The thing about making memories is you don’t know which ones are gonna stick.  Which moments in your life are going to be the things you look back on and remember when you’re old and tired and reflecting on what used to be.  What you think are huge moments in your life might just end up forgotten while completely insignificant moments will find a spot in your brain, hunker down and stay there forever.

Take Christmas.

Blue flannel nightgown with cheap, itchy lace at the neckline and elasticized cuffs that left a mark on my wrists when I took it off.

Walking through the snow in my boots with my socks bunched up halfway down my feet, pressing into the arch of my foot.

Sitting cross legged on the floor with a magic marker and the toy section of a gift catalogue.

Those are my Christmas memories.  As a grown up, I’m not sure anything will ever make me feel as happy and content as playing out in the snow all day, face and hands red with the cold, then coming home to put on that awful, uncomfortable flannel nightgown before plopping down on the floor with the gift catalogue.

Except maybe wine.

Just kidding. I don’t even really like wine, I just knew that’s what a lot of you were thinking.  Because as discussed in a prior post, I am psychic.

And apparently so are the fine folks at Lee Valley, because they know that just because we’re grown ups doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate a night in flannel, flipping through a gift catalogue.

Lee Valley has an old timey feel to it.  It feels comfortable and special and a bit old fashioned.  Lee Valley feels like an old flannel nightgown.  And as such, they have a Christmas Gift catalogue.


And because it’s Lee Valley it’s filled with things you had NO idea you absolutely had to have, but do.  Take this little thing …



It’s a magnetic bar you put onto your clothing to hold your reading glasses.  Mr. Lee (of Lee Valley) heard that my sister Pink Tool Belt really wanted one and he gave me one to give her.  Not a single day has gone by without her pinning it to her outfit.   Not. A. Single. One.

That incident proves several points:

1.Lee Valley carries things that are unique and useful and just plain fun.

2.The Lee family, who started and own Lee Valley, are just genuinely nice people.

3. When you get to be really, really, old, you’ll need to wear reading glasses.  When you get to be really, really, really, REALLY old, you’ll not only need them, you’ll always forget where you put them.

If you’re following The Christmas Pledge, you know that tonight is the night that you’re supposed to chug a carton of egg nog in preparation for the next 3 days of be shopping for presents.   You can do that chugging while browsing the Lee Valley Christmas Gift Catalogue, and virtually circling the things you want for yourself and for others.

Yup, for you!

Will $250 cover it?  Good.



Because Lee Valley is giving one reader a $250 gift card right here and right now.  To enter to win it all you have to do is browse through  The Lee Valley Christmas Gift Catalogue, then come back here and let me know what you’d like to spend that $250 on.  (Canadian dollars)

The contest ends Saturday November 19th at 11:58 p.m.

The winner will be announced in Monday’s post.

Now go get your flannel pajamas on and start browsing.  And no.  I do not care if you’re sitting at your desk at work.  At all.  Do it.  It’ll make a great memory.

Sorry, the contest is now closed.


  1. Jari J. says:

    Ooo! The Candle Powered LED Lantern or the Squirrel Proof Feeder for starts.

    • Candyse says:

      The Camera Lucida, Watchmaker Cases (because I left mine at my old job and I really miss them), Dremel 3000, and a bunch of the Phone Holders, LED Direction lights and Mini Candle Lanterns for the infamous stocking stuffers that I get for everyone!

    • Shelley says:

      I’d go for the LED candles and the Whirley-Pop popcorn maker.

  2. Turbocharger says:

    Um hello, nightgown and cap…how many of those could I get for $250?
    So that plus a butter measuring guide. Everyone needs one of those.

  3. Wendi Miller says:

    Ooooo, I’ve been dying to get a motion activated camera to try and catch a picture of a fox that’s been hanging around our house! Lee Valley just happens to have a really nice on…SIGN ME UP! lol

  4. jennifer says:

    Easier to pick out what I don’t want from Lee Valley! I like sharp things so the peasant chef’s knife, mandoline, and Yankee hatchet would all be useful.

  5. Stephanie Rooney says:

    I am really, really old and need reading glasses. I have four pair and can’t ever find any of them so attaching them to my bosom (yes I did say that, I am that old) would be an excellent solution to the problem of the disappearing glasses.

  6. Katie Golczynski says:

    Mini metal models! I want the bat mobiles, the TV series one especially. And I could get any number of them for my dad and he would love them!

