Christmas Shopping for the Staycationer

In the depths of winter, people’s heads turn to getaways, but not everyone can afford the time or money for a vacation.  As much as we’d like it to be, a trip probably isn’t on your Christmas Shopping list.  However, with more people opting for a staycation, you have the opportunity to help make their home stay memorable without breaking the bank by giving them the gift of local travel experiences.

British Columbia offers a plethora of amazing attractions with plenty of them right here in Vancouver. A great place to start is with Vancouver Attractions;  save on admission when you buy two or more attractions from their website.

Visit them all to see the world in your own backyard.

Canyon Lights
Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge

*Experience the breathtaking Cliffwalk over our own grand canyon at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.  In addition, with Canyon Lights on now, Christmas comes alive throughout the park.

*Looking for the romance of a horse drawn buddy ride through Central Park in New York? Check out Stanley Park Horse Drawn Tours.

*Take a cruise across the seas on a Harbour Cruises.

*Every city has a grand view from their own iconic tower, get the best view point without boarding a flight at Vancouver Lookout.

*Enjoy world renowned works of art then sip a glass of wine on a sunny al fresco patio. Who needs Paris?

New World & Old World exist side by side
New World & Old World exist side by side

*Step into ancient China at Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, named “World’s Top City Garden” by National Geographic.

*Explore your child’s imagination at Science World at TELUS World of Science.

*The European Alps have nothing on the unique experience you’ll find as you descend the Fraser Canyon on the Hell’s Gate Airtram.

*You’ll forget where and when you are as you step back in time to the historic Burnaby Village Museum.

Whether you choose one or all nine of the Attractions the recipient is sure to find a world of experiences without leaving home.

Christmas Shopping done Local

While Vancouverites get excited excited every time a new, well known US or International brand’s shop opens here we are blessed with an amazing selection of great local shops & boutiques.  Filled with carefully curated local and international goods and gear.  Vancouver and its visitors have come to cherish the option to be able to purchase something unique that was made by hand with care. Even the international brands featured in many of the shops are from small, socially conscious creators.

Take a wander through any of the great local shops found in every one of our neighbourhoods and you’ll be sure to find a perfect present or stocking stuffer.

Here’s a few of the places you might want to put on your list when Christmas Shopping;


Litchfield Shop:

Orling & Wu:


The Cross Decor & Design: 



Bird on a Wire:

Much and Little:


Room in Order:

Marquis Wine Cellar:


Picks of the Week – December 17, 2014

With barely a week until Christmas, there’s plenty of Holiday cheer to be had in the picks of the week;

Improv: You never know what will happen when the Vancouver Theatresports League presents Christmas Queen: An Improv Comedy Fairytale wraps up on Sunday

Ice: The Vancouver Canucks try to regain their winning ways as they host Dallas Stars tonight and Calgary Flames on Satruday at Rogers Arena

Ballet: Join the sugar plum faeries as they toast in the Holiday tradition of Goh Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker December 18 – 22nd.

Runway: Dance the night away and watch Andrew Christian models Cory Zwierzynski and Topher DiMaggio for an XXX-Mas Andrew Christian Underwear Fashion Show on Thursday at Liberace Celebrities.

Choir: Chor Leoni takes to the Vancouver Playhouse, December 19-22, for All Is Calm: the Christmas Truce of 1814 celebrating the famous break in action during the Great War.

Stage: The Arts Club Theatre Company has plenty of entertainment for the Holidays; improvised laughs with A Twisted Christmas Carol (until Dec 27),hilarious adult fun of Avenue Q (until Jan 3) or the family favourite Mary Poppins: The Broadway Musical (until Jan 4),

Carols: The Irish Tenors take to the stage at the River Rock Show Theatre for an evening Holiday celebration on Friday night.

Meat: Another new monthly Friday event at Club HD finds the MeatpacK bringing hot gogos, visuals and DJ Ammonia Moss and Maxwell Maxwell

Science:  Learn and laugh as Bill Nye “The Science Guy” performs two shows at the Vogue Theatre on Saturday and Sunday

Joy: Five-Sixty is the spot for pre-Whistler Pride, Joy featuring Alain Jackinsky & DJ Quest on Saturday night.

Roulette: Saturday, Monroe has Holiday Drag Roulette at Club HD (Heaven’s Door) hosted by Kristina Cash

Panto: Theatre Replacement’s Cinderella: An East Van Panto, a twist on the classic tale continues at The Cultch York Theatre until December 28th.






