Local mom friend’s guide to gift giving

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A Christmas present that’s definitely too small to be the hippopotamus I asked for. Ben White via Unsplash

Don’t wait until it’s too late, start shopping now with these hot tips

‘Tis the season for gift giving! It’s the time of year when your grandma texts you asking for your wish list and you never respond because you have no idea what you want, despite knowing that the request was coming.

Sometimes you hit a brick wall with gift giving. What do you want? What do your friends want? What does the person who says they have everything they need want? It can feel like a lot of pressure to get something your loved ones will truly love and use.

Let’s get the obvious answer out of the way: socks. As much as everyone complains as a child about getting socks for Christmas, as an adult I constantly need socks and love getting socks for Christmas. The coziest socks are reading socks from Indigo. These socks at full price are $34.50, but have a fuzzy soft lining and a knitted outside. I’ve bought a couple of pairs in my years, and every time I went to buy some I was able to find a few pairs on sale for a cheaper price. Unfortunately, the reading socks are gendered (why do socks need to be gendered?) but I can confirm that the men’s reading socks are much more comfortable.

If you know someone who loves ice cream, Dandy’s Artisan Ice Cream here in Regina is delicious and has some of the best and fanciest ice cream I’ve ever had. They offer gift cards starting at $10 for your friend with a sweet tooth. In addition, they have very fancy chocolate at the same location from the Luxe Artisan Chocolate company. Luxe sells delicious and visually beautiful bonbons in many of the same flavours of their ice cream. They also have equally fancy chocolate bars. The chocolate is a bit on the pricey end, but it’s delicious.

Another item on the pricier end for those in your life who love jewelry is Hillberg & Berk. H&B is very popular among young women and the business started right here in Regina. A set of earrings runs from $50 to $150 depending on the type you want, and the bracelets and necklaces are around the same price range.

For the small children in your life, Wonderbly is a company that sells personalized children’s books. Each book costs between $13 and $50, and the cost depends on the format and the story. You can personalize the character’s name and, for some books, even what they look like.

If you’re in the Moose Jaw area, I highly recommend Essential Elements & Metaphysical. They have a great selection of crystals that are reasonably priced, as well as tarot cards and readings. They also source lots of their items from locals. The staff are incredibly kind if you don’t know much about crystals but you want to get a gift for someone who does.

For your nerdy friends in Regina, Comic Readers is a great local shop. They have a large stock of comic books and manga books for those interested. They have a varied amount of board games, from card games including popular ones like Cards Against Humanity to classics like Settlers of Catan, all the way to the lesser-known games like Lost Ruins of Arnak. For the Dungeons and Dragons fans in your life, Comic Readers stocks many of the D&D sourcebooks and expansion books, as well as lots and lots of dice. They supply TTRPG miniatures as well as the tools to paint them. There are two Comic Readers locations in Regina so you may not have to travel across the city to find what you’re looking for.

If you want a more specific TTRPG gift for a friend, there’s the Warhammer store in Regina which caters specifically to the game Warhammer. If you don’t know a lot about the game, the owner is incredibly kind and helpful for those looking for the right gift.

An awesome thing to get for your artsy friends is commission work: order commissions of different types of artworks depending on what your friends and family like. This can be on the pricier end, but totally worth it since you’re buying straight from the source and you’re not only paying for their work but also their expertise and supplies. Etsy is a great place to go for hand-made work and has so many different options for different types of art. It also has great options for pet portraits, which have been growing in popularity over recent years.

If you’re looking to commission an art piece, Twitter is also a great place to look. Just search ‘commissions’ and you’ll be able to find people that do art commissions as well as look at their past work. If you’re willing to pay a little bit more for high quality art from a prairie local, I recommend @hailiiz, an artist from Manitoba who you can find on Twitter and Instagram. Pro tip: if you choose to commission someone you find online, make sure you know the art is theirs and not just something they found online and are passing off as their own work – and don’t try to haggle down prices!

If you’re starting to panic about what to buy your mom, as I often do, the best panic option is flowers. Show up to her door with flowers or hide them until Christmas morning. Flowers are always a great gift for your mom or grandma.

One of the biggest questions I ask myself when I look for gifts is a classic: “what would they want to buy for themselves but would never actually get to? What would they stand and stare at for five minutes in the store before turning away?” If you can go shopping with them, pay attention to what they stop and stare at. Pay attention to what distracts them from their shopping goals. That might be your best bet!

If none of these seem like they will work, I firmly believe that you can never go wrong with a Squishmallow. They’re soft, they’re fluffy, they’re cute, and they make you feel better. I’ve never met someone who doesn’t like Squishmallows. In Regina, they currently have them at Save-On-Foods.

And these are my go-to’s for gift giving and a little bit of advice from your local mom friend who is constantly buying their friends gifts! Above all, try not to stress about it too much. If you don’t know what they want, buy something that will make them happy. Sometimes simply providing a fleeting moment of joy can be worth more than you expect.

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