6 Shops for Great Grab and Go Christmas Gifts

Time is quickly ticking closer to Christmas Day!  It’s probably too late for any online shopping and with our busy schedules there’s hardly any time to get out and shop. Here’s a few handy local shops to grab & go,  during your lunch hour or after-work, with lots of great gift ideas.

Cook Culture Cooking School

Cook Culture:  Find all the kitchenware, large and small, that anyone could dream of, and cooking classes too.
Three Vancouver Locations: Downtown – 377 Howe Street, 1548 W. Broadway (near Granville), North Vancouver – 1238 Lonsdale Avenue and in Victoria too. 

Masc:  A huge inventory of skincare and grooming products plus a knowledgeable team to help find the best gift for the men on your list.
Yaletown – 433 Davie Street (near Homer)

Silk Road

Silk Road Tea:  Seasonal, herbal, black, white, green and wellness tea blends to match every need, and a great selection of tea inspired gifts and bundles.
Kitsilano – 2066 West 4th Avenue and in 2 Victoria locations.

Old Faithful Shop: Gifts, gadgets, stationary, furniture, homewares and more. Cool gift ideas and stocking stuffers at every turn.
Gastown – 320 West Cordova Street

Walrus: Clothing and accessories, home, garden, decor and more, Walrus has all sorts of fun, and interesting items to wrap up this Christmas.
Cambie Village – 3408 Cambie Street

Meinhardt Fine Foods: Festive foods, tastes from around the globe, gourmet gift boxes for every kitchen and grab a tasty take-out hot lunch or dinner while you’re shopping too.
2 Vancouver Locations: Downtown, Pacific Centre – 609 Granville Street, South Granville – 3002 Granville Street


10 Experiences for Last Minute Gift Giving.

If you’re still looking for Christmas gift giving ideas, time is running out, the shops are packed and delivery for online shopping is getting tight.  Why not choose a fun experience to give as a gift this year? A perfect gift for the person who has everythings, it’s also a green gift – no waste, no returns and no wrapping.

Here’s a few local experiences that are sure to suit someone on your Christmas list:

Theatre: Vancouver has a vibrant theatre scene, with theatre companies presenting shows for all tastes. Pick up tickets or a gift certificate from The Arts Club Theatre, Gateway Theatre, Firehall Arts Centre, The Cultch and more.

Cinema in Concert

Orchestra: There’s some great symphonic music experiences coming to town  that will make great gifts; Cinema in Concert with the China Broadcasting Film Symphony Orchestra, A Salute to Sinatra or A Classical Mystery Tour; Beatles Tribute with the VSO, Bach to the Future or other shows from Early Music BC’s spring line up

Cooking: Novices and experienced home cooks alike will each enjoy a cooking class at Cook Culture is just the ticket; learn some new skills or have a fun and tasty night out with a group of friends.

Mystery: Team building, a family challenge or an adventurous night out; Forbidden Vancouver take you on a walk through the city’s scandalous past or Vancouver Mysteries put you in the action to hit the street to solve a crime.

Pop: Tickets to a favourite concert are never a bad gift, with Bruce Cockburn, Lights, Portugal the Man, Milky Chance, Dua Lipa, Miguel and Katy Perry coming to town in the next couple months there’s plenty to choose from.

Canada Sevens

Sports:  First hand or arm-chair athletes will love a sports experience in their stocking; Canucks, Whitecaps, Lions or Canadians are great choices or Canada Sevens in March or get ahead with World Juniors Hockey Championships coming to Vancouver/Victoria in 2019


Festivals: Vancouver has some unique festivals that bring an ensemble of events together under one theme sure to appeal to someone on your list; PuSh Festival and Dine Out Vancouver are in January, DOXA Documentary Film Festival and Cherry Blossom Festival are in Spring, and many more gift options for passes and tickets run throughout the year.

Staycation: Everyone loves a getaway, even if it’s in your own town, a night at at a one of Vancouver’s great hotel can make an amazing change of pace at any time of year.

Pamper:  Spa, Floatation Tank, Salon gift certificates, even for just an hour can be rejuvenating as your recipient lets someone tend to their manicure, pedicure, massage or more.

Homecare: Almost everyone loathes having to do housework, why not give someone on your list a break with a gift certificate for housework, laundry or any household odd jobs,  do-it-yourself or hire a service to do it.

Hopefully this gives you some ideas on experiences and events to put under the tree to fit your Christmas gift giving list.

12 Days Of Christmas Present Ideas – recap

While it’s into the last minute shopping zone, there’s still time to do some shopping if you haven’t checked everything off your list yet.

The 12 Days of Christmas Present Ideas mentioned over the last couple weeks have plenty of simple ideas for your gifting, many don’t even require you to leave the house to purchase.

In case you missed any of the 12 Days of Christmas, here’s a recap:

Day 1:  Get the Season brewing with the Staub Cast Iron Teapot

Day 2: Don’t be ground down by the AeroPress Espresso & Coffee Maker

Day 3: It’s written in the leaves at Treasure Green Tea Company

Day 4: Roll out the laughter with JFL Northwest, Vancouver’s Comedy Festival

Day 5: Christmas burns bright with Vancouver Candle Co or Tom Dixon fragrant and artistic candles

Day 6: Light up their Christmas with home accessories like this Establish & Sons lamp

Day 7: Spread warmth & cheer with gear from Live Out There

Day 8: Put some flavour under their tree with tasty food events from Vancouver Foodster, Cook Culture Cooking School and Dine Out Vancouver Festival

Day 9: Give sweet sensations from Brockmann’s Chocolate or Cook Culture’s Artisanal Chocolate

Day 10: Catch the lords a leaping when Les Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo returns to Vancouver

Day 11: Spread some cheer for your hostess gifts from East Van Jam

Day 12: Give the best gift of all, yourself – volunteer your time, assistance or skills.

