2016 Holiday Gift Guide for Her

Looking to buy the perfect gift? Here are 10 ideas for the special lady in your life

Credit: Iittala 

Looking to buy the perfect gift? Here are 10 ideas for the special lady in your life

There’s no question that you’re #withher this holiday season, right!? So celebrate all the women in your life—whether tech guru, foodie or fashionista—with our favourite gifts (plus bonus presents at every price point!) from local chefs and designers, and dazzling items from global boutiques.

Click through to see our 10 favourite holiday finds for her…

Credit: Goh Ballet

For the culture vulture

Psst! Want to indulge in a little pre-holiday gift giving? Nothing exemplifies the spirit of the season like The Nutcracker ballet. (Tickets start at $28 each, plus tax; performances run from December 15 to 20, 2016 at The Centre in Vancouver at 777 Homer Street.) This classic (it was first performed in 1892 in St. Petersburg, Russia) features Vancouver’s own Goh Ballet and stars Guillaume Côté among other dancers from the National Ballet of Canada.

The Vancouver Opera Orchestra plays Tchaikovsky’s inimitable score, making for a magical evening as Clara, the sugarplum fairies and evil Mouse King take to the stage for a spectacular performance.

Bonus gift: She doesn’t need to be an aspiring ballerina or even have dance experience to start Goh Ballet’s beginner classes for adults. Designed for teens and adults of all ages, classes promise to increase flexibility and improve body alignment, among other benefits.

Credit: Hermès

For the tech guru

Wearable tech used to be limited to futuristic-looking items such as backpacks sporting solar panels. Thankfully that kind of “intelligent fashion” is light-years behind us. Our gift proudly presents the newest collaboration from Apple and Hermès.

The updated Apple Watch Hermès Series 2 (from $1,579) melds the tech titan’s updated features with the French luxury fashion house’s haute styling. A new dual-core processor promises to be “lightning fast.” A built-in GPS tracks running routes and more, and water-resistance up to 50 metres makes the watch a constant companion for steamy yoga sessions or surfing Pe’ahi.

Customized elements include a selection of classic Hermès watch faces (Clipper, Cape Cod and Espace) and a choice of a 38- or 42-mm stainless steel case. It’s a gift that brings together the best of utility and style.

Bonus gift: Let the watch wearer be her own style-shifter with a series of interchangeable Apple Watch Hermès leather bands from which to choose. Our top choice is the Double Tour 38 mm band ($599) in Anémone, shown above.

Credit: Cook Italy

For the traveller

Four words: The Roman Culinary Adventure. Dana Reinhardt, Vancouver consulting chef is sharing her ardour for the Etruscan town of Tuscania with her week-long hands-on Cook Italy culinary tour ($3,799 excluding airfare). “This undiscovered culinary paradise has renewed my approach to cooking and how I relate to Italian food,” says Reinhardt, owner and operator of Cook Italy culinary tours. Guests will literally live at Casa Caponetti, home to Lorenzo Caponetti’s sprawling 125-acre olive grove, where they can wander the grounds’ medieval ruins and learn how to make both classic and modern Roman dishes from Reinhardt.

Bonus gift:  Even if you can’t send her to Tuscania, you can sign her up for one of Chef Dana Reinhardt’s Cook Italy classes ($65) at The Gourmet Warehouse in Vancouver.

Credit: Iittala

For the collector

We love it when two beloved brands team up to create capsule collections, especially in time for the holidays. Such original offerings guarantee you aren’t giving her the same old, same old. The new Iittala X Issey Miyake collection (find it at Atkinson’s) melds the iconic Scandinavia design of Iittala (the Finnish company started as a glass factory in 1881) with the 78-year-old Japanese fashion designer’s cred (he launched his first brand collection 45 years ago).

While all the pieces are gift-worthy, our favourites are the fabrics. Let her make a subdued statements with the finely designed cushion covers, like Zigzag in Light Grey ($223) and Herringbone in Emerald ($203).

Bonus gift: Let her deck her tableau in simply style by kicking off her new Iittala X Issey Miyake collection with the ceramic tea light candleholder ($68). The flickering flame will keep her spirits bright no matter the season.

Credit: BETA5 

For the sweet tooth

Award-winning chocolate and pastry shop BETA5 has much to celebrate this season, including its recent five-year anniversary! Over the years, partners in business (and life) pastry chef/chocolatier Adam Chandler and Jessica Rosinski have earned ample accolades (by the International Chocolate Awards, no less) for their work in the alchemy of chocolate arts.

