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People & Culture

Geography Gifts 101

  • Dec 15, 2013
  • 547 words
  • 3 minutes
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It is the annual holiday conundrum: what on Earth to buy for that growing list of colleagues, kids’ teachers and distant cousins? At Canadian Geographic, we are here to help with a list of Earth-inspired gifts.

Global Warming Mug

Why not serve that coffee with a side of impending doom? The Unemployed Philosophers Guild has just the gift: the Global Warming Mug. Fill it with hot liquid and watch the coastlines disappear. With a helpful list of greenhouse gases written whimsically around the outside, it is both practical and educational – perfect for the coffee-loving environmentalist in your life.

City Map Coasters

Cities are pretty. Tea ring stains on a table are not. Prevent one with the other using the National Design Collective’s birch plywood, city-shaped coasters. Modelled off maps of the downtown cores of Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto and Ottawa, the “I Kinda Like it Here” collection is a nifty gift for someone who more than “kinda” likes their city.

If you are looking for something more on the festive side, Neighborwoods produces cedar city map tree ornaments. The New York based company mostly carries an assortment of international cities, but Toronto and Montreal are available.

Geography potpourri

For the person who has everything, you may have to get a little more creative. If you’re not a do-it-yourself person, there are entire swaths of the Internet dedicated to finding people to be crafty on your behalf. Etsy is a great resource for anything map related, from a map of Canada made of old provincial license plates to stylish handmade tote bags printed with vintage world maps.

Travel books

Author Robin Esrock lives in Canada. But after visiting over 100 countries he realized he could tell people more about Brazil or China than he could about his home. So he wrote “The Great Canadian Bucket List” of 115 unique Canadian experiences to be had from coast to coast to coast. It’s a handy book for adventure seekers and stay-cationers alike.

Scratch Map

What better way to keep track of that travel bucket list than a map they can literally scratch places off of as they go? The principle is similar to putting pins into a wall map as a reminder of locations visited, but with the added satisfaction of a scratch-and-save coupon. Remove the beige top layer of the map to reveal swatches of colour underneath. And if this person is a big traveller, you could be saving them a small fortune in pushpins.

For the Kids

The World Map Interactive Touch Pad Toy says it is for kids but it looks like something adults will end up “borrowing” every so often. With more than 1,000 quiz questions, it is a great way for the whole family to refresh their geography skills.

And for the most precious gift of all, how about a subscription to Canadian Geographic? It is the gift that keeps on giving (at least until the subscription runs out).

Happy holidays!


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