Well and Bliss Holiday Gift Ideas

When it comes to the holiday gift giving season we love bringing a little joy to to those we love. Let’s face it we can all benefit from more kindness, more bliss, and less stress. Experiential gifts score high and anything that would benefit our overall wellness is very appreciated.

Here are some incredible ideas that make our “Well & Bliss” gift guide. The ideas benefit both the mind and the body and are worth giving, receiving, and experiencing.

Casa Loma Holiday 2022

SIGHTS:

Casa Loma Holiday Lights and Christmas at the Castle($): Experience Toronto’s enchanted castle twinkles with spectacular colours and holiday scenes. Follow the path through the gardens and tunnels. Be greeted by incredible performers along gate way and stop for a hot cocoa. Continue the journey that leads to Santa himself! Then, a separate ticketed entrance can also be explored inside the castle during the festive season. A sight that will most definitely bring the holiday spirit!

Illuminarium Winter Wonderland ($): Distillery District. Stop in and experience the holidays with state-of-the-art technology that transports you into a time and space where Christmas magic happens. This immersive space is a dazzling dreamland and suitable for all ages.

Arcadia Earth ($): located at The Well at Front & Spadina this immersive space takes you on a multi-sensory journey. Immersive installations and technology were created to inspire visitors to explore what a sustainable future looks like.

arcana

SOUND:

arcana Sounds of Nature Vinyl: You might have heard of arcana, the new destination to return to nature. Reflective cabins designed with intention are nestled peacefully amongst the trees.  For that audiophile in your life gift this unique limited edition vinyl pressing that brings the soothing sounds of nature right into your space. Only 100 pressings were created and one holds the opportunity to enjoy a future stay at arcana.

Feverup Candlelight Concerts: These intimate concerts are held across the city in unique venues under the light of what feels like thousands of candles. Performed by some of the most respected and highly trained musicians this is a beautiful way to take in the festive season. Various themes including music from The Nutcracker, Holiday R&B Classics as well as night dedicated to the music of Hans Zimmer, Taylor Swift, Coldplay, and even Pink Floyd.

That Choir Carols: St. Anne’s Anglican Church. December 17.
What has become a family and friend tradition for the past 16 years, That Choir Carols is a wonderful night of music making, coupling your favourite carols and holiday music with works inspired by the winter solstice. Admission is pay what you can.

Mendelssohn Toronto Choir’s Festival of Carols: December 6 and 7. Yorkminster Baptist Church. A favourite tradition amongst those who celebrate Christmas in the city. This beautiful evening concert is the perfect way to remember what the season is all about performed by one of the city’s most acclaimed choirs. Ticketed event.

AMAN

BEAUTIFUL:

Aman Spa: Located on the tucked away cobblestone Colborne Street is this
a tranquil oasis that offers an escape from the bustling city life. Their treatments are dedicated to bringing out the best in body, skin, and overall well-being. Every moment is crafted to enhance your beauty and nurture your inner tranquillity. Read more here.

Roots + Raven: We had the pleasure of meeting this Indigenous owned small business recently and instantly fell in love with beautiful body care line rooted in elements of nature. Natural ingredients such as sage, sweetgrass, and cedar are grown and harvested by hand in local farms and community gardens. Their Celestial Bath Bombs come with an embedded spiritual and healing stone. Makes for great gifts but you’ll want a few for yourself

Maater Cosmetics’ Beta Radiating Body Oil: For better mood and better skin. This Canadian brand focuses on natural ingredients and it’s truly cosmic. Their line of Celestial Body Oils are made with bio-active ingredients that nourish the skin while reflective mica particles react with light to define the sculptural features of the human body. Beta is full of antioxidants that help to purify the skin, improve the look of fine line and stretch marks, improve the skin’s elasticity and deeply moisturizes leaving your skin illuminated.

