VISA Perks Holiday Giveaway

Comments 372 by Rebecca Bollwitt

VISA has launched VISA Perks, a new Canadian e-shop for the holidays. Their goal is to engage with those who are doing their holiday shopping online while offering deals with merchants (like 15% off at Birks, 25% off at Adidas, and more).

Photo credit: freefotouk on Flickr

Over the last ten years I’ve mostly shopped for books online but recently I’ve purchased t-shirts, books, gifts, and more. It’s not so much that I don’t like going out to the store, it’s about finding the products I really like (and usually they’re across the border). However for some, online shopping is all about the experience. No parking lot races, no rushing to the shelves to find out they’re out of stock, no plastic bags cutting into your forearm as you wait in line for what seems like hours.

Everyone has their shopping pet peeves and horror stories but there can be some customer service saviours out there. Sometimes it’s nice to interact with others in the check-out line, have a coffee with a friend while browsing, and see the kids’ faces light up in the toy shop.

VISA has offered up a $50 pre-paid gift card for me to giveaway to a reader who shares their tip(s) for surviving the holiday shopping madness. Leave a comment on this post and you’ll be entered to win. You can also post the following on Twitter for an additional entry:

I entered to win a $50 VISA gift card from #VISAPerks & @Miss604

VISA Perks has housewares, electronics, travel, flowers, sporting equipment, office supplies, and more. The winner will be able to use their $50 gift card anywhere VISA cards are accepted in Canada.

My tips for shopping in Vancouver: Take transit to South Granville, Granville Island or Robson Street where you can get some fresh air between shops and not worry about parking. There’s a great mix of local and international retailers at these locations where you can support community businesses and pick up those hard-to-find gems.

I will draw one contest winner at 10:00am on Thursday, December 1, 2011.

Update The winner is Nancy!

Current Contests on Miss604
*All contests are open to residents of Canada only, unless otherwise stated. Contest timelines are published on each individual post along with entry methods. Some contests may only be open to those 19 years of age and older. Winners are announced on the contest blog posts. Contest policy »

372 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. ErinTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 1:26pm PST

    Start your shopping as early as possible!

  2. NicoleTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 1:26pm PST

    I try to avoid malls and stick to online shopping!

  3. JennTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 1:28pm PST

    Make a list! Not just names, but what you want to get them, too!

  4. AllisonTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 1:28pm PST

    Tip 1)
    Transit is your friend! NEVER try to find parking at Metro or COQ Centre! Just don’t!

    Tip 2)
    Go as early as you can. I mean, in the morning. I find the malls WAY less busy around opening time.

    Tip 3)
    PLAN! Make a list of what you need, get in and get out! Don’t wander, don’t get side tracked!

  5. JeannieTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 1:29pm PST

    I shop all year round for xmas. I am usually done xmas shopping by nov.

  6. Andrerw LacelleTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 1:29pm PST

    Go with a group and have one person stand in line and when you’re done you switch places with them so that way your spot in the line moves while you’re shopping.

  7. Ginger Leah GervaisTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 1:30pm PST

    I do most of my shopping in the summer time when toys and clothes are cheap 🙂

  8. StephanieTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 1:30pm PST

    When you see something that is either on sale or is a good price and would make a great gift for anyone, get it right then and there, one less item to think about later on 🙂

  9. Donna LTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 1:30pm PST

    if you have a flexible schedule, shop during off hours. I find malls are the least busy when they first open.

  10. KristinaTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 1:30pm PST

    I try to start as early as possible but the holidays seem to be creeping up on me…too fast!! Also, don’t go to the mall on Fridays or weekends. Stick to during the week..less crowds.

  11. MarinaTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 1:31pm PST

    I start shopping in the fall usually, and do a lot of online shopping. This year I’m living in a smaller town, so I’m also doing my best to go to small, independent retailers for unique gifts. I also pick up things while I’m on vacation – you can often find unique stuff! I’m usually done my shopping by early December, which means a trip to the mall is all about soaking up the atmosphere rather than standing in big lines… 🙂

  12. Sonja StarkeTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 1:32pm PST

    Online shopping! So many Web site offer special deals and free shipping at Christmas time so I always take advantage of it and avoid the crowds at the malls!

  13. CliffTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 1:32pm PST

    Buy gifts that are consumable (food, booze, gift cards) so that people aren’t left with stuff they don’t want.

