How to Give a Very Merry Christmas: Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Happy December, lovely! 

I love the holidays, and whether it’s from having been a kid, having had kid sisters, having my own kids, or generally acting like a kid from time to time, to me this month should be pure magic.

This week I’ve put together a collection of some of my favourite and foolproof, online shop-ables to ease you through gift giving this year.  What’s even better, is that I’ve got a whole whack of promo codes for you to use as you shop their sites.  In the event you find yourself realizing the date, and then realizing all the things to do before the official holidays are here, this Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide should make your gift giving a little more awesome, your life a little bit easier, and your month a little more magical.

I’ve got each one broken into the Why (I chose them), and the Who (this would be perfect for), as well as the code you can use for a little something extra.  Enjoy!

*Pssst: these are 99% owner-operated small businesses – we’re talking they own the digs, AND they pack the boxes.  So order soon, understanding that stock quantity and shipping are a liiiiittle bit different than the world of Amazon Prime.  Cool beans?

Frere du Nord 

WHY: I love clothes, and always have loved clothes, and even more than loving clothes, I love feeling cozy and comfortable.  So when I met the husband + wife (and later her two brothers) team behind FDN, themselves sitting behind a gorgeously and minimalist styled table of grey cotton sweats at a music festival, it was pretty much a moth to flame situation.  When I learned that all their products were not only designed, but freaking HAND MADE in Oshawa, I was already sold.

When I got to see their warehouse and workshop space, and learn that their (realized) goal is to provide a garment working space that is happy, respectful, positive, and geared to giving women-who-need-jobs jobs, my eyes were so wide I could hardly speak.  Understanding the passion and dedication that goes into perfecting small batch, affordable luxury items from a family (of 30 somethings) owned business made me actually slow clap.

AND THEN I TRIED ON THEIR CLOTHES, and honestly, it’s like wearing a cloud.  Thick, ultra cozy, brushed, almost felted feeling cotton just holds you, and makes you grateful to be able to pull off athleisure wear in a whole new way.

WHO: Let me say this: HE will love any FDN wear for its plush and minimal aesthetic; SHE will love stealing it from him and pretending she ordered it for him alone.  The pullover hoodie is bomb, the bowtie crew neck is sold out but highly, highly coveted by moi for every Christmas party this year (and next), and the tunic just slayyyyys over leggings.  Also, I’m pretty sure the sweatpants asked for my number and are now late night texting to come home with me.  Just saying.

Definitely an impression maker as a gift; especially for dudes in their 20’s and 30’s.  Use code LEISSE15 to get 15% off your luxuriously minimalist order.

 

Easy Period

WHY: Sexual and menstrual health is a mega passion of mine.  Yes, you read that right, I am passionate about menstrual health.  So much of our femininity is tied to and closely associated with our sexual and menstrual well being, and too often, certainly throughout my own life, there have been layers and layers of shame wrapped around both.  It’s only been in the past couple years – yup, as a grown ass woman – that I’ve been able to strip most of that away, and begin to embrace my divine femininity, and proudly lean into all parts of being a woman.

So when I discovered Easy Period on Instagram, and learned that not only do they offer a subscription service of ORGANIC pads and tampons (that ship with dark chocolate and a little DLP truth bomb), BUT ALSO donate a portion of their proceeds to a charity that funds education and awareness of sexual and menstrual health, I wept.  Full on cried, almost with relief, or maybe pride, that Alyssa – the kick-ass (and 20 something?) entrepreneur had all the gumption needed to bring awareness, and convenience, to the forefront of a very important conversation.  Especially because I am so conscious of raising three girls with a healthy and confident outlook on their own bodies, and all functions thereof.

WHO: any woman you know, especially “the one who has everything,” and who totally gets the millennial concept of the gift of experience.  Use code LeissexEasy to get 20% your gift of easy.

 

Red Sky

WHY: Yeah, yeah, candles right?  Wrong.  Red Sky is an awesome little online gift shop that just won’t quit, and whose candles are not only hand poured in Toronto, but smell effing great.  Throughout the online shop are Turkish towels (which officially usurped all combed cotton in my house in 2016 – perfect for bathing, beaching, and traveling), oodles of palo santo (sticks and cones), and little accessories and extras that are a perfect blend between cheeky and practical.  Also Kerry Lee – el hefe -is like, the COOLEST chic.

WHO: If I were you, I’d bulk order all the small things and use them as host gifts all year round.  There are individual items for teachers, coworkers, last minute party gifts, as well as pre-made packages curated to give as a bigger, more tailored, and well thought out gift on its own.

But honestly, if someone has been a total jerkface to you all year, and coal just isn’t your thing, nothing says “Wow, you’ve been a total jerkface to me all year” like a bag of dicks.  (Yes they are real; they’re tiny penis-shaped candles…and they’re awesome.  You’re welcome.)  Use code Wilcox to get 20% off your beautiful, sweet smelling, and just cheeky enough order.

 

JORD

WHY: Ultimately, I am an analog girl, living in a digital world.  No, I cannot live without my iPhone, and yes, my work is almost entirely based online, with a crazy cool dependence on mobile technology…but at the end of the day, all I want is the feeling of paper, the sound of the needle on wax, the connection of a voice on the other end of the phone.

