Isn't Christmas gift shopping basically impossible? Or am I the only one who feels this way? These days it can be hard to find something personal for people. At least at the mall. Sometimes you need to look elsewhere.

This year I'm shopping local, keeping my business inside Ottawa for Christmas gifts. Why? Well, along with the unique-ness of the gifts, I also get to support entrepreneurs from my region and give back a bit to my community. What better way to spread Christmas cheer?

If you're in Ottawa (or even if you're not, and you like to explore new and unique shops), here are a few really great places to pick up gift ideas:

1) Castellammare Jewellery.
Castellammare Jewellery Sparkle Ribbon Bow Necklace in rose gold
I haven't stopped talking about Ottawa-based jewellery company Castellammare Jewellery for a reason. For that jewellery loving friend/wife/girlfriend/mom, this could be your one-stop-shop. Quality product at a great price. And so much rose gold. You are guaranteed to find something for everyone. Check out the regular shop here, and their Etsy shop here. Sometimes they have a slightly different selection on both sites.

2) Purple Urchin.
Purple Urchin was started a few years back in Sault Ste. Marie and Ottawa, Ontario. Basically they make soap and other skin/beauty products with no chemicals. Most of their products are 100% vegan-friendly and all are 100% vegetarian friendly and biodegradable. I was at Terra20 this weekend and picked up a few of their products, including their lip balm, chocolate face mask, and lemon meringue hand balm (all pictured above), as gifts. They've got an online store too, which is a bonus!

3) Locally-Owned Restaurants.
(Pictured: Grilled Octapus @ Town. Kelly & Jenna, I knew this photo would come in handy one day!)
Who's tired of Lonestar, East Side Mario's and Boston Pizza, raise their hand. *raises hand*. If you're going to take your friend, family or significant other out for a great meal, treat them to a local hot-spot.  Something native to the area. Over the last few years, Ottawa has developed a unique array of original restaurants. One of my recent favourites is Town. Focusing on locally sourced food, they say every dish is a story about the great region we live in. Personally, I love their ricotta stuffed meatballs and their grilled octapus is delish. I've got a Christmas dinner date with a girlfriend, and I'm excited to try something else fantastically tasty.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. There's much more to choose from, if you look hard enough :)

Now, I wish you luck with the rest of your Christmas shopping. Please wish me luck, too, cause I'm not done just yet...


  1. Great post and a great idea to shop local!

  2. I love that your supporting people and businesses in your area! That is awesome. And I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy my mother's gift from Castellammare, she has so many pretty pieces!

  3. I love the idea of shopping local and supporting your community!

    The Tiny Heart
    Uncommon Goods Giveaway!

  4. Things I miss most since moving from Ottawa:
    - all the wicked awesome restaurants
    - people like you (duh!)
    - awesome shopping in the market (the Zone is my FAVE store ever)
    - all the pretty lights at Christmas...

    We should just move back already... now if only I were bilingual....


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