By Team BeatRoute
Photo: Retrieved from FreeImages.com
VANCOUVER — Alright, savvy shoppers, only weeks left till Christmas and we all know you still have most of your list to go. Each family member, significant other, roommate, friend and co-worker lovingly listed with a question mark next to their name. You’re a few Pinterest fails away from a nervous breakdown that sends you on a manic episode down a Walmart aisle to buy plasticy chocolates for everyone in your life. The pressure was just too much to handle. Step away from the strip mall and use this trusty guide for all of your holiday shopping needs. With war-time speed and efficiency, you could finish the rounds in a day and have time left over for mulled wine and gingerbread cookies. But first, here are the goods:
Having a lactose allergy makes tea time really hard. Going home for Christmas and differentiating Orange Pekoe cut with cow juice and Orange Pekoe cut with almond water is a stress no person in a developed country should bear. This beautifully patterned mug set by Maggie Boyd Ceramics will make knowing which cup is yours as easy as pie. The gift will also benefit your weak intestines as well as Aunt Ruth’s china cupboard.
Maggie Boyd Ceramics. $90.
You had the bright idea to bake buckwheat peppermint white chocolate scones. You spent your Secret Santa budget on vintage cookie tins and dreamed of baked goods wrapped in parchment paper and burlap, tied with a perfect bow. Caught up in the fantasy, you forgot to set your oven timer, your scones are charred lumps. Cue East Van Jams. Local low sugar spreads with exotic flavours like “cardamom rose apple” will cover up your chalky mistake and surly save the day!
East Van Jam. $8.50-$10.
Up your friends and families’ party-hopping game with this handy dandy growler caddy. Ditch the awkward backpack-bike-teeter and make sure everyone (and every beer) arrives safe and sound to the traditional ugly sweater party. In fact, just skip the stocking altogether this year and just hang this baby up on the mantle. Strange traditions such as a decorative sock full of actual socks can move on over to make room for this beauty.
Greff Growlers. $75. Must be ordered in advance.
Rule #1 of shopping: friends don’t let friends buy jewelry from chain stores. If you think you can’t get locally hand-made adorable and unique pieces without skipping groceries for a week, think again. These kitten rings run at $30 a pop and suit everyone from your BFF to the creepy cat lady who happens to be your landlord.
Choupette Kitten Ring from Foe & Dear. $30.
With two kids, a full-time job, and three PAC meetings a month, your mum doesn’t have the time to spend hours every morning filling in her thinning lips with finniacy tubes of Burgundy MAC sludge. This holiday season don’t let her lips wither away, fill her stocking with Lush’s lip tint in “Santa Baby.” This magical product can give her the just-ate-a-bowl-of-berries coloured lip hydration that will turn her from middle aged to MILF.
Lush Lip Tint. $8.95 from Lush.
Cozy and trendy, the Mount Pleasant Athletics Club offers the softest hoodies in the West. Get your friends and comrades to blend into Vancouver fashion flawlessly with the classic gym-chic we love so much. Also makes a great disguise for those old high school friends who wish they lived in Mount Pleasant but secretly commute in from the suburbs.
Mount Pleasant Athletics Club hoodie, available from Nouvelle Nouvelle. $110.
Your Dad’s new wife, a dental assistant tried to win you over with a $300 electric toothbrush for your birthday. You’ve grown to love the thing, but noises coming from your roommate and her Brazilian beau’s bedroom are making you question its sanctity. You thought the odour was just paranoia, but now its got a suspiciously low battery. Yikes. Avoid awkward confrontations about dental hygiene by gifting them the Transformer, a 60-cm double ended vibrator to accommodate whatever they’re into now.
The Transformer by PicoBong. $149.95.
Maybe after soaking in this intricate 3D wooden map of the Salish Sea, your partner’s bathymetry will lead them to sunken treasures and they’ll share the loot! Or you’ll go down in history for helping inspire the next famous deep water bioluminescent species. James Cameron was unavailable, so this is truly the next best thing. Submarine not included.
Salish Sea wooden chart. $258. Available from Below the Boat.
We all know what that perfectly rectangular-shaped gift under the tree is: another book. What else do dads want – other than to crack bad puns? At the rate of one book from each offspring per Christmas, birthday, and Father’s Day… it’s no wonder dads have the best libraries to go with their best jokes. This beautiful coffee table book about the marine biology, geography, and history of the Straight of Georgia should keep the dad jokes rolling “whale” into the New Year.
The Sea Among Us. $39.95. Harbour Publishing.
For the homesteader who is also terrified of the zombie apocalypse… who knew you could get such a perfect gift?! The holidays are always a great time to remind your loved ones to prepare for the worst case scenario of horrors beyond description in the event of an attack of the undead. We’re all one epidemic away from abandoning all Earthly possessions and living off of a subsistence farm anyways, right? Joy to the world.
Strathcona 1890 Urban Seed Collection Zombie Apocalypse Survival Seeds. $42. Strathcona 1890.
There are kinder ways of telling someone that they are notorious for having bad breath than throwing a mint in their mouth mid-sentence. A tube of this Ke$ha-esque bourbon toothpaste, for example. Buying your coffee-drinking, onion-munching co-worker this tube to keep around the office is more effective than Febreezing their cubicle area every time they step out for another stale coffee. Whiskey-fresh is the new minty-fresh.
Bourbon whiskey toothpaste. Exclusively from House of Teeth in Vancouver.
Since putting a living animal in a wrapped cardboard box is deemed unethical in 2014, give the next best thing. The Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association has the irresistible calendar to keep organized all year long. Plus, staring into the eyes of helpless kitties all day could lead to a new adoption for the orphanage! Consider this a soft hint at telling mom it’s time she adopt a cat to get over the empty nest.
$25. Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association.
The perfect way to tell your roommate, “you have a killer vinyl collection… but you’re a total slob.” Now you can keep the apartment shipshape with these handmade units. Get that record store flip-through-the-stacks experience every time you feel like choosing some Saturday afternoon tuneage. Now you can finally get rid of beloved roomie’s Dairyland milk crates that have stowed the prized vinyl stacks for so many years – don’t forget to collect the $5 deposit!
Vinyl Record Storage Units. Starting from $99. Available at V.R.S.Co. Ltd.
Stiffen up Christmas morning with a couple (rounds of) homemade caesars. Want to look fancy and put together? Fill a basket with the mix, a bottle of vodka, some limes, celery, and tabasco. Bam! A gift basket worthy of a thousand raffle tickets, or a thoughtful kit for any amateur mixologist. Who knew cousin Sam had the moves for a flare bartender all this time?
Walter Caesar mix. $7.99/725 ml. Walter Caesar.
Between the years of 1998 and 2002 everybody was layering on globs of hair gel. Your cousin Nick carried on this trend way beyond its expiration date. Nick looks like a creep now, and people don’t like sitting near him on busses. Help him out of this rut with Wizzard’s White hair cream. Its medium hold will give his hair the perfectly greasy just got out of bed look that unlike his previous gel dripped look will encourage (not deter) eye contact.
Wizzard’s White hair cream. $20 for 8 oz. $15 for a refill. Belmont Barbershop, 111 E Broadway.