  14. JennyTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 1:32pm PST

    I love shopping online because it usually allows me to get a great deal on unique items without having to search for them locally. It’s always nice to give some love to innovative, creative companies online and it’s awesome that big companies like Visa are offering discounts during the holidays:)

  15. BrendaTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 1:34pm PST

    Chip in with a group to get something nicer, instead of a lot of smaller separate gifts.

  16. KathleenTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 1:36pm PST

    I start early, get gift receipts when possible and take part in sales, for example, I got two presents at the recent American Apparel Warehouse sale, great gifts, good price! I usually do some online and some offline, depends on the person and who I’m catering the present too. Staying local is always good (vancouver, bc area) and Canadian stores usually are my top online pick!

  17. JennTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 1:37pm PST

    Go to the stores during the day in the middle of the week — it’s not busy at all!

  18. RachelTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 1:40pm PST

    Shop online!

  19. SharylinTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 1:40pm PST

    I visit sites like for unique gifts supporting entrepreneurial enterprises

  20. Albert CTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 1:42pm PST

    Purchase hard to get items online.

  21. LloydTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 1:46pm PST

    Use a list, no impulse shopping.

  22. Alice W.Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 1:47pm PST

    1) Shop early and online when possible. Great to shop in the States during Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales. To avoid Canadian shipping costs/duties, you can ship your order to Blaine/Point Roberts parcel receiving companies.

    2) Support local small businesses – people tend to forget the local businesses and head for the malls. West 4th, Granville Island, Gastown, Yaletown, Main St. Lots of small businesses with really unique gifts!

  23. VictoriaTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 1:47pm PST

    I try to get the little things on Boxing Day for the following Christmas…It really save a lot of money and time!

  24. GisellaTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 1:48pm PST

    Online shopping is great and usually offer better deals!

  25. RichieTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 1:50pm PST

    If you have a big family, do secret/dirty santa and set the $ limit at a higher price. That way everyone gets a quality present instead of a bunch of stuff they don’t need and everyone has a good time playing the game.

  26. TaigiTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 1:55pm PST

    Start early. Set a limit. Get the presents for the kids more then anyone else. Its their season more then anything. Spending time with family and friends is the best present I can get personally.

  27. RubyTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 1:57pm PST

    Make a list & budget then start early! If you comb the sales as the year goes by, you will find you may already be finished by the time December comes. Yay!

  28. SitaTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 1:57pm PST

    Get shopping done throughout the year that way you don’t panic as the holiday season approachs.

  29. kelseyTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 2:00pm PST

    shop in the mornings when its not as busy

  30. HayleyTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 2:01pm PST

    Make sure you start your shopping early to avoid stress.

  31. JennyTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 2:11pm PST

    who doesn’t love to go on a shopping spree? 😉

  32. AmandaTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 2:12pm PST

    Keep snacks in your purse. It helps to occupy restless children, or boyfriends. Plus you get more done when you aren’t stopping for lunch.

  33. KevinTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 2:13pm PST

    Make a list and do some research before going out and seeking the item you are looking for – check if stores have adequate supplies of the item before venturing out – if they don’t have it, buying it online is usually a good back up and avoids stress.

  34. DanielTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 2:14pm PST

    Shop early! I have a running list of things that my friends say they like, and I just swoop it up online when the best deals are in place during the year.

  35. DianeTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 2:16pm PST

    Buy experiences (show or sports tickets, travel, whale watching, wine tasting)… most people don’t need any more stuff, plus you can enjoy the experiences together.

  36. JeannelleTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 2:17pm PST

    Watch the flyers for deals once you know what you’re looking for.

  37. Sandra GarciaTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 2:22pm PST

    Avoid the malls and shop as local as possible – craft/holiday gift fairs, friends who own businesses (gift certs to hairdressers are awesome) or that mom & pop shop around the corner. Put your heart and thought into gifts for others, and use the wrapping and gift bags you got last year. We don’t need to invest in more cheesey decor. Also I have no qualms telling people what I want (to avoid unused gifts) so sometimes I like to just ask.

  38. DilaraTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 2:24pm PST

    I make lists and stick to them, plus I start my holiday shopping in October. By December 1st, I’m usually all done!

  39. MaryanneTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 2:29pm PST

    Online shopping saves time and money!

  40. ChristineTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 2:30pm PST

    Shop online for sure!

