Posted : November 15, 2021
Our blog is chock full of great ideas for fun things to see and do in York Durham and Headwaters. We are always adding new content and updating old posts, but sometimes you might stumble upon something from our vault. If this article has inspired you to hit the road, be sure to double-check that the featured stops in this post are still welcoming visitors.
’Tis the season of giving. This year, when you’re planning your holiday shopping, choose gifts for your loved ones that mean something. Local, handmade and unique is where it’s at. To help you get started, we at York Durham Headwaters have curated your ultimate gift guide for one-of-a-kind items your friends and family will adore. The best part is that, with all of these gifts handmade right here in our region, you’ll have as much fun shopping for them as your special someone will have receiving and enjoying them!
Delightfully Handmade in Durham
Forget-Me-Not Alpacas, Beaverton
Keep your loved one’s paws warm this winter with a pair of authentic, hand-knit alpaca mitts from Forget-Me-Not Alpacas. Your gift will be a treasure under their tree, and if they’ve never felt alpaca fleece before, they’re in for a treat—alpaca fleece is renowned for its ultra softness and hypo-allergenic properties. These mitts go great with alpaca hats, scarves and headbands, also available at Forget-Me-Not Alpacas, along with lots more alpaca-perfect gift ideas.
Lavender-Blu, Port Perry
Give the gift of coziness, happiness and simple pleasures with this lavender-infused gift box from Lavender-Blu. Known for its calming effect, lavender is the perfect gift for that special someone who needs a Hug-In-A-Box. Your gift includes culinary lavender tea, lavender honey, lavender essential oil, lavender pillow spray, a lavender drawer sachet, a soothing solid lotion bar and two lavender and citrus botanical soaps. When shipped, these Hygge comfort boxes come with a wooden ornament and a few lavender stems.
Eat My Shortbread, Oshawa
It doesn’t get better than butter! These premium, handmade shortbread treats are a local favourite. This holiday season, show your loved one how much you care with an Ultimate Stash Box filled with 15 to 16 full-sized baked goods made in small batches. These babies are hand-crafted in small batches by Eat My Shortbread, so you know they’re full of love. Your Ultimate Stash Box will be a baker’s selection of two butter tarts, two scones, six cookies, three shortbread singles, two salted caramel brownies and two bags of shortbread crack. If you’re lucky, the Queen Baker might just throw in a little Baker’s Surprise… we have it on good authority that she loves that “little bit extra!”
Foggy River Farm, Uxbridge
We love the holidays, but the season is also sniffle time. Keep your loved ones inhaling free and clear with this wonderfully aromatic woodsy tea. Made with white pine, thyme and spearmint, these hand-harvested herbs are not only a delight to the senses, their decongestant and antiseptic properties can help make those sniffly months a little easier to breathe through. Pair this lovely tea with lots of other great teas, and products like tinctures, skincare goods and cider from this local family farm that grows pure botanicals.
Desbarres Chocolates, Uxbridge
Nothing says “I love you” quite like the gift of chocolate. Better yet, make it small-batch, bean-to-bar chocolate, so you can be confident that what’s in your gift is only the finest selection of wholesome, identifiable ingredients. Your gift box may contain 72% Kilombero, Ambanja, Dominicana, Maya Mountain and Johnson Mountain dark chocolate, as well as the flavoured varieties of orange spice, black pepper cardamom, raspberry cordial and midnight mocha. It’s the perfect gift for those long, cozy nights indoors with a piping hot tea or coffee, or a warming glass of locally-crafted red wine.
Yule Love York!
McMichael Gallery, Kleinburg
This exhibition at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection focuses on Canadian women artists, and coincides with, as well as offers commentary on, the centenary celebration of the Group of Seven. For the art lover in your life, give them a piece of this extraordinary exhibition to take home: The Uninvited catalogue. This book is a monument to the talent of Canadian women artists in the interwar period. For an extra special treat, pair with tickets to the exhibit for a truly immersive experience.