The company has become one of Northern America’s go-tos for handcrafted cream puffs, polygon bars and seasonal release of chocolates like its latest: Christmas in Paris Holiday Collection. The 12-piece ($30) or six-piece ($15) boxes are filled with French flavours such as Crèpe Suzette, Café Noir and the award-winning Sparkling Praline, among others.

Bonus gift: Support Vancouver artists by purchasing one of BETA5’s five street art gift boxes wrapped in a signed limited-edition print and packed with chocolates, salted caramels and more ($90).

For the bestie

Jule Styne and Leo Robin may have penned the lyrics “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” but blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe immortalized the sentiment thanks to her role in the 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

And it’s true: these Tiffany Soleste earrings in platinum with round tanzanites (total karat weight is 1.40) and round brilliant diamonds (total karat weight is 0.19) will be her new besties. So splurge on these investment-worthy sparklers ($8,150) from the venerable Tiffany & Co. Whether your best friend is your mom, sis, grandmother or partner, they’ll always be as valuable and timeless as an enduring friendship.

Credit: Skoah

For the skincare devotee

The holiday season can’t be complete without a dash of sugar and spice. But we’re not talking about treats to eat. Instead, let her slather some sweetness on her skin by bestowing a batch of holiday products from Vancouver brand Skoah.

Vanilla and brown sugar are infused into Skoah’s Holiday Body Kream ($38/8 oz; it’s fortified with 30 per cent shea butter, sea kelp algae and other good-for-you ingredients), ultra-hydrating Holiday Body Lotion ($18/8 oz) and hard-working Holiday Hand and Foot Skrub ($20). Even better: gift her a triple-treat with the Holiday Trio ($42).

Bonus gift: With locations throughout Vancouver, Skoah’s facial-only spa specializes in “personal training” for skin. Treat her a customized “workout” like the Facialiscious (rid those puffy eyes!), Fitskin (tone and hydrate) or Power (a mask, plus extra attention for eyes and lips) facial to give her a little downtime bliss and skincare boost time during the busy season (from $45/20 minutes).

Credit: TWG Tea

For the tea aficionado

The tried-and-true tea drinker (or even one who sips sporadically) will be thrilled to receive a gift of Christmas Jewel Tea ($50/100 grams) packaged in a pretty caviar-style tin. Internationally renowned TWG Tea melds together festive flavours like sweet orange and spice with blends of green teas and rare golden tea pearls, making for a superb sipper at any time of year. It’s also a travel-friendly present to give to her; she’ll appreciate the on-the-road reprieve during the busy holiday season.

Bonus gift: Preparing tea can be an artful process and this sleek buffalo horn tea scoop ($20) is an ideal tool—and stocking stuffer—for loose-leaf teas.

For the free spirit

It’s hard to achieve calm at the best of times, but that mental chatter often gets louder during the holiday season. Help soothe her mind and body with a unique collection of crystal-infused products such as body serums ($70) and bath salts ($54) by Crystal Hills.

Located in the Okanagan Valley, the company was founded in 2014 and manufactures its products in B.C. using a blend of high-energy crystals (each offers specific benefits) and certified-organic botanicals like elderberry and aloe extracts, plus plant oils like black cumin seed and coconut. Each product is a gift that gives back too. Crystal Hills donates eight per cent of its profits to three organizations: the Canadian Women’s Foundation, Free the Children and World Wildlife Foundation.

Bonus gift: Complement her skincare routine with one of Crystal Hill’s beautiful baubles: moonstone pendants, amethyst earrings, clear topaz bracelet and other sparkling gems (from $40).

Credit: BS!

For the fashion plate

You know the type: she’s always searching the shelves for the perfect styling product. Now you can help her (in a subtle way) achieve her maximum hair potential with minimal ingredients thanks to a new collection of products from BS!

The haircare line from Vancouver’s award-winning The Lounge Studio is made in B.C. without gunk like sulphates, sodium chloride and parabens. For top tresses, stuff her stocking with colour-safe Sham shampoo, silicon-free Con conditioner and a range of finishing products, including Fluff, a powder that will give her beach-babe volume and texture.

BS! can be purchased at The Lounge Hair Studio (1116 Richards Street), The Barber Shop (332 Water Street) and On The Fringe Hair Design (4166 Main Street).

Bonus gift: Great hair starts with a precision cut so book her an appointment (or get her a gift certificate) with one of the pros at The Lounge Studio.