  41. BonsTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 2:38pm PST

    My tip is to start doing shopping early and check out which stores have the best deals. This will help to avoid stress and the crowds!

  42. LishTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 2:38pm PST

    Absolutely compile a list and as early as possible. Shop early in the day midweek if you can schedule it and watch flyers, sales are great in November.
    Plan your shopping days and have a plan, and do not bring friends … only slows you down.
    Online is amazing but be sure to double check shipping dates and all the fine print.
    (always good to make some cookies in case you forget someone)

  43. JoanneTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 2:40pm PST

    If anything, rather than purchasing gifts at multiple shops, I recommend minimizing the shops to purchase gifts as much as possible. Also, take transit whenever possible; finding parking at shopping centres can be very stressful and can take the wind out of a happy shopping experience.

  44. SherrieTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 2:51pm PST

    When in doubt good coffee, a bottle of liquor or purdys chocolate always work. Gift certificates to favorite stores, movies, and music are my friend. And never think you can pick what a teen will like when your old….they will love money best!!!

  45. ShawnTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 2:54pm PST

    One of my favorite ways to shop for the holidays is to hit the craft markets.
    As a repeat shopper to Circle Craft I am familiar with the vendors and my list knowing what I am going to buy from favorite crafters/artisans/foodies and soap makers. I get gorgeous uniques gifts, enjoy the market and support creative types. A win win deal.

  46. LindsayTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 2:58pm PST

    Take a day off and go while everyone else is slaving away at work! Shopping during the workday is much more pleasant.

  47. Shawna LittleTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 3:01pm PST

    Thanks for the heads up….been doing lots of online shopping for xmas with my VISA but I didn’t know about VISA perks.

  48. KatieTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 3:03pm PST

    Start a list early and jot down anything throughout the year that your family member wishes for

  49. Joyce LoTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 3:05pm PST

    I set a budget and scheduled and stick to it.

  50. WinnieTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 3:23pm PST

    Get an early start and shop in the mornings. It’s less stressful when there aren’t as many people around.

  51. cherylTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 3:25pm PST


  52. lizTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 3:25pm PST

    I love it when the stores keep the late night hours or 24hours likr superstore did last year.A little Baileys after the big shop goes a long way as well.

  53. TomTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 3:27pm PST

    Start early on weekdays.

  54. FrankTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 3:30pm PST

    Start shopping on Christmas eve. The malls are dead ! Always works for me.

  55. ParkerTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 3:30pm PST

    I make a list of who I need to shop for and any rough ideas for them. Then I accept the madness and go in shopping!! The list is meant to keep me on target and to not buy things for myself….

  56. ShannonTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 3:39pm PST

    Shop online… Or give a gift that is an experience like a groupon or print a picture depicting what experience you would like to treat them to.

  57. JanTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 3:41pm PST

    There is nothing I like better than to start early and and online.

  58. LaurenTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 3:51pm PST

    Take a day off work mid-week and hammer out as much shopping as possible as early as possible.

  59. Kelly ManTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 3:55pm PST

    Shop Early and always have a list and an idea where to get it before you leave the house.

  60. Darcy-Vancouver AirbnbTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 3:56pm PST

    Do not go to the mall on a weekend

  61. AnthonyTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 4:03pm PST

    Create a list and plan your shopping trip, start early in the day to avoid the crowds and stick to your plan.

    Whenever possible shop online as this avoids a lot of the headaches.

    Plan Plan Plan! A simple concept but most of us are too lazy to do it.

  62. jeanieTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 4:03pm PST

    phone ahead for availability…i find a lot of stores are more than helpful when you phone in to have a chat to check whether an item in particular is in stock. they sometimes even give you tips on sales or best times to come in! =D

  63. Ruth HartnupTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 4:08pm PST

    Don’t get sucked in by the intensive marketing, especially if you have kids. One gift each is plenty (even if you’re shopping at Granville Island kids’ market and you’re very, very tempted). And buy things throughout the year as you find them, but don’t forget where you stashed them!

  64. BrendaTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 4:35pm PST

    Start shopping early! what I do is also buy stuff throughout the year if I think it suits somebody I know I will buy a Christmas present for.

