Sid's Holiday Guide 2021

This page will be updated each week of December by Sid Lee’s creative elves.

You’ve spent all year making decisions. Social posts, graphics, jingles, sentence structure, dinner…the list goes on.

This Holiday, it’s time to sit back and leave the recommendations to us. Wondering which cocktail to concoct before Nana arrives with her new boyfriend? We’ve got you! How about a new podcast to cry to in the grocery store? Say no more. Think of our team as your cool older sibling, donning sunglasses indoors and hitting a festive vape pen.

Without further ado, we now present our Holiday Guide 2021, updated each week of December. We’ve divided the recommendations into 4 categories:

01. Connect with Yourself

02. Connect with Purpose

03. Connect with Friends and Family

04. Disconnect 

Connect with Yourself

Annika Ramchandani, MTL

It’d be a shame to disclude meme pages from the entertainment guide. Sure, you can watch Drunk People Doing Things all year round; but isn’t there something festive about it? My current favourite is Weee Memes.

Alexis Coutu-Marion, LA by way of MTL

From the underground surf and skateboard streetwear movement of the late 80's to the pattern-crazed Hollywood low cut jean scene of the 2000's, Von Dutch clothing has been through everything: drama, crime, drugs, celebrity, success and then, failure. Discover what’s under the seams of the now famous trucker hat in the 3-part docuseries that investigates the rise and fall of this iconic California brand.

During this 2 year (ongoing?) pandemic, alone in my LA home, I was in deep need of Québécois content. Thankfully, I found Rapolitik, a podcast about the politics of Rap in the beautiful province of Québec. From the OG’s to the newcomers, the hosts Cyrano And Kéké go in depth with their guests about the past, the present and the future of the now exploding Belle Province’s rap scene.


Mathieu Bouillon, MTL

Curb Your Enthusiasm is one of the only shows that manages to make me laugh out loud alone in my living room. An inexhaustible source of insight into social behaviour in the service of hilarious quid pro pros. The latest season is streaming on Crave now Sunday nights.

René Charles Arseneau, MTL

Right now, I’m watching Arcane on Netflix. It’s an animated series with a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes. Visually, it’s stunning. A must watch, even if you know nothing about League of Legends, which it’s based on.

Shan Denicourt, MTL

Harry Styles' debut into the beauty industry is a delightful, yet not-so-surprising, endeavor. The skincare brand’s leitmotif is to excite the senses and blur boundaries while taking inspiration from the way nature adorns itself. Expect clean, ethical, vegan formulas with exquisite packaging. Gift a piece of Harry Styles’ fresh exuberance to your Gen-Z loved one and they shall be very pleased.


Connect With Purpose


Jossie Lassen, LA

Tickets to the Van Gogh exhibit are the perfect gift for anyone— art inclined or not. Van Gogh was an incredible artist who shaped the post-impressionism movement and the immersive experience shares his art in a new, almost ~ trippy ~ way where people who may not be as familiar with art can still appreciate the movement of the paintings.

Tareeni Bogra, LA

When gifting, I try to be conscious of where I’m spending my money and who exactly it’s supporting. With this in mind, I’d like to recommend two spots in LA that are Black-owned: BeautyBeez, a beauty supply store with excellent shade ranges, and Butter Bakery in Pasadena. Their cookies are fantastic.

Yang Shi, MTL

I have two holiday picks. The first is Sticky Rice Magazine, a platform that celebrates and empowers Asian creatives and experiences. As a fashion designer, I’d also like to nominate Alberic Studio, who recently launched their FW collection. Alberic is an atelier based in Montreal that focuses on craftsmanship and upcycling.

Leah Burnside, TO

This year’s gifts will be Cheekbone, obviously! Everyone in my family is getting Sustain lipstick and the incredible Complexion Pencils. Seriously good products and totally sustainable.

I like to shop local & support BIPOC owned businesses as much as possible. Some of my favourites are Spruce Toronto, Mary Young, and  Blooming Flower Bar.


Kyra Cohen, TO

If you live in Toronto, chances are you've seen these neon hearts displayed in the windowsills of many homes; Our Glowing Hearts was created in 2020 to show love and support to healthcare heroes and frontline workers. They are locally made and spread positivity across the city, with a percentage of each sale donated to the Michael Garron Hospital Foundation and War Child Canada.


