Last minute gift guide for Nova Scotia
Giving can be one of the most rewarding parts of the Holiday season, but finding the perfect gift can also be quite stressful.
So if you're finding yourself in a situation where you need to grab a last-minute gift for your sister-in-law in time for dinner on Friday, I've got you covered. These are just a few of my favourite local gifts to give—and don't fret, I've already checked ahead to see if they still have gifts available for you!
Gift boxes from Obladee
Their Holiday Gift Boxes make the perfect gift for friends, family or colleagues to enjoy that holiday party vibe at home in their own bubble. Each box includes: a bottle of wine (choice of Sparkling, White or Red), 3 x 150g wedges of Cheese (that’s a lot!), their house-made Cold Snap Pear & Cranberry Chutney, house-made Chocolate, and their own Sea-Bound Coast Crisps. All tied up with a ribbon and personalized gift note! You can also upgrade your wine to a special Cellar Selection for $20 more.
Order yours here by December 22nd to receive it on the 23rd.
GIFT BOXES FROM Lucky penny
Lucky Penny is one of my go-to coffee places when I need a pick-me-up between showings. Their gift boxes feature locally made goods including freshly roasted coffee, local preserves, house-made granola and the hard-to-find King North chocolate. These gift boxes are great for giving the experience of a cozy morning cup of their favourite beverage when you can't be there to enjoy it together.
They have boxes for the coffee lover and tea lover, as well as one for the maritime pantry box for sending to friends away from home. You can check them all out right here.
Greeting cards and gifts from Inkwell
Nothing says Christmas quite like taking a stroll down to Inkwell to pick up greeting cards. I had mine custom created by Hello Sweetie this year, but if you're looking to get your hands on cards or gifts by local makers, Inkwell supports over 200 independent artists in this one location. They curate their products with a focus on illustrative items, the boutique showcases an array of handmade products—art prints, homewares, ceramics, textiles, jewellery, apothecary and other great gift ideas—that would make a perfect last-minute pick. Check out their website for details on how to arrange your order for curbside pickup or stop by in person.
Just be aware they're only allowing for 3 people in at a time and, as always, masks are mandatory. (Find there's a bit of a line? Check out Taiyaki52 next door for a warm cup of tea or coffee while you wait).
holiday bundles from good robot
Good Robot is a staple for summers in Halifax. Their beer garden is located at 2736 Robie Street in Halifax and their retail hours are between 12 pm-9 pm daily. While the taproom is currently closed, you can still pick up your favourite brews safely. If you have someone who loves craft beer, you can surprise them with Good Robot beer, gift wrapped and delivered right to their doorstep.
The last day for delivery is December 22nd so make sure you grab yours asap.
Gin Royal from compass distillers
You might know the name Compass Distillers from the beginning of the pandemic when they started producing hand sanitizer to help with shortages across Halifax. In a normal year, they're better known for Artisan Craft Spirits made from scratch, with locally sourced ingredients, by people who have a passion for the process and the result.
For the gin lover in your life, I recommend their Gin Royal.
Gin Royal is distilled with Nova Scotian wheat and classic gin botanicals. Slightly sweetened with royal jelly & local honey, this royal blue gin derives its regal colour from an infusion of butterfly pea blossom and a dollar from every purchase helps protect the bees!. Limited retail hours available for pick up.
Wine from benjamin bridge
Nothing says celebration more than sparkling wine and Benjamin Bridge makes internationally recognized sparkling wine right here in Nova Scotia. Produced essentially the same way as Champagne, with all the labour intensive rituals, craftsmanship, and care, their NV Brut is a premium sparkling wine for a fraction of the cost of Champagne. Enjoy a glass with your turkey or as a toast to 2021.
The winery is located in the Gaspereau Valley but for those in the Halifax Metro, they offer contactless free delivery, right up until Dec 24. Order online right here.