  65. maryTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 4:38pm PST

    shop before the christmas season. there’s sale all year long

  66. StephTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 4:47pm PST

    Shopping early! I’ve already finished the majority of my Christmas shopping…
    If you’re like me and don’t like buying stuff online, browsing online saves a bunch of time and you can drop by the store to pick it up.

  67. WyTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 5:00pm PST

    Love online shopping…it’s easy, convenient and fast!

  68. belindaTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 5:11pm PST

    Do all the shopping on Black Friday.

  69. tracyTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 5:21pm PST

    i rarely shop online, but would love to do it more often.

  70. JeremyTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 5:28pm PST

    Search online for sales and plan out where you are going to shop!

  71. ksTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 5:29pm PST

    Start early to avoid the crowds and try to support local artists/artisans. Plan ahead and buy things off season ahead of time.

  72. JenTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 5:30pm PST

    Don’t leave it all until the last minute, bring your own cloth bag (easier to carry and holds more stuff) and give a Visa gift card to those on your list who are hard to buy for 🙂

  73. GarrettTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 5:37pm PST

    Helpful hint: never argue with the wife about what someone might like. She’s usually right.

  74. MaryJane OhTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 5:47pm PST

    I take down notes on what people have nonchalantly said they wanted or what I’ve noticed them looking at repeatedly throughout the year so I don’t have to spend a lot of time thinking about what they might like. I take notice of price points of those items when I’m out shopping for my own things and make a budget. If I see it on sale at anytime then I’ll pick it up early and store the gifts in one of my closets. I start shopping for the remainder in October to the first week of December and have had much success, and I always have rolls of wrapping paper for all occassions in my storage and a ton of cards so I don’t have to go out into the hectic stores to pick up those little items.

  75. Valerie LeeTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 5:56pm PST

    I don’t wait, I pick gifts up all year round if I see something I know would be right.
    Also , you can go wrong with food or something handmade!

  76. Jeff MacLeodTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 6:19pm PST

    Don’t wait until the last minute like I have a tendency to do. the last few years, however, I’ve started my Christmas shopping months in advance.

  77. JenniferTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 6:24pm PST

    Shop on a weekday if you can.

  78. VivTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 6:54pm PST

    Don’t wear turtleneck sweaters while holiday shopping! it’ll get stuffy after hours inside the mall

  79. stacey dempseyTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 7:03pm PST

    I try and wait till close to xmas that way i dont buy too much and i shop early in the morning or late at night. I have come to enjoy my xmas shopping as i know what items i want and i go get just that and there is no stress when i know what it is i want and am not aimlessly wandering about, i have a budget and i have to stick to it so there isnt much stress

  80. TinaTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 7:04pm PST

    Have a list of what you want to buy and shop early before the item you want it sold out.

  81. stacey dempseyTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 7:04pm PST

    i tweeted!/roswello/status/139176613924446208

  82. Anne-Marie TTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 7:05pm PST

    Tip for surviving the holiday shopping is to pace yourself. Don’t try to do it all at once.

  83. SandraTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 7:21pm PST

    Wrap presents as you buy them. It’s less daunting than having a whole pile to wrap right before Christmas.

  84. LindaTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 7:26pm PST

    Throughout the year, keep a list of things that family and friends have mentioned they would like and shop early.

  85. CarolynTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 7:29pm PST

    Online shopping is the way to go! No line-ups, rude people or parking issues.

  86. LawrenceTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 7:32pm PST

    Shop early. I usually purchase christmas gifts thoughout the year as I see things on sale that would be ideal for someone I know.

  87. GraceTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 8:01pm PST

    1. Do not leave Christmas shopping until the last minute. I start shopping for gifts as early as September as I see things that are suitable for my dear ones.
    2. Shop online for sales and use combine shipping!
    3. Purchase practical gifts.

  88. AndrewTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 8:42pm PST

    My favorite place to shop is – ONLINE!

  89. Fawn MulcahyTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 8:45pm PST

    I love to shop local, small independent businesses

  90. JeffTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 8:49pm PST

    Make a list, check it twice.

  91. Wuhong LuoTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 9:13pm PST

    Ok, $50 is not bad.

  92. Deena HumestonTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 9:35pm PST

    Of course I would like to win this! I’ll shop Canadian too, eh?

