First of all, I am a huge fan of internet Christmas shopping. This has been quite the discussion with a few people in the past. Virtual vs actual in store shopping. Which do you prefer? Honestly, crowds disturb me and at Christmas time, wow, they disturb me even more. Waiting in line at the cash is such a waste of time. For some gifts, yes, I do actually need to leave the comfort of my own home, like wine, or a special item I saw at a specific store, but I wish I could just do it all online. Also when you do it online, not you would be getting a lot of points, but if you have an AirMiles account, many stores online are linked to airlines, so when you purchase something online, you automatically get airmiles for your purchase.
Some great websites for buying online (for Canadians, just because I'm Canadian...):
Amazon Canada - books, electronics, music
Chapters / Indigo - mostly books
Overstock Canada - clothes, accessories at discount prices
Ssense - high end fashion clothing and accessories
Banana Republic / Gap - mid end fashion
Best Buy Canada - electronics
TrendVault - high end fashion at discount prices
VieUrbaine.com - great discounts on restaurants, spas and more in Montreal
Living Social - great discounts on restaurants, spas and more in Canada
Lush Canada - body products
Sephora - cosmetics, creams, perfumes
Beyond the Rack - fashion, homeware, trips and more at discount prices
Ice.com - jewelry
JCrew - clothing, GREAT CLOTHING. Yes I know this isn't Canadian, but it's just too good!
There are many more out there, but this gives you a good idea and what you can find online.
So, now here I go with some great gift ideas - I think the best part will be the gifts for women, because well I can just use me for this (hint hint for anyone that is buying me a Christmas gift! ;) )
All depending on the type of woman you are buying for and what your relationship to this woman is, there are different types of gifts you can get. This also depends on your budget...
- Swarovski jewelry - especially earrings - Anyone can buy a woman earrings, a friend, a sibling, a parent even a boyfriend (or girlfriend) - Here is a pretty pair of them : Swarovski earrings
- A compact camera - It's crazy how much these cameras have gone down in price over the past few years. You can get a pretty decent Canon one for approx. $150-$200. Like this one : Canon compact camera
- A magazine subscription to one of her favorite magazines, either fashion, cooking, home decor. Magazines take a while to arrive - 4-6 weeks so I suggest you buy a copy of the current magazine, wrap it up nice and tell her in her card or in the magazine that she will get a yearly supply of that particular magazine.
- With the new Rouge/Bleu that opened on Fairmont corner St-Laurent. A nice gift certificate to get your nails or hair done is also a great idea!
- You can also get your woman a beautiful Charlotte Hosten piece. Her necklaces are GORGEOUS!
- Why don't you refer my previous post and stop at Clusier for either a nice scarf, tie, cuff links, cashmere socks or a gift certificate
- Went to Vinum downtown last night...Anything the wine connaisseur wants, they have! From beautiful bottle openers, to every kind of scotch/whiskey/wine glass that exists, to books, Nespresso machines and accessories, decanters and even Laguiole sets (make sure if you receive knives you give a penny back to the person who gave them to you.. yes I'm a little superstitious)
- A magazine subscription can also be a great idea - from Men's Health to Wired to even Automobiles (whatever your man may prefer!) - or even Maxim. I'm telling you girls, I have read Maxim and it's quite interesting!
- Also - electronics are also a great gift- a nice compact camera like the one I suggested for women works well, or if you want more ideas - go check out TIME.com's list of best tech gifts : TECH GIFTS FROM TIME.COM
- Picture frames with you and that special person
- A special compilation CD - or maybe a fun playlist to add to their Ipod/Mp3
- Your best batch of chocolate brownies, chocolate chip cookies, gingerbread cookies, banana bread or even your Grandma's AMAZING spaghetti sauce!
Furthermore, I also want to talk about an issue that usually arises during Christmas... you just started dating a really nice man or woman and you start thinking...? OK What do you get them? Not too big, not too small. Needs to be nice, I hope he doesn't or she doesn't get me something bigger. All this worrying.... my suggestion -
1. Concert tickets for the 2 of you! (comedy show, concert, whatever)
2. Spa day for the 2 of you (Balnea, Spa le Baltique, Scandinave)
3. An inside joke or subject you discussed - for instance, you talked about his lack of shirts, get him a shirt. You talked about her missing a good scarf because she always walks out in the cold without one - get her a scarf!
So if you catch my drift, I suggest getting a gift for the 2 of you to continue to get to know each other better, and spend time together. It's never too over the top, and it sets a good mood for a first gift.
Now these are all gifts for the close people to you that have been nice, very nice actually. But what if they have been naughty? There is always the Dollarama that can help you out. I have seem some great garbage bins there. I'm sure your naughty friend will enjoy a good set of garbage bins, maybe hangers. Oh yes hangers are great... Oh did you think I was talking about a different kind of naughty? I was I was, I was just joking.... so what can you get your naughty "friend"? Well ... I don't think you really need me to tell you.. Victoria Secret did just open in Toronto - there is also La Senza that does have some really sexy bits and pieces. This is the time to really use your creativity. Never walked into a sex shop - TRY IT. There are some on Ste-Catherine, in the Village - just look it up and find something to surprise your man. Christmas is a time we like to keep warm and be with the people we love, why not make it really hot? Present your man with a new or improved side of you...
As my last words of wisdom, try to get your shopping done early - because from experience, the crowds get WORSE AND WORSE AND WORSE as Christmas approaches! And whatever gifts you buy, always make sure to get cards- cards are like the most important thing, well to me anyways. Write a beautiful note, make sure that person receiving your gift really knows how you much you care! Happy Shopping!