Here we are, in the last full shopping week before the Christmas holiday. In the past, I’d be making a list and checking it twice – in a panic – right about now. However, over the years, I’ve learned that it’s possible to find amazing gifts in unconventional places! So, if you find yourself out and about this week, I’d love for you to consider the following gifting ideas –
Know someone who’s flying in? Taking a flight home for the holidays? Don’t forget to take advantage of last-minute gifts, special edition items and duty-free alcohol. For example, did you know that Toronto Pearson has something for everyone right at the airport? Whether you’re shopping for the beauty buff, the gadget geek, the hostess or you simply forgot a last-minute stocking stuffer for a special little one, Toronto Pearson has tons in store this holiday season.
My Picks: Delicious holiday themed caramel apples are available at Toronto Pearson’s Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Terminal 1; Chivas Brother’s Blend Scotch and Johnny Walker Explorers Club Collection Spice Road are new and exclusive to travel retail at Nuance Tax and Duty Free locations; and The Hudson’s Bay Company Trading Post in Terminal 1 has cheerful knitted and wooden holiday friends ideal for last minute stocking stuffers and gifts. Stop in and pick up Echo the Bunny for $40 CAD or the HBC Nutcracker for $25 CAD.
The Grocery Store
The very first time I had a Bauli Canada croissant, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Soft, sweet and as fresh as a Parisian Patisserie (okay, not *quite* the same, but darned close), it was absolutely love at first bite. Available in delectable chocolate cream, custard cream, cherry and apricot jam, you’ll want to have one in your desk drawer at 3:00pm.
This Christmas, share a sweet gift – classic Bauli Panettone. The sweet richness of Panettone can be enjoyed many ways: either made up into a fancy recipe (LOVE this Panettone Bread Pudding) or paired with a simple glass of fresh milk. They’re perfect for having on hand as “emergency” gifts – and if you don’t end up giving one away, you get to enjoy it yourself! Sounds like a festive win-win to me!
The Office Supplies Store
Shopping online at Staples Canada for a few office essentials? Grab RealCup Brown Gold 100% Coffees Variety Pack, RealCup Martinson Coffees Variety Pack or RealCup Higgins & Burke Teas Variety Pack for a hot beverage-lover on your holiday list. Why RealCup?
Only RealCup single serve cups have the Flavor Max Filter to give you the maximum flavor from your favorite coffees and teas, hence the name. Unlike other filters, the Flavor Max Filter uses non-woven fibers to make sure all the rich flavors, colors and aromas end up in your cup. Plus, the single serve cups are compatible for use in your Keurig K-Cup brewer.
I had the pleasure of testing out some of their most popular hot beverages, and I am a believer! The coffees were bold and full of depth and flavour, and are particularly delicious when your husband brings you coffee first thing in the morning :)
(Tip: Try Higgins & Burke Chai Tea poured over ice for a refreshing and complex flavoured iced tea.)
Popping in for some cold remedies? Bet you didn’t know that both Shoppers Drug Mart and Rexall have amazing prices on confectionery. It’s true! In fact, two weeks ago, I stocked up on Nestle Turtles – they were on sale for just $6.49 for a 400g box! I love giving the gift of chocolaty goodness to my three wise men: the drivers from Purolator, FedEx and UPS.
This year, Nestle Canada has launched two new limited edition holiday treats – Pecan Praline Turtles and Fudge Brownie Turtles. The Pecan Praline Turtles are the ultimate sweet and salty experience, and by far my favourite: carmelized pecans dusted with sea salt and finished with a ribbon of white chocolate. De-lish.
The Coffee Shop
I know that Tim Horton’s Gift Cards are circulated frequently around the holidays, and why not? Nothing says thank you like a freshly brewed cup of coffee!
And here’s another reason to give the gift of Tim’s: their new Turkey Sausage Breakfast Sandwich, a satisfying, lean protein breakfast option under 350 calories. Available at participating Tim Hortons restaurants across Canada for $3.29, the Turkey Sausage Breakfast Sandwich is made fresh, served hot and can be ordered with egg and cheese on a toasted English muffin.
The standard version of the sandwich has 330 calories, 20 grams of protein,14 grams of fat and is a good source of calcium and iron. For an even lower calorie choice, you can order the Turkey Sausage Breakfast Sandwich with an egg-white option, with just 280 calories, nine grams of fat and the same amount of protein.
Put it this way: if I received a Tim’s gift card that said “Breakfast is on me!” – I’d surely be all smiles :)
Well, there you have it, friends. Five gifts that you can grab on-the-go this week. If you’re out and about, keep a level head, stick to your budget, and bring a lot of patience and good cheer. Good luck!