Your gift guide to shop local this holiday season

Support local small businesses and artisans this season and opt for Kamloops-based creators

It is important we shop local this year to ensure small businesses remain in the new year. When we purchase goods from local businesses rather than big corporations like Amazon and Walmart, we keep the wealth in our communities. 

Our local businesses need our help to stay afloat in a sea of giants! Here are some ideas of gifts you can purchase from people and places within our community.

Handmade Gifts: 

Gift someone something handmade. Handmade gifts are often one of a kind and are sure to make whoever you plan to gift them to feel special. A multitude of artists call Kamloops home. Support our local artists by reaching out for custom orders or by purchasing ready-made art via social media. 

Some local artists who offer unique artwork and items for sale on Instagram include @clementine.designs, @flowermothermoon, @kirannamarie, @meggreenart, and @tinyneedle

If shopping via social media is far too unfamiliar, anyone wishing to give a handmade gift is sure to find something at downtown locations such as the Kamloops Art Gallery, the Art We Are Cafe, Ms. Whimsy’s Gift Emporium, and Far & Wide’s Holiday Pop-Up Shop. 

Quarantine Ready Gifts:

Gift items that encourage friends and family to stay at home and make their time spent there more enjoyable. COVID-19 is sure to keep us cooped up this holiday season and likely far into the new year, so why not gift items that could make time spent at home all the more pleasant? 

Some ideas include tabletop, role-play, and old school video games to help pass the time while stuck inside from All Aboard Games on Landsdowne. Tumbleweed Toys on the corner of Columbia and Summit has a unique selection of toys and puzzles that are sure to excite all ages.

Friends and family who love to read would be happy to receive a used book from Andreana’s Book Company located just beneath Superstore. Comparably, those who enjoy comics and collectibles would be more than pleased to be given a gift from High Octane on 3rd Avenue.  

While downtown, stop by Castles and Cottages if hoping to bolster a friend at home cooking collection. There are few items the family-owned business does not carry in terms of kitchen necessities. While you are at it, mosey on over to the boutique side of the store and grab a scented candle, essential oil, warm throw or cozy pair of socks. 

Practically anything found at Castles and Cottages is likely to make time spent at home a bit more delightful—if shopping for a difficult friend or family member, purchasing a gift card at any one of the listed establishments are a safe bet. 

Environmentally Friendly Gifts: 

If on a budget and hoping to remain environmentally conscious this holiday season, hit up the local thrift stores. Kamloops has multiple thrifts that are unique to our city including the Mustard Seed Thrift Store, Simply the Best, Thrift Seller Hospital Store, and Second Chances. Thrifting for gifts is not only a great way to reduce your waste this holiday season but is also a lovely way to find unique and eclectic items. Just like handmade gifts, the right thrifted gift is sure to make whoever you are shopping to feel special. While you are at it, consider donating a bag of your own items. Who knows, maybe your trash could become somebody else’s’ holiday treasure. 

Another great way to remain environmentally conscious this holiday season is by shopping at Footprints Eco Store on Hillside Drive. Footprints is a refillery that offers eco-friendly, sustainable, zero waste, and unpackaged items that could easily be used as gifts especially for those who are eco-concerned. 

Gift Basket Ideas: 

Gift Baskets are a great way to give gifts with little to no-contact involved this holiday season. If unable to see your friends and family this year because of COVID-19, have a gift basket delivered to their door. If including local items from wineries, breweries and grocers, the possibilities are endless! 

Pair wines from Privato, Monte Creek or Sagewood with charcuterie goodies from Fratelli Foods. Fill a basket with a selection of beers from Bright Eye, Red Collar or Iron Road and simply add some snacks to go with. Pair Twisted Goat coffee beans with a cute mug, and/ or french press. Take it to the next level by picking up a flavoured syrup at any one of our local coffee shops. 

If interested in creating a holiday gift basket, do not be afraid to get creative. All stores and items mentioned in this article are game. Anything goes! Have fun with it, and remix these ideas to create your own.