Connect With Friends and Family


JF Dumais, MTL

Maybe it’s an atypical family time recommendation, but it works for us — on lazy December Sundays, I play Metroid Dread on Switch with my kids.

Jean-Christophe Laniel, MTL

Let’s talk food. I’m biased towards this Bon Appetit spiced and glazed roast turkey, which controversially suggests breaking the turkey into parts before cooking. If you’d rather someone else cook for you, let it be Café Denise on Beaumont for excellent food and wine. Speaking of which, I’ll be drinking L'Imparfait Bleu Francais 2020 this year – be sure to order a bottle before they sell out!

Theda Braddock, EU

Beside the Paris agency, there’s a great café/bistro called Le Plomb du Cantal Rive. Their terrace is convivial and looks right out onto where Boulevard Saint-Denis meets Rue Saint-Martin so it feels incredibly French. That being said, it’s a pretty diverse neighborhood so it makes people-watching so inspiring. For a café on the terrace, or catching lunch, this is where I head. And in winter, their Aligot – a Comté cheese blended with mash ed potatoes – hits the spot.

Madison Schneider, Seattle

In my world, the best gift you can give someone is your time. The second best? A vessel for delicious liquid in your belly. Enter my favorite ceramicist — Lalese Stamps, also known as Lolly Lolly. Her one-of-a-kind handmade mugs are perfect for you, your best friend 4EVR, and even your cousin who you disagree with on literally everything. Top it off with your favorite bag of beans paired with a splash of Seattle’s Cortino Coffee Whisky. Support small businesses and give big love this year.

Madeline Pace, TO

In Big Friendship, Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, hosts of hit podcast Call Your Girlfriend, discuss the life-changing importance of close friendship and examine what it takes to sustain great ones (hint: more than most people think). Part memoir on their own evolving relationship, part sociological analysis, but entirely an affirmation that close friendships are as vital and meaningful a connection as any, despite what the lack of research suggests.

Ariane Poitras, MTL

I’m the mom of an 18-month-old and a 4-year-old. My daughters are very young, and I love to read them books that make me laugh too. My favourite is The Worst Book Ever, which is available in both French and English, by diversity advocate and author Elise Gravel.



Justin Hewitt, TO

I have two shows to recommend: the first is Mindy Kaling’s The Sex Lives of College Girls, on Crave and HBO max, which is just hilarious. The second is The Morning Show on Apple +. It’s so well-written and shocking – Jennifer Aniston shines.

Yash Keough, TO

Here's a festive cocktail to get you in the holiday spirit.

What you'll need to make a Winter Sleep cocktail:

— 1.5oz Rye Whiskey
— .5oz Pedro Ximénez Sherry
(Or with Amontillado Sherry)
— .75oz Kavas Northern Maple Old Fashioned Simple Syrup
— 1.5oz heavy cream
(36% or higher)
— 1 whole egg
— cinnamon or grated nutmeg
(to garnish)
— A shaker, measuring jig, and an old fashioned glass

How to do it:

01. Add your liquids to your shaker
02. Add ice and shake vigorously
03. Pour without straining into your glass
04. Top with a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg
05. Sit back, relax and enjoy

Britt Stromberg, US

The Waterfall Garden Park is truly an oasis in the urban grit of Pioneer Square, Seattle. There's almost always a plant in bloom, with mature Japanese maples, camellias, boxwood and witch hazels thoughtfully arranged. And because of the cascade of the waterfall — which runs year round — you never know that you're across the street from the neighborhood's fire station. I've been coming to this park for decades and every time I visit it feels like I'm in a secret garden.


John Pankert, MTL

Far Hills Regional Park is a great place in the Laurentians with trails for all levels and inexpensive rentals. The best part of the area is that there are many little chalets along the trails where you can stop to warm up and eat a little.

The Alpine Climbing tour at Tremblant is always great. It’s a bit far from the big off-piste but the mountain is high enough and touring is a good workout. They also offer equipment rental on site for those who would like to try the sport during their vacation. With the alpine ticket and the equipment, it is almost cheaper than a regular day ticket. For those looking for a good workout to get through brunch and dinner, try a south side climb, a north side descent, a north side ascent and a final south side descent.