With scant weeks before Christmas, you get a big gold star from us if you've finished all your shopping for the loved ones on your list.
That rare combination of surprising, unique and affordable often seems elusive in the big chain stores. Well, we decided to highlight some local goodies you can wrap up with a bow. Look no farther than right here in B.C. for some standout gifts.
Check out what we came up with, and add your finds in the comments below.
Cutting board, $35
Bacon is greater than tofu. Indeed it is. This wood cutting board is made in Langley from renewable, eco-friendly sources and is treated with mineral oil.
Kids' superhero cuffs, $8
Superheroes need super awesome accessories. Made by Her Flying Horses in Victoria.
Herb planter, $39.95-59.95
Vancouver-based Patch makes self-watering containers that allow you to grow fresh herbs and vegetables year-round. It's especially attractive to urban dwellers who may not have full gardens. Downtown Vancouverites can even get a pre-planted Patch delivered free to their door.
"Star Wars" native art, $130 and up
B.C. artist Andy Everson uses "Star Wars" characters to raise awareness of political issues facing aboriginal people. His limited edition prints are incredibly one-of-a-kind. Available at Hill's Native Art and other B.C. galleries.
Inigo Montoya brooch, $16
"Wear this brooch, cut to the chase, find the man with six fingers." Made of birch in Langley by Evolution Laser Works.
Vancouver Aquarium family membership, $138/year
The Vancouver Aquarium is a world-class facility with amazing displays for young and old. Ideal for those rainy indoor days, an annual family membership for two adults and up to four kids is a deal after just two visits.
Cocolico Chocolates, $20 (box of nine)
Layers of buttery caramel, crunchy peanuts and delicate wafers enrobed in fine Valrhona milk chocolate with a dusting of vanilla-infused sea salt. Named by Vancouver Magazine as one of the “101 Things To Taste Before You Die.”
Garden markers, $20 for set of 10
Farmers and gardeners will appreciate these sturdy, recycled and reusable ways to label plants in the garden. Made to order by ox + monkey in Gibsons.
Smilin' Buddha Cabaret magnet, $11.50
Us old-timers actually remember when this neon sign flashed on East Hastings. It's now part of The Museum of Vancouver and this small reminder of the big city lights can be easily mailed or stuffed in a stocking. Available at Make on Granville Island.
Hope In Shadows 2013 calendar, $20
This is the 10th year for the calendar, which features winning photos from a contest for low-income residents of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Order online or even better, buy from street vendors in Vancouver who receive $10 for every calendar they sell.
Organic herbal facial kit, $90
The six-product kit from CARŌL’S are made in small batches by Carol Barber, a certified master herbalist in Gibsons. Her skin care products are hypoallergenic and contain only natural ingredients.
Pepper mill, salt grinder, $169
This salt and pepper grinder set is made of certified Forest Stewardship Council white oak. Each set is handmade to order by Teal And Gold in Kelowna.
Osake Junmai Sparkling Sake, $23.90
Artisan Sake Maker on Granville Island is the first in Canada to handcraft rice into sake. A unique and delicious gift. Choose from seven different kinds of sake.
Official David Suzuki sweater, $420
Vancouver-based Granted produces hand-knitted chunky sweaters with some fantastic designs, like this David Suzuki number. So made in B.C. that even the zipper pulls are made from salvaged yew wood from Lasquit Island, off B.C.'s west coast.
Ohm facial moisturizer, $33 for 50 mL
Aroma Crystal, based in Coquitlam, makes all-natural products. The rich Ohm overnight moisturizer is a great gift for pampering that special someone.