  7. VICKI says:

    oh my goodness! too many good things!

    knife sharpener… bird feeders… candle lantern, a bunch of outdoor yard stuffs… like that hatchet for example. and, if i must get something for someone else other than myself… it’d have to be the blocks and marble super set for the kids. 😉

  8. Leslie says:

    Hmmm.. anything for the garden. Oh, and those led lanterns look pretty cool too!

  9. Joan Hartley says:

    My choice would be a gift card for my husband. For him, Lee Valley is like the shiny baubles women see in jewelry stores!

  10. Rod from Calgary says:

    Wow…Lee Valley is such a neat store. Nothing like it anywhere else! With that gift card, I’m going to buy myself the Chef’s Choice Model 1520 Dual Knife Sharpener, and a Star Wars metal model kit for my grandson!

  11. Vanessa Gillespie says:

    I just now realized I left all my bird feeders when I moved! I would love to replace those along with the chefs knife! I have been wanting one for ages but a good one is pricey and what’s the point of replacing my crappy one with a new crappy one?

  12. Tasha says:

    I do love Lee Valley. And they are pretty much the only catalogue I will still allow into my mailbox. So, while I love the rare earth agents and the magnet cannon, what I have been trying to justify is the VegTrug Wallhugger. Soon..the first two are presents for others, but the last is a present for me!!

    • Karen says:

      Tasha! I got my mother the VegTrug (not the wallhugger) this year as a present and it is GREAT. I own a LOT of Lee Valley products and this is one of the best. It looks great and you wouldn’t believe how much she grew in that thing. Tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, swiss chard, radishes, carrots, beets and I can’t even remember what else. ~ karen!

      • Tasha says:

        That’s a cruel cruel thing to say!

        Oh – and it is the rare earth magnets, not agents. Although rare earth agents would be cool.

  13. Denise says:

    I think I would spend the entire $250 on all the cool gadgets and things like the pastry kit and pastry blender. So many very great items. I love all the bird feeders too. It would be hard to make a final decision.

  14. Joan says:

    Would luv to try the produce keepers and need some of that outdoor LED lighting. And a few dozen other things!

  15. gail says:

    The extendable shoehorn may be very useful for the expensive leather boots that I felt I must have even though putting them on can be a full aerobic workout.

  16. Robert says:

    How in heaven’s name do you expect us to choose? Unfortunately I didn’t see the chest on the cover inside the catalog or that would have been my first choice (maybe I didn’t look throughly).
    And also BTW stay away from brussel sprouts missy, they have caused enough problems for the foreseeable future ??

    • Cheryl says:

      Anything on the cover of a Lee Valley catalogue is something a customer made, so no, you can’t buy it. I’vwe had the same reaction many times.

  17. Angela says:

    The motion activated camera, the peasant chef knife, the indoor garden . I don’t think there’s a single page in the catalogue that doesn’t have something I either want for myself or as a Christmas present for family members… could go on an entire Christmas shopping spree all at Lee Valley!

  18. Michelle L says:

    What wouldn’t I?! The toys store for grown-ups!
    hmmm, now wear to start? Well, the Wooden Petanque set would be awesome for the kids when camping as would the LED Lantern (got one for the folks a few years ago, very cool), of course the little man would love the Blocks and Marbles. Me? well, the folding kneeler stool (ain’t as young and flexible as I once was), the silicone canning mat, the gardeners wash basket, the Blunt umbrella (because here on the wet coast when it rains it is usually blowing and regular umbrellas don’t stand a chance)…. I could go on and on….

  19. Ooo the grow lights and the convertible wagon are nice. And of course canning supplies. I can always use canning supplies.

  20. Erin Green says:

    The knife sharpener and he pinch and pour containers please!

  21. Rebeccas says:

    I have my eye on the indoor grow light system for starting seeds or a collapsible bird feeder.

  22. Auntiepatch says:

    I like the Veg Trug Wall Hugger and the Box Grater. Odd duo, huh?

  23. Brandy Ballard says:

    How am I supposed to choose!? So many cool items. I would narrow it down to the candle powered lamp and the vegetable spiralizer. Oh, and the rasper and zest container. And the Bear paw meat shredders…so cool and would come in very handy down here in pulled pork land and shredded chicken . 🙂 See, I totally can’t pick

  24. Vee says:

    I’m torn between the indoor grow light system for seeds and the steerable seat on wheels.

