Trying to pick the perfect holiday gift this year? These eight creative ideas all have ties to the University of Guelph and make excellent presents any time.

For your sweetheart:Woman on stage at The Making-Box

  • Tickets to live comedy shows at The Making-Box – about $20 each – Gift someone you love with a night out including tickets to see a show at The Making-Box. This comedy theatre and improv training centre got its start with help from the Hub incubator program offered by U of G’s Centre for Business and Student Enterprise (CBaSE). Making-Box founder Jay Reid is a U of G grad.

For the budding scientist:

  • LifeScanner kitLife Scanner Kit – $40 each – Thrill your little Darwin with a Life Scanner Kit from U of G’s Centre for Biodiversity Genomics. Use the kit to identify plants and bugs in your garden or even to double-check what kind of meat you’re eating.

For the animal lover:

  • Support polar bear research – whatever suits your budget – U of G researchers are studying polar bears to understand how they regulate their body temperatures, an important question as our planet gets hotter. Donate in a loved one’s name to the How Hot is too Hot for Polar Bears? crowd-funded study by Dec. 22 and you’ll receive a greeting card and an illustrated copy of the study’s findings. Thank-you gifts ranging from stickers to a Toronto Zoo pass are available based on the amount you donate.

polar bear

For the bookworm:

  • A captivating read – Prices vary – U of G boasts connections with some of the best authors in Canada. Check out celebrated works from our Campus Authors program for fantastic fiction, children’s literature, memoirs and how-to books.

For the holiday host:

Candy Cutlery spoon

  • Cups and spoons from Candy Cutlery – Spoons $6 for 10, Cups $9 for 2 – Make your holiday entertaining a bit sweeter with edible candy cups and spoons from Candy Cutlery. This student-run start-up also worked with CBaSE’s Hub incubator to get the company off the ground.
  • Honey products from the Honeybee Research Centre – Prices vary – U of G honey and beeswax candles make the perfect host gift when you’re enjoying holiday meals at a friend’s place. Get them from the U of G Bookstore or the Honeybee Research Centre.
  • University of Guelph honeyA bottle of Magnotta wine – $15.50 per bottle – Add some holiday cheer to your festive meals with a 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Special Reserve VAQ or 2014 Sauvignon Blanc Special Reserve VQA from Magnotta Wines. A portion of proceeds from the sale of these wines goes to the G. Magnotta Foundation for Vector-Borne Illnesses, which directly funds U of G’s Lyme Disease Research Lab.

For yourself (you deserve a treat too!):

Lucky Iron Fish

  • Health-boosting Lucky Iron Fish – $33 each – This handy little kitchen helper adds valuable iron to your diet. And when you give one, a family in need also gets one through the company’s donation program. The Lucky Iron Fish was developed by a U of G student, and the company’s CEO is another U of G grad.
  • Compostable Club Coffee single-serve coffee pods – Prices vary – Put your feet up with a good book over the holiday break and enjoy a hot coffee made with compostable single-serve coffee pods. This green technology was developed at U of G’s Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre.Coffee pods

What did we miss? Share other cool U of G gift ideas with