Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

12 gift ideas made by Alberta-based NAIT grads

Supporting Alberta businesses during the holidays has never been easier

Each year, turns the traditional 12 days of Christmas into something, well, much more practical. Rather than suggesting partridges in pear trees or lords a-leaping, we scour our stories for ideas and items that will surprise and delight everyone on your list.

The added benefit: doing so means supporting local entrepreneurs. Whether it's food, drink, books, an experience or something else that's fun and unique, every item on this year's list is the product of NAIT grads in Alberta.

Watch this page between Dec. 6 and 21 for a new way each day to show your appreciation and affection, and to impress recipients with your – and our grads' – creativity and thoughtfulness.

Happy holidays!

Day 1: Some of Canada's best baking

kai wong, choccorant, edmonton, nait, culinary arts

Sure, that's a lofty (and, yes, perhaps unverifiable) claim, but treat the office or family to a box of goodies from bakeries popping up across Edmonton and see if they disagree.

Consider filled croissants from Chocorrant, elegant tarts from La Boule Patisserie and Bakery, a fabulous cake from Sugared and Spiced, or anything else on offer from these shops, all of them run by NAIT grads featured in the fall 2017 issue of techlife.

Enjoy the snacks  and your bolstered popularity.

Day 2: Hockey sticks specially designed for kids

raven junior hockey sticks, calgary, alberta

Once, setting a kid up with a hockey stick was a 3-step process: buy stick at sports shop; measure and cut; watch kid struggle with stick, game after game.

When Dan Pilling (Marketing '95) and 2 fellow hockey dads realized why that process was ruining the fun, they decided to create a line of properly sized and carefully engineered junior sticks. Raven Hockey was born, and minor hockey was changed.

Change your kid's game, too, and save any trimming for the Christmas tree.

Day 3: A serious sweat

zaq thompson, sweat crawl, edmonton

For those curious but nervous about group exercise classes, Sweat Crawl may be the plunge you're looking to take.

Modelled on the pub crawl (extremely loosely, given the absence of alcohol and lack of sitting around), the event is run by Personal Fitness Trainer student Zaq Thompson, who accompanies and supports participants through diverse classes at 3 locations. It's a trial by fitness that helps participants overcome that fear of exercise classes or gives seasoned attendees a fun new challenge.

Go big on your 2018 fitness resolutions watch for crawls Thompson is now planning for January.

Day 4: Time together over a great meal

nait food and drink guide, restaurants, edmontonSometimes, the best thing you can give is your time.

Why not combine that with a meal at one of the best restaurants in the country?

Edmonton's independent restaurant community is fast becoming one of the darlings of Canada's food scene. At many of these establishments, NAIT grads set the menus that dazzle diners.

Give a gift card or extend an invitation, using our guide to help you choose a spot. Given the variety, that may not be easy, but it's certainly part of the fun.