  93. Gwen MerchantTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 9:58pm PST

    Hello, I am not working right now because I had a silent stroke 4 yrs ago and
    this affected my memory.
    I am doing great now and am as pretty as ever. lol.
    I would be delighted to win this prize.
    My Birthday is December 13, 1954

    ahem, I resent being called a liar, you show me where I entered twice, even though it
    doesn’t say you can’t, I wouldn’t. I guess if you are selecting prizes, you will
    delete mine. Saaaad!!!!!!!!!!!!

  94. Angel OhTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 10:19pm PST

    You don’t have to shop for everyone at one time. Make a list of people and the item you think you want to give to them. You can also start making the list as early as October.

  95. Ashley KTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 10:26pm PST

    Shop later in the day, after dinner time if you can. Less people, and shorter lines.

  96. A.L.Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 10:28pm PST

    I would make a budget first to see how much I can spend on holiday gifts. Then, shop around for places with the most affordable prices. If possible, bargain for a lower price or buy the things when they’re on sale. With so much to be done, I would strongly suggest shopping early (like in November)!

  97. DonaldTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 10:31pm PST

    Drive to Oregon State no sales tax! 8^)

  98. ishaTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 10:37pm PST

    start early and use the internet to find the sales and bonuses

  99. JanetTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 11:15pm PST

    My tip would be to consider getting gifts that support charities. Some charities have gifts that go directly to support those in need (e.g. UNICEF – your money will buy a child story books) or you can even buy items that will support the charity (e.g. WWF – you can adopt an animal with your monetary donation and get a plush toy in return). You might also get a tax receipt for your donation.

  100. MariaTuesday, November 22nd, 2011 — 11:38pm PST

    I keep list of things my family and friends want or like throughout the year. I work best under pressure so I try to do the shopping all in one day.

  101. CaitlinWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 12:43am PST

    Always get gift receipts!

  102. NancyWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 1:14am PST

    Go when the mall just open. Make a list and do most of the shopping before December.

  103. VictoriaWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 1:32am PST

    I agree with you in the fact that you should take public transit.
    But also start early in hopes to avoid the crowds.
    Some Canadian companies have adopted the Black Friday Shopping Holiday so try to take advantage of those deals so you can stretch your dollar!

    Thanks for having this contest 🙂

  104. Saswata NandiWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 3:22am PST

    I agree with you ,Make a list, check it twice.

  105. marianneWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 4:22am PST

    Any kind of shopping is fun! Yeah, VISA Perks!

  106. GideonWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 6:49am PST

    The best thing to do is walk down to your closest shopping district and buy from all the independent shops in your area, trying to find products that are made it Canada. This will help you by not driving, this will help your local retailer, and this will help the people of Canadian rather than some far off country that doesn’t necessarily even like Canada. That’s what I try to do.

  107. EdWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 7:32am PST

    Shop early. Malls are already a traffic nightmare. Take transit if you can.

  108. Katrina BradyWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 7:54am PST

    I buy things throughout the year as I see them. You are already out so it saves time, no crowds and you don’t have to have a huge bill at the end of the season!

  109. Katrina BradyWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 7:55am PST

    I tweeted!/sweetmamabrady/status/139371421079060480

  110. CeciliaWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 9:04am PST

    Definitely make a list before you do your shopping and have rough idea of where you’re going to get those items so you can hit those spots without doing any impulse buys or linger too long anywhere.

  111. mariaWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 9:09am PST

    My best tip is to start Christmas shopping as early as possible. If you must go to the mall, go during the weekdays at dinnertime, most ppl plan to come after dinner.

  112. JuliaWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 9:36am PST

    Set a budget and stick to it.

  113. lindawwwwWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 9:40am PST

    Check through all the Christmas sale flyers that come through the mail and in newspapers to get ideas for gifts; make your lists of what to buy everyone and then go shopping.

  114. Jennifer M.Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 9:50am PST

    Make a list early of who you are going to buy gifts for, and start purchasing the items several months before Christmas!

  115. Robyn SmithWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 10:02am PST

    Holiday shopping! Yay!

  116. Robyn SmithWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 10:03am PST

    Cancel Christmas all together? Or avoid the mall in the last week leading up to Christmas!

  117. DarylWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 10:06am PST

    Shop online if you can but also watch the weekly flyers for the deals at your local store. Shop early mornings and or late evening. Make a list and stick with it at the mall if not you will be wondering and wasting time.

  118. ChelleWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 10:07am PST

    Go shopping during the off hours–early morning, especially on a weekday if possible. Or find locations of your favorite stores that are a bit off the beaten path.

