Gift giving is always a bit tricky, but it gets even more complex when you’re sending presents via Santa – or Canada Post. Mailing gifts means extra factors to consider: you want to avoid anything that’s fragile (a box of smashed glass isn’t great on Christmas morning), time-sensitive (like edible gifts that’ll expire before they arrive) or super heavy (give your mail carrier’s back a break). Whether you’re sending surprises to far-away family or you want to deliver a little festive fun to a friend’s front doormat, these holiday gift ideas are affordable, thoughtful and travel well by mail.
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Think about your favourite festive memories: how many of them are linked with seasonal scents? From the sugary-sweet smell of Christmas cookies in the oven to the sharp, sweet piney aroma of Christmas trees, scents make the season bright – and they make a wonderful gift to receive in the mail. This coconut wax candle from Vancouver’s Hygge Life is poured into a stylish geometric vessel (that can be saved for shelf-worthy decor or to repurpose as a petite herb planter), and you can choose a festive scent to delight your gift recipient. Hexagonal Coconut Wax Candle Planter, Hygge Life, $35.
An Intro to DIY
We love a good DIY (especially for the holidays), but DIY projects can be a bit intimidating for beginners. Send the gift of crafting fun with a creative DIY project like this pineapple-themed string art kit. Easy to send in the mail, these kits give them everything they need to make custom wall art – and it may spark a new hobby for the new year. RM Studio DIY String Art Kit, Amazon, $40.
An Art-Filled Calendar
Some things are classic for a reason. While many of us keep our schedules on track with smartphones and apps, the visual experience of a calendar on the wall never goes out of style – especially if it’s full of incredible art. The 2020-21 Indigenous Art Calendar by Colouring It Forward is an affordable, giftable way to share the artwork of Indigenous artists from Canada. As the months pass, your gift recipient can always save and frame the pages of their most-loved pieces to create a unique gallery wall and honour the art for years to come. 2020-21 Indigenous Art Calendar, Colouring It Forward, $33.
Can’t share a festive cocktail with friends this season? You can still be the ultimate party host – even if you’re spending your Christmas at home – by sending a beautiful cocktail-themed cookbook like this merry-themed choice by Jessica Stand. Very Merry Cocktails, Indigo, $29.
An Astro-Appointed Wall Hanging
Wall hangings and tapestries are cozy ideas for the home and their foldable, lighter-weight designs can make them great for sending via mail. This sketch-style Zodiac tapestry is a fun way to personalize the gift to your friend or loved one (just be sure you choose the right sign!). Sketch Drawing Zodiac Tapestry, Urban Outfitters, $24.
There’s something about a personalized gift that makes it feel so special – and when you combine a customized gift with something that’s stylish and functional, it’s a total gift-giving win. This duo of coasters from Toronto-based artist Barbara Kua of The Lettering Studio is beautifully on trend in natural marble, and can be personalized with a word or name for a more bespoke feel. Even better? They’re petite enough to be practical to send as a package in the mail. Personalized Marble Coasters (Set of 2), The Lettering Studio, $35.
A Soft (Stylish) Cover
With everyone spending so much time at home this year, the gift of decor items or ways to spruce up the home are more appreciated than ever – but it’s not easy to send furniture or bulky decorations through the mail. A pretty pillow cover – like this minimalist portrait-inspired cover – lets your loved one easily give their existing throw pillows a fresh look. OUI Line Drawn Pillow Cover, Indigo, $35.
Cozy Comfort, Delivered
You can’t send a warm hug in the mail, but you can send cozy, soft comfort. This plush faux-fur blanket is soft, stylish and sends well in the mail. Hugs Living Frosty Faux-Fur Throw Blanket, Amazon, $40.
A Durable (and Delightful) Tree Ornament
Gifted tree ornaments make for wonderful, warm memories every year when your loved one’s decorate their tree. Delicate glass baubles, however, are not mail-friendly. Instead, send ornaments made from more durable materials, like this whimsical Santa-themed wood ornament. OUI Santa Wooden Peg Ornament, Indigo, $13.
A Fresh Pick
Just like a lemon, this playful bath mat packs a lot of flavour into a relatively small package. When sending a holiday gift by mail, try the strategy of sending something that’s simply fun – that your loved one wouldn’t think to buy for themselves, but that will definitely make them smile. Squeeze the Day Bath Mat, Urban Outfitters, $49.
Have a budding artist on your holiday list? A curated watercolour palette is a special gift to support and encourage creativity from the moment it’s unwrapped. This handmade four-hue palette is crafted in Canadian pine and made using natural materials. The palette’s maker, Beam Paints, is an Indigenous female business that strives to be plastic-free in their items and packaging – so it’s also a thoughtful choice if you’re working to transition to a plastic-free household. Beam Paints Flower Four Pine Watercolour Palette, Indigo, $40.
The Perfect Puzzle
Puzzles are one of the year’s biggest trends, and a wonderful present to send to a friend. Choose a design that touches on special memories – like a lakeside scene reminiscent of a fun trip you took together – for an even more thoughtful touch. Buffalo Games 1000-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle, Amazon, $22.