During the Christmas season we’re bombarded with temptation, but just like saying yes to that third spiked eggnog, it feels good to throw caution to the wind. The 2017 news cycle was a rough one, so if you feel it’s high time you treat yourself or your loved ones, consider this your high-rolling, budget-busting Nova Scotia holiday shopping list.

Say it with crystal

Remember how emotional we got when NovaScotian Crystal announced it was bankrupt and needed help? Nova Scotians responded by lining up the block in support of a truly unique artistry that we’re proud to call our own. That community support helped the iconic crystal shop survive and allowed its talented artisans to stay put in Halifax, so if you have yet to adorn your table with crystal, perhaps this is the year you go big and sparkly. The company offers corporate gifts and ornaments under $100, while vases, glassware and candle holders with Maritime-inspired monikers range in price from $49 to $399.

Charter a tuna fishing boat

Got an adventurous outdoorsman in your life and an extra $2,000? Send your beloved on a journey into the Atlantic with one of Nova Scotia’s 20 local Giant Bluefin Tuna fishing tour operators. Tours are for sport only, so pack your selfie stick but don’t expect to take a lifetime of sashimi home even if you net the big one. The local fishing season runs June through October, with tours departing various ports across the province like Ballantyne’s Cove on the Northumberland Shore and Cape Breton. Fun fact: Nova Scotia is one of the top 10 places in the world to catch giant tuna, according to Sport Fishing Magazine.

Weekend retreat

From forest bathing and wellness retreats to off-the-grid culinary adventures and luxurious spas, Nova Scotia is brimming with weekend-long activities to soothe what ails you. Need a weekend of nothing but massage, yoga and chef-made vegetarian meals; or maybe a hands-on leadership retreat is more your style? Then try Windhorse Farms in New Germany, N.S.. Or perhaps you want to get in touch with nature while testing your pasta-making skills? Then try Trout Point Lodge in East Kemptville. And if that’s not your cup of tea, there’s always the pampered luxury on offer at Fox Harb’r Resort in Wallace.

Buy the bubbly

Stop saving those uncorked bottles of your favourite vintage of bubbly and buy the whole case. Better yet, buy a case of Benjamin Bridge’s Nova 7 or your other favourite Nova Scotia bubbly and find a reason to celebrate every month of the year. Challenge accepted.

Local art

Liven up your walls with a piece of art by a Nova Scotian artist. Research local artists and find the one who creates art that speaks to you and your space. Buy a bold, conversation starter and get to know the artist and their story. You’ll be surprised how much momentum the artist will see thanks to your big-spending purchase. Need a starting point? Visit ArtBombDaily.com online or Zwicker’s Art Gallery, Secord Gallery, Argyle Fine Art, Studio 21 Fine Art in Halifax and Quartet Gallery in Lunenburg.

Have a more modest budget? Try one of these Items and activities for $500 (or free!):

  • Breathe in the salty Atlantic air with sailing, surfing or diving lessons
  • Bring a piece of Nova Scotian nature into the home with a locally-sourced and made wood cutting board or decorative bowl
  • Unplug and unwind with an overnight stay at a local bed and breakfast
  • Plan the ultimate city weekend with a Halifax Hurricanes basketball game, a candlelit dinner at Press Gang and trendy cocktails at Lot 6. Cap off the weekend with a matinee show at Neptune Theatre and lunch at Bistro Le Coq and you've got yourself a weekend.
  • Pack up your rain boots and point the car towards Parrsboro or Cape Blomidon Provincial Park and go hunting for gemstones like amethyst crystal, quartz and copper.