Five Last-Minute Lifesavers (and How to Be a Better Gifter Next Year)

1. Be Charitable

Make them feel good with a gift to a charity in their name. Tailor the gift to their passions. Are they nature lovers? The Nature Conservancy of Canada buys land for eternal preservation, while the International Fund for Animal Welfare rescues domestic and wild animals worldwide. Do they want to help the world’s poor? Orbis International brings its flying eye surgeries to anywhere they are needed.

2. Remember your host

According to Grey Goose Global Ambassador Joe McCanta, a good guest never arrives at a party empty-handed. “It makes for good manners,” he says. And his go-to gift? A bottle of Grey Goose Vodka, of course.

3. Wrap it up

Print your own giftwrap on lightweight, legal-sized paper with personal messages or photos added. Give it a finishing touch with ribbons and bows that match the paper’s colours.

4. Be unimposing

Flowers are a lovely hostess gift but presenting cut flowers to busy hosts may only add to their duties as they dash about looking for an appropriate container. Consider giving them a potted plant—an unusual or highly cultivated succulent that can be placed on a sideboard and demands very little attention, ever.

5. Be thoughtful

Tailor your gift to the stage in life of the recipient. If you’re giving something to a young couple temporarily cut off from their favourite luxuries while raising small children, consider something they can share but cannot buy for themselves. High-quality glassware, premium spirits or luxury preserves and mustards make lovely small gifts that will give a little zip to their daily grind.

How to be a better gifter next year…

Be unique

When you’re travelling throughout the year, keep an eye out for stocking stuffers people will enjoy, like small ornaments or consumables not sold in Canada. Hot sauces for steaks and chops from Barbados or high-quality Japanese napkins will dazzle loved ones with their uniqueness.

Be a good listener

All year long, keep your eyes and ears open for hints about what people want. If loved ones mention something they would really like, make a note and start to search for it early. Your attentiveness will pay off when you see their amazed appreciation at the end of the year.


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