Do you hear that? Concentrate really hard and you may be able to hear the faint sound of holiday music tinkling in the background, the squeak of boots on new fallen snow, and the rustle of wrapping paper accompanied by the muted screech of Scotch tape.
It’s happening: The season of giving is inching closer, one day at a time.
If you have yet to hit the shops or online stores to get your gifts, don’t worry – you can find the perfect locally-sourced gift for her at these Ontario’s Highlands locations.
*Many of these options are available to purchase online.
Sweet Smelling Girly Stuff
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet….but why take that chance? Handmade rustic soap from Minden Hill Soap Co. comes in fun colours and types (think bath bombs). If you want to give a gift that is more unusual, consider soap from the Rawdon Creek Soap Co. made with buffalo milk from the Ontario Water Buffalo Co. Buffalo milk is high in Vitamin E, minerals and antioxidants to keep skin feeling softer and moisturized.
For the eco-conscious, the rECo Refillery in Deep River offers zero waste and good smelling products while Cedar & Co. Botanicals in Bancroft uses recycled and amber glass containers to protect products from UV light.
Even in the most progressive households women tend to spend more time in the kitchen. Give her an excuse to stay out of it by gifting her with vegan pies from Nourished by Raisin the Root in Minden, or a delicious dessert pie from Perth Pie Co. in Perth. Freeze your pies for easy reheating when she is looking for a break from the kitchen. Gift certificates to a local restaurant will also do the trick and one from Valley Eats can be used at any number of local eateries in the Ottawa Valley.
Luxury, Relaxation and Pampering
Gift the lady in your life with a bit of relaxation that can be booked on their schedule. Gift certificates from Grail Springs Retreat for Wellbeing gives you an all-inclusive, luxurious retreat experience that includes accommodations, meals, yoga, medication, and hiking on the outdoor trails, plus access to Reiki and other healing experiences. Other spas that offer accommodations include Perth Best Western Parkside Inn & Spa in Perth and Sir Sam's Inn & Spa, near Haliburton.
Make sure your moms, daughters, friends, or wives are the best dressed ladies out there for New Years. In Pembroke, West on Main (formerly Cork and Coral) takes the work out of shopping by pulling together creative clothing ensembles for the perfect, pre-curated outfit. In Bancroft, Zihua Boutique carries quality clothing lines like Parkhurst, Frank Lyman, Pistache, and Piccadilly to make gift giving easy.
Threadwork in Almonte sells fabulously cozy Irish knitted sweaters and Celtic throws that will keep you warm all winter long. They also have some cute change purses and jewelry, too!
Handmade, Artisan and Beautiful
Art makes a fantastic and meaningful gift for anyone, and who could resist a handmade craft or two? At Rail’s End Gallery in Haliburton you can browse local art, ceramics, fibre arts, jewelry and more online or in-store, or purchase a gift certificate so she can pick out her own work of art. In Northbrook, the Kuriosity Shop has paintings and crafts from local artisans if you’re looking for a new find.
When it comes to handmade artisan gifts, the Cheerfully Made shop in Almonte has everything you could possibly want, it’s like an in-person Etsy shop of Ontarian and Canadian artists. In Lennox & Addington, Finnegan’s General Store features art from local artists, and is a great place to pick up some fresh baking at the same time.
In Smiths Falls, Willow & Co. features the work of talented local artisans that will ensure your gift is as close to one-of-a-kind as you can get, like one of their gorgeous citrus wreaths. The Coe Hill Collective has a little bit of everything, all handmade with love.
Workshops and Courses
Give the gift of knowledge this holiday season with a workshop or course from an artisan or expert in Ontario’s Highlands. Yours Outdoors in Haliburton offers one day glass blowing workshops at Artech Glass Blowing Studios where she can make beautiful pieces of glass art to take home. Musical wannabes will love a gift certificate for music lessons and The Arts Hub in Smiths Falls offers private lessons for guitar, ukulele, fiddle, or even voice.
We’ve been waiting for live music to resume and now it’s here! Give her an experience to remember with a season pass to Highlands Opera Studio to remind her of the beauty in live music. If she’s more into modern vibes, surprise her with tickets wrapped up in a bow from Neat Café in Burnstown or Bowie’s in Smiths Falls.
The small boxes under the tree are sometimes the ones that create the most excitement. Gift one of Up River Trading Co's unique Talisman Keepsake Necklaces featuring a dragonfly or hummingbird. Paradigm Design sells beautiful handcrafted silver and golf jewelry made right here in Ontario's Highlands, inspired by Lake Kashagawigamog in Haliburton Highlands.
In Almonte, Kehla Design Studio has some fantastic and unique pieces that are made right in Lanark County, and they even remodel old jewelry. Stoco Jewelry Studio in downtown Tweed offer custom-made pieces to reflect your personality.
Cozy Evenings at Home
For the homebodies who live for a relaxed evening at home with friends or family – or solo – puzzles, board games or books are the way to go. She’ll love a unique jigsaw puzzle featuring local scenes from The Occurrence in Haliburton, or one of the collection of puzzles and crafts from Tin Barn Market in Almonte. Booklovers always like to choose their own gifts, and a gift certificate from Master’s Bookstore in Haliburton will have her poring over the online catalogue for days on end to find just the book for cozy winter evenings.
(Maple) Sweet Nothings
This one may be last, but only because we like a sweet ending. The holidays are the perfect time to get some sweets for your sweet and maple syrup is the ultimate made in Canada gift that no one will ever turn down. Find a maple syrup producer to get the sweet goodies from in Haliburton Highlands. If you’re looking for a fun packaged gift, Thompsontown Maple Products has pre-packaged maple gift packs, including a maple-inspired advent calendar (how fun is that?!).