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Claudia's Local Gift Guide

After a year that has felt like ten, my favourite season is finally upon us. Starbucks has officially rolled out their Christmas line, my professors are already talking about our final papers, and I can wear Christmas-themed fuzzy socks 24/7 without judgement from my roommates. 

When COVID-19 hit earlier this year, I think that we collectively began to prioritize supporting local businesses. They were hit incredibly hard, and it’s with the support of the community that they can keep their doors open. So, what better way to kick off the season than with a local gift guide from yours truly. 

Here’s the thing: I’m not from Ottawa. I moved here in 2017 for school but didn’t really get involved in my local community until earlier this year. So when people encourage ‘shopping local’, my mind often draws a blank - as I’m sure it does for a lot of people! But, alas, on a warm November Sunday, I put on my research glasses and went to work to round-up a few gifts that I can both find locally here in Ottawa, and that I would love to give/receive this Christmas.

Note: Though this is written as a ‘Christmas Gift Guide’, not all families are like mine and celebrate Christmas! I think these ideas can be applied to any type of gift-giving situation, especially if you’re as (un)lucky as I am and have a birthday immediately after the holidays. My thoughts are with you, fellow Capricorns.

1. ‘Little & Luxe’ Christmas Bundle from Meagan & Morgan

Scrunchies have made a huge comeback in recent years, and boy am I ever glad. I personally have an ever-growing collection that I pull from constantly, but what’s a few more when you’re supporting a local business? Do it for the economy! Founded here in Ottawa by twins Meagan and Morgan Finn, the duo run their company entirely by hand; from the initial sketch to sourcing local fabric to their online store. Their Christmas collection launches December 1st, but if you’re antsy to get your hands on something asap then I highly recommend this bundle of 4 scrunchies! You can find them online at meagan-morgan.com or on Instagram @finntwinss.

2. The ‘Late Bloomer’ Lounge Set

Handmade right here in Ottawa, Late Bloomer is a newer business that sources secondhand material and makes the most beautiful clothing. The lounge set is comprised of a high-neck tank and bell shorts - perfect for a cozy day in quarantine. The set is available in 5 colours at the moment, but they’re going fast! Luckily they also have several other lovely pieces you can choose from. Note that their shop closes as of December 1st for a well-deserved Christmas break. Check out their site latebloomerxx.ca or their Instagram @latebloomerxx for information on new drops & pieces.

3. A ‘Little Victories’ Gift Card

Tucked inside an adorably decorated shipping container, Little Victories has easily become my go-to cafe in the Glebe. I’m unashamed to say that I have come to rely on their iced matcha, but definitely can’t afford to be drinking them as frequently as I am. This is where a gift card comes in handy! On top of your typical coffee shop menu, they also sell merchandise such as toques and crewnecks. Just note that the gift cards are only applicable for in-person purchases. You can find them online at lvcoffee.ca, in-store on Bank St, nestled between Third & Fourth Avenue, or on Instagram @littlevictoriescoffee.

4. A Monthly Plant Subscription from Amy’s Little Plant Shop

If you’re anything like me, being stuck inside my house for weeks on end has led to me purchasing a ridiculous amount of houseplants. I’ve noticed lately that I’ve been stuck in a cycle of only purchasing plants that I’m familiar with instead of branching out by trying new ones. Amy’s Little Plant Shop is my solution! Offering 6 different types of categories from pet-friendly plants to vintage plants, and ranging from $20-$60, you simply pick a subscription option from her shop (amyslittleplantshop.ca) to be delivered! If you’re in the Rockland area you can pick yours up, but she also does deliveries in Ottawa on the 15th of every month and can even ship via Canada Post!

There you have it, folks. My official local gift guide for this 2020 holiday season. Wishing you all a safe, warm and healthy winter full of local goodies!

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