You can do better than scented candles
Mercury tealight holders
Pretty and twinkly as a rare gem, these votives are a safe bet for ambience enthusiasts.
$2.20–$3.31. West Elm, 109 Atlantic Ave., 416-537-0110.
You can do better than Crown Royal
Molecular Mixology Kit by Cocktail R-Evolution:
The Canadian whiskey comes with a bag. This nifty cocktail kit comes with three steel tools; 50 packets of molecular mixes to create bubbles, foams, and cool suspensions; and a DVD of 30 recipes. $60.
BYOB Cocktail Emporium, 972 Queen St. W., 416-858-2932.
You can do better than Old Spice
Fig & Yarrow Hygiene Kit
Even the guy who flew food planes into your baby face wants to smell less like a dad, you know? Here, fancy mint-lavender tooth powder, an oral-hygiene rinse, and underarm lotion come packaged in cute apothecary bottles.
$30. The Drake General Store, drakegeneralstore.ca.
You can do better than Aveeno
L’Occitane Hand Creams of Provence
It’s cold outside and everybody’s chapped within an inch of their lives—sometimes, lotion just makes sense. Keep things classy (and French!) with this holiday box set.
$50. Sephora, sephora.ca.
You can do better than a tie
Amanda Christensen pocket squares
If we see one more uninspired football tie in Toronto, heads are going to roll. These spiffy squares are made of wool and silk and come in patterns like houndstooth, paisley, and (for the advanced sartorialist) peacock.
$45. Gotstyle, 62 Bathurst St., 416-260-9696.
You can do better than drugstore chocolate
Holiday confectionary apples
Pot of Gold has nostalgia in its favour, but Rocky Mountain’s candy apples have, well, flavour in their favour.
$12. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Co., 100 King St. W., 416-363-2462.
You can do better than socks
Faux-fur slouch booties
Socks again? You shouldn’t have. No, seriously—don’t. Upgrade the gift of footwear with these fuzzy slippers. $30. Indigo, chapters.indigo.ca.