There’s something about watches – especially the ones that are wooden, and just hipster enough – on men, that is just so damn sexy.  There’s something about them so very Mr. Big, something that screams out “I give a shit.  I remember life before the internet, and I’m old school enough to check my watch to give you the time.  Let me get your number so I can ACTUALLY CALL you, open doors for you, make a dinner reservation and ask you about your day, and wink at you from across the room; and oh yes, did I mention I will always type ‘you’ and can correctly use all versions of ‘your’ and their’ correctly on screen?”  Have I romanticized this a bit?  Who, me?  Hmmm.  Even IF that were the case, I think we can all agree there’s something so charming about an actual timepiece on a guy’s wrist; an actual attention to detail, there by design.  Needless to say, I am a fan.

WHO: JORD makes tons of ladies’ watches, but in case it wasn’t clear, I think this is a classic gift for the man in your life.  They do custom engraving too, to make it bespoke, just for your guy.  Shop here, and get 25% off the luxury of slowing down.

Electric Juice Factory

WHY: We all know someone who hits it hard over the holidays; heck, maybe you ARE the person who hits it hard over the holidays.  Some of us get a liiiittle swept up in the holiday spirit, eating and drinking and overindulging for a 10 day window (I mean it’s Grandma’s chip dip!  What am I supposed to say?  No?  Impossible).  And for anyone who is nodding their head along reading thisk you KNOW there comes a moment (cough, January 2nd) that you want to kick your own ass, and get back on the healthy living wagon.

A juice cleanse is an amazing kick start to a clean regime, and I can tell you first hand that I did it for three days without ever feeling hungry.

WHO: For the person on your list who needs a little kick start to get clean and green…again.  Even if that person is you.  Use code LEISSE10 for 10% off (like a juice cleanse gift card to ring in the new year); the menu is online, and you can order via email, phone or in person.

 

24 Carrot Co

WHY:  I’ve written a lot about the tortured relationship I have with veggies, and buying, storing, prepping, cooking, and eating them.  How this is still a struggle in my mid 30’s, I’ll never know.  In any case, as someone who LOVES smart brands and even smarter branding, 24 Carrot Co makes me put my hands up and say “Ah KALE yeah.”  I will admit – I actually feel special when I bring my “everyday I’m brusselin'” tote to the grocery store, and use it specifically for produce.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have tricked myself into healthier eating, because my bag is cool.  “Organic” (get it?) advertising works. 

What’s more, is that a part of their proceeds goes to charities who make healthy eating accessible to all.  ‘Nuff said.

WHO: Gals on the go, and anyone who embraces healthy eating – and puns – into their daily life.  24CC just added awesome new shirts (the tank is dope, and the ‘natural born kaler’boat neck sweatshirt should be a required item to prove Dutch ancestry, if you ask me.

The clothes are quirky, cozy, and frankly instill just the right amount of guilt as you’re wearing them while creeping the fridge for meatballs after dark.  The bags are a perennial fave, and you should order one for every person on your list.  Use code LEISSELOVESVEGGIES to get 10% off your veggie loving order…and hey – be sure to shop by December 13 for timely delivery before Christmas.

 

Lake Effect Co

WHY: Ugh, because when you spend as much time fantasizing about A-frame cabins, cottages, and lakeside sitting as I do, you will do damn near anything to not quit your daydream.  Not only did I meet and connect instantly with the amazing Katherine this summer at a camp for grown-ups in Eastern Milwaukee, but her brand is so on point.   5% of LEC profits go to the Alliance for Great Lakes, which holds meaning for those of us peppered along the shores of Lake Ontario. 

Scope her Instagram when you have actual cabin fever, and are jonesing to be outside, canoeing and hiking, or bringing beers to the dock, but are actually cooped up in Canadian winter.  And when you ARE cooped up in Canadian winter, you’re going to want to rock her signature SO COLD toque.

WHO: anyone who has a lake house, has been to a lake house, would like to go to a lake house, and who needs a totem that lake house life will be theirs again soon.  You’re going to love the long sleeve LAKE DAY tee, because it is perfection.  Use code Leisse20 to get 20% the ultimate camp chic.

 

Smithery

WHY: Oh you KNEW that Smithery would make the cut, didn’t you, you clever cat.  Last, but holy crap so freaking not least, is this game changer of an online store.  Mavis and Rena, the dope ass women behind Smithery have had an overarchingly positive, and forward propelling effect on my life this year, for a whole host of reasons.  One of those reasons was the invitation to model for two of their photo shoots in 2017, of which the take home was not only great clothes, but the feeling that someone had looked me square in the eye to tell me to embrace my body and all its curvy goodness.  Hell, they even convinced me in five seconds or less to shake my butt on camera during a Facebook Live to demonstrate the “damn, girl!” properties of their famous “Magic Butt” jeans. 

And you know what?  Denim sales went up after the show, lol.  True story.

These two are the real deal, and every single woman needs to experience a one on one styling session with them, in which they will teach you to choose clothes that fit – and celebrate – your body regardless of its shape.  Seriously valuable tips that have helped transform my wardrobe into one that now has me power clashing on the daily.  Leopard print and Buffalo plaid, I’m talking to you.

WHO: Every woman you know.  Every single one.  Girlfriend, best friend, mother in law, sister or daughter who just had a baby and doesn’t recognize her own body, nine and a half months later, whomever.  Book them a style session in the new year (use Leisse to get a $20 Gift Card when you book this bespoke consult in their new Toronto studio space), and order online for you to get holiday ready (use code MERRY for free December shipping).

 

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