U-oh, Christmas is coming. That means that, for at least once in your life, you owe a few of the important people around you some sort of token of appreciation, you grinch. It’s not very far away but you’ve got time, and if you happen to live in the neighbourhood, there’s absolutely no reason you should have to cross any bridges to get something for everyone. Here’s part one of your Village Gift Guide:
Rooster – Clover & Crow Handmade Toque ($60) and Scarf ($90) set; Assorted socks and tights ($15-30)
I’m not afraid to admit it – footwear makes or breaks an outfit, and Rooster has a lot of high-quality, good-lookin’ boots and shoes. The problem with gifting stuff like that, though, is that you can easily screw it up: maybe they’re not into patent leather. Maybe the pair doesn’t fit and they have to go back to the store and then who knows if they have the right size? Lucky for you that this small boutique just across from everyone’s favourite all-night Subway also carries a ton of other stuff, like this hat and scarf set, hand-made by local designer Clover & Crow. It’s a long winter, and everyone needs to stay warm. They also have a dizzying array of interestingly-patterned socks, which are way cooler than the generic white athletic socks everyone gets. Every year.
Out of the Blue – Sugarhill Bambi Sweater ($79.99)
Out of the Blue is right around the corner, and since you already have the hat and scarf, you might as well swing by and check them out when you’re done there. The friendly ladies at the store pointed me directly to this sweater with Bambi knit into it, which looks to be incredibly comfortable. It’s not too likely that you get dressed up with a hat and a scarf and a t-shirt, and that’s why the sweater is important. I can’t think of many things beside baby deer (or specifically, Bambi) that have the capacity to make people feel warm and fuzzy, and that’s important whilst roasting chestnuts over and open fire, or going on a sleigh ride, or hey, even just drinking cheap egg nog out of a mug while your cat runs around your apartment.
Smitten – Nu Sensuelle Wireless Bullet ($81.59 after taxes ON SALE until Dec. 5)
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This is another gift capable of giving someone a warm and fuzzy feeling, but different than the one Bambi conjures. In a season so full of large gatherings and constant shopping, it’s easy to forget that you should slow down every once in a while and enjoy some quiet (or loud) time alone (or with other/s). When I asked Chelsea for something that would make a great gift this year, she turned this on and put it in my hand. Then it immediately almost jumped out of said hand. It’s super-powerful, compact, and if I remember right, she said it recharges with magnets. Also, it works with a remote control from at least about 60 ft., which opens up a whole new realm of possibilities.
Music Trader – Sufjan Stevens Silver & Gold: Songs For Christmas, Vols. 6-10 vinyl box set ($149.95)
Sufjan Stevens is absolutely obsessed with Christmas. He loves it. So, if you know someone who loves it just as much, it’s tough to pick a better batch of Christmas tunes that Silver & Gold, which compiles five EPs Stevens made from 2006-2010. That’s nearly 60 songs. That should translate to a full night of decorating, I’d say. Or maybe tearing down the decorations while holding on to a sliver (or a woodpile) of Christmas cheer. Stevens’ first Christmas box set is a classic, and this one is probably just as good. Also, the staff at Music Trader are super friendly and wonderful and would love to sell you this or any other Christmas record you’re looking for.
Segovia – Gift Certificates (or just dinner!)
Segovia is one of the most beautiful and cozy restaurants in the city, and beside the fact they’ve nailed the ambience, decor, and service, their food is absolutely delicious. Seriously, I had the best burger in my life here this summer (named “The Bruce Springsteen,” which would’ve led me to love it before I took a bit anyway), but because it was a Burger Week special, it’s not on the regular menu. They probably can’t put it on the menu because there are already way too many amazing things on it. I’m salivating just thinking about it. Anyway, Segovia is full of sweet and knowledgable staff and the perfect place for a date over the holidays. You can get the gift certificate if you need to, but if you take them out for dinner you automatically get to eat food as well. Not that tough a call.
Stay tuned for vol. II, coming your way Dec. 17.
Matt Williams is a Winnipeg-based writer and musician infatuated by lady country singers. Follow him on Twitter @MattGeeWilliams.
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