A Cheat Sheet for Nova Scotians who haven’t started their holiday shopping…

Still need to find a great gift (or gifts) for the people on your list? Here are more than two dozen gift ideas you can still get, and they all come from local small businesses in Nova Scotia!

Share this list with someone who needs it!

  1. …for everyone: $18.00
    Perfect for a teacher gift, stocking stuffer, home cook, or environmentally conscious friend. These beeswax and hemp wraps can be washed and re-used again and again for years, taking the place of saran wrap (and with recent changes to HRM’s recycling, we really all should pick some of these up). Purchase from Nurtured (2543 Agricola Street, Halifax, NS)
  2. …for someone seeking a great shave: $60.00
    This ready-to-use gift set includes a handcrafted pottery shaving scuttle, a shave brush and an old-fashioned shaving soap. The soap is an unscented alternative to shaving creams and foams, with moisturizing French green clay, skin-soothing ground sandalwood and flaxseed, and castor oil for impressively dense foam. Find it at Made in the Maritimes (Two locations: Hydrostone, 5527 Young St, Halifax or at Sunnyside Mall in Bedford)
  3. …for the photography buff: any amount
    These tours are like a photography lesson meets history tour. They are really fun (I’ve gifted them before to my dad and he loved it). Tour options include Peggy’s Cove, Historic Halifax,  or the Eastern Shore. Picture Perfect Tours can send you an eCertificate right up until the 24th.  Order one online here.
  4. For the person who needs a little relaxation time: $25.00+
    Who doesn’t want a little vacation? Wrap up cozy cottages, beach strolls, bonfires, trips to the spa, savoury Taste of Nova Scotia treats or family fun with a White Point Gift Certificate. Order online with the click of a mouse, or call  800-565-5068 ext 1.
  5. …for the perpetual host: $26.95
    Recipes for Potlucks, Shindigs, and Good Times in the Maritimes! Joel Plaskett said that The Kitchen Party Cookbook is “the proof in the pudding” that Nova Scotia is “a great place to live and eat.” These have been popular, and there are still quite a few retail locations stocked with books. See the retail list here.
  6. …for the gardener: $15.00
    These native bee nest block addresses habitat loss by creating a place for solitary bees to lay their eggs. Made of native Nova Scotia wood, the design comes from research on the many species of solitary bees that pollinate native plants and food crops.  Available to purchase until Dec. 23 (details here)
  7. …for the gardener who needs some help: $450.00+
    A micro-design package that includes an on-site consult and landscape assessment with Landscape Architect Ange Dean. She’ll follow up with a package that includes a concept board, hardscape recommendations and a list of plants that will work with each other and your outdoor space. More details here.
  8. …for everyone (or at least everyone who loves chocolate): $10.00+
    These chocolates have become part of my family tradition. They’re made in Antigonish, Nova Scotia by a Syrian-Canadian family, and come with a message of peace.  They make a lovely gift for teachers, hosts, friends and family members, and are a welcome addition to a holiday gathering. You can order online for delivery in Nova Scotia by December 19th, or pick one up at Sobey’s locations across the province.
  9. …for the jewellery lover: $42.50
    These earrings are handmade in Halifax, just one of a number of pretty pieces by Shy Giraffe. Find the full collection at Bedazzled Jewellery in Sunnyside Mall, Bedford. They’ve got lots of last minute sparkle on-hand!
  10. …for the traveller: $110.00
    One of the most popular gift ideas on our Local Wishlist this year. You can still pick up one of the remaining copies. That delicate vial pictured on the left contains 100 gold push pins to track your travels with. Order one online and choose local pick-up if you’re in Halifax.
  11. …for the DIY-er: $59.00
    In this Hometown Sign Making class, you create an “old” Hometown sign. Each student is given a piece of century floorboard, and taught how get an aged and distressed look using old school paint, then a lesson in hand-painting a sign using an image-transfer technique. Get it at Phillips and Chestnut, 6 Havelock St, Truro, N.S.
  12. …for the aspiring chef or foodie: $45.00+
    Flying Apron combines expert instruction, amazing local ingredients and delicious menus to create a fun and informative Cookery School Classes. Classes are taught by Chef Chris Velden in their fabulous Cookery School kitchen and include a full meal. This gift is available by email until Dec 24th!
  13. …for the soon-to-be cat lover: $20.00
    These and printed baby bodysuit for future cat lovers are made in Halifax by Poison Pear. Available in black or white, in sizes 3-6m, 6-12m, 12-18m, and 18-24m 100% cotton. Get one at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market until December 24th. Full purchase details here.
  14. …for the person who needs a good night’s sleep: $150.00
    These hand crafted Canadian made organic shredded rubber pillow provides versatility in loft  (size/thickness) and keeps its shape. Pick it up at Nurtured (2543 Agricola Street, Halifax, NS).
  15. …for everyone (because winters here require cozy things): $96.00
    These cozy cotton PJ sets are available in several styles at Take It Outside, a fantastic local retail shop filled with gifts for adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts. They have two locations – 65 Inglis Place,Truro, NS and 192 Hector Gate, Dartmouth, NS (in Dartmouth Crossings).
  16. …for your party host, friend, and everyone else who loves flowers: $15 – $35
    I don’t know about you, but flowers are always a welcome gift in my books. These ones are grown in Steam Mill, Nova Scotia, by Humble Burdock. Get them December 23rd at the Historic Farmers Market in downtown Halifax. Full details here.
  17. …for little ones: $14.95
    This book is not just adorable, it’s a great introduction to both ABCs and wildlife in Atlantic Canada. Filled with vibrant paper collage illustrations, Angela K. Doak’s whimsical animal interpretations are a great teaching tool for introducing baby to alphabet and animals all at once, and leave lots of room for play! Find a retailer here!
  18. …for a wine lover (any amount)
    I’ve been on a number of these tours and they are always a LOT of fun. Learn about local wine on a guided tour of local wineries.  Certificates can be purchased for any denomination, or for a particular tour. Order details here. 
  19. …for your friend who is always cold: $35.00 – $100.00
    Handmade in Canada, these soft, snuggly 100% natural wool slippers make for the happiest set of toes. They also come in sizes from Newborn to Adult. Get them here.
  20. …for the bird lover: $95.00
    These beautiful oil paintings are by Sarah Jane Conklin. Find them at Made in the Maritimes in the Hydrostone, 5527 Young St, Halifax or at their Sunnyside Mall location in Bedford.
  21. …for your pet: $10.00
    Your cat or dog can have their own festive cookies. These organic treats from Littlest Pet Bakery come  in 10 different flavours for dogs and six different flavours for cats and are packed in a mini 4-inch stocking. No grain, corn, soy, beef, pork, poultry, egg, dairy, additives, preservatives or dyes! Purchase locations found here.
  22. …for kids: 
    The yellow duck is one of Toy Maker of Lunenburg’s most popular toys with spring hinged head this toy bobs as the child pulls. Made from hard and soft woods. Find a retail location here.
  23. ..for a local food lover: $50.00
    This signature gift box is filled with local treats like bacon jam, salted caramels and beer syrup. Yum! Find it at The Shelf at the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market (open Tuesday to Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m)
  24. …for busy couples: $190.00
    Great to gift to your sweetheart. Spirit Spa is our go-to location, because we love extending the date with a little pool time and steam showers (included with visit – just ask when you book). Stop by one of their two locations or order online.
  25. …for someone who loves Nova Scotia: $19.99
    These Nova Scotia Sea Lockets have been flying out the door. Elements from across the province combine to help this little locket tell a big Nova Scotian story. Find it at Maryann’s Gifts.
  26. …for bath lovers: $8.00
    Drop one of these hand-filled tea bags into your tub or foot bath for the ultimate self-care indulgence. Containing mineral salts to help detox, the aromatherapy of pure essential oils, and real crystal sands. Find them at Earth Goddess (5528 Kaye Street, Halifax) and Calling Corners New Age Boutique (147 Esplanade Street, Truro).

