Holiday Gift Ideas from Prince Edward County🎁
The merriest of seasons is upon us, bringing together family, friends, good cheer, delicious food and thoughtful gifting. Whether you’re a resident, a visitor, or a fan from afar, Prince Edward County is the perfect place to kickstart your local holiday shopping. Here are a few gift ideas that celebrate the County and those special people on your wish list.
Written by: Karen Orme | November 2019
Gift Good Cheer
Wine, bubbly, beer, cider and spirits … The County is brimming with options and purveyors of tasty sips that will keep glasses full over the season. Toast the host with the most with a bottle of wine, or gift your favourite oenophile a wine club membership that will keep their cellar stocked with direct-from-vineyard-to-doorstep deliveries throughout the year. For beer and cider lovers, DIY a basket of pints and bottles from The County’s breweries and cideries along with branded glassware to match each pour. Or if cocktails are more in line to brighten your wish list’s spirits, check out all the mixology fixings available from Kinsip House of Fine Spirits, The County’s only distillery. Be sure to grab a bottle of mead from Honey Pie Hives for your medieval fan friends.
Gifts that Give
Choose a gift that not only delights the lucky recipient but that also supports a good cause. Bird lovers, for example, will appreciate that proceeds from notecards, coffee, a bird poetry book and more purchased from the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory helps fund this important, and mainly volunteer-driven, bird migration research station. From Nov. 29 to Dec. 22, Guildworks, an artisanal studio in Bloomfield, has unique handmade ornaments from over a dozen local artists for sale, with a portion of each purchase going to Community Living Prince Edward and Alternatives for Women. Support the Prince Edward Learning Centre by picking up a Christmas in The County CD – a compilation of local artists singing seasonal tunes – 100% of the profits go to local literacy efforts. Or make a holiday donation on behalf of someone to an important community organization like the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation or to the Prince Edward County Public Library’s Picton library expansion campaign.
Gift Gourmet Ingredients
A taste of The County is always appreciated. Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Company serves up a range of delicious gift ideas starring a selection of its award-winning local cheeses, honey and condiments all made or farmed on its property. Serious cooks will value the addition of quality vinegars to their pantry staples. Check out the specialty flavours offered by Canadian Vinegar Cellars, made and bottled onsite at Black Prince Winery. Make your gift buzzworthy with honeylicious products from local bee farms, including Prince Edward County Honey Company, Honey Pie Hives & Herbals and Iveyridge Honey Farm. Gift the makings of great sandwiches with a jar or three from Cressy Mustard Co., or pancake topper of a bottle of delicious maple syrup from a County producer like Vader’s.
Gift an Experience
What better way to gift The County than to put someone hands-on with all that it offers. For the food lover, make it a cooking class at From the Farm Cooking School where one offering, the Culinary Adventure, combines shopping The County for ingredients with kitchen time, Angelo Bean, and The Cookery School at The Waring House. Or let them roll up their sleeves at Littlejohn Farm’s educational and sustainability learning farm with a unique stay package or workshop. For the wine connoisseur on your list, slip a wine tour into their holiday stocking. There are loads of tour operators to choose from that offer half and full-day experiences. Or put their mind to work with a puzzle-solving and sleuthing outing at one of The County’s escape room attractions, Escape Camp Picton and Escape Macaulay House.
Gift a Greeting
Craft your holiday best wishes using a beautiful handmade-in-PEC card. Send your love for The County to friends and family this season with gorgeous notecards featuring local artist Kelly Panacci’s illustrations of some of The County’s most iconic sights and subregions. The cards are available by the box at Shire Hall (332 Main Street Picton). Local photographer Peggy deWitt also offers a line of note cards that capture the beauty of The County’s nature, wildlife, streetscapes and more – available at Books & Company.
Gift PEC Gear
Make it a gift that lets others know exactly where it comes from. The Prince Edward County T-Shirt Company is a one-stop shop (in-person or online) for great PEC-branded products that not only make the entire family look County chic, but that also embrace the stories of the region. Choose from place specific T-shirt designs and the “I am County ’hoods” series which just added Sophiasburgh, Point Petre, and Black River to the collection. There are also toques, pajamas and great stocking stuffers like PEC mugs, golf balls and hockey pucks. You can also shop local breweries and wineries for cool swag and merchandise to round out a wine or craft beer gift. Love yourself a little #westpec? Pick up an array of local goods and gear from The Merchant’s Mill in Consecon.
