It’s one of the perks of the job. Lots of time spent out and about seeing what’s new and neat at the city’s shops. Ottawa Magazine’s editors bring you their gift picks for family and friends, hoping the suggestions will jump-start your holiday shopping list. Today, editor Sarah Brown highlights her picks. Stay tuned in the days ahead for senior editor Dayanti Karunaratne’s picks and, for the foodies, food editor Shawna Wagman’s holiday wishlist.
Photo credits: Editor’s photo by Dwayne Brown; product photography by Marc Fowler.
Editor, Sarah Brown
I’m a pretty efficient shopper. I scout local stores all year — looking for props for magazine shoots, checking out trends, and doing research for the Shopping Guide. So I mentally catalogue — and sometimes buy — cool stuff as I discover it. When Christmas comes around, I don’t waste time browsing — I know exactly what I’m getting for each person and where to find it. One or two power shopping trips and I’m done.
For my sister
Actually, I want these Victorian Flowers Doc Martens for me, but I think I’m too old. So I’d like my sister to have a pair while she’s still in her 30s. $169.99. Neon Clothing, 60 George St., 613-789-4479.
We have a tradition of giving each other a new tree ornament each Christmas. This series of Canadian icons also includes a snowmobile, float plane, goalie, Mountie, and polar bear. They’re made in Canada of powder-coated steel. $16.95 each. Paper/Papier, 18 Clarence St., 613-241-1212.
She’s a big environmentalist and commutes to work on her bike through most of the winter. (She lives in Kingston, so it’s a little warmer than here.) This Cannondale cycling jacket is really cool. It’s super lightweight and morphs between a vest (shown) and a jacket. The separate sleeves and back are attached with magnets, making it really easy to start with sleeves in the morning and take them off if the day warms up. $119. Bushtukah, 203 Richmond Rd., 613-792-1170, and 5607 Hazeldean Rd., 613-831-3604.
For my kids
I would love to get a couple of massive beanbag chairs by Yak Pak for the playroom in the basement. They come in tons of fun colours and patterns and are great for lounging in to watch TV. Last year I borrowed two from my neighbour and used them as beds for a couple of kids when we hosted a birthday party sleepover. $149.99. Neon Clothing, 60 George St., 613-789-4479.
He’s seven years old and loves facts — one of those kids who reads the Guinness World Records cover to cover. This Dino-opoly game is all about knowing your dino info. You choose your token (I think I’d go with the raptor claw), then start buying up your favourite dinosaurs. Sounds easy enough — but pay hatching fees, develop prehistoric breath, and become nearly extinct, and it gets a bit trickier. $32.95. Nature Boutique at the Canadian Museum of Nature, 240 McLeod St., 613-566-4727.
We do a lot of canoeing, but my son really wants his own kayak. This Jackson Mini Tripper is designed for distance paddling but also comes with a built-in tow rope just in case he gets tired. On a three- or four-day canoe trip, it might be nice to have one fewer kid in our canoe! Bonus: it weighs just 27 pounds, which is key for portaging. $399.99. Ottawa Paddleshack, 1960 Scott St., 613-725-5259.
For my husband
This is what I’m filling his stocking with. He slathers this smoked tomato jam on everything. It’s especially good on slices of Art-is-in Dynamite white topped with goat cheese. It’s made by Just Wing’it out of Merrickville. $8.50 for 250 mL. Available at The Piggy Market (400 Winston Ave., 613-371-6124) and about 10 more fine food stores around town. For a full list of vendors, visit www.justwingit.ca.
I work with photographers every day and am constantly awed by their creativity. That’s why I like to collect their personal work. Basically, all the artwork on my walls at home is by local photographers whose work I admire. I love Triplicity, a recent self-portrait by Jamie Kronick — first, because One Hundred Foot Line (a.k.a. the big twig) is a gorgeous sculpture that I check out every time I cross the Alexandra Bridge from the Hull side, and second, because of the shadowy ghosts of Kronick in the foreground. They totally change the mood of the work. $80 for an 11-by-14-inch print and $120 for a 20-by-24-inch print, www.kronickphotography.com.