Keeping the Holidays Local, Sustainable and Simple

Keeping the Holidays Local, Sustainable and Simple

The holidays are such a hectic time of year. It is hard to sit down and really think about what to get everyone on your list! I am very guilty of scrolling through the gift guides on Amazon from the comfort of my couch, adding it all to my cart and calling it a day. This year, I would like to challenge myself to keep four things in mind while holiday shopping, so I can ensure I am giving thoughtful gifts that not only bring joy to my loved ones but also leave a much smaller environmental footprint. That being said, the last thing I want to do is add stress and financial strain to my holiday season! Here is a guide on how to keep it local, sustainable and simple.

  1. Experiences! 
Sometimes the best gift you can give to a loved one is you! Enjoying an experience together is a gift that you will be able to cherish through memories for years to come! Kingston has an amazing arts community that has taken every measure possible to adapt to this new world we are living in! Not only will you and your loved one have an amazing time, but you will also be supporting our community in the process! A few of my favourite Kingston companies are;


Movement Market

Movement Market offers everything from Fletchers Pilates to Ballet Barre to Hip Hop! You can purchase classes as singles or in a pack, for adults or teens! 

Theatre Kingston

Theatre Kingston has several productions set for this season including A Christmas Carol at the Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning on December 13th! Tickets would be the perfect early Christmas gift for anyone and everyone!

Musikki Cafe’s Jaa Box

Still feel like you need to have something wrapped under the tree? Look into the Jaa box with Musikki Cafe! This is a gift that gives all year long! With the Jaa box not only are you supporting local artists through this difficult time, but you also receive a year's worth of discounts and vouchers to all of your favourite spots in the city! Not to mention, every 3 months you will receive a box packed full of goodies from local small businesses!

  1. Upcycle!

If you are anything like me then you probably have a box of things wasting away in a closet that are perfectly good, maybe not even opened, but you just have no use for. Before you go to buy a gift for someone, rummage through that box! Maybe you will find the perfect thing without spending a dime! Didn’t find anything? That’s okay too! These local thrifters have already done all the work for you!


If you are looking for gorgeous vintage home decor, they have it. I could scroll through their instagram all day long. Every single piece is in great condition ready to be added to your loved ones home!


Curated Mid-Century Modern and Boho inspired furniture can be so hard to find and when you finally find what you are looking for it can be so pricey! If rattan furniture is your kryptonite, definitely check them out!


Don’t let anyone have a reason to throw out that ripped clothing item! Instead, give them an adorable clothing patch personalized just for them! These are perfect for stuffing in stockings or adding into a gift. They are too cute not to love!

  1. Gifts that don’t waste! 

You would think this was a no brainer but the concept of giving a gift that does not have wrapping or plastic is kind of strange in our consumerist world! Here are a few ideas that aren’t as out of the box as you would think!

Pan Chancho Bakery

The classic box of cookies with none of the work! Pan Chancho has treats (both savoury and sweet) especially for the holiday season! What does your neighbour like best? Buche de Noelle? Candy Cane Shortbread? Pear and Parsnip Soup? Best to just get it all!

Limestone Succulents

A Plant! Everyone loves a plant! Even those like me who can’t keep a plant alive still loves plants! And Limestone Succulents are not just plants they are art. Don’t believe me? Check for yourself!

An Audiobook (The top of my list- Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson)

We all love a good book but we don’t all have time to read! And if we do have the time, do we really read them more than once? After that they just collect dust on our shelve for a few years until we get around to throwing it into that box in the closet we talked about earlier.

4- Shop Small!

If you can’t find that special something at Oak and Fir there are so many other amazing small businesses to check out! And when that temptation to add everything to your amazon cart is too strong, fill up your etsy cart instead! 

Kingston Candle Co

If you are looking for unique scents Kingston Candle Co is the place! Hoco, Stauffer, Leather and Noel are just a few of their current scents! Buy all six in a discounted pack to check off everyone on your list!

Nicole and Louise

If you love our Velvet Hair Clips then you will love Nicole and Louise! Their earrings, hair clips, and headbands are absolutely gorgeous and their Instagram page is completely dreamy.

Skeleton Park Brewery

Shop their beer collection as well as every accessory a beer connoisseur could possibly need! I have my eye on their wooden beer tote that will make you the official snob (in the best way) of every BYOB party.

There are so many more great businesses but I want to leave you time to shop before the holidays! Did I miss your favourite business? Give me your honourable mentions in the comments! And join me in this challenge to make this Christmas a little greener.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published