YYC local Valentine’s Day gift guide
By Cassie Weiss, Staff Writer
Valentine’s Day is hard to avoid. Red, pink and white merchandise takes over the world, leaving the lingering, sweet scent of roses hanging around wherever you go. Lovers rejoice, bundling up with their hunnies, finding a cute booth in the back of a cozy bar, where they can giggle and stuff their faces with chocolate and other foods rich in carbs and sugar. But isn’t that what happens every year? Hunny number one comes home with a bunch of flowers and a box of chocolates, hunny number two is (not) surprised, and then the two either stay in and enjoy their favourite takeout, or head out to a restaurant, which features a specific Valentine’s Day menu that is probably more expensive than it needs to be.
Although February 14th is a great excuse to show our people just a little bit more love and appreciation than we already do, wouldn’t it be nice to switch it up a little this year? Surprise them with a gift that they couldn’t predict? One that elicits a truly genuine “I can’t believe it! You really shouldn’t have!”
If that’s the kind of reaction you’re looking for this year, look no further. Here’s a couple of amazing gift ideas that still cover sweet and fun, but that are also unique, different and will last a lot longer than those roses that are already starting to wilt as you read this. More importantly, all of these options support artists and business owners here in Calgary.
A beautiful piece of jewelry from Cinder and Sage
This local company was started in 2009 by Lindsay Saunders, and although it started as a minor hobby, Lindsay’s talent soon took off. Her website, www.cinderandsage.com, features gorgeous homemade jewelry, hair accessories, travel bags and other items to make your loved ones beam. Although you can shop for items online, Cinder and Sage has their own beautiful store in Mission, located above 4th Street Pizza. Take your hunny accessory shopping, grab some delicious pizza and switch it up this year. Sounds like a perfect date to me.
Create a love fern at Plant
I’m biased — I would consider any type of hang out in Inglewood date material (it’s a very romantic neighbourhood), but taking an evening to go create a plant masterpiece in this magical hideaway is a neat escape from the things we usually default to on this holiday.
Buy tickets to Beer Fest or tour some microbreweries
While we are on the topic of Inglewood, did you know the neighbourhood features its own craft brewery tour of many different tastes and flavours to satisfy the craft beer lover in your life? If you don’t want to brave the crowds on February 14, buy connoisseur tickets to the upcoming Alberta Beer Fest, which features hundreds of local and Canadian craft breweries and has (literally) a type of beer for everyone.
Ceramics, essential oils, incense, oh my!
Carmen Zvonik has been sharing her love of ceramic making, her knowledge of herbology and her passion for wellness products with Calgary for years. Featuring homemade ceramic mugs, bowls and incense holders, she also makes her own incense and her Instagram (@wildharvestbotanicals) features a plethora of items from her botanical apothecary. Draw your lover a bath, spray a grounding blend of frankincense, bergamot and copper in the air, and relax together with your favourite music playing and the candles burning the night away.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with macarons
I know, I know, we can’t actually celebrate Valentine’s Day without some type of chocolate, but to keep it fresh this year, why don’t you visit Ollia Macarons, just off 17th Ave? They have specific Valentine’s Day boxes, featuring decadent flavours such as strawberries and cream, mango champagne and chocolate cake, but there are tons of other flavours for you to snack on as well. Buy a box of eight or 12, and maybe your hunny will let you sneak one or two for yourself.
No matter what you decide to do this Valentine’s Day, or what gifts you decide to bring home, just remember the real treat is having someone special to share your love and affection with. And yes, February 14th is a great reminder to tell the ones you love that you love them, but every day should be filled with love, and in my opinion, I’ll snack on macarons any day of the month.