We’ll save you the part where we explain what a strange year it has been—you already know that. You also know that Winnipeg’s small businesses and restaurants need your love now more than ever.
What you might not know is how the heck you’ll do your holiday shopping this year, or what you should buy your cousin’s trendy teenage kid (does TikTok sell gift cards?).
No worries—we’ve created handy gift guides filled with locally made goods, treats and experiences from businesses around the city.
By buying local you’re not only supporting your fellow Winnipeggers, but you’re keeping deliveries close, ensuring everything arrives in time for the holidays.
Here are a dozen gift ideas that’ll keep you and your loved ones cozy and warm all winter long.
The ultimate "coze" is a soft pair of moccasins, slippers or mukluks from Manitoba Mukluks or Cree-Ations. The beautifully designed footwear is made by hand using warm, comfortable materials perfect for lounging around the house or spending time outside (for outdoor wear, be sure to snag a pair crafted with waterproof leather and suede).
Local designer Jill Sawatzky has the fashion-conscious folks in your life covered (quite literally): her current Tony Chestnut collection focuses on comfort and function with pieces like sweatpant trousers, which are a cozy take on the brand’s bestselling trousers made of fleece-backed athletic knit cotton, “perfect for a sexy zoom date, or taking in a lazy documentary.” Her iconic, one-of-a-kind knit sweaters are also being restocked for December—each sweater is knit by hand using various pieces of recycled/gifted/thrifted materials and takes Jill about 20 hours to complete. Clearly Jill's pieces are made with care, making them a fitting gift for the people you care about.
Let’s talk beverages.
Baltic Brothers offers fun infusions to jazz up otherwise basic spirits. Their house-made old fashioned mix pairs perfectly with a bottle of bourbon, or gift their mulled wine spices along with red wine for simmering. Winnipeg is home to a number of coffee roasters and a fresh bag of beans from Black Pearl Coffee, Colosimo Coffee Roasters, De Luca’s or Dogwood Coffee makes a great stocking stuffer. If it's tea you’re looking for, you’ll find an incredible selection at Tea Mate, BrewT or Cornelia Bean, all of which offer Manitoba-made blends and beautiful holiday packages ready for gifting.
Hand-poured soy candles from Farmer’s Son Co. and Mysa are a great way to add a little warmth and calmness to any room, especially when gifted alongside a chunky knit blanket from Prairie Knots or alongside beautifully designed pillows from Jagged Little Pillows and Rox Textile Art.
The bibliophiles in your life will appreciate absolutely anything from Tusome Books, a locally owned online bookstore that celebrates authors from three main regions: Africa, Asia, and the Middle East as well as Indigenous authors. You also have the option to gift an audiobook membership for the shop. Independent prairie bookstore McNally Robinson features a sizeable selection of Canadian authors for easy online ordering as well. We recommend Manitoba author Lauren Carter's compulsively readable novel This Has Nothing To Do With You.
Small-batch artisan chocolatiers Decadence Chocolates, Melt Chocolate Co. and Constance Popp are busy making sweet treats in all kinds of creative shapes, designs and flavours housed in beautiful boxes and holiday packaging. Our favourite is Decadence’s holiday smash boxes, in which a wooden hammer (provided) is used to smash a hollow milk chocolate snowman or Santa filled with candies, caramels, and chocolate pieces. How fun is that?
Both kids and adults will love new online biz Cay & Cocoa, whose handcrafted hot cocoa bombs come in a handful of fun, delicious flavours like coffee crisp, salted caramel and Oreo—just add hot water or milk. Again, pretty packaging makes this gesture extra sweet and easy to gift.
You’ll find similar types of items in the image on the left included in Hygge in a Box, a cozy, quarterly subscription delivered to your door that encourages the Danish concept of hygge (finding comfort and joy in even the simplest of situations, and an overall sense of being cozy and content in life). These seasonal boxes include as many Canadian-made, organic, sustainable and ethical products as possible and were created by Winnipeg sisters Jill Kantor & Lisa Kroft.
For a full guide to local gift box retailers that will check off even the pickiest people on your shopping list, see Economic Development Winnipeg's Shop Early, Shop Often, Shop Local blog.