T’was the week before Christmas, and you’ve done it again – no presents, no gifts; shopping left ’til the end!
It’s the same old story every year. You tell yourself: “Next year, I’m starting my Christmas shopping in September!” and yet here we are, with gifts still to buy, packed parking lots in Victoria, and eggnog to drink in the fridge (which is much more fun). So why not finish up (or start and finish) your Christmas shopping here in Sooke? Here are a few suggestions:
Bombora Gifts – Everything from gourmet food items to artisan teas, to watches, décor and local artwork, Bombora has it all (shameless plug: it’s also for sale). Pop in and see what unique items you can find for the special ones on your list.
For food lovers – Gift certificates from any of our wonderful local restaurants. Upscale casual cuisine at Stone Pipe or The Edge. Classic diner fare at Mom’s Cafe. Fine dining at Markus’ or Sooke Harbour House. Pub food at Mulligan’s or Buffy’s.
Beer, wine, and spirits – For a smaller community, the selection available in Sooke is quite good. the BC Liquor store is a little too small to stock a huge variety, but it’s pretty decent. And although it might be a bit late, they can order in just about anything you can think of, if somebody on your list has a taste for, say, a rare scotch or a Côtes du Rhône you can’t otherwise find. They also offer gift cards! The two private stores (at The Castle and Buffy’s) have a great selection, too. If you have a beer nerd (like me, perhaps) on your list, Buffy’s has an amazing selection of the large ‘bomber’ craft beers from many of our local breweries in the Victoria region and beyond. You can often find the limited release beers there long after they’ve sold out in Victoria. And don’t forget Tugwell Creek Meadery. Mead, or honey wine, is a tasty and unique gift and is 100% local.
For the kids – The Bees Knees consignment is the go-to place for kids’ items in Sooke. Judy has an amazing selection and stock is turning over all the time so there are always new treasures to be found. My wife has gotten so many things for our daughter there, many of them brand new, with tags on! A great way to save some money while spoiling a little one in your life. A newer store is Sugar and Spice, located near Stone Pipe.
Coffee: the perfect gift – My wife and I love to give our relatives on the mainland gift baskets of Vancouver Island products. Often in these baskets is a pound of locally-roasted coffee from The Stick. They also have awesome ceramic and travel mugs, stickers, hoodies, and more. Gift cards are also available for the stockings!
Art and Photography – Sooke is a haven for art and artists – why not grab something unique and locally made. Paint, sculpture, fibre art, and photography are just a few of the media that you’ll find displayed in local galleries and of course the Sooke Harbour House. Check out local photographer Jason van der Valk for stunning local landscapes, or why not buy somebody you love a photography session with him? The Reading Room Cafe has an art show and sale from local artists all month long. For links to artists, see the Sooke Community Arts Council site.
Computers, video games, and tech – The new Shoppers Drug Mart has quite a good selection in the back of the store – digital cameras, video game systems and games, music players, cables and accessories, and more. Local computer guys Salish Sea Technologies can do upgrades, repairs, or put together a new system for you, even on short notice. They also have a selection of accessories and laptop bags – drop in and sea them (above the pet shop).
And speaking of pets – Wiskers and Waggs never ceases to amaze me with their great selection of pet supplies and accessories. Make sure your four-legged friends are taken care of this Christmas, stop in and pick something up!
As you can see, it’s easy to get your shopping done locally, without braving the roads and parking lot mayhem of Victoria. Good luck – and now if you’ll excuse me, I have some presents to buy!
Do YOU have any suggestions for last-minute gifts in Sooke? Leave it in the comments below or on my Facebook page!