Buy Local (Eat, Drink and Be Merry)
Last Christmas, I challenged myself to only buy local. It was very well received by all the special people in my life so I'm going to do so again this year. We live in such an amazing area with so many creative artisans that must be showcased. We had a few booths at many great artistic showcases such as Cheerfully Made, Signatures and Ottawa Home Shows and established relationships with many vendors. These people put their heart and soul into creating unique products just for you. I encourage everyone to come out to any of these small shows for your holiday season shopping. Not only are you helping creating local jobs, you are helping the environment, giving to local charities and putting smiles on families faces. It truly is the best feeling in the world.
Here is my list of some Ottawa local finds for your loved ones:
-Maple Butter @ Hollow Point Sugar bush. This smooth and creamy maple spread is simple divine. My kids absolutely love it on apple slices from McGregors Orchard.
Bonus: Allergy free delicious gift!
-Neat Cafe and Music. This one of a kind coffee shop / restaurant also a must stop venue for some of the biggest named bands. This building used to be an old one room school hall converted into a unique music venue. Check out their website and get a ticket to a show for your loved one.
ProTip: Book dinner reservations before the show and you can reserve your seat for the show.
Ottawa area is now an established mecca for local craft beer and spirits. The craft beer industry here primarily been created by a local home brewers group that goes back many years. This group would meet up and discuss the art of craft brewing small batches and over time many have scaled up into microbrewery companies/brands. We are now seeing some great craft distilleries starting in the area too.
There are too many to list here but some of my personal favorites are:
Bonus: WhiteWater and Overflow have great live music from time to time. Check out their website for more info.
Give the gift that comes every season. Two raptors have created a local artisan subscription box that comes every 90 days. The hand curated box are a collection of locally produced unique items that is sure to keep every gift goer happy this season.
Give the gift of excitement and relaxation. The winter time in Canada can keep you down but getting outside and enjoying the outdoors is critical. We are blessed with some great local ski hills near the surrounding area. My favorite is Calabogie as it has a good mix of terrain and small town feel.
After a day of skiing or snowboarding it might be time to hit the spa. The Nordic Spa is an one of a kind experience that will leave your body numb. Must stop in the winter time to unwind and get HOT.
Bonus Tip: Arrive early as it will get very busy during the day time. You can also book a massage to bypass the line.
So this Christmas season, take the #buylocal holiday challenge. It might surprise you to all the great stuff we have around the area.