Do you know how to pair gifts and experiences for sustainable Christmas giving? As a tour curator and a lover of local, I’m always on the lookout for the best local shops to help give some immediate relevance to the experiences that I gift. I hope this list will inspire you to explore some of the hidden gems in your own community when finishing off your last-minute Christmas shopping.
Pewter Figurines & New York City
Before we dive into the list, I want to share a story with you. About five years ago, I gave my sons a pewter figurine each for Christmas. One was of the Empire State Building and the other was the Statue of Liberty. Wrapped up with the Empire State Building was a message that read, “Billy Joel on New Year’s Eve” and the Statue of Liberty figurine had a message that read, “A play on Broadway”. Even though our New York City trip wasn’t until one week later, it was that moment that we recall fondly as a part of our adventure. Sometimes you want to have a little something under the tree in addition to the experiences which I will personally always default to for gifts that last forever in the form of memories.
Books and Tea
If you love reading and drinking tea, you will love these places:
- The Book Man in Chilliwack: This independent bookstore is a book lover’s paradise. They have a huge selection of new and used books, and there’s a resident cat and adoptable cats wandering the aisles along with you!
- Once Upon A Tea Leaf in Maple Ridge: This cozy tea shop is the perfect place to relax and unwind. They have a huge selection of loose-leaf teas, as well as tea accessories and gifts.
PAIRED EXPERIENCE GIFT: Why not gift a trip to a resort or even to the spa? A book and some special tea are a great way to set the tone for the experience at home! Our favourite pick for a getaway? Always Tofino. Check out The Wikkaninnish Inn for an extraordinary experience! Want to take a food tour while you are away? Reach out to us about our Hidden Agendas! We work with you to curate the perfect way to taste your destination so you can pick your favourites!
Home and Kitchen
If you enjoy cooking and decorating, you will love these places:
- Spruce Collective in Downtown Abbotsford and Chilliwack: This charming store offers a carefully curated selection of home decor, gifts, and vintage finds. I love browsing their collection of unique items that are linked to nature and camping.
- Yes Chef in Downtown Abbotsford: If you’re a foodie, you won’t want to miss this gourmet kitchen store. They have everything from high-quality cookware to specialty ingredients. They offer cooking classes and sell locally sourced gourmet food.
PAIRED EXPERIENCE GIFT: If you buy someone a cooking class, why not wrap up an apron or a good quality pot or even a professional knife!
Art and Jewellery
- Kizmit Gift Gallery in Fort Langley: This adorable gift shop is filled with unique and whimsical items that are sure to put a smile on your face. From handmade jewelry to quirky home decor to pottery and paintings all by BC artists, there’s something for everyone here. We are sad that this gallery will be closing their doors forever at the end of the year. Be sure to get there before year’s end.
PAIRED EXPERIENCE GIFT: Giving someone a gift card for a special dinner out. Maybe even to a With The Chef dinner? Why not give them a special pair of earrings that they can plan to wear for the occasion?
My Favourite Food Gifts
- Provisions Market in Langley: Canadian made food and gifts in a sweet and stylish market. They offer customized baskets with local products for thoughtful gift-giving.
PAIRED EXPERIENCE GIFT: How about a bag of popcorn and some candy from local producers to go with local community theatre like Bard In The Valley in Langley tickets for a related instant gratification?
And there you have it – some of my favourite places to visit in the communities where my tours are held. I hope this list has inspired you to explore some of the local shops to round out your experience-giving in your own community.
Remember, experiences are awesome! The memories you’ll make will last longer than any shirt, socks or tie! But sometimes you want to have a little something under the tree in addition to the experiences. Why not make them special?! Your gift recipient will be impressed by your thoughtfulness! And the planet will benefit from your commitment to sustainable giving.
HOT TIP! Consider buying vintage or even second hand from Facebook Marketplace instead of putting new items into the world. The antique Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty are a perfect example of this!
What are some of your favourite local shops and experiences? Let me know in the comments below. And if you want to discover more hidden gems in your community, book a tour with Chew On This Tasty Tours today! We’ve got every sip, step & bite of your all-inclusive culinary adventure planned. Come hungry!