  25. Leslie says:

    I would first purchase the Earbud Storage Cases, so I would never again have to hear “Mom, have you seen my earbuds?” I would get both the blue and green, but I have 3 kids, so the 3rd kid would have to settle for the Egg Light, which would help him find his earbuds in the dark. Unless I got him the Lanterna Lamp, which is really too fancy for him. Decisions, decisions…

  26. Sabrina England says:

    So many neat things. I’d get a lot of the dexterity/eyesight/just all around useful helpers for my dad who’s survived a stroke and my mom who’s not as spry as she used to be. I’d love the Da Vinci models for my nephews, who are of course the smartest nephews in the world. Really , there were just a ton of things to interest and aid a lot of different people I know.

  27. Shirley says:

    Humm – easier said than done! A Grow Lite Indoor Planter! Our bay window is wall to wall cactus and succulents that can’t take Manitoba winter! And a stitch picker as I seem to be the designated repair person! One could easily loss their grip looking st this Christmas Catalouge- one of those and one of those and…………..!

  28. Was it just a few days ago that I said that the Lee Valley Catalogue reminded me of the old Sears Christmas Toy Catalogue??? And, dang, there it is looking me right in the eye! Could hardly believe it!

    OMG!!! I’ve gone through it twice already and have a list of 10 items that I must narrow down.

    Autoretractable hose reel
    Folding aluminum table
    Modular Cargo Organizer…all three
    Quartz overhead radiant heater
    Eliose low profile respirator
    Digital moisture meter (for my wood)
    Angle transfer tool
    Stainless steel zester
    The zester mate
    and finally, because I have never been a successful gardener…the vegetable wall hugger

    What fun!!! Love it! Talk about bringing back old Christmas memories! Now, back to the catalogue!

  29. Linda B says:

    I would like the Dremel Tool Kit and the Carvery Tool Kit
    Thank you very much!

  30. Marlene says:

    Your psychic self already knew I wanted the gift card so I can get some toys for my kiddy, a metal model for my man, and most importantly – the beginner’s carving set and new dremel for me! I have not tried carving yet, but am pretty sure, given half a chance, I will be awesomely artistic and make things of great beauty. Or toothpicks.But they would be toothpicks of great beauty.

  31. Christine Hughes says:

    Pizza rocker cutter. Can’t find those anywhere. 🙁

  32. Martina says:

    I miss getting my Lee Valley catalogue in the mail, but I suppose online will have to do…I would love the popcorn popper and the indoor garden and I’m going to Calgary in December, so I can pick everything up…:)

  33. Ron says:

    WOW! There are so many options. But I think I would pick up a few of the LED flood lights to share with my son and daughter.

  34. Peg MacDougall says:

    what wouldn’t be wanted!!! love it all. first off the tree leather bags for all family members. i hate that the plastic ones still make it into the house. NOT by me!
    all the garden tools are sweet as are the chisels etc…….

  35. Camille says:

    LED lanterns are cool. Star Wars models look great. I may get the Lee Valley app too.
    Thanks for the Christmas Gift Pledge for motivation.

  36. JK PACCHETTI says:

    Dear Santa,
    I would be happy with anything from the Lee Valley Christmas Gift Catalogue, but these are my favorites~
    The Seafood Scissors
    The Remote Controlled LED Flashlight (awesome!)
    The #80 Hurricane Lamp
    The Garden Tool Set
    The Folding Hand Truck
    The Anti~Fatigue Wellness Mat
    The Apple Peeler​​
    The Mandolin
    The Soft Food Slicer
    Any Mortar and Pestle
    Thanks, Santa!

  37. Cathy Lewis says:

    2 sets of Tin Stars, sets of 20 because you cant have too many stars , Classic French Mandoline for my daughter she bought me one yrs ago and I love it . and a toy for hubby the Hydraulic Robot Arm ..
    Lee Valley rocks glad you reminded me to shop there this year.
    Merry Christmas

  38. CGinAZ says:

    Hello Karen. You are so nice, as is Lee Valley store, to give us this opportunity. And wishing you a very Merry Christmas, just in case I don’t see you. I fell in love with the Cash Mason bowls and the Irish Grandfathers nightshirt. And many many other things.

  39. Irma de Visser says:

    I would spend it on the knife sharpener.

  40. Pam Samuelson says:

    I would love the handwoven basket…but I know the most fun would be in getting unique gifts for my family. My sister could use the ReadeRest, my other sister would like the wire wash baskets, and the magnetic book markers are great for stocking stuffers. Lee Valley is awesome!

