12 quintessentially Canadian gifts for friends and fam abroad
For when you’ve sent maple syrup far too many times already
This article was originally published November 24, 2017 and was updated November 22, 2019.
The holidays can feel hectic no matter how many people you're shopping for, but when you've got family and friends who live abroad on your list, the added strain of navigating the post office, figuring out what's safe to ship and getting gifts out the door on time is enough to turn eternal optimists into bonafide Grinches. To help make the process a little less stressful, we've rounded up a bunch of easy-to-ship gifts that are bursting with the perfect amount of Canadiana ethos, because, let's face it, you've probably already sent your loved ones overseas enough maple syrup to last them a lifetime.
Canada Post recommends getting internationally-bound parcels in the mail by early December if you don't want to spend the extra money on express shipping, and you can find the full list of holiday deadlines on their website. They've also got helpful instructions on how to pack both standard items and trickier fare like perishables, liquids or anything fragile. You can also fill out their customs form online ahead of time, so you don't have to spend an extra second in that crowded post office.
Now that all the hard stuff is taken care of, shop our list below and ship your gifts pronto, so you can spend the rest of the holiday season sipping on mulled wine and taking in your favourite festive flicks.
In 2013, two Vancouverites set off on a summer-long road trip, collecting over 100 deliciously Canadian recipes from regions all across the country to create this patriotic cookbook. So while your loved ones abroad may not be able to get Maritime Lobster Rolls straight from the source, this handy resource will bring a taste of Canada to wherever they're cooking, while providing some background on the diverse cultures that make up our nation in the process, too.
Feast: Recipes and Stories From A Canadian Road Trip, $34.88, indigo.ca
If the bright, festive stripes on this HBC throw don't already scream "Canada" to you, perhaps the outrageously cozy wool-blend fabric will secure the blanket's spot in the must-gift category. Not to mention, it's super lightweight, so your giftee can snuggle up on the couch with it no matter the season or the climate they live in.
Hudson's Bay Company Perfect All Season Throw, $149, thebay.com
Made by local Sask. artisans, this Saskatoon Berry Tea and Saskatoon Honey gift set will infuse a little Prairie flavour into the mug of your favourite tea-lover.
Saskatoon Berry Tea and Honey Mug Set, $31, saskmade.ca
We're not all lucky enough to witness the Northern Lights in person, but this puzzle bearing their likeness will bring a blast of Northern beauty to those overseas who are still waiting to cross it off their bucket lists. The 1000-piece jigsaw could really use the help of the whole family, making it the perfect project for that long, lazy week between Christmas and New Year's.
Heye Northern Lights Power of Nature Puzzle, $28.75, amazon.ca
These delicate, aged keychains sporting our now-extinct Canadian penny make the perfect pint-sized gift or sweet little stocking stuffer for anyone with an eye for vintage.
Penny Keychain, $13.90, etsy.ca
Made right here in Canada by Indigenous peoples in Winnipeg, this striking leather shoulder bag is a go-to for the most fashion-forward friend you have abroad. The bag's wheat detailing pays homage to the Prairies, but it's the intricate braiding and beading that really puts this piece over the top.
Manitobah Mukluks Grain Shoulder Bag, $89.99, maniobah.ca
We had to rep the maple leaf in here somewhere! These colourful coasters full of patriotic icons are a delightful addition to anyone's coffee table, whether that person hails from the True North or not. Plus, they're crafted from a lightweight wood, so they won't cost a fortune to ship overseas, and won't do damage to delicate surfaces, either.
Coast to Coaster Canadian Coasters, $20, etsy.ca
There are few things more classically Canadian than the smell of a Double Double in the morning. But for those abroad who can't sip on the Timmies classic every day, this coffee-scented soy candle will surely do the trick.
Double Double Soy Candle, $12, etsy.ca
Forego the traditional travel poster, and bring a slice of La Belle Province to your giftee's walls with this vibrant watercolour depiction of the Montreal city lines. It's awe-worthy enough that non Montrealers won't feel weird about hanging it in their living rooms, and you can choose from a wide range of sizes depending on your shipping options.
Montreal Map Art Print, $37.99, society6.com
A natural choice for any kiddo on your list, this charming cookbook from Lucy Maud Montgomery's granddaughter can help mini chefs all over the world cook their way through Avonlea's finest cuisine, from classic Raspberry Cordial to Marilla's Plum Pudding.
The Anne of Green Gables Cookbook, $24.99, indigo.ca
Made from real Canadian Maple Sugar Sand, this soothing scrub will bring silky skin to any beauty-addict on your list. It's compact, plastic packaging makes it easy to pack alongside other prezzies, too.
Maple Luscious Maple Sugar Scrub, $11.30, fultons.ca
This cool reusable tote adorned with the feathered friends who frequent our skies will bring a jolt of Canadiana ethos to anyone's errand-running.
Abbott Canadian Birds Tote, $20, drakegeneralstore.ca