As the snow begins to settle in for the season and the days grow shorter, Christmas is finally in the air and if you haven’t already started, the time to start checking those lists to see who’s been naughty or nice.

Already the malls are packed with frantic shoppers looking to get their loved ones the perfect thing to go under the tree come Christmas morning. The big question is just what would that perfect present be?

For those in doubt, don’t fear as the Nation has once again booked a special sit down with the man in red to see what’s hot this season and just about guaranteed to cause the oohs, ahhs and the “I can’t believe it”.

So, if you are undecided on what you should be hunting down for your nearest and dearest this season, read on as Santa has given us the skinny on what to get for her, for him and the whole rest of the family.

Luxuries for the Ladies

Gifts for the high-tech chick

If your lady love is expecting, why not get her something that will help her introduce songs and warm vibrations to the little one on the way? With Belly Buds Pregnancy Bellyphones you can play music or playback voices to the little one with their specially designed adhering speakers that attach to mommy’s belly. Especially if mom has gone away to deliver, this gift is ideal as the babies will hear the voices of those waiting for them back at home. Available through various online retailers, such as for about $49.99. For more info:

If the lucky lady on your list is the type to forgo the shoe store to shop electronics or she is just all about recording those special moments in time from baby’s first steps to those rare moments when everyone is in the same room with a smile on their face, why not get her a pocket-sized camcorder?

The Sony Bloggie Touch can capture Full HD video and 12.8-megapixel still shots on the drop of a dime from a camera no larger than your average cellphone. Featuring a simple single record button and a large touch screen for showcasing your shots and videos, this versatile and easy-to-use camera is perfect for uploading videos online. It retails for about $199. For more info:

If she’s the type of gal who likes to get her blood pumping by dancing around the living room or likes to boogie down with her pals on girl’s night in, and if you really want to spoil her, go for Sonos Wireless Music System S5 for the ultimate in room filling sound. Featuring five speakers powered by five dedicated digital amplifiers. With two tweeters, two mid-range drivers and one subwoofer, this wireless music system is like having a professional sound system in your own home with its superior technology. Available at various electronics retailers, such as Future Shop for about $479.99. For more info:

Glitter & glamour for the fashionista

What girl doesn’t like the odd bauble or two to spice up her wardrobe for a night out or even something causal for every day? If you are looking for something simple and classic, Zellers has a wide selection of sterling silver, sterling and gold plate and gold jewelry that is both affordable and appealing such as the Younique Silver Bracelet with Bonus Earrings. Available for $79.97, this sterling silver 7.5mm Ball Bracelet with Bonus 10mm Ball Studs is the perfect set to surprise her with on Christmas morning. Not her style? Zellers has plenty of other jewelry items starting at $29.99. For more info:

If she’s the type to go for something classy yet chic, Birks Canada always has a spectacular selection of stunning pieces that would please any gal. This season Birks is featuring a number of exclusive items including this Birks Love Collection, Heart Band Ring, in sterling silver for $150. Simple and elegant, more info can be found at

For the proud Native woman who likes to adorn herself with some of Canada’s most spectacular Aboriginal jewelry, the Haida of British Columbia make some of the country’s most exquisite designs. Though it may set you back $400, there is no comparing gold and silver Haida jewelry, such as this divine Cycle of the Salmon necklace by carver Bill Bellis in silver and 14k gold for $475. Available online, Crystal Cabin Jewelry has a unique selection of Haida jewelry:

Is she a handbag fanatic? If you are looking to get her something classic and elegant with a Native flair, also from British Columbia, famed Native designer Dorothy Grant has some spectacular handbags on sale right now on her website. Available in basic black or cherry red, Grant’s “Vancouver bag” measures 22 x 17 x 12.5cm with 33cm leather handles and features Haida designs embossed on it. Though this bag normally retails for $225, it is currently available for $165. For more info:

For the active and outdoorsy girl

Before she heads out to the bush this season, why not give her something to keep her “tootsies” warm with Mountain Equipment Coop’s Bridgedale All Mountain Socks. Available in various designs and colours, this is Bridgedale’s thickest and warmest sock available since it was designed for outdoor activities such as skiing and skating. With thermal protection for extreme conditions, these babies retail for $21 and are available at

