24 Incredible Gifts You Can Buy at the Last Minute

A grab-and-go guide to last-minute gift giving.

December 21, 2017

By Amanda Ross

1. Lululemon’s new limited-edition men’s Meditation Kit is calm-in-a-box: a “Mindfulsophy” journal guides you through 108 days of mindful practices while a pillow cements perfect posture. And since our brains form strong associations with scent, Lululemon partnered with Manready Mercantile to help him drop into meditation post-haste. $168, lululemon.com

2. A sensual interpretation of the iris flower, Prada’s relaunched Infusions d’Iris is fresh and light, reminiscent of the clean scent of crisp linen sheets and naked skin. Made in Spain, this 3-piece set includes eau de parfum spray, body lotion and a roll-on. $178, thebay.com

3. Acclaimed Canadian West Coast ceramicist Junichi Tanaka, renowned for his compelling shapes, forms and glazes reminiscent of our coastal landscape, offers this handmade blue ceramic Blowfish teapot, which doubles as art. Pair it with Winter Warrior tea. $250.99, silkroadteastore.com

4. When you’ve been both bad and good, there’s the Naughty and Nice Magic box by makeup-artist-to-the-stars Charlotte Tilbury, featuring 12 of her best-selling makeup hits like Eyes to Mesmerise in Jean (a full-size champagne pink eyeshadow cream) and Mini Supermodel Body (slimming hydrating body shimmer to firm and sculpt). $250, holtrenfrew.com

5. A new Ipsos poll finds that most Canadians would prefer to have a charitable donation made on their behalf in lieu of a gift. World Vision offers options like an alpaca ($250) that provides families with income to help them survive. One alpaca can produce up to five kilos of wool annually over a 15- to 20-year lifespan. And two alpacas could produce a baby each year. The resulting herd means plenty of clothing, blankets and rugs to sell at market. Or simply start with a baby chick for just $20. donate.worldvision.ca

6. In an ode to hirsute men everywhere, there’s the Shave Regiment gift set from Vancouver’s own Barber and Co., with shave oil (to hydrate and calm skin), shave cream and aftershave tonic (to refresh, moisturize and soothe).  As locals of the Pacific Northwest, these modern groomers use natural ingredients, partner with suppliers employing sustainable practices and keep their process environmentally friendly. $60, shopbarberandco.ca

7. Project Skin offers the SkinCeuticals Gold Standard gift set: 15 ml of CE Ferulic vitamin C serum (to fight against aging and fine lines) and 15 ml Resveratrol (or a gift card so she can work with a patient concierge to build a tailored skin plan). $170, projectskinmd.com

8. Easily comparable to an adults’ version of a Kinder Surprise, the Gold Surprise Ball by Sugarfina is filled with sweet treats and surprises (candy, temporary tattoos). Handmade by artisans in the U.S.; not recommended for kids under three. $8.50, sugarfina.ca

9. The ol’ ball and chain looks fresh and new thanks to the Diane ball-and-chain earrings by Roque, a collaboration by local stylist Michelle Addison and Vancouver fine jewelry designer Negar Katami. Featuring freshwater pearls, hand-carved and forged in sterling silver or yellow gold. From $560, oneofafew.com

10. In the 1920s, Coco Chanel grew tired of having to haul her handbag around in her arms, so she invented the first hands-free purse with straps (the iconic 2.55). Fitting then, that this year the brand would launch La Crème Main to keep those hands smooth and silky—and to keep being free to do whatever they please. $70, beautyboutique.ca

11. In an age where dialogue and discussion devolve into finger-pointing, get the facts straight first. Start with Pulitzer-prize-winning author Ron Chernow’s new biography Grant, a sweeping dramatic portrait of Ulysses S. Grant, the man who led the Union Army in the Civil War and then went on to become the 18th president of the United States. $54, indigo.ca

12. Add a few drops of essential oil to the Sacred Circle sterling silver aromatherapy necklace by Saje for all-day healing benefits: bergamot uplifts, patchouli grounds, lavender calms—the perfect holiday-chaos antidote. $70, saje.com

13. Designed and crafted in Canada, only premium leather is used to make the Small Euro pouch bridle by Roots. Emboss this tiny coin purse with the recipient’s initials for free at the new Roots Cabin customization workshop in Pacific Centre, where you can also create one-of-a-kind jackets and bags. $26, roots.com

14. Take the guesswork out of buying someone lingerie and get NYX’s Lip Lingerie Vault instead. From cinnamon pink to chocolate brown and classic nude beige, there are 24 matte nude shades plus six new sultrier shades all in a limited edition box. $90, londondrugs.com

15. This year, Road 13 released its first-ever Platinum six-pack, a tribute to the winery’s platinum-ranked, award-winning library wines. In a collector’s box, oenophiles can find a bottle of 2009 Sparkling Chenin Blanc, 2011 Syrah Malbec, 2013 Syrah Malbec, 2013 GSM, 2014 Syrah Mourvedre and 2014 Similikameen Collective GSM. Road 13 is the only winery to have won enough consecutive Platinum Medals to offer this limited edition collectors box (these wines are only available in the Platinum Pack). $600, road13vineyards.com

16. When it was discovered that grape pickers at wineries had youthful hands regardless of age, the Caudalie skincare line was born. The CHI Premier Cru facial at the Shangri-la Hotel harnesses the anti-oxidants from vine and grape extracts from vineyards in Bordeaux, Champagne and Burgundy for an anti-aging treatment that leaves skin smooth and free of fine lines. From $200/60 min, shangri-la.com (for the entire range of Caudalie skincare, visit beautymark.ca)

17. Cut from crisp cotton, the Nordstrom Men’s Shop pocket square is pattern-perfect in 14 different options. $25, nordstrom.ca

18. When you buy from the local Obakki Foundation Essentials Collection, 100 percent of the proceeds go toward providing the essentials of life to people in South Sudan, Uganda and Cameroon.  The line of tees and sweats are made from recycled, 100-percent organic cotton, landfill-free, low-carbon footprint and holistic manufacturing. From $39, obakki.com

19. There are more amazing local candle makers than we can shake a match at (Woodlot, Vancouver Candle Co.), but we’re big fans of Whistler’s Hollow Tree Candle Co. and their hand-poured premium coconut wax offerings in ceramic jars. This Whistler phenom works out of Funciton Junction in a studio kitted out with an old gondola rescued from the mountain. The Christmas collection—Alpen Glow and Snowdrift—is only around for a short while. $42, hollowtree.ca

20. Because Fido is the one friend who never lets you down. Locally designed Domestic Objects serves up children’s and pets play tents and canopy beds created for imaginative play. There’s still time for local pick up. From $116, shopdomesticobjects.com

21. Reimagine the Christmas sweater as, instead, a cool coat with the HBC hand-knit zip-up. On sale $280, thebay.com

22. Ride in style with Arc’teryx’s A2B commuter Hardshell biking blazer in waterproof, breathable soft tech fabric. $550, arcteryx.com

23. This holiday, be naughty and nice with the black Expression mittens from Indigo Design Studio. Sale priced at $17.50, indigo.ca

24. There’s something cool about CND’s new 7-day-wear Glacial Illusion Vinylux nail polish collection in colours like Cashmere Wrap and Winter Nights. $12.50 each, cnd.com


Get the Newsletter

Own your city with Vancouver’s thrice-weekly scoop on the latest restaurant news, must-shop hotspots and can’t miss events. Rest assured your email is safe with us.