs: Artist Naeela Chopra creates a line of handbags and clutches working with a range of materials, including stones, mosaic tiles, embroidery, and reclaimed metals, to name a few. Working with highly skilled craftspeople, her beautiful designs come to life. Her designs became an outlet to express her creativity and emotions. A portion of each sale is donated to charities that provide victims of sexual violence with the resources and support they need to reclaim their dignity and begin the healing process.
CooksWhoFeed: For the home chef in our family, getting a new fresh apron is like getting new PJs each holiday season. It’s become a tradition for us and we spotted CooksWhoFeed that has high quality aprons for seasoned and new chefs alike. For every one apron sold, 100 people in need of a meal are fed. The charity also partners with food suppliers to rescue food waste and redistribute to those in need. Aprons are made by marginalized women in India in safe and fair work environments. This season, the charity has collaborated with two celebrated Canadian chefs including Chef Romain Avril and Chef Devan Rajkumar.
Me to We: There are a fair number of items we love in this collection. For the holidays, this really caught our attention. This Semiprecious Three-Wrap Bracelet in Rose Quartz ($28) is convertible to wear as a necklace or three-wrap bracelet. Features a hanging charm made with semiprecious rose quartz, ethically mined in America, that symbolizes love and caring—the perfect gift to share love with someone you care about. Each item in the Me to We collection donates directly back to a specific cause in communities where funds are needed most. This one gives health.
SickKidsVS Hoodies & Tees: Join the fight for SickKids Hospital in their recent fundraising and awareness campaign to raise funds to bring the world-leading children’s hospital to the today’s technological standards. There are many hoodies and tee “crews” to choose from including The Chefs, The Warrior Mom, The Believers, The Dog People, The Cat People, The Fashionistas, and more. Part proceeds from each sale will go towards the fundraising efforts.
HOAME Meditation Salt Cave Sound Bath: For the mindful friend bring them to a one of the most popular calming experiences in Toronto. The beautiful experience takes place in HOAME’s Salt Cave. Led by The Only Alexandria, immerse yourself in the soothing sounds that brings comfort and joy. This relaxing experience is offered often so don’t worry if you miss out of December’s dates. But book early for the dates you want.
Ticket Stub Diary at uncommongoods: For the concert goer, sports fan, theatre squatter, is there any better way to keep the memories forever? This neat diary fits a variety of ticket sizes in one handy memory holder. Something to cherish forever and a real conversation piece. Wish I had this for my first real concert (English Beat) and right through even to last minute dirt-cheap tix to see Kanye (hey, it was a serious deal). Uncommongoods is an online marketplace to connect makers with consumers interested in unique goods. Each product represented on the site has a purpose, made with recycled or reusable products, and makes us wonder “why haven’t we thought of that?”
Purdy’s Chocolatier: The “Dear Santa Salted Butter Toffee Bar” is worth hoarding for stocking stuffers (and my handbag) but you’ll also feel good knowing that $2 from every bar sold will support the SickKidsVs campaign to help provide truly needed updates to the hospital’s infrastructure.
A Kind Heart: Our go-to shop in the Yonge & Eglington area of Toronto all year round! Every item here has a cause behind it and each sale gives back. Find items like cards, housewares, totebags, apparel, jewellery and other accessories. Gifts can be found here for kids, babies, women, and men. Brands include FEED, Spiritual Gangster, Good Hyouman, and Out of Print.