Redefined Finds, Stouffville
Keep heads cozy and warm this winter with a best-selling, fleece-lined knit hat from Redefined Finds. Super comfy and super insulating, your gift will delight when your loved ones find it waiting for them under the tree. The faux fur pom poms are the icing on the cake. Visit in-store for more gift-giving inspiration including DIY kits, furniture painting accessories, handmade artisan items and bath and body products.
To learn more about Redefined Finds, check out this article from our ‘Meet the Maker’ series below.
Kate Ward Designs, Markham
You can never go wrong with jewellery. This gorgeous necklace comprised of three intertwined Melissa pendants will warm the heart of your loved one. To make this gift even more personal, have your pendants hand-stamped with letters that mean something to you—whether it’s the names of your kids or pets, a date, or a small phrase, your gift will be treasured for years to come.
Market Brewing Co., Newmarket
For the lover of good brews in your life, give them the gift of beer. Market Brewing Company’s wildly popular 12 Days of Cheer advent calendar will take your brew buddy from the 14th of December right to Christmas Day. Contents are a surprise, but the team at Market Brewing Co. promises there are a handful of requested beers to come back, a couple of award-winning beers, and a few recently released beers, as well as a 20 oz Market Brewing pint glass to enjoy each one in. These babies sell out fast so order now for pickup on December 13th!
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
Give the gift of nature this Christmas with a membership pass to six TRCA parks: Albion Hills, Boyd, Bruce’s Mill, Glen Haffy, Heart Lake and Petticoat Creek, as well as four Credit Valley Conservation parks: Cheltenham Badlands, Island Lake, Ken Whillans, Terra Cotta, Black Creek Pioneer Village and Kortright Centre for Conservation. Not only will your friends and family be pleased with the opportunity to shuffle off all that holiday food, they’ll love that they have a safe way to adhere to public health guidelines for physical distancing while enjoying the beauty of our natural protected spaces.
A Headwaters Holiday
Landman Gardens and Bakery, Grand Valley
From the heart to your home—delight your loved one with a beautiful gift box of local eats. You can never go wrong with Landman’s homemade and locally famous pickles, jams and chutneys. Also available are wonderful local products like maple syrup, honey, sparkling cider, and coffee and teas. There are ten boxes to choose from, so you can be sure you’re getting the perfect assortment of items no matter who your loved one is.
To learn more about Landman Gardens and Bakery, check out this article from our ‘Meet the Maker’ series below.
Alabaster Acres, Caledon
Yes, you can enjoy camping in the wintertime. Alabaster Acres offers glamping experiences that will keep your loved ones connected to nature even “In the Bleak Midwinter.” They will be snuggled up and warm in one of three heated, ultra-comfortable tents, each of which has a woodstove, duvets and a winterized washroom. No need to sleep on the cold hard ground—enjoy a stay in the great outdoors with a king bed and all the amenities of home to make your outdoor experience fabulous.
Noodle Gallery, Alton
Give the gift of a memory to your loved one for their tree. These beautiful stained-glass ornaments from Noodle Gallery are handcrafted using the traditional copper foil technique. Finished with a copper patina and polish, each piece has a silver wire hanger for your Christmas boughs.
Rare Threads, Alton
They may be in vogue at the moment, but authentic moccasins never truly go out of style. A handcrafted pair of this traditional First Nations footwear tells your loved one you were thinking of them. Rare Threads is a truly Made in Canada, Made from Canada line of leather goods, apparel and accessories that you can be as proud to support as you can to give.
June + Rose Candle Company, Caledon
There is nothing like a cozy candle on a dark winter’s night. This Christmas, you can feel good about giving a candle from June + Rose Candle Company, because these lovely lights are made from 100% all-natural soy wax, and are lead-wick, paraben and phthalate free. The scent of the holidays is what you’ll be giving, as this beautiful, hand-poured candle offers soothing notes of amber, sandalwood, white rose and cedar.
To learn more about June + Rose Candle Company, check out this article from our ‘Meet the Maker’ series below.
Story by Katherine Ryalen