  119. KatherineWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 10:13am PST

    If you can, online shopping – and now! How easy is that? No need to even leave the house.

    Otherwise, find markets and small boutique areas, such as those in Kitsilano or small towns like Maple Ridge. These stores have a rep for being expensive, but they are not all expensive, and you will find totally unique stuff! Plus the lineups won’t be out the door.

  120. DevonWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 10:26am PST

    Momma needs a new pair of shoes! 🙂

  121. ErikaWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 10:27am PST

    This might sound crazy but last minute shopping is the best, and I mean last minute as in xmas eve!
    how in the world you ask?

    Well, when you have so little time to shop you go for what you need, find new deals, and you don’t go around in circles all over the mall, is a get in get out situation!

  122. DevonWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 10:28am PST

    Online shopping and making lists on your handheld the moment you think of them…

  123. AlexWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 10:38am PST

    Don’t wait till the last minute! Look for big sales happening now

  124. Serena DeboltWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 10:38am PST

    Don’t think you have to buy a present for EVERYONE. People overspend and end up getting nothing in return. Only buy for your immediate family.

  125. AndyWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 10:48am PST

    Ah.. the holidays..

  126. FayWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 10:49am PST

    Set a family gift limit – in recent years my family has set a maximum spend of $35 per person. You’ll spend more time thinking about the person and what gifts to buy and avoid being sucked into buying junk just because it’s there and looks pretty.

  127. MariellaWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 10:52am PST

    Start your shopping early and have your list of gifts figured out before going into the shops.

  128. daliWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 11:01am PST

    try to make gifts yourself, if you have the time, it means so much more

  129. MayaWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 11:05am PST

    Finish your shopping in November!

  130. chrissyWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 11:07am PST

    stay well fed and lots of coffee!

  131. MuckymooWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 11:30am PST

    Suggest a secret santa exchange where you only buy one present for one person and not for everyone. This leaves less shopping and more money to donate to your local food bank.

  132. SundeepWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 12:29pm PST

    One year I shopped on Christmas Eve and got everything I wanted for everyone on my list so quickly! It was surprising!

  133. ChristineWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 12:56pm PST

    Shop all year round and online whenever possible!

  134. LindseyWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 1:02pm PST

    Go later at night or really early in the morning to avoid the super busy times.

  135. ChristelWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 1:09pm PST

    Buy all year long and make lists!

  136. fionaWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 1:17pm PST

    start with a budget and have a shopping list handy. Also try to avoid last minute shopping.

  137. DavidWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 1:18pm PST

    Avoid the lines and use online shopping. Many sites have free shipping offers at this time of year.

  138. gigiWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 2:03pm PST

    I like to shop at consignment stores to not only avoid the crowd, but also to get one of a kind pieces.

  139. VinceWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 2:04pm PST

    consignment stores are good – so are the local christmas craft fairs!

  140. taniaWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 2:04pm PST

    Buy a gift with a group of people, it makes for a nicer gift!

  141. rinoWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 2:05pm PST

    browse flyers, know what you want before you go

  142. DeidreWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 2:08pm PST

    go early, but try to shop early in the year as well.

  143. KrystalWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 2:16pm PST

    To avoid crazy mobs of people, I try to go shopping early in the morning when the stores first open. All the good stuff is here – anything on sale hasn’t been pillaged yet and usually the stores dont get busy until after everyone else has gotten their morning latte around noon.

  144. KatieWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 2:16pm PST

    I keep an eye out for sales through out the year and then save these items for Christmas.

  145. sarah w.Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 2:26pm PST

    Do Secret Santa with an expensive gift!

  146. lee robertsWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 2:36pm PST

    I’m a shift worker. So I can go during the week!

  147. LBWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 2:47pm PST

    Hit independant boutiques rather than big chain stores – you’ll find more interesting stuff and have more room to breathe, not to mention supporting your neighbours in their business ventures!

  148. CarolWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 3:02pm PST

    Do as much shopping online as possible and as early as possible.

  149. AreWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 3:20pm PST

    Shop all year round to avoid the madness in December!

  150. MichelleWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 3:54pm PST

    With 2 small kids, I try to NEVER be near a mall during the month of December. I try to do my shopping beforehand; I usually start picking stuff up during the summer, and stockpiling it; that way, it’s so so expensive all at once.

