With the holidays just around the corner, I’ve been participating in a lot of Secret Santas and having to pick up last minute miscellaneous gifts. This could get quite costly, but it isn’t impossible to pick up something for under $20. Here are some gift ideas for under $20, if you have any other local suggestions – please do share!

David’s Tea – Tea Samplers  ($2+)
These are so great – I love going into David’s Tea with an assortment just lined up on the wall. Did you know you can also ask them for less than 50g of tea as a sampler which goes for about $2-$4? My favourite tea is their Love Tea #7 – its indulgently chocolately without the calories!

Godiva Milk Chocolate Cocoa  ($20)
We all know Godiva is synonomous with delicious chocolate making. Their holiday hot chocolate tin is the perfect amount of spoiling your lucky Secret Santa and temptation of keeping it for yourself.

If you’re willing to splurge a little more, their Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzels are life changing!

Purdy’s ($3+)
I love their middle candy/chocolate bar. It’s great to mix and match items. My favourites are  Hedgehogs, Santa Lollies and Sweet Georgia Browns! Ask them to throw it into a Purdy’s reusable bag ($1) and you don’t even have to wrap up your Secret Santa gift!

Thierry ($12+)
Need I say more? I am obsessed with Thierrys. Whether it’s a delicious slice of their cakes or tarts or a couple of their macarons – the sweet lover in your life will be greatly satisfied with this lovely treat!  Get their 7-pack macarons ($13.45), which comes in a super cool hexagonal box.

Gift Cards 
I know a lot of people think Gift Cards are thoughtless – but they are very practical. When I was at BCIT, I was so happy to get a Tim Horton’s gift card for a Secret Santa present because on days I needed my caffeine fix or was too lazy to bring food to school – that card saved me!

Whole Foods Market
At Whole Foods, I could literally walk up and down the aisle for hours looking at the assortments of goodies they have available. My favourite area would be their baked goods section. So many wonderful cakes and pastries! Whole Foods Market is one of the best places to get something local and delicious.

Bottle of Wine
Is there a wino in your life? Maybe you’re going to a holiday dinner party and need to pick up something nice but wont break the bank? Try these ones:

Blasted Church’s Hatfield’s Fuse ($17.99) – I am a big fan of Blasted Church. I am in love with their Pinot Gris – but it’s not readily available here in Vancouver, so I usually go for Hatfield’s Fuse which goes with just about any meal.

Silver Sage Merlot ($17.95) – I’m typically not a red drinker, but this was recommended to me by May Pang (Pangcouver). This delightful red is medium bodied, a little on the drier side and with great hints of sweetness to it. Apparently, you can buy this at the liquor store located in Olympic Village – thanks May for the tip!

Barefoot Pinot Grigio Bubbly ($10.99) – Celebrate with this bubbly! It’s dry, refreshing and delicious. A lot of people wonder if a $10 wine can be any good – this has won the most awarded California Sparkling Wine Award!

Granville Island Brewery – Winter Ale ($12.95)
And for the beer lovers in your life – get a case of Granville Island’s Winter Ale while you still can. Available at all BC Liquor Stores and also at the Brewery itself!

La Baguette et L’Echalote Bakery – ($3+)
One of the best French bakeries in town (if not the best), a couple of baked treats would definitely lift my spirits if I received them for a Secret Santa present! Try their Bird Nest Cookies (raspberry is my husband’s favourite, hazelnut is my favourite)!

Goldilocks ($5+)
Every time I walk into Goldilocks, I want everything. I know it may be a bit intimidating if you’re not Filipino but there are just so many treats and sweets you have to try. Mango boat tarts, polvoron (similar to shortbread but very crumbly!), ensaymada (sweet brioche with butter, sugar and cheese). There are so many gluten free options – just ask! One of my favourite things to give away is the Ube Macapuno roll which is under $10. It’s sweet yam and young coconut – but most of all it’s purple cake! People go nuts over this!