  41. Judy DeLacy says:

    Wow…what a fantastic selection of “goodies.” I’d spend the $250 on a combination of things for the grandkids and items for my earthquake preparedness kit (I live in California). Makedo Cardboard Building Kit, Cedar Board Kalimba, Blocks & Marbles Super Set, Kumihimo Cord Braiding Kit, Water Clock, Swedish Firesteel, Cree LED Headlamp, and Travel Soaps and Shampoos. That about covers the $250. But there are many more items I’d like to purchase, so I’d probably spend a lot more. 🙂

    Judy D.

  42. Patti says:

    Ooh! The 8 piece set of garden tools and the spade and pitchfork! Hmm, that might be a bit over! ?

  43. Janice Brandt says:

    The kangaroo pocket apron. Not for gardening though, but instead for when I’m tidying up the house and there’s crap everywhere that needs to be…..not everywhere.

    And everything else in the catalog, because I’m pretty sure I can accomplish every bit of shopping for the holidays in one spot!

  44. chris says:

    First I’d get the MakeDo cardboard kits for my hubs and daughter to play with (and to get them both out of my hair for awhile). I was looking at those elsewhere. For me, definitely the Marcato cookie press and the silicone canning mat. Spritz are my all time favorite cookies and I have 5 or 6 different presses already. I would never spend that much on one, but this one would let me get rid of them all. And the cookie scoops. Oh and the zester set. Oops… forgot the pastry kit cuz I’ve never been able to do rolled cookies. Something tells me I’m gonna go was over $250!

  45. Lyn says:

    I would get The Large Squirrel Resistant Feeder and The Auto-Retracting hose Reel. And boom my Gift Card would be gone. Although I could go on…
    Lots of fun stuff!

  46. Emily says:

    Anti-fatigue mat and a mandoline for sure… I’d have so much fun picking out the rest of the $250, but I never win anything!!!

  47. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Seeing that I haven’t got a Christmas for many years I think I would spend it all on me! I want a pasta machine and a mortar and pestle…and some more kitchen stuff probably….I would really like the Veg Trug Wall Hanger to grow my herbs in but…it’s a hard decision!

  48. ncp says:

    Instead of reading glasses, you can get a contact lens for one eye, for your non-dominant eye. It’s called monovision. For real. After 20 years of wearing a contact in one eye, I am ruined for glasses, they are a horrible pain, a contact is so convenient and easy, I’ll be sad if I outgrow it.
    I try to tell people about monovision and they look at me like I just said Donald Trump is going to be the next president of the States. I will get my brother the glasses holder. He will LOVE it.

  49. Karen says:

    The cookie press to make beautiful cookies! And I’d love a mandolin!

  50. Nicole says:

    Damn you, Karen. I’d managed to avoid looking at the catalogue this year. 🙁 I still have the Christmas catalogues from years past that I kept because of their beautiful photography. Oh my goodness, if I had a $250 gift card there, I’m sure I’d spend more than that. Here’s my best guess as to what I’d buy, right now (the more I look at their catalogues, the more intriguing things I spot!):
    * the stainless steel rasp and zester holder – because a kitchen-goodie-collector friend has a similar one that I’m certain can’t be as good!
    * the poptop popcorn popper – because I love popcorn and, although ever-dubious about microwave poppers, am always willing to try another one!
    * the #20 cookie scoop – it’s been on my list of “things to get” for years, I just haven’t remembered when I’ve been anywhere that sells it
    * the measuring glass – because it looks really cool (but doesn’t flour weight vary with humidity?)
    * the black tic button fasteners – I do community theater in the Boston area, and we need these backstage!
    * a blue water clock for my bathroom (and to educate my daughter because SCIENCE)
    * the 50 piece magnet sampler because MAGNETS
    * the Wallet Connect® Case because I like the idea of a case that snaps into my wallet
    * the set of 3 – 3 oz GoTube Squeeze Tubes for travel
    * the stand up pencil case because it looks really cool

    Of course, that’s just the list from looking at the gift catalogue. That’s just a subset of what they sell, which is a whole lot of awesome stuff. I think I’d probably spend a week just contemplating before I bought ANYTHING.

    ‘Scuse me, I need to go wipe up the drool. I bet they sell a special cloth for that.

    • Samantha M. says:

      That camera lucida!

      • Lori says:

        Wow! Where to start? I always love going through my Lee Valley Christmas catalogue. Let’s see…I love the Badger balm, felco pruner, set of lee valley garden tools (mine are garbage!), headlamp, wellness mat, danish dough whisks, tree leather tote bags just to name a few! Wish me luck!!

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