DailyXY’s 2011 Gift Guide: Calgary

Christmas shopping in Cowtown doesn’t mean you’re limited to buying a bunch of “Steak of the Month Club” memberships (although that’s a perfectly respectable option if it’s coming down to the wire). The good news is that Calgary’s heralded entrepreneurial spirit has allowed many interesting small-business ventures to thrive in our city. If you’re willing to forgo the drive-by shopping convenience of the malls, you may find the most memorable gifts are found at uniquely Calgarian businesses.

Deluxe Silk Road Spice Set
Silk Road Spice Merchants has quickly become the go-to shop in Calgary for fresh spices, herbs, chiles and seasonings. This deluxe gift set gives you a lasting quantity of six of the shop’s most popular “sweet and savoury” blends, and four jars of their best whole spices. The Barbeque Season Spice Set is recommended for, of course, the meat-lover on your list. Deluxe $72, BBQ $31

Wild Rose Brewery Party Pig
Something for your dearest broheim, the Party Pig is an 8.5-litre self-pressurized draft keg (no pumps needed) filled with delicious Wild Rose Brewery beer. The best part — aside from visiting the popular Calgary craft brewery and testing each beer before purchase — is that the pig can be refilled for little more than the price of a two-four of (quality) beer, ensuring you are spoken about for years to come at parties you don’t even attend. $50 + $40 refundable deposit

Masakage Koishi AS Knives by Kato San
Like a shogun in feudal Japan, Calgary’s Knifewear believes in the soul of sharp steel. These Masakage Koishi AS (Aogami Super carbon steel, or Super Blue Steel) knives are handmade at 69-year-old blacksmith Kato San’s forge in the Takefu Village, Japan, and each stunning piece was exclusively selected and designed by Kevin Kent of Knifewear. $160

UPPERCASE Magazine Subscription (pictured)
Four issues of UPPERCASE, “a magazine for the creative and curious,” is the perfect yearlong gift for an aspiring artist. This lavish Calgary-based quarterly spotlights up-and-coming and established graphic designers, illustrators, designers, photographers, delete and musicians; the magazine is laid out with the same beautiful consideration as the work it features. $80

Miss Behave  “Quick and Dirty” Boudoir Photography Session
This 90-minute boudoir session at Miss Behave’s private Victoria Crossing studio is for the lady in your life who may want to explore her naughty side. The artistically gifted all-female staff at Miss Behave celebrates femininity while creating a fun, carefree atmosphere during boudoir shoots; she and you get the added bonus of knowing some creepy dude will never be on the other side of the lens. $295 + $150 for beauty styling
Image courtesy of splorp

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