A recent American Express Canada survey said that “8% of Canadians would rather get a root canal than brave the long lines” at the mall. Now, we don’t know if we agree with that lot, but we do know that we would much rather shop in our jammies from our warm bed with a cup of hot tea than haul packages at The Eaton Centre while frantic carols chirp maniacally and customers push and shove in mob-like panic. No thanks!
American Express gave us a challenge this year that we could not refuse: Purchase all of our gifts online with a generous budget of $1000. (Guess we were good this year!) In the holiday spirit, we decided to allot 50% to charity and 50% to our friends and family. (Dad, please stop reading now.)
After a quiet evening spent browsing shopping sites online, we are delighted to share that IT IS ALL DONE! And it’s not even December 1st! Deck the halls! Ring the sleigh bell! This has never happened.
Seeing as though the web can sometimes be an overwhelming place to begin, we used the Amex Hot 100 Wishlist as a starting point to organize.
With 100 gifts to choose from, we quite enjoyed picking our favourite items which include: House of Harlow’s Orlina Leopard Clutch, a Roots Beaconsfield Sweater, Steve Jobs‘ biography, flannel pyjamas from La Vie en Rose, a BOSE Soundock Digital Music System and a Stott Pilates gift set. What will you choose for your list?
If shopping local, or buying Canadian, is important to you – as it is to us – then here are some terrific online shopping destinations that feature local designers and much loved Canadian brands:
Have you gone here yet? Launched this month by Joanna Track, founder of Sweetspot, this is the Net-A-Porter for Canada. Along with international brands you love, you will also find a terrific assortment of Canadian designers like Pink Tartan, Jenny Bird, Line Knitwear and products from Rosedale’s Gee Beauty. Get hooked! We are.
Zane Aburaneh is the guy in this town who knows a good purse when he sees it. He recently opened a pop-up shop on Queen West, but the majority of Zane’s sales happen right here. Studded clutches, neon satchels, leather fringe cross-body: which purse is most you? Lots of man bags too for the stylish men in your life!
Local Toronto designer Corrine Anestoupoulos makes the coolest jewelry from the attic of her Little Italy studio. Tough but pretty. Stack an arm with her Modern Friendship Bracelets or buy your sister a statement necklace or vintage-inspired charm that she will cherish. Watch this sexy video to understand why we love Biko. Check out her full collection on ilovebiko.com. We promise, you will love it too.
This is a no brainer but Roots really does have all the cozy and fashionable duds to brave a cold Canadian winter. We just ordered sweaters for the entire fam and may have scooped some grey flannel leggings for ourself. Check out their holiday lookbook.
For the book lover in your life, this longstanding Manitoba-based book company, which is Canada’s largest independent book seller, gives you an ample selection to find compelling reads. For Canadian authors, click the Prairie Writers or Award Winners link. Also, just in, CBC’s Canada Reads finalists can also be purchased here.
Yes, Lululemon is now a celebrated international brand, but its roots are in Vancouver. For the yogi in your life, or teenage cousin who is obssesed with Lulu gear, Lululemon is a sure bet to please.
Drake General Store
Is now online! Perfect for curious stocking stuffers and kitschy gifts that will spark conversation. Finding the very best when it comes to whimsical goodies and nostalgic goodies, the Drake General Store offers a terrific selection of clever gifts sourced from abroad as well as many offerings from homegrown talent. So fun to browse!
If we could start a franchise, it would most definitely be a David’s Tea. This Montreal company is sprouting up with locations coast to coast. And we think tea, and tea accessories, are the perfect gift for anyone. Have you seen their advent tea calendar? Brilliant! (Said in proper English accent.)
Local Etsy Designers
Our Montreal writer, Tyler Yank, composed a list of three talented Montreal jewelers on Etsy. Buy online and support a girl just like you!
Got a wee one in your life? Founded in Vancouver by a mom who cares, this is an entire site devoted to organic baby and children toys and clothes that are super cute and safe. Blankies, rompers, snugglies and onesies! No, they don’t come in your size.
Founded by a Toronto couple who fell in love with Japan, Magic Pony is “dedicated to the exhibition and promotion of the best in young contemporary art”. If there was a town unicorn, it would live here.
For the graphic designer or art lover in your life, Telegramme Prints – with locations in Toronto’s Leslieville and Ossington neighbourhoods – has the very best selection of poster art lithographs, screen prints and groovy poster art. Browse their collection of over 1000 prints and buy online.
Kids, the online shopping experience ain’t what it used to be. In fact, Santa’s elves are working hard in your computer right now. Lean close and you will hear them.
No exorbitant parking fees. No snowstorm. No lines. No dehydration from racing around in a puffy down coat. No stress. No packed streetcar with people coughing on you. No pushing and shoving. AND Amex offers fraud and purchase protection. Hmm, maybe we would rather a root canal than go to the mall?
Get ideas for your gift list first by using the Amex Hot 100 Wishlist Hey, maybe you’ll finally have time to actually send those Christmas cards you’ve been yammering on about for years. Or bake some cookies! Suddenly, we have all been given a much needed gift: Time.