And here are a few more options that are available last minute!


These gift ideas all come from our annual Local Wishlist, which features 400+ gift ideas made by or available at local small businesses in Nova Scotia. Check it out here.


The Local Wishlist is made possible by our Presenting Sponsor:


Select Nova Scotia

And a fantastic group of local partners:

Made in the MaritimesTake it OutsideWhite PointNurturedBedazzledhfxCTCNS

And our Friends of the Wishlist:

Halifax Farmer's MarketMaryann's Gifts

About the author

Gillian Wesley

Since getting together six years ago, we have given away our television, begun weekly DIY nights, experimented with urban homesteading, challenged ourselves to drive less (100 days car-free in 2013), and have learned more about food security. We have experimented with a range of budgeting strategies, all of which involve consuming less stuff. We buy food with reducing packaging in mind. We got a dog. We have been doing these things for a variety of reasons: financial, social, environmental, to achieve a better work-life balance. It has resulted in us enjoying an increasingly simple and satisfying lifestyle. We’ve been influenced by a lot of people we’ve encountered and things we’ve read about along the way, notably the Transition Movement, the Antigonish Movement, and, more recently, traditional Acadien living. And we’ve learned that we are by no means alone. There are many, many people who are taking steps to downshift their lives. Sign up for our eNewsletter, and we’ll send you a round-up of our new and upcoming projects once a month.