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Inspired gift ideas—no wrapping required

Social distancing and shopping restrictions have made shopping for holiday gifts a little more challenging, but they haven’t made it impossible. This year, we are getting creative and combining two of our gifting go-tos—home accessories and food—to come up with themed gifts that are perfect for everyone on your list. Who doesn’t love tasty snacks?

The best part is you don’t need to hunt for the right-sized box or buy wrapping paper. The trays and baskets we’ve selected are too beautiful to cover up—just add some ribbon and they’re ready for drop-off. You’ll also notice that several of our suggestions are sold in pairs, which makes your gifting even easier. Split up the pieces to make two gifts or use one for a gift and keep the other for yourself!

As for the delicious treats that round-out each gift, most, if not all, can be added to your grocery order. To add a unique, local touch check out some smaller food merchants and independent artisans for items like baked goods, confections, charcuterie, cheese, honey and preserves—even craft beer and small-batch roasted coffee. Most will have an online or social media presence, or can be found through word-of-mouth, and many are offering curbside pick-up or delivery.

Just Dewitt
Your starting point for an unforgettable gift is the elegantly rustic Dewitt Serving Tray. With integrated handles that make carrying easy and an interesting chevron pattern on the inside, it’s both functional and beautiful. The tray would make a lovely gift on its own, but to up the ante, we suggest filling it with delicious breakfast essentials, along with some decadent extras, to create a luxurious breakfast in bed tray.

Start by lining the bottom of the tray with a new cotton tea towel in a neutral solid or print. Add freshly ground coffee, loose leaf or bagged tea, orange juice (plus a split of champagne for mimosas, optional), fresh bagels, bread, or pastries, jam, cheeses, gourmet granola, stroopwaffles or cookies, and, of course, a little chocolate. Wrap the entire tray in clear cellophane, if you have some on hand, or cover the contents with a second tea towel and secure with ribbon or twine.

Note: If you are gifting right away, go ahead and use fresh/refrigerated foods; if the gift will be at room temperature for more than a couple hours, choose items that don’t require immediate refrigeration, like tetra-pack juice and shelf-stable cheese. Add fresh baked goods on the day you are giving the gift.

That’s a Wrap!
If there’s one thing we have been missing these past few months, it’s going to the theatre to catch the latest blockbuster and hitting up the snack bar for all the essential treats. (To be honest, the food might be our favourite part.) You can bring some of that magic to your friends or family, by putting together the ultimate movie night kit, filled with iconic theatre snacks and a few extras.

We like to build our movie night snack extravaganza in a big, soft-sided basket like the Parish Basket, handwoven in natural jute and braided blue cotton. After the snacks are gone, it can be put right to work holding magazines and newspapers or gathering up stray toys around the house.

Fill your movie night basket with bags of ready-to-eat “movie theatre butter” flavoured popcorn, gourmet sodas, metal or silicone straws, red licorice, and sharing-sized bags or boxes of candy and chocolate treats. You can also add a gift card for an online movie streaming service and, if you really want to kick things up a notch, add a soft, cozy throw, like the Noland, for snuggling. With this kind of gift, no other wrapping is needed; just add a bow and go!

Get Cracking
With its long, graceful shape and gleaming, soft gold finish, the Posy Tray makes a beautiful and thoughtful gift for even the hardest person to buy for. Cast in solid aluminum, it adds a touch of understated glam to the living room, bedroom, dining room, home office, or can be used to catch keys and change near the front door.

To give it an extra-special holiday touch, fill the tray with unshelled mixed nuts or walnuts—a classic holiday snack. The Posy is so pretty on its own, that all you have to do is cover with cling wrap to secure the contents and add a festive bow. Don’t forget to include a nutcracker from the kitchenware section to complete the gift.

If you have someone on your list who loves the Nutcracker as much as we love the Nutcracker, take this gift to the next level by including “tickets” to the National Ballet of Canada’s acclaimed performance of the Nutcracker. The home premiere of the performance, which the Globe and Mail calls “the best Nutcracker on the planet,” is being offered now through the ons to Cineplex store.

Can I have s’more?
Our final gift suggestion centers around these cool galvanized trays. Designed for indoor or outdoor use, the Dido Trays are sturdy enough to be taken to the patio but refined enough for a modern-farmhouse great room. With so much versatility and a great price-point, you can’t go wrong.

Since these trays just seem to scream “summer entertaining,” the idea of turning them into DIY winter s’mores platters was a no-brainer. If your recipients don’t have a fireplace or four-season fire pit to make their toasty treats, don’t worry. S’mores are just as tasty and gooey when they’re cooked under the broiler.  

Start with a colourful tea towel in the bottom, then add sleeves of graham crackers and cookies, bags of jumbo marshmallows, a few chocolate bars (regular and caramel-filled), a handful of long skewers or toasting sticks, and, since there’s no such thing as too much chocolate, a few pouches of hot cocoa mix. Like the breakfast tray above, you can leave this one open, or tuck another tea towel over the contents and crisscross with twine or ribbon to secure.

Although the holidays are going to be different in so many ways, we hope you find many joyful, unexpected moments (and maybe even some new traditions). Tag #DufresneStyle and show us how you are celebrating your holidays at home.