Around this time of year there are a few places that I really try to avoid. Grocery stores make for unnecessarily high stress levels, particularly if you go on a weekend. I prefer to go late at night so I can get in and get out without the bother of waiting at the checkout with 4,000 other people. The LCBO is the same deal. It saves crucial minutes if you saddle up with those who wait patiently at the door for the 10 am unlocking ceremony and you may meet some interesting personalities in the process. But the most terrifying, daunting and stressful place to go over the holiday season is without a doubt the mall. Ich, just thinking about it makes me break out into a nervous sweat. Thousands of people all crammed under one roof eagerly burrowing from store to store with an intense focus. Elbows sharpened, eyes glazed over, every fibre of their body tense and ready for battle as they prepare to compete in the blood sport that is Christmas shopping. Hoards of sugar-high children squealing as they wait in line to see a bogus Santa who is way more Billy Bob than Kris Kringle. Christmas songs looping on repeat while despondent dads laden with bags gaze longingly at the bar across the concourse.
Yes, the mall at Christmas is a scary place to be. But there is an alternative, a place where the crowds are none and you don’t have to sweat your balls off in your Canada Goose: home.
Thanks to the World Wide Web, there is the far more attractive option of gifting all your loved ones without having to take your tush off the couch. And although C-Day is fast approaching, there is still time to get ‘er done and this quick and simple guide should help you do just that. So go put on your comfy pants and crack open a cold one because it’s time to go shopping…
For The Electronic Device Guru
For your iPads, your iPods, gaming systems and all that goes with bestbuy.ca offers them all. With free shipping over $20 and plenty of time left for guaranteed delivery before Christmas Eve, you just have to figure out a way to intercept the delivery guy before they do.
For The Gadget Geek
Treat the Bond wannabe in your life to a Night Vision Spy Watch that secretly records video and audio in daylight or at night. Or for the Pops who thinks he is actual Survivor Man, treat him to his very own survival bracelet. Find these nerdy thingamajigs and more at gadgetplus.ca. Christmas delivery guaranteed right up until the 22nd (with Xpress Post). Free shipping on all orders, no minimum required.
For The Wee Ones
I would rather sell my soul than venter into Toys R’ Us at Christmas… well, ever actually. But they do offer online shopping at toysrus.ca. Or check out Canadian site grandrivertoys.com for tons of options delivered just in time for the little people in your world.
For The Fashionista
Find all the latest trends at my favourite UK based, online store asos.com. Also perfect for finding that perfect outfit for New Year’s Eve! Order by the 16th to be sure you have your goodies by Christmas.
For The Designer Male
If there’s a fella in your life who just loves to look polished at all times, treat him to some designer threads from mrporter.com. This high-end site is sure to impress with everything from Alexander McQueen socks (from $72) to a Gucci Bomber Jacket ($2,935). They offer free express shipping until December 21st so that should help take the financial edge off, right?
For The Foodie
Foodiepages.ca is the place to find gorgeous artisan food and beverages to impress your foodie folk. The ‘Foodie Boxes’ make it super easy for you since it requires little thought and no wrapping. Choose from awesome arrangements such as ‘The Culinary Adventurer Box’ which features among other things Fleur de Sel from Vancouver Island and Raspberry Pearls from Rawdon, Quebec. I think I need to go update my Christmas list…
For The Bling King Or Queen
If you want to treat someone special to some serious sparkle click on bluenile.com and find tons of options for rings, earrings, cufflinks and all things pretty and shiny. Free FedEx shipping on all orders over $200.
For The Interior Design Nut
For your friend whose place just oozes chic, find the perfect accessory to add to their perfectly hung shelf at designhouse.ca. You can find fun cushions, pretty bowls and artsy mirrors so you can claim to have contributed to that enviable living room. Free delivery to most of Canada.
For The True Christmas Lover
We all have someone in our lives who just gets SO pumped for the holidays!! Treat them to a unique and awesome Christmas themed gift such as the Moose Mugs from Christmas Vacation, the famous leg lamp from A Christmas Story or the sweet turtle dove ornaments that Kevin gave to the homeless lady in Home Alone 2. Find these and tons more at retrofestive.ca. Shipping until December 20th.
For Everybody Else
When you just have no idea what to get for those last few recipients, check out a site such as GiftOsphere.ca. Tons of quirky little gift ideas to choose from ranging from fun and silly to practical and necessary. Free shipping on orders over $100.