Christmas Shopping for the Green Thumb

Christmas trees, poinsettias, holly, mistletoe, there’s so many natural element to the Holidays they naturally lend themselves to making great gifts for anyone on your Christmas shopping list.

You don’t have to stick to the associated Christmas plant life to spread some joy to your Green Thumb giftee.  Garden tools, containers, guides or other peripherals will show them a gift that grows and grows.

If the recipient has an outdoor space there’s even more options available to fill them with greenery.  Take a look at your local garden centre for some great green ideas.

Garden PlantsIf they’re just starting out, it might be helpful to include a guide to local plants, like Best Garden Plants for British Columbia to help ensure gardening success.

For the more seasoned, perhaps a Moleskine Journal
to help them track their garden’s growth through the year.Moleskine Garden

Every time they look at the plant, they’ll remember the thought and you.

Christmas Shopping for the Techie

Smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops and wearables are making our world more convenient but as we click and connect we accumulate more data.  Every #selfie and #foodporn pic takes up space on your devices memories.

Portable memory storage is a great item to pick up when you’re Christmas Shopping for anyone on your list, especially the tech lover.

Memory is physically smaller and packing more capacity than ever, so you can get a great value in a handy package about the same size as your smartphone.

Seagate BackupThe Seagate Backup Plus (I just got one) is a small package but packs a big punch for the price.  Get 1 or 2TB memory in piece of hardware about the size of a Blackberry smartphone and speaking of your smartphone, Seagate offers mobile backup to backup your photos and videos via an app and your home wi-fi.

WD My PassportA similar alternative is the WD My Passport series of portable hard drives.  At about the same price and size, the WD My Passport also has Cloud connectivity for wireless backup.



Whether you get a portable or a desktop hard drive more memory gives everyone on your Christmas Shopping list more space to keep their cherished memories.


Christmas Shopping for the Urban Trekker

Heading out into the great outdoors isn’t always just the realm of hikers and campers.  A lot of people head out to face the elements every day on their way to or from work, school or errands.  Taking public transit or walking to your destination can leave you exposed to all sorts of weather.

Photo 2014-12-09, 17 18 50Find a great gift that will keep the elements at bay and maintain your Urban Trekker’s street style at the new Fjällräven Pop-up Shop at 434 Columbia St in Vancouver’s Chinatown.  The rustic styled pop-up shop is a first for the Swedish outdoor heritage brand and is dedicated to two of their most iconic pieces; Kånken backpacks and the Greenland jacket.

Photo 2014-12-09, 17 15 10With a design relatively unchanged since its introduction nearly 40 years ago, the Kånken backpack offers cool style, practical usability, and great protection of your laptop and items from the elements in many different sizes and loads of colourways.

Photo 2014-12-09, 17 15 38The Greenland jacket is also one of Fjällräven’s go-to styles that has lasted through the generations. Also available in a variety in colours, trims and linings the Greenland makes great sense for the west coast weather.  Warm but not bulky, water resistant (or water repellent if waxed) and stylish enough to wear for a multitude of occasions.

The Fjällräven Pop-Up Shop takes over @thisopenspace at 434 Columbia until December 31st, making it a convenient spot on your Christmas Shopping trips.

Christmas Shopping for the Libation Lover

Vancouver’s cocktail and bar scene has had a great boost in the last few years with the opening of a wide variety of local distilleries.  Along with the distilleries has come a renewed cocktail culture, and side enterprises like locally blended bitters and creative bartenders creating their own spin on classic cocktails.

If Photo 2014-11-20, 18 42 38you have someone on your Christmas Shopping list who’s a fan of a good libation, create a custom cocktail kit of their own filled with Holiday cheer.

Family run, Long Table Distillery is Vancouver’s first micro-distillery and help launch the current spirit revival.  Long Table Distillery offers a selection of gin, vodka and seasonal spirits that make a great gift for the home bartender. Package the bottle in one of their handcrafted pine gift boxers for a terrific Christmas gift.Photo 2014-11-20, 18 25 02
To see the possibilities of what can be created, stop by the Hornby Street distillery & tasting room on Fridays for Gin & Tonic Fridays or Thursdays and Saturdays for their Cocktail Laboratory in partnership with Vancouver Apothecary Bitters, which also make a great gift for a budding bartender.

Photo 2014-11-20, 18 25 21Long Table also offers a great selection of bar tools, mixes and other equipment needed to make the spirits bright all year long.



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