The 2023 NAIT holiday gift guide

Need unique gift ideas? Here are 12 from the NAIT community

Who’s on your list this year?

Not names, of course – who are those people? Then, what’s a gift that speaks to their identity? What can you give this holiday season that says, ‘Hey, I know you, I like the things that make you who you are, and here’s something that says as much’?

We bet that this list of gifts and experiences from NAIT grads includes that special something that does exactly that for that special someone.

However you celebrate the season, techlifetoday wishes you happy times with friends and family and a great year to come.

And thank you for supporting us with your time and attention throughout 2023 – you know just what we like!

1. Fitness fuel

Cofounded by Leanna Carriere (Personal Fitness Trainer '18), 7 Summits Snacks offers a local alternative for the energy-boosting gels and bars that help fuel that long bike ride, endurance run or day’s hike. Put an “explorer box” of samples (made with ethically sourced chocolate) under the tree for your favourite fitness fanatic.

2. A great dining experience

illustration of hamburger in the centre with bowl of soup to the left and a doughnut to the right

Our guide to restaurants owned and/or operated by NAIT grads includes dozens of entries (our latest update is one of our biggest lists yet). If your recipient is a fan of brunch, pub fare, BBQ, fine contemporary or just a great cup of coffee and a pastry, there’s a place to suit their palate. Grab a gift card or make a date to treat them to a delicious culinary experience.

3. Locally made, small-batch beer

people clinking beer glasses together; one is dark the other is light

The list of Alberta craft breweries where grads do the brewing continues to grow! For the craft curious, enthusiast or just the buy-local supporter, consider a pack, growler or merch from the likes of

Check out the techlifetoday Alberta craft beer map

4. Ready-to-serve meals


A post shared by Simply Supper (@simplysupperyeg)

Give the gift of restaurant-quality meals served conveniently at home! For more than a decade, Monita Chapman (Marketing ’06) has delivered assembly kits and ready-made dishes through her business, Simply Supper. Choose from a variety of packages for those who are strapped for time but unwilling to sacrifice flavour and nutrition.

5. Handmade crafts, food, home decor and more

vendor at wholly handmade market in sherwood park

Vanessa Antoniuk (Marketing ’00) might have exactly what you need this holiday season – and she doesn’t make a thing! Instead, she creates one of the Edmonton area’s best opportunities to shop from well over 100 local vendors who make all kinds of things. Check out the next Wholly Handmade, the market she organizes seven times a year, Dec. 16 and 17 in Sherwood Park.

6. Custom cooking class

milkcrate owner and chef steven brochu standing outside a building in downtown edmonrton

Know someone who loves to stretch their culinary capabilities? Give them the gift of guidance from a professional chef! MilkCrate owner Steven Brochu (Culinary Arts '06) offers virtual instruction tailored to the tastes of the at-home cook. Pick your dish and he’ll send an ingredient list and recipe then join virtually in the recipient’s kitchen!

7. Community impact

someone writing a cheque to make a donation

Give the gift of giving back this year by making a donation in someone’s name to a cause they believe in. Since tax credits will likely be involved, here are tips from a JR Shaw School of Business instructor on maximizing the benefit for everyone.

8. Gift boxes

gift box from gray jay gifts

Why stop at giving just one thing? Founded by Rima Tabet (Personal Fitness Trainer ’16), Gray Jay Gifts bundles up presents by themes. Choose from boxes bursting with wellness goodies, coffee and accessories, charcuterie delights, household knick knacks, games and much more.

9. Stunt-style fitness

darron ta, co-owner of the stunt garage, performing a move involving twirling a staff

There are exercise classes, and then there are exercise classes built around stunting and martial arts. Darron Ta (Management ’18) cofounded The Stunt Garage as a place to workout and work on the moves that have landed him spots in shows such as The Last of Us. He’ll teach those moves to other people too, offering the opportunity to get fit while learning how to take a fall.

10. Great “b-Ooks”

illustration of nait ook with books on a shelf

What’s a b-Ook? Part of the term borrows from ookpik, the Inuktitut word for snowy owl, NAIT’s official mascot. Shortened, it’s also the nickname for grads, including a few notable authors. Here’s our list of non-fiction and fiction volumes from alumni covering a breadth of stories and topics, real and imagined, to suit an array of interests.

11. Time together

dad cooking with kid

What can you give freely but never buy? Time! Members of the NAIT community have no shortage of ideas for activities that bring people together and make memories that will prove priceless.

12. NAIT swag and memorabilia


A post shared by shop AT NAIT (@shopatnait)

Know a proud alum who loves to show off where they got the excellent education that helped make them who they are today? Look no further than shop AT NAIT. In addition to all those books and school supplies, the store stocks a wide selection of branded clothing and giftware to bring back happy memories of hands-on learning (including hoodies embroidered with program names).

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