Tell Santa he can take the holidays off this year, because in York Durham Headwaters, we’re supporting local. For your holiday shopping, we’re encouraging you to choose gifts for your loved ones that were handmade with just as much love and heart. To help you get started, we have put together your ultimate gift guide, which hearkens to those rosy holidays of the past, where gifts meant something—as much for those doing the giving as for those doing the receiving. Carry the tradition of “from the heart” forward. You’ll have as much fun shopping as your friends and loved ones will have unwrapping.
Delicious in Durham
Shortbread Cookies and Butter Tarts
Bite into buttery goodness at Eat My Shortbread in Oshawa. Since 1994, these handmade shortbread cookies have been free of added preservatives and made with only real ingredients. Or pick up a batch of ooey gooey butter tarts from Tyrone Mills in Bowmanville. A gift of tasty treats made from the heart is sure to please even your most discerning of gift recipients this season.
Meade from Applewood Farm & Winery
You’ve heard of craft beer, craft wine, craft cider, and craft distilling. Well, don’t forget to celebrate the wonderful world of craft meade. This fermented honey drink is perfect for the beverage connoisseur in your life. Applewood Farm &Winery’s award-winning Meade is made right on the farm in Sunderland, with their own produce and that of their local neighbours. Make Meade a new tradition for a special loved one this year.
Hygge Comfort Box
Give the gift of tranquility with a comfort box from Lavender-Blu lavender farm in Seagrave. Hand-crafted lavender products like tea, honey and essential oil (to name just a few) are like a hug in a box—the very name comes from the Scandinavian word which conceptualizes coziness and comfort.
Handmade Greenmantle Pottery
For that stunning conversation piece in the home, or an eye-catching accent, these small batch, hand-crafted, organic pottery creations made in Leaskdale are sure to be appreciated by whomever you are giving them to this season. Each piece is unique and individual, designed to be both admired and used every day. Your Greenmantle Pottery gift might be given at Christmas, but it will be enjoyed by your loved one all year round.
Everyone loves an alpaca. Their fleece is super soft and hypoallergenic, not to mention that they are heart-wrenchingly cute. At Forget-Me-Not Alpacas in Beaverton, pick up a pair of warm and fuzzy mittens for your favourite someone, and meet the adorable animals whose fleece they are made of. While you’re there, check out Forget-Me-Not’s other alpaca products, and come away with a story to tell when you give your gift.
Fabric Sculpting Workshop
Give the gift of whimsy this year with a workshop at Rolling Hills Studio in Sunderland. Artist Anja Kooistra guides you through the process of turning fabric into lifelike statues that are perfect for the garden or home. There are both full-day and half-day workshops available. Anja promises that your experience in her studio will be about far more than your creation and the skills you gain. You’ll also be entertained with lots of laughter, and surrounded by the beautiful grounds and century barn at Rolling Hills Studio. It’s the perfect gift for the crafter in your life.
Locally Yours in York
The scent of Christmas from a handmade candle is sure to remind your loved one of how special they are every time they light it. Redefined Finds in Whitchurch-Stouffville is a home décor store like no other, with hand-crafted goods from a variety of local artisans. Holiday scents from The Lemonade Stand candles, or Market Candle Company will fill your loved one’s home with holiday cheer. Isn’t that what the season is all about?
Lavender Dream Pillow
The Giving Place is a small, all-natural and pesticide-free family farm in Mt. Albert that celebrates all things lavender and honey. A lavender dream pillow for the eyes allows your loved one to enjoy sweet dreams with the soothing scent of lavender. These eye pillows are perfect for sleep, yoga, stress relief from migraines and headaches, puffy eyes, and simply relaxing. Be sure to check out all the other wonderful lavender and honey products available. You’ve got lots of loved ones, after all.
Cookies All Year
Cookies aren’t just for Christmas, they’re for every day of the year. To bring your loved one holiday cheer all year round, give the gift of a cookie subscription from The Little Red Bake Shop in Newmarket. This program is for a dozen cookies with special seasonal flavours sent each month.
Send your loved one to Vaughan’s most unique cooking venue. Whether they are an adult, a kid or a teen, you’ll find classes for all levels of comfort in the kitchen at The Chef Upstairs. In-studio and virtual classes are available. This is truly a gift that will keep on giving.
Handmade in Headwaters
Heatherlea Food Gift Basket
The flavours of the land make an excellent gift for letting someone special know that you’re thinking of them this Christmas. These specially curated baskets from Heatherlea Farm Shoppe in Terra Cotta have the best of local goods made with love by local people. Or, work with the team at Heatherlea to customize your own basket with a wide range of farm-fresh goodies from the store.
Lavender Gifts from Hereward Farms
Luxury skincare that is cruelty-free, and made from all-natural ingredients that are grown on-farm is what you will find at Hereward Farms in East Garafraxa. Your loved one will enjoy the scent of lavender infused into these fine products for the face, body and bath. Or, select a popular gift bundle, or from an array of candles and products for the home.
Wool & Silk Co. Knitting Kits
Do you know a crafter that loves to knit? Or perhaps they’d like to learn. A knitting kit from Wool & Silk Co., Shelburne’s newest yarn store, is just the thing. Your loved one will delight over and over—first when they open your gift, then as they’re enjoying your gift, and finally as they’re wearing the finished product. Now that’s a handmade gift from the heart. Be sure to browse the wide variety of fine yarns available at this charming shop.
Handmade Fine Art
For the art lover in your life, give a one-of-a-kind piece that you purchased directly from the artist at Williams Mill Creative Art Studios in Halton Hills. Stone carvings, blown glass, handmade jewellery, paintings, textiles, a handmade canoe—Williams Mill is your oyster. As a bonus, you’ll love visiting this historic mill which has been lovingly restored. Your Christmas shopping experience has never been so picturesque.
Gifts from Pear Home
Do you have someone on your Christmas list for whom you just don’t know what to buy? A visit to Pear Home in Orangeville will solve your problem. This beautiful boutique offers a wide variety of hand-selected gifts. From bath and body to jewellery, from the baby boutique to fashion to kitchenware and more, you’re sure to find the perfect, unique gift. In fact, we bet you’ll find more than just one, so pull out that shopping list and get crossing off those names.
Story by Katherine Ryalen