12 Days of Christmas Present Ideas – Day 12

As we come to the close of our 12 Days of Christmas present ideas, we suggest the best gift of all, you.

After all the stress and consumption, why not share something simple and easy your time.  While we are being pulled and pushed in all directions over the holidays, it’s not always like that, so why not give someone special some of your time.

Organizations like govolunteer.ca matches individuals and groups who need volunteers to  run their events or services.  You can share your time in someone else’s name, and help give back for those who aren’t able to anymore.

Alternatively, you can set up your own time trade, for your own Family and friends.  Metrovancouver.ca has a lot of great suggestions and ideas of how to create memories, not garbage this Christmas.

Help a grandparent or other senior family member with some shopping or preparing a meal. Offer to babysit for friends or family with little ones so they can have a night out. Help mentor or tutor a teenager.  You might not think so but you have skills that someone else will cherish, plus you both get the added bonus of spending time with a special someone.  It’s a gift for everyone!



12 Days of Christmas Present Ideas – Day 11

Today we spread some cheer for our 11th of the 12 Days of Christmas ideas.

East Van Jam is a great homegrown and homemade stocking stuffer, hostess gift or an accompaniment to your Holidays entertaining. More Love, Less Sugar is more than just the East Van Jam tagline, it’s the recipe for their locally made jams and spreads. Ninety-five percent of the fruit in every batch is BC Grown, much of it organic and East Van grown, then using a fruit to sugar ratio of 4:1, meaning there’s at least 1 cup of real fruit in every jar.  While this low sugar recipe means more natural flavour is also means a shorter storage life once opened. East Van Jam should be consumed within 2 weeks., the perfect time frame to enjoy over the Holidays. 

Original artwork and their quirky names add to the appeal and makes opening a gift of East Van Jam a welcome surprise.  The unique selection of sweet and savoury blends of jams and spreads, lend themselves to a whole host of uses.  From the traditional “Duchess of Strawberry” with toast, Barley Boss Beer Belly served with a charcuterie or cheese plate, Tom Cat tomato spread in place of ketchup brightens up a humble grilled cheese sandwich, the combinations are endless. 

Find East Van Jam in shops and markets all around the region.


12 Days of Christmas Present Ideas – Day 10

In the 12 Days of Christmas on the 10th Day we find 10 Lords A Leaping just like we find in today’s gift idea.

Les Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo returns to Vancouver on January 20 and 21 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.  Sold out during its 2015 run, the performances will see the all-male, cross-dressing troupe combines breathtaking technical prowess with rampant sauciness to a new batch of ridiculously re-interpreted classical ballets, including Swan Lake, La Esmeralda, and Don Quixote.

photo: Sascha Vaughn

“It was a thrill to re-introduce Vancouver to these superb dancers and comic geniuses back in 2015,” said Svetlana Dvoretsky, President & Executive Producer of Show One Productions. “That The Trocks could sell out houses after a more than 30-year absence was a testament to the international cult following the company has built around their affectionately irreverent interpretations of classical dance. I am over the moon excited they will make their anticipated return to Vancouver in 2017, presenting a fresh program replete with their signature theatrics and extraordinary virtuosity. It will undoubtedly be a night at the ballet audiences will not soon forget!”

Swan Lake
photo: Sascha Vaughn

Founded by a group of professional dancers in 1974, the New-York based company is dedicated to presenting saucily skewered, lovingly crafted parodies of the beloved ballet classics.  In the 40 years since its founding, Les Trocks has performed in countries all around the world.

Tickets for Les Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo in Vancouver are on sale now at showoneproductions.ca

12 Days of Christmas Present Ideas – Day 9

This 12 Days of Christmas present idea is a sweet one. Christmas and chocolate go together like milk and cookies for Santa.

Holidays will often find boxes of chocolates under the tree or delivered as host gifts when visiting friends and family. There’s no wrong way to give chocolates, from a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, a box Purdy’s Chocolatiers,  a bag of Brockmann’s Chocolates’ Crunchettis…there’s options for all budgets and styles.

A great option for a unique chocolate gift is a high-quality bar of Chocolate.  Single-source or blended like wine, a decadent bar carefully selected to pair with your meal or after-dinner drinks makes a simple but elegant gift.  Check out the selection of fine chocolate at Cook Culture, curated by Eagranie Yu. The chocolatier/pastry chef/writer has curated Cook Culture Stores’ Artisanal Chocolate program.   Imported from near and far; Victoria’s SIRENE Chocolate and Gibsons’ ART Meets Chocolate sit alongside ‘tree to bar’ producer The Grenada Chocolate Company or French chocolatier Bonnat, Eagranie has found chocolates that suit every palate and pairing.

Watch for an in-store tasting and then select a few bars to put in the stockings this Season.