The holiday season is coming, and it’s the season for giving. You might be the type to start planning early, or the kind who is motivated by pressure, not even beginning your shopping until the eleventh hour. Whichever one, we’re here to help get the ideas flowing with a list of gifts that are sure to be a hit. Whether you’re shopping for your partner, your mother-in-law, your best friend, or your mail carrier, there are tons of cherished goods and memorable experiences perfect for gifting in Ontario’s Highlands. Get planning with our guide to the 12 gifts of Christmas!
1. Beer Lover’s Dream
Wish the craft brew lover in your life a beer-y Christmas with Whitewater Brewing Co.’s annual holiday gift collections. Mix in some beer with their cozy winter merch and you’ve got yourself a solid gift, most of which come pre-wrapped and ready to place under the tree! Their 12 Beers of Christmas even includes seasonal flavours like a milk and cookies stout, an herb beer, and a candy cane blonde.
2. Handmade Goods
Cheerfully Made is a hub for local makers that can also be referred to as the saviour of Christmas. Everyone should be made aware of this cute store on the main strip of Almonte, which serves up handmade gifts you won’t find anywhere else, including clothing, prints, décor, and much more.
3. Romantic Overnight Stay
Some people prefer to gift experiences rather than things. Sure, things are great – but experiences live forever in our memories and don’t take up space on our shelves or in our closets. Our recommendation for one such experience that is sure to stand out in the mind of your partner is a private romantic getaway to award winning Black River Retreat in Tweed. This cozy retreat brings the outdoors inside through Canadiana décor and offers incredible meals prepared by the in-house chef.
4. Ski Day
Give them a gift that will get their heart pumping and their cheeks sore from smiling too much, like some quality time on the slopes. Whether it’s a season’s pass, a weekend in the snow, or just a day trip, Freedom Finders of all ages will appreciate the chance to hit the slopes at any of Ontario’s Highlands’ three ski hills – Mount Pakenham, Calabogie Peaks, and Sir Sam’s Ski and Ride.
5. Pre-Christmas Outing
Treat your loved ones to an early gift by taking them to Ian’s Christmas Adventure Park where they can choose a tree, see real live reindeer, jump on a wagon ride, and visit Santa’s workshop – and that’s just scratching the surface. Both kids and those who are young at heart will find themselves filled with Christmas cheer as they traverse the grounds, trying all the wintery activities they can.
6. Fur-filled Adventure
Cross off the animal lover on your list by gifting them an excursion with Winterdance Dogsled Tours in Haliburton. These working pups are happiest when they’re trekking through the snow with their pack, and you get to tag along as they speed through a winter wonderland.
7. A Day to Unwind
Is there someone in your life who is always on the go and could use some “me time” to unwind? Mahogany Spa has a gorgeous and well-equipped location in Carleton Place that offers gift certificates. Treatments the lucky lady or fella can enjoy include anything from hair styling to one of our favourites, the invigorating Ultimate Moroccanoil Body Treatment.
8. Craft Spirits
Do you have that one craft drink loving friend who prides themselves on their well-stocked liquor cabinet? Pay a visit to the newly opened Dairy Distillery in Almonte to pick them up a bottle of Vodkow, a vodka-like spirit made from milk sugar (both lactose and gluten-free). Another equally delicious option exists in Perth at Top Shelf Distillers, where the makers of Reunion Moonshine stock flavours you won’t find in stores, like Tom Green Maple Bacon Moonshine. Yum!
9. Theatre Fanatic’s Dream
In 2019, Perth’s Classic Theatre Festival will celebrate its tenth season with performances throughout the summer. Reap the benefits of buying early and you’ll save 25% on a season flex pass for gifting as you see fit. The recipient can even wait until the summer to pick their dates, so there’s no reason not to gift this to the live theatre fan in your life!
10. A Relaxing Getaway
One night accommodations, a romantic dinner, hearty breakfast, champagne, chocolates, and spa voucher. Does that sound like something that might top the Christmas list of your beloved? Treat them (and yourself!) to a spa rejuvenation package at Ottawa Valley resort Sands on Golden Lake. Book for mid-February and maybe you can kill two birds with one stone!
11. Overnight in a Winter Wonderland
The outdoorsy type will love an overnight stay at Silent Lake Provincial Park, one of the handful of Ontario Parks that offers winter camping in both cabins and yurts. You can choose from wood stove-heated yurts without electricity, or propane-heated yurts and cabins with electricity: both sure to provide a warm and toasty home base after a day of snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.
12. An Icy Ascent
If your angle is to give a super unique experience, it’s hard to beat ice climbing, an exhausting but exhilarating ascent up a giant wall of ice using ice picks. Local guide Yours Outdoors now offers gift certificates that can be used towards any of their experiences, including ice climbing just outside the village of Haliburton. Strap on your crampons together and get ready for a full body workout!