  151. Tina C.Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 4:15pm PST

    Look for deals both online and in stores and shop early (can emphasize this enough)!

  152. Cynthia BootonWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 5:10pm PST

    My advice is to shop early and look for bargains so you don’t overstretch your budget.

  153. GwenWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 5:27pm PST

    I like to get as much done early as I possibly can. The I like to go out and walk around in december without stress.

  154. kimWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 6:58pm PST

    shop early, shop online 🙂

  155. CurtisWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 7:17pm PST

    Know what you want, research online, and get there early!

  156. Sunshine GWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 7:22pm PST

    Skytrain to avoid parking and get there when the mall opens!

  157. Tara DaviesWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 7:36pm PST

    Shop online and look for free shipping. Saves transportation, gas, parking $$$

  158. Kristin HierckWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 8:04pm PST

    Online shopping makes everything easier!

  159. lindaWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 9:03pm PST

    Keep it simple. It’s not about the things it’s about the people.

  160. cindy quachWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 9:59pm PST

    homemade gifts

  161. PatrickWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 10:19pm PST

    such a nice perk!!!

  162. DeniseWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 10:52pm PST

    Shop weeknights as it’s less crowded… never weekends… or try going to the stores open 24 hours.. like Walmart 🙂

  163. LucindaWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 11:11pm PST

    Great for a student on a budget.

  164. HeidiWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 11:14pm PST

    Start early.

  165. Tooth FairyWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 11:26pm PST

    Sometimes expensive or material gifts are not as valuable as the gift of your “time” Spend some quality time with family and friends. Some simple homemade gifts can also be easy and special!

  166. DennisWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 11:29pm PST

    Plan ahead, stick to the budget, and finish before December 1st. Take a break while shopping at a mall, enjoy a coffee and relax.

  167. Tiffany LWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 11:34pm PST

    shop on weekdays and shop early 😛

  168. BonnieWednesday, November 23rd, 2011 — 11:51pm PST

    Make a list, get your shopping done sooner than later, shop during off peak hours, and do as much shopping online as possible to avoid the stress of the massive crowds.

  169. ammyyyThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 12:50am PST

    Shop in the morning. For anything! At the mall and even groceries. And even scope out deals online first before leaving the house.

  170. blessedtaThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 6:15am PST

    Have a budget and make a list.

  171. RobynThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 8:20am PST

    My main tip for surviving the holiday shopping madness – buy gifts for friends and family all through the year. I love to window shop at Christmas without all the pressure of having to find something. If I do find something else I can always buy it and save it for a birthday.
    Otherwise, bring snacks in your purse! Nothing worse than trying to push through on empty. I like to have a treat for my patient husband when he’s being a trooper during the holiday craziness.

  172. Gina G.Thursday, November 24th, 2011 — 8:51am PST

    I like to shop at craft shows during the holiday season to pick out wonderful homemade gifts (which also supports local entrepreneurs), as well as make my own creations from stores like Michael’s.

  173. StotesThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 8:55am PST

    Resist impulse shopping-know what you want, get in and get out!

  174. Katrina BradyThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 9:05am PST!/sweetmamabrady/status/139751434932584451

  175. stephanieThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 9:41am PST

    I am a terrible christmas shopper. I do it all the wrong way. It has become kind of a tradition for me, that panick of last minute running around. It would not be christmas unless I am going crazy.

  176. JudiThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 9:44am PST

    the only place to get CD’s is on-line

  177. GraceThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 9:57am PST

    Stalk Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

  178. JosephineThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 9:57am PST

    Don’t try to go shopping on the weekends – its a madhouse. Go nice and early and, if you have time, during the week

  179. kahhleeThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 9:58am PST

    Take transit, stay calm, and carry on. And enjoy!

  180. taraThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 9:58am PST

    one month (plus a day) till christmas!

  181. Jen HanThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 9:58am PST

    Plan plan plan get a great list going and shop early to avoid the rush! I hate last minute shopping!

  182. JamesThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 10:00am PST

    I need to buy something for my wife!! This would help!

  183. MelThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 10:00am PST

    Best tip to survive holiday shopping: make a list of everything you need to buy and search for everything online. Planning ahead of time and knowing where to shop is much better than going into a mall like a loose cannon.

  184. Lori DavisThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 10:00am PST