Last-minute holiday gifts ideal for the Vancouverite in your life

And enter now for my final, and time sensitive, giveaway of the year

OK, if you’re anything like me, you haven’t finished (started) your holiday and Christmas shopping.

And it’s not like your loved ones haven’t been on your mind, but there is just so much to do at this time of year, including finishing up year-end projects at work and meeting multiple deadlines, sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day.

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And in that case, you might be looking for a few gift ideas that are relatively easy to find, but are so great the recipient will have no idea you didn’t spend months hunting them down. Here are just a few ideas to hopefully help ease the stress.

And my final “Friday Freebie,” which I forewarned would happen on a Tuesday due to time restraints, is below.

City Crows 2019 calendar

June Hunter:

The City Crow 2019 calendar. Photo June Hunter

I love crows, so therefore fell in love with this gorgeous calendar, which features 12 full-page prints of Hunter’s best crow photographs from the past year, along with smaller pictures, anecdotes and interesting "crow facts" for each month of the year. It's decorative, useful AND educational, making it the perfect gift idea for any nature enthusiast. Hunter also sells other bird-related gifts, including bags, fine art prints and cushion covers. Hunter is having one last sale at her studio this Saturday, Dec. 22, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 2785 Parker St.


A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

Written by Marlon Bundo and Jill Twiss and illustrated by EG Keller: Raincoast Books

Marlon Bundo
A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo is a book about a little boy bunny who falls in love with another little boy bunny. Photo Amazon Canada

This beautifully illustrated children’s book, presented by Last Week Tonight host John Oliver, was one of my favourite books of 2018. This picture book tells the story of a very special boy bunny who falls in love with another boy bunny. Marlon Bundo is a lonely bunny who lives with his grandpa, Mike Pence — the vice president of the United States — but on this special day, his life is about to change forever.

With its message of tolerance and advocacy, this charming tale explores issues of same sex marriage and democracy. “Sweet, funny, and beautifully illustrated, this book is dedicated to every bunny who has ever felt different.”

Starbucks Reserve Christmas 2018: and other assorted holiday-themed coffees

Starbucks Reserve
Brewing at the Reserve Bar. Photo Lindsay William-Ross/Vancouver Is Awesome

Check out the swanky new Starbucks Reserve Bar in Pacific Centre for dozens of gift ideas for the coffee lover in your life. But for the holidays, it’s got to be Starbucks Reserve Christmas 2018 (woodsy aromas and flavours of sweet mandarin and mulled spices). You can also have it “clover-brewed” to make it extra special. Other brewing methods available at the shop are "Chemex" and "Siphon."

The Reserve Bar also has Nitro Cold Brew taps. Along with their featured Reserve coffees, the new store will also offer a Hazelnut Bianco Latte (handcrafted with Starbucks Reserve espresso with steamed, house-made hazelnut praline-infused milk) and the Cold Brew Float (cold brew with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream).

Hiking the Gulf Islands of British Columbia: Fourth edition

Charlie Kahn: Harbour Publishing

Hiking the Gulf Islands of British Columbia: Fourth edition by Harbour Publishing.

This edition of Hiking the Gulf Islands includes something for everyone eager to explore the diverse and stunning archipelago often referred to as “B.C.’s Enchanted Isles.” There’s a chapter dedicated to each island — from the much-visited Bowen Island at the entrance to Howe Sound to the often-overlooked islands of Texada and Lasqueti — which includes historical and practical information.

Purdys: chocolate and more

To find a store:

Purdys sells a lot more than chocolate.


This Vancouver-based chocolatier, which has stores everywhere, also produces fun gifts such as socks dedicated to its famous hedgehogs and this striking gold and purple, stainless-steel tumbler.

"Hedgehog" socks by Purdys

And the good news is, it’s almost guaranteed you can find a Purdys location near you. And, who doesn’t love chocolate?

Shoelaces are Hard: and other thoughtful scribbles

Mike McCardell: Harbour Publishing

Mike McCardell
Shoelaces are hard by Mike McCardell.

In Shoelaces Are Hard, McCardell delivers brand-new stories in his classic format, to join other much-loved titles such as Unlikely Love StoriesThe Blue Flames That Keep Us Warm and Everything Works.

The veteran broadcaster has spent years chasing and reporting human-interest stories, which honed his ability to see the deeper meaning behind the everyday and to capture the universal and familiar in even the strangest and most outlandish events.

Final giveaway: To enter, simple email me at with “Final giveaway” written in the subject line by the end of the day tomorrow (Dec. 19) and I’ll include everything above — with the exception of Marlon Bundo and a visit to Starbucks -- as well as some extras including a cloth shopping bag and two coupon books for Wesbrook Village (expire end of December); a Donald Trump cat toy; an apron, cloth bag and wooden spoon from In My Kitchen, which offers immersive culinary adventures; and some feminist stickers from Blume.

We’ll do a random draw early Thursday morning (Dec. 20) and the gift pack must be picked up at the Courier office at 303 West Fifth Ave. by end of the day Friday, Dec. 21. (After that, the office will be closed until Dec. 27.)

Happy holidays everyone, no matter what you’re celebrating.



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