Is she trying to get into shape? Joining the gym or participating in a fitness course in the community? Why not surprise her with workout clothes from Lulu Lemon’s exclusive yoga-inspired fitness wear? Featuring the ultimate in high-quality fitness wear, yoga pants, jackets, underwear and accessories, it may be pricier than the average store but it lasts for years. With pants starting at $98, Lulu Lemon’s designs are extremely comfortable and chic and a wonderful way to inspire her to get healthy. For more info:

As it may end up being a really cold season, why not keep her warm at the camp or out with the family in the community with a new Canada Goose Ladies Camp Down Coat. This lightweight windproof long-length coat is both fashionable and incredibly warm with its slim insulated fit design. Made from genuine goose feathers, it retails for $425 at Le Baron Sports and other models and designs are also available. For more info:

Great Stuff for Guys

Gadget gear

Without a doubt, the iPad is still be a hot ticket item this holiday season. Though Eeyou Istchee is still without 3g service, the iPad with Wi-Fi is an unbelievable machine at a startlingly decent price for an Apple product. With the 16GB model starting at only $549, your guy can become the new cool kid at the office or while attending classes. For more info:

If he’s the type of guy who is always on the road, why not give him the gift that ensures that he always gets there on time and in one piece, a brand new GPS system for the car. TomTom GPS navigation systems are the height of technology and are widely available at most electronic and department stores. The TomTom XL 335S is currently being featured at Best Buy Canada stores for only $99, which is fantastic considering that it’s a widescreen model. It will guide you to any address in Canada or the US, including more than seven million preloaded points of interest. For more info:

Looking for a gadget that will both wow him and appeal to his sense of respect for the environment? Why not get him the Eco Solutions Solar-Powered Auto Vent Fan? Made from recycled plastic, this unique item is designed to keep the car cool when parked in the sun. It requires no plugs, comes with a window attachment and is an eco-friendly alternative to running the car battery. Available online at, this tech-tastic item retails for $26.95. For more info:

If the guy on your list lives to read but feels remorse over the endless number of trees being cut down to fuel his literary habit, eReaders are still all of the rage this season and they have dropped significantly in price. The Pandigital Novel Colour Multimedia eReader is designed for reading, surfing and playing and is guaranteed to change the way you enjoy books. Ideal for the avid reader, this device can hold hundreds of books, newspapers and magazines but at just 7” it is compact and lightweight. Retails at Future Shop for $179.99. For more info:

For the wild(erness) enthusiast

If all he can think about is his next trip into the bush, why not give him the perfect all-purpose tool to help him around camp? The Kelvin Multi-Tool features 23 tools in one compact cast aluminum body, 16 essential CRV screwdriver bits, features snap-action screwdriver that folds away when not in use and it also locks at 90° angle for added torque. Available for only $29.99 at Canadian Tire, a handy gadget like this could save your life. For more info:

If your man is the kind to pride himself on being a good shot or he is striving to improve his own, why not get him an Auto-Reset Target for practice outdoors. Ideal for one or two shooters, this 0.22 calibre only target-practice unit is perfect to set up in the yard and practice for when the geese fly or the caribou run. Available at Canadian Tire for $49.99. For more info:

Rapidly becoming a hit in Eeyou Istchee, Recall Designs’ goose and other wild game calls are a fantastic gift for the hunter in your household. Hand crafted and expertly tuned for ultimately realistic sound, Recall offers calls for geese, turkeys, deer, crows, ducks and predators. Available in the north at Cree Sports & Outdoors in Mistissini and BC Sports in Amos. For more info:

If you really want to spoil him, why not put a brand new pair of binoculars under the tree for him? Le Baron Sports offers a wide variety of binoculars that are ideal for the bush, including Bushnell Marine Waterproof Binoculars. Corrosion resistant and fully multi-coated optics for superior light transmission and brightness this 7 x 50 mm model with digital compass retails for $279.94 and will last a lifetime. For more info:

For the Habs fan (because no other team exists in Eeyou Istchee)

Does the man in your life live for hockey? Does he already have Montreal Canadiens socks, underwear, t-shirts and tuques? If so, why not get him this sleek and savvy NHL Rinkside Montreal Canadiens Quilted Jacket? Available in big and tall sizes, this black only jacket features the Habs logo on both the front and back of the garment and is hooded. Stylish and sporty, this item is exclusively available from the NHL Canada website for $84.99. For more info:

Kiddy Corner

If your kids are old enough they have already told you what they want or have circled every item they like in whatever catalogues you have lying around the house. In chatting with Santa and his elves, the Nation managed to garner a few interesting ideas that are perfect for the little ones or the whole family to share.

For those nights when mom and dad can’t be around or when they are just too tired to read the same story they have read hundreds of times to their little one, technology can help with the In Your Own Voice Storyteller. This handy device allows parents or caregivers to record their own voice into an electronic pen and then by attaching stickers to book pages the pen will play back the recorded voice when the child points to it. The set comes with 600 stickers that are encoded with a unique pattern of dots to facilitate the playback and an additional 40 stickers with prerecorded sounds. This product retails for $79.95. For more info:

Every year since 1952, the non-profit agency, Canadian Toy Testing Council (CTTC), has put out its own guide to toy buying for parents so that they can make good child- and adult-tested purchases for their families. Toys are not only ranked for play value but also for durability.

This year’s guide features a bounty of suggestions and the Nation has painstakingly gone through it to bring you some highlights. For the full list:

For babies aged 6-36 months, the CTTC has a number of recommendations, including the Musical Croc-Bloc Wagon from Fisher-Price. This nifty crocodile features colourful blocks that babies can stack on top of the crocodile or feed through the croc’s mouth. Kids can also open up the croc to see how many treasured blocks they have collected inside. There’s a squeaker on the croc’s back and the croc makes baby-friendly musical sounds when the child pulls it along. For more info:

For kiddies aged 3 and up, why not stimulate their creative side with the Finger Tracks-Finger Paint set from Djeco? This set comes with eight non-toxic paints and instructions so that kids can paint one of four exotic animals or design their own creations. It also features a colourful box and a painter’s palate for the budding artiste in the family. Available at most craft and toy stores.

What little kid doesn’t love magic? While children’s magic kits can often be difficult to manoeuver for smaller children, the My First Magic Set from Poof-Slinky Inc. is ideal for kids aged 4 and up and comes with everything a child needs for their first home performance. There’s even a DVD that comes with the set to show children how to perform their tricks and provides good learning and growth potential for children as they learn to master the 13 tricks in the kit as well as another nine with household items. Retailing for about $24, this toy is available at multiple retailers, such as and Sears.

Featuring a few new twists on an old standard, the CTTC’s top award for a battery-operated toy goes to VTech’s Text and Chat Walkie-Talkies. While this toy functions like regular walkie-talkies, VTech has added several new features that allow children to play new games, send pre-set text messages and e-cards. The walkie-talkies feature bright and clear screens so that kids can display the games and their messages. This item has a standard range of about one kilometre and it retails for about $44.99 at most toy stores.

For the whole family

While it has only been in the last four decades that the landscape of Eeyou Istchee has seen modifications by Hydro-Québec and other natural-resource development, the changes have been dramatic. This is why Louise Abbot and Niels Jensen have produced a new book through the Cree Outfitting and Tourism Association titled Eeyou Istchee: The Land of the Cree.

The book is a startling 200-photo essay that features images of Crees engaged in tradition activities, such as summer gatherings, fall moose hunts, winter wellness walks and the spring goose hunt. Featuring interviews and conversations with the Cree of Eeyou Istchee in English, French and Cree, the book is ideal to teach young Crees about their culture and inspire discussions about Cree ancestry between young and old. For more info: email COTA at or phone 418-745-2220.

And that concludes the Nation’s 2010 holiday gift guide.
On behalf of the Nation, happy shopping and Merry Christmas!