While not all occasions need to be a “teachable moment,” you can support a girl’s need to tame her wild winter locks while contributing to a critical cause by stuffing this haircare saviour in her stocking. The Firewall Argan Flat Iron Spray ($24/5 oz) from B.C.’s own AG Hair is a limited-edition product that promises to heroically fight fly-aways and protect her tresses from the evils of Old Man Winter.
Even better: this holiday season 50 cents from the purchase of each product will be donated to One Girl Can. The Vancouver-based registered charity provides educational opportunities for girls in sub-Saharan Africa.
The holiday season is all about comfort and joy and gifting these super-soft Plush Slipper Socks ($10 each pair) by Bootlegger accomplishes both. Not only are these darling socks festive (they sport motifs like snowmen and red-nosed reindeer) Bootlegger will donate a dollar from the purchase of each pair to the Kids Help Phone, a 24-hour line (1-800-668-6868), where kids, youth and adults under 20 can talk to a counsellor anonymously whenever they need it.
When it comes to attaining iconic status as a independent spirit, Barbie continues to climb to new heights. And like many of our cousins to the south, she’s showing a revitalized love for Canada. Sure, we might be idealizing the doll a little, but the limited-edition Hudson’s Bay Company Collection Barbie ($59.99) is showing her fervour for Canada through fashion. Dressed in the inimitable stripes from the classic point blanket (her dog has matching gear too) and carrying a briefcase and smart phone, this style-setter is ready to take on the world.
Turn bedtime reading into an out-of-this-world escape by creating a personalized book for the young kids (aged 3 to 10) in your life. When you purchase The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home (From $38.99) published by Lost My Name, you immediately start customizing the book by inputting the child’s name and address online. Voilà! A just-for-them adventure is created with the child at the centre of the action, travelling from space to home and exploring amazing sites along the way.
Style, substance and sustainability are the trifecta Richmond-based Peekaboo Beans™ has achieved with its long-lasting play wear. The company is celebrating it’s 10-year-anniversary of creating clothes for kids that don’t have tricky closures like buttons or scratchy labels but are made from durable fabrics aligned with the Oeko-Tex Standard 100.
These gifts are good for them—and you. Let your little lasses tear it up on the playground while wearing the Forever Fancy sweater ($58) with its too-cute ruffle and the sparkly yet comfy Show Stop Leggings ($36). For boys, you can’t go wrong with the On the Go Hoodie ($53) matched with a Stand Out Tee ($38). Another bonus: Peekaboo Beans contributes to the Canadian charity Playground Builders, which brings the gift of play to kids worldwide by building playgrounds in war-torn countries.
Enjoy some old-fashioned together time getting hands-on with the kids by making these wonderful wooden toys. (You have our promise: it’s easier than Ikea.) Available from Lee Valley Tools, there are five fun items to crank together simply using screws (included) and a screwdriver.
Boys and girls will both love “flying” the passenger jet or biplane ($14.95 each) across the living room “sky” or rolling land vehicles like the motorcycle across the kitchen floor. This cool kit’s pine pieces are pre-sanded so they’re ready for assembly and embellishment with felt markers, paint and more. No batteries or chargers required!
Socks in their stocking?! It might sound like a tired idea, but Foot Cardigan promises “a party on your feet.” Keep your future basketball star's big toes toasty during the holidays with these kitschy-cool socks from the company’s Mytropolis collection. Kids of all ages can show their city pride: these urban-inspired Vancouver socks (From $13) are emblazoned with totem poles and trees. The green-and-white colour scheme is oh-so-festive, yet your kids can step out in style with these beauts all year round. For younger kids with smaller feet, check out the Whippersnappers collection (pictured below).
As a young child, textile artist Bushra Mirza sewed clothing for her dolls using remnants of fabric. Now she’s taken that early passion and transformed it into BILLOO Boutique for which she handcrafts delicate one-of-a-kind dolls.
Working from her Vancouver studio, Mirza’s covet-worthy creations each have a story and are designed for display or gentle play. There’s Leonard Lion ($150) from the Savannah Friend collection who grows vegetables on his farm, and Oaitse ($190) a sweet girl from the Garden Party collection who always smiles with her hand-embroidered eyes.
No matter how cool you think you are as a parent, aunt or cousin, there’s a solid chance that your musical sensibilities beat to a different drum. While you’re memorializing Bowie, Prince and Cohen this season, they’ll likely be listening to Bieber, Gomez or Swift. So keep the peace (and quiet) during the holidays by gifting them with headphones.
The Urbanears on-ear headphones ($124.95; from Indigo) look cool in eye-catching hues (shown in Caribbean; other colours available), plus they’re wireless, meaning they can tune in even on the go.
We love (and they will too) this pile of quirky knit pillows by Oeuf NYC crafted by a community of indigenous women in Bolivia who are paid a living wage for their artisanal work. Even the most sullen of teenagers will crack a smile when they see these stunners. Since these sophisticated stuffies of sorts are made from 100 per cent hand-loomed baby alpaca wool, they’re ultra-soft.
We'll bet big kids will want to cuddle up with the blue-eyed black cat pillow ($106) that rivals Alice’s Cheshire grinner, toss about the soccer ball ($64) or relate to the awkward awesomeness of pillow shaped like a wide mouth with it’s teeth sporting train-track braces ($101). Find these fabulous conversation pieces, among other amazing items from Oeuf NYC at Redfish Kids in Vancouver.
Looking to buy the perfect gift? Here are 10 things that children will love this Christmas
With their eyes glued to their devices, it can be tricky figuring out ways to catch kids’ attention even during the holidays. We’ve compiled a list of gifts designed to appeal to their senses, from snuggly hipster socks to wireless headphones and some presents that give back, showing the true spirit of the season.
Click for 10 gift ideas kids will love this Christmas...
Janet Gyenes is a writer, editor, beverage columnist and co-founder of 70 magazine, an online travel publication. She has co-authored two travel guidebooks on Vancouver and has put her insatiable curiosity to work in words and photos, covering topics such as tasting sherry in Spain, mule-riding in Molokai, and tracking textile trends in Turkey. She regularly writes for BCLiving about food, beverage, design and more.