Gift boxes from Lightfoot & Wolfville
Lightfoot & Wolfville is owned and operated by the Lightfoot family who have been farming in the Annapolis Valley for eight generations. This year I've been enjoying their gift boxes, since it takes a lot of guesswork out of delighting my friends and loved ones. Gift boxes range in price from $50 - $100 dollars and include a bottle of their fantastic wine and some Lightfoot & Wolfville merchandise. Their soy wine bottle candle in Chardonnay, Lemongrass and Tea Tree is one of my favourite housewarming gifts. They are offering contactless delivery in HRM, the Valley and South Shore. The cutoff for Christmas Eve delivery is Tuesday at midnight.
Books from nimbus publishing
Nimbus produces more than fifty new titles a year on a range of subjects relevant to the Atlantic Provinces— children’s picture books and fiction, literary non-fiction, social and cultural history, nature photography, current events, biography, sports, and cultural issues.
I recommend 'If I Had an Old House on the East Coast.' for anyone who loves old houses or who might be away from home this holiday. With a deep appreciation for the East Coast, This book shares a dream of falling in love with an old house and breathing new life into it and is beautifully illustrated by Nova Scotia artist, Kat Frick Miller They're open until noon on the 24th via the Open Book Coffee next door who stocks their titles!
After a year that marked one of the hottest real estate markets on record in Nova Scotia, I'm looking forward to safe and happy holidays with my family while these local companies help with the contactless delivery of gifts to friends and loved ones across the province.
7 Tips for selling your home around the holidays
When you think about the holidays, buying or selling a home might not be at the top of your holiday list. But here in Nova Scotia, the market has continued to see strong demand from buyers and many homeowners are taking advantage of the market to get the best price for their home. If you're thinking of listing this holiday season, here are my top tips for selling your home during the holidays.
One of the advantages of selling your home over the holidays is that cozy decorations can make your home feel extra welcoming. Wrap a string of twinkling lights around the bannister, drape a garland over the mantelpiece—but be careful not to overdo it. Large decorations can crowd your home and distract buyers.
Bonus tip: Pack away some of your year-round décor before adding any holiday decorations to avoid overcrowding.
Your home’s exterior can appear starker and less inviting in the winter months. Take advantage of this warm late-fall weather to enhance your home’s curb appeal by touching up paint, cleaning the gutters, and sprucing up the yard.
And be sure to keep buyers’ safety top of mind if we end up with a 'White Christmas' by keeping stairs and walkways free of snow and ice.
Bonus tip: Take it easy on the inflatable lawn decorations and Griswold-style light displays. Less is more when it comes to exterior decorations. Simple string lights can help play up your home’s architecture and won’t come across as tacky.
Now is not the time to save a few dollars on your heating bill. Make sure you crank the heat to make your home feel warm and inviting for buyers escaping the cold. A cozy home will encourage buyers to linger and admire your home’s best features.
In a seller’s market, it can be tempting to try to push the envelope on price but around the holidays, when fewer buyers are searching, you run the risk of spending too many days on the market and making it harder for serious buyers to find your home.
Looking for more information on pricing? We did a whole newsletter on different pricing strategies: Read it here.
Homebuyers are pickier about booking showings when they start to hibernate during the colder months. Make a good impression by offering lots of flattering, high-quality photos of your home.
Bonus tip: Have spring and summer photos of your home available so buyers can see how your home looks year-round.
Life can be hectic during the holidays, and it may not be convenient to show your home if you’re cooking a holiday meal or if you have plans to celebrate with your bubble. It’s better to block off times that you are unwilling to show your home in advance so that buyers can plan accordingly versus declining showings after you have received the request.
You may receive fewer viewings during the Christmas period—but viewing requests are more likely to be from committed buyers. Remain cool, and refrain from jumping into the first sale.
As we work our way toward the holidays, I'm looking forward to coming up with even more great articles for you to read in the new year. Is there a question we haven't covered yet? Comment below with your top questions on buying and selling homes in Nova Scotia!
Real Estate Advisor based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I help people buy and sell homes with Engel & Völkers.