Toronto Maple Leafs: Holiday Gift Ideas
Dec 16, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs fans cheer a goal scored in the third period against the Anaheim Ducks at Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs beat the Ducks 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
It is that time of year, you have a list of people to buy for and every year it becomes even more difficult to find the perfect gift. However, if that person is a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, then your life has become a lot easier.
For years many of my friends and family members the majority of their Christmas gift ideas have been centered around hockey, video games and music – possibly the easiest things to buy.
May 6, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; (From left to right) Toronto Maple Leafs fans Sylvannia Kalamaris and Peter Kalamaris and Stephen Stockley cheer prior to game three of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
When it comes to buying a gift for a Leafs fan there are so many things that you can get them. But most people have a budget, a specific idea of what they want to get or simply have no idea what would be the best gift to give. Well fear no more, this article will give you some ideas that cover many price ranges, ages, genders, and trends.
***All prices indicated do not include tax
1. Ugly Christmas Sweater
The most trendy NHL fashion right now are the knit holiday sweaters that are fashionably ugly. What does that mean? Sometimes I don’t know, but looking at people wearing them they are cool because they combine the holiday season with NHL flare. It is good for people of all ages, but it is a hard item to find because of its popularity. The Sport Chek beside Real Sports Bar and Grill at Union Station does have some available, but you better call ahead to be sure.
If you can find one they are usually in the $70-$75 range.
2. Leafs’ hats
You really can’t go wrong with a Leafs baseball cap or toque. The best tactic with hats is to pair it with a gift card because most people that buy someone a gift card would rather have that person buy something for themselves. So why not give them something that you know they will like.
3. Leafs’ player t-shirts
These have become more popular because they are cheaper than jerseys. People can wear them all year-long too. They have players like Phil Kessel, Dion Phaneuf, Morgan Rielly, Doug Gilmour, Mats Sundin, and Wendel Clark available in different styles. These are usually $30-$35 but the one thing to be careful of is the size because all t-shirts fit differently.
Great stocking stuffers for all ages. There are many different types of socks that you can give. When I went Christmas shopping this week I saw a large basket full of different socks that are usually inexpensive. It depends on the type and quantity of socks, but they usually range from $10-$20.
5. Leafs’ Jerseys
I really believe that every fan remembers the first jersey they got, the happiness that you felt as you put that jersey on for the first time and you wish that you did not have to take it off.
My first jersey was a Curtis Joseph jersey. It was a white Koho jersey that had the mesh along the side with the TML patch outlined in silver. It is a great gift but there are a lot of reasons to be cautious when buying jersey.
For starters, the cost for jerseys is pretty expensive. A jersey without the name on the back costs $135, which including tax comes out to almost almost $155. Then if you want to buy a jersey with a player’s name on it, the price goes up to $220. Now people have gone with the cheaper options from China. But when I compare both jerseys there is a clear difference. The material that the jerseys from China are made out of a cheap, you get what you pay for, the front crest is an ugly material that looks no where close to the original jersey. So personally if you want to buy a jersey try to do it right with a real Reebok jersey, if it has a fighting strap then it is not worth buying.
January 21, 2013; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Maple Leafs alumni Daryl Sittler (27) and Johnny Bower (1) and Darcy Tucker (16) and Felix Potvin (29) at the opening ceremonies for a game against the Buffalo Sabres at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
If you are a younger fan of the Leafs like myself there are only very few ways to learn about the rich history of this historic franchise. Why are Johhny Bower, Dave Keon, Darryl Sittler, Börje Salming and Bobby Baun such a big part of this team’s history? If you did not grow up watching this team, or you are a die-hard fan that loves to hear about the stories from the past, there are many great books that you can pick up for that die-hard Leafs’ fan.
1. Keon and Me by Dave Bidini
Feb 8, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Former Toronto Maple Leafs captain George Armstrong drops the puck to Vancouver Canucks forward Daniel Sedin (22) and Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf (3) as Eddie Shack and Red Kelly ad Dave Keon and Frank Mahovlich and Bob Pulford (left to right) look on during the first period at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Dave Bidini is a life long Leafs fan that has made his living writing about his childhood team. This book talks about how hockey was a major influence in his life, but in 1974 it all changed as his favourite player Dave Keon got into his first fight in the NHL. Dealing with his own bully, Bidini looks to the Leafs captain for inspiration.
The interesting part of this book is the fact that Bidini writes it in two different narratives; as a young boy starting a new school. Then as a man searching for his favourite player. As you know the relationship between Keon and the Leafs went sour because of former owner Harrold Ballard. Regardless, it’s a great read because it is not your ordinary Leafs’ story.
2. We are Your Leafs: The Toronto Maple Leafs Books of Greats by Michael Ulmer
The first of an eight part series that looks into the team’s past and present players in commemoration of the franchises’ centennial celebrations. It includes contributions from historians, hockey analysts, and fans that have looked into the way that this franchise has shaped this city. It includes entertaining stories, quotes, stats, and a wealth of Leafs memorabilia and photographs.
3. Defining Moments: Toronto Maple Leafs by Mike Leonetti
Nov 14, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Peter Forsberg (left) is greeted by Hall of famers Mats Sundin (right) and Borje Salming and Lanny MacDonald prior to a game at the Air Canada Centre between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Toronto Maple Leafs. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Looking into 100 moments in the Leafs decorated history that has shaped, defined or rejuvenated a player’s career. The stories includes players like Syl Apps, Darryl Sittler, Dave Keon, Börje Salming, Mats Sundin, and Joffrey Lupul who have made contributions to the past and present of this team’s history.
4. Hope and Heartbreak in Toronto: Life as a Maple Leafs Fan by Peter Robinson
Author Peter Robinson has attended some 100 games over the past six seasons and has little to show for it except an unquenched thirst that keeps him coming back.
Why does a team that hasn’t won a Stanley Cup since 1967, long before many of its followers were even born, have such a hold on its fans?
Robinson tries to answer that question and more while detailing what it’s like to love one of the most unlovable teams in all of professional sports. Being a Leafs fan requires a leap of faith every year, girding against inevitable disappointment. This book tells what that’s like, how it got to be that way, and what the future holds for all who worship the Blue and White.
Other cost effective items you can consider are anything from water bottles, key chains, coffee mugs, player pictures, McFarlane player figures and other things that you can find at other sports stores.
If you are in a pickle to find a gift for that Leafs fan it does not hurt to think outside of the box and pick up something that they may not get for themselves. Just remember that it might be a good idea to find out who their favourite player is so that you have a better idea for a gift.
For more gift ideas read Real Sports Apparel’s Holiday Gift Guide for more ideas.