Gift A Date Night
Winter has arrived, but that doesn’t mean your social life needs to hibernate. Wrap up a night on the town for a loved one with a selection of dining and date night gift certificates. Grab a bite at one of The County’s great restaurants then take in a movie or a show at The Regent Theatre. Are you an out-of-towner? No problem! The County is open for business year-round. Make it a stay-and-play weekend by adding in accommodation and a wine tour.
Gift Local Art
Shop local galleries and studios for the perfect art piece, whether it’s the gift of a painting, sculpture, pottery, fibre art and more. Meet the artists while browsing their studios in search of one-of-a-kind gifts, or peruse a gallery that houses a collection of local artists, such as Arts on Main, which just launched its holiday show, Sidestreet Gallery or Mad Dog Gallery, which just opened its Good Things in Small Packages show highlighting miniatures and smaller affordable works from County artists including Susan Wallis, Andrew King and Julie Duff. In place of an art piece, gift an art lesson instead. The Baxter Arts Centre offers an amazing number of programs and workshops for all ages, creative leanings and experience levels.
Gift the County’s Nature
The County is all about what Mother Nature lets us grow, farm or forage here. Pick up a holiday arrangement to gift yourself or a party host from local florists including Flowers by Marvin or pretty wreaths and potted seasonal bulbs from Floralora Flowers (available at the House of Falconer holiday sale and the Wintermarket). Floralora also offers flower subscriptions that will beautify someone’s life come spring through summer. How about an aromatic gift grown here in the County? Check out the lavender wares, from soaps and fragrances to essential oils, from Prince Edward County Lavender Farm and Millefleurs, Lavender & Honey Farm.
Let’s Get Shopping!
Now that we’ve filled your Xmas wish list with gift ideas, here’s a list of shopping events and holiday markets to help get your shopping done while keeping it local. Don’t forget to reward yourself with a bauble or two, or a toast to completing the jolly task.
Main Street Shopping: Picton, Bloomfield and Wellington’s downtowns are beautifully decked out for the holidays and the stores are full of great gift ideas for every price point. On Nov. 29, get your shopping in while enjoying the festive spirit that embraces Bloomfield’s downtown prior to the 6 p.m. start of its Santa Claus Night-time Parade. From Nov. 30 to Dec. 30, Picton’s Shop Where Your Heart Is program invites customers to fill out a ballot when making a purchase at participating shops for entry into a draw for one of five $100 Picton Gift Certificates. No minimum purchase is required to enter the draws that will be made each Monday throughout December.
Holiday markets: Avoid the mall crowds by hitting up a local craft and artisan market instead. The annual Festival of Trees is on Nov. 29-Dec. 1 at Isaiah Tubbs Resort with proceeds going to support the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital. Pop in for a pint and a Christmas market at Midtown Brewing Co. in Wellington on Nov. 30. While in Wellington, you can also check out the Drake Devonshire’s Nov. 30 annual Holiday Market hosting over 20 vendors in support of the Picton library expansion. Tour the beautifully renovated The Armoury in Picton while perusing its retailers and market vendors participating at the Holly Jolly Market running Nov 30, Dec 7, Dec 14, and Dec 21. Don’t forget to bring a camera to snap a free photo with Santa. There’s also the 5th Annual Wintermarket, Dec 6-24, 167 Main St., Picton (next to Gilbert & Lighthall) featuring over 25 vendors presenting products as diverse as curated vintage, beeswax and honey-based products, seasonal wreaths and potted flowers, custom illustrated tarot cards, artisanal foods, wild-crafted herbal teas, beauty products and more. The House of Falconer’s Holiday Market showcases the wares of its resident artists along with a few additional local vendors, Dec. 9-15, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. On Dec. 14, the market will include an array of out-of-town artisans. Busy Hands, on Dec. 14-15, is a who’s who of County vendors, while Nick of Time Christmas Craft Show on December 14 in Bloomfield’s Town Hall is, as the name suggests, a great place for last minute gifts and 100% handmade.
Happy Holiday Shopping!