Every gift tells a story…

Seventeen years ago, Maryann Ritcey, owner of Maryanns Gifts, heard of a family who was a little bit down on their luck. Knowing they could use a little help through the holiday season, she headed out with her sidekick, Marshall (otherwise known as her loving and supportive Dad), and delivered a package that would help to brighten the family during an otherwise dismal time.

On top of everything else they were going through, just hours before Maryann and Marshall had delivered the package, the family’s Christmas tree had toppled to the floor shattering multiple ornaments and all hopes of a festive holiday! Maryann’s gift was incredibly welcomed as well as timely…and as she left, there was a spring in her step knowing she’d helped lift the spirits of those who needed it most.

But Marshall wasn’t satisfied!

On hearing what had happened to the holiday tree, he headed back home to dig out boxes of vintage ornaments, then drove back with a delivery and a tree stand to set things right!

And…so began the annual Charity Angel Tree Ornament at Maryann’s Gifts, where all sales from the ornaments each year, go to help local families who are a little down on their luck.

Maryann and I chatted about our Dads…what mentors they’ve been to us in both life and business. Marshall, who passed away just a year and a half ago, is dearly missed. His picture greets you as you step into the gift shop as he was known for bringing joy to everyone inside with his jokes, his kind demeanour and his warm embrace.

Maryann has a legacy to uphold and after spending a little time with her and her staff, I have a feeling she’s doing a pretty good job!

If you’ve not been to Maryann’s Gifts, you really need to add it to the places you’ll visit this holiday season! This store, while beautiful and filled with a great many treasures all year round, is especially decked out for the holidays. I took a look around and picked out a few of my favourite things which wasn’t hard to do in the two-storied store PACKED with fabulous treasures. I thought of the things I’d like…and the things my friends and family would like…and I’m heading back next week for a little bit of a shopping for everyone on my list!

Here are my recommendations…but there’s so much more!

For my Friends who Love Tea:

As a tea lover, I’m always thrilled to find pretty teapots and mugs and the black and white polka dot teapot SCREAMED my name!

Plus, get a close look at these ADORABLE animal mugs! In fact, I know just the perfect person who’d love the bunny mug (hint: the same person I wouldn’t give in to and buy an actual bunny for when she was a wee little girl!)

For my Friends who are Cold!

What’s that old saying? “Warm heart cold hands.” A few years ago, my youngest gave me these mittens for Christmas and they are THE ABSOLUTE BEST! Made from Pure Wool and hand knit in PEI, these have to be worn to truly understand how amazing they are. INSIDE the mittens is essentially like placing your hands in a cloud as the wool ends from the colourful hearts fills the space inside the mitten making them EXTRA COZY.

I highly recommend you pick up a pair for yourself! (And any of your warm-hearted friends.)

For Friends who Light Up your Life:

These LED Lanterns are absolutely lovely. In three colours (black, red and white) they’re perfect for your holiday decor OR, to take to the camp (if you’re so inclined.)  

For your Fashionista Friends:

If you’re looking for the perfect sweater, cape, purse, scarf, dress, necklace, gloves, clutch…etc…etc…look no further! Maryann’s Gifts is filled with beautiful, comfortable, casual and stylish clothing along with sparkly accessories.

Me, while not really a fashionista, I’m more of a boot-stomping, scarf-wearing girl and to my delight, found a huge display of boot socks and glorious scarves that would keep me happy for days!

For Friends who Poo:

Oh come on…you know you’ve got at least one! Maryann’s is the spot to get Poo-Pourri…the perfect little spray to place in your bathroom (or take in your purse). If you don’t know about this product, you REALLY NEED to get on board as Poo-Pourri is Santa’s little secret for covering up Santa’s little (and big) odours! A quick spray before you go…and no one needs to know.

For your Painful Friends:

Everyone has one…that friend who’s a pain. I mean, that friend who HAS pain!

Made in Canada, “That Stuff for Pain” is an all-natural product combining menthol crystals, camphor, peppermint, eucalyptus, jojoba and clove essential oils in a rubbing alcohol base that is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! The combination of ingredients helps to increase blood flow and decrease inflammation, therefore, speeding up the healing process. It can be used to relieve discomfort from muscle pain, headaches, migraines, sinus congestion, toothaches, mild or chronic pain, bug bites, arthritis, fibromyalgia…basically anything that hurts!

I have a number of joint issues and over the last few days, have been using the spray at night and it’s ACTUALLY WORKING! Like…REALLY WORKING!

PLUS, it’s doing wonders for my sinuses and my room has never smelled better!

Seriously, pop this stuff in your purse and spray as needed! (One word of advice however, DO NOT mix up the “That Stuff for Pain” spray with the Poo-Pourri spray…just sayin’!)

For your Homebody Friends

While Maryann’s Gifts is filled with holiday decor at the moment, they also have tons of home decor to suit every taste and style! In time, I’ll purchase one of the lovely decorative clocks (see what I did there), and also, there’s fabulous dinnerware and candles that I’d love for my table.

For Friends who Left:

I’m a fan of filling my wrist with a great many treasures and was rather taken with the “Key Moments Express Yourself” bracelets. In fact, the EAST COAST silver bracelet is a Maryann’s Exclusive item and is unavailable anywhere else!

I had a tough time picking out a few things when there were hundreds (thousands) to choose from…but had a few special people in mind when I walked about the store and honestly could tick off most of my list from hostess gifts to girlfriends to daughters and mom.

Santa is on his Way!

There are THIRTY FIVE days left until Christmas!

The countdown is on (check out these amazing Roger’s Chocolate Advent Calendars.)

If you’re looking for your Christmas spirit (along with the perfect gift), pop into Maryann’s Gifts in Cole Harbour where Every Gift Tells a Story! You’ll find a store that is FILLED with the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas. It’s truly a joyful place to spend a bit of time poking around among the treasures.


And…if you happen to see Maryann, make sure to say “hello” as she’s simply the loveliest woman…who took a little time out of her day to tell me about her fabulous Dad and their beautiful “Charity Angel” ornament tradition.

For those of you who aren’t able to pop into the store, FEAR NOT! Maryann’s Gifts sells ALL of the wonderful things I mentioned AND MUCH MORE on their online store!

Follow Maryann’s Gifts on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date with new stock and store specials.

NO SERIOUSLY! Do me a favour and LIKE the shop on Social Media!

Leave a comment below telling us if you’ve been to Maryann’s before…and if you haven’t, go! Like right now…GO! 

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Maryann’s Gifts. As always, opinions are my own. 

5 Replies to “Every gift tells a story…”

  1. Hard to name a fav! But those mugs are pretty darn adorable! Thanks for this post Colleen. I will definitely put it on my list to visit this holiday.

    • Oh they really are adorable! The place was filled with lots of different mugs and wine glasses with sayings! You’ll love the shop!

      • So, mom and I and my neighbour headed over and we bought a wonderful assortment of presents. Ticked off several boxes on my Christmas list! Thanks Colleen for the great idea! I highly recommend this place and will be back!!