Dyson Airwrap multi-styler and dryer Complete Long: You may want to drop this hint to Santa! This special holiday edition (Blue Blush colour) is engineered for longer length hair. It will dry, curl, smooth, shape and control fly away hair with no heat damage. That means a healthier way to take care of your hair. Includes nine accessories. The limited holiday edition also comes with its own case and detangling comb. Already have the Airwrap? Then you may be interested in the latest attachments including the multi-styler diffuser or the new Coanda smoothing dryer.

Dermalogica Royal Bank Plaza: This is the flagship location in Toronto for this skincare line. Ideal for those who care about their skin not just to get the tried and true products but also to discover what is new — the stabilizing repair cream is going to come in handy this winter! For the busy professional, this location is ideally situated and offers professional facial treatments customized to address individual skin concerns.

Province Apothecary: for the traveller grab this 100% plant powered skincare that includes the Canadian brand’s four all-time favourites in their travel essentials holiday kit — moisturizing oil cleanser+make up remover, invigorating + balancing toner, rejuvenating+hydrating face serum, and moisturizing hand sanitiser. If you have someone in your life who suffers from Eczema, we also highly recommend the Healing Eczema Balm.

Laline: This luxurious and indulgent self-care line is the perfect gift for the face and body! From rich exfoliants to moisturizing body serums, there are a variety of scents and products for all! The Vegan and Vitamin C line is infused with plant-based pro-collagen and bursting with the rejuvenating power of antioxidant-rich Vitamin C, this dynamic skincare duo will be an essential part of your daily routine, delivering the gift of radiant, rejuvenated & plump-looking skin.

Laline

TASTE:

Craig’s Cookies: A perfect gift for friends and family, even the office Secret Santa or to bring to your holiday house-warming! Craig’s cookies are a sweet gift that everyone can’t get enough of. Seasonal recipes including Gingerbread White chocolate and Peppermint are offered alongside fan favourites like Cherry Blasters and Mars Bar.

Craig's Cookies

Eataly’s Panettone: Eataly’s team of gastronomic experts, the new line features exclusive recipes steeped in the time-honoured traditions of Milan and Verona, the cities in which panettone and pandoro were respectively born. Crafted from the finest raw materials including dough made with lievito madre (mother yeast), butter made from Piemontese cream, and fresh eggs, each flavour is accompanied with added indulgences such as dark chocolate chips, candied orange peels, soft raisins, vanilla from Madagascar, or toasted pistachio cream. A tasty treat to gift to friends, families, and colleagues.

Eataly Panettone

Kilne Everything Pot +Non-Stick Steamer: For the home chef this high quality line of cookware only sells directly to the consumer (bypassing retailers). The Canadian brand recently expanded their line with the new Everything Pot + Non-stick Steamer. The Italian-made cookware sturdy and is made with a non-toxic, non-stick coating with a stainless steel body. and looks great. You can use this to deep fry, sear, stew, sauté, bake, braise, broil, boil, roast, steam, and  strain. Like The Everything Pan, it works like a dream and easy to clean.

Kilne

Share Joy Gay Lea Pop-Up at The Well (Front & Spadina): through the month of December visit this holiday pop-up. Take fun seasonal photos at their immersive experience and colourful sets. This Canadian owned food brand invites everyone (including pups!) to also enjoy complimentary hot cocoa and cookies. Pup-cups also for our furry friends. And if you post on social media from the event using #GayLeaShareJoy or @gayleafoodscoop they will make a donation to Food4Kids, an Ontario based charity that ensures kids have access to healthy food every day of the year.

Gay Lea Share Joy

MOVE:

Othership Yorkville: The latest place in Yorkville is truly a transformational experience. This second location offers space for visitors to tap into breathwork, sauna, and ice baths. First timers definitely should experience Othership through a guided session. Rose, Thorn and Bud is one we highly recommend. The session is guided by one of the experts. There really is no place like it. There’s another location on Adelaide Street West near Spadina. Read more here.

Othership takes Torontonians on a journey like no other

Jaybird Yorkville: This contemporary movement studio is inspired by Yoga and energized by Pilates. Fueled by music, Jaybird invites visitors to journey inward and reconnect with one self without distractions. Reformer classes are now open.

Rumble Boxing Studio: Yorkville. New location coming to Yonge and Eglinton. It’s fight club meets night club in this fast paced and methodic high energy guided workout. Empowering and fun for everyone. Personal trainers also available for those who want to learn techniques and proper form at all levels. Read more here.

StretchLab Toronto: 410 Adelaide Street West, and there locations. For the sporty and for those who have tight muscles, how about a gift card for a really great stretch? Having a Stretchlab “flexologist” help to loosen tight muscles is the best feeling. The one-on-one assisted stretch sessions are customized to each individual’s needs. Great to help improve sports performance, increase range of motion, and to reduce muscle and joint pain.

Skechers Pickleball Collection: It’s one of those sports you have to try once and be hooked. Recently we got on the court to learn from the Toronto United Pickleball team. Sportswear company Skechers suited everyone up with technical gear made specifically for the sport for both pros and newbies. The fun game is the fasted rising sport for a reason. For the pickle baller in your life, invest in amazing quality shoes with support is key.

Skechers pickle ball

Fitness Tote by Decathlon: Soon after the cookies and the extra turkey portions we’ll be looking forward to more time at the gym. We love this idea of a reflective gym bag that makes us more visible in the darker, earlier or late hours of the day. also has several pockets to carry all your little things too. The new year also is a good time to swap out old gym gear, you do that, right?

Decathlon

REST

Helight Sleep: This sleep aid device uses red light therapy to help people all asleep faster while promoting a deeper, more restful sleep. Great for travellers too who suffer from jet lag. Inspired by NASA’s work and based on the latest finding related to exposure to light at specific wavelengths. It’s considered the first non-invasive sleep aid that requires no user attention or intervention. The device works for 28 minutes gradually fading like the natural cycle of light at the end of the day. What it does is it creates a biological signal to the brain that it’s time to go to sleep and starts the melatonin. The device was developed by a renowned French sleep disorder expert.

Helight

Henrie Pillow: this line of luxury pillows from this Canadian brand takes sleep seriously. After testing hundreds of pillows they realized that much of the fillers were synthetics that would also quickly fall flat. They set out to create the most comfortable, made with premium materials including renewable sources. The inner filling is made from grade A Indonesian Kapok – a soft, conscious material that’s vegan, cruelty free and has been in bedrooms for centuries.

GOOD HEALTH:

Lucky Iron Fish: Need to get more iron? This natural source of iron cooking tool helps safely add iron to liquids, cooking and even ice. Great for those who are vegans too.

Ninja Blast Blender

Ninja Blast 16 oz Portable Blender: For that person who’s always on the go, this new single serving cordless blender is a great way to blend and go in the touch of a button. Smoothies and shakes are easily and freshly made with this leak-proof blender.

Philips Sonicare Cordless Power Flosser 3000: flossing doesn’t have to be sacrificed when you’re on the go or travelling. This compact flosser with QuadStream technology cleans in between teeth to help improve the gum line. This one has two flossing modes and three intensities. Packs away neatly for those weekend getaways too.

Philips Power Flosser

STAY:

The Royal Hotel (Picton): Small town charm definitely has appeal for a quick getaway from the city. Just along Main Street stands the stunning Royal Hotel and the transformation on this heritage site is a must see. Sophisticated with its luxurious Italian design is balanced with clean Scandinavian lines. It’s next level “hygge” in cosiness yet airy and light in feeling.  There are charming details everywhere that would make any wanderlust swoon with delight. Design firm of Giannone Petricone Associates (Toronto)  was responsible for creating this beautiful space. Every detail is curious and a conversation piece from the subtly curved walls to the quirky gilded mirrors inside the women’s washrooms on the main floor. Read more here.

The Royal Hotel Picton - Ontario Travel - PEC

Hotel Julie (Stratford): This stunning 18th century row house has been given a complete overhaul with design and function details at its core. Owned by married couple Paula McFarlane and Jake Tayler, former paramedics who recently changed course to pursue their passion for design and hospitality. When the opportunity presented itself to purchase the historic inn they jumped right in. Their vision was to transform the dated previously owned inn into a sought-after luxury hotel in historical Stratford with a nod to the town’s rich history in theatre. They enlisted design expert Autumn Hachey (founder and creative director of Stay Here) to oversee the project. Read more here.  During the holiday season, Hotel Julie has also partnered up with local cafes and restaurants to round off your stay. See their site for details.

Hotel Julie

Kimpton Saint George (Toronto): steps to Yorkville, shops, restaurants, and museums make this hotel a great choice for a getaway for couples, families, and girls’ weekend!  We also love that it’s pet-friendly with no additional fees. Includes a pet bed, water and eating bowls and even a Doggy Bathroom.

Friday Harbour: If a day trip or a weekend getaway is just the right amount of time you are looking for, then this might be the most perfect place to find that festive joy! During the holiday season, visit this charming marina village for the best of the season. Discover local vendors village teeming with unique gift items,  tuck in for libations and snacks at Rudolph’s Lounge and Frosty’s Food Truck, visit Santa and his elves at his Workshop for great photos, and there’s plenty of activities and entertainment to keep your hearts warm. The area is also has welcoming restaurants, shops, cafes and galleries to explore. Friday Harbour is just over an hour away from the city.

HANDS ON:

Fraiche Food, Fuller Hearts: Wholesome Everyday Recipes Made with Love by Jillian Harris and Tori Wesszer: over 135 all-day joyful recipes to help you whip up feel-good meals. Inspired by cosy memories of those sweet, simple days enjoying wholesome meals together with their large close-knit family, bestselling authors and cousins Jillian Harris and Tori Wesszer share an all-new collection of favourite recipes straight from the heart of their bustling kitchens. Featuring over 135 everyday recipes along with some beloved classics that have a modern, healthyish, often plant-forward twist, inspired by the smart hacks their moms and granny used to whip up memorable, easy-to-make meals. The book is plant-forward with ways to adapt recipes for vegan versions wherever possible like Baked Crispy Cauliflower Sandwiches, Vegan Mac and Cheeze, and Tropical Tofu Bowls. All the recipes are family-friendly and perfect for weekday or casual weekend meals including Sheet-Pan Breakfast Pizza, Fish Tacos, and Butternut Squash Gyros. Plenty of heart-warming recipes including cosy soups, one pot/pan meals, easy-to-make breads from Granny’s Cinnamon Buns to No-Knead Bread, and flavourful, rustic desserts from Lazy Daisy Cake to Baked Apples with Oat Crumble.

LEGO Tranquil Garden: we know that calm and soothing activities help the mind and LEGO’s Tranquil Garden set brings that sense of joy. This kit aimed at adults will keep hands busy for a few hours…or days.

Lego Tranquil Garden

 

Calligraphy and Lettering: Start a new beautiful hobby like Calligraphy.
A beginner’s kit like this 33 piece calligraphy set that features 4 classic style pens and 5 nib grades. The instruction and exercise booklets included give you a letter-by-letter introduction to the art of calligraphic writing as well as plenty of handy tips. We found this one at Staples Canada. Link here.

GOOD READS:

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones by James Clear: if you haven’t picked this one up yet, definitely do. Learn how to restart life even by committing to the smallest everyday changes. Tiny changes, remarkable results.

Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? by Dr Julie Smith: Your mental well-being is just as important as your physical well-being. Packed with proven strategies, Dr Julie’s empathetic guide offers a deeper understanding of how your mind works and gives you the insights and help you need to nurture your mental health every day.

How to Ikigai: Lessons for Finding Happiness and Living Your Life’s Purpose by Tim Tamashiro: After watching an episode of the Blue Zone on Netflix about the lovely people of Okinawa, Japan I started diving into finding out more about their lifestyle and way of thinking. That led me to the concept of Ikigai and learning more about this way of life.

Books are also available on eReaders like Kobo! You may also want to check for audiobook versions on services including Apple Books and audible.ca

 

About Sonya Davidson 936 Articles
Covering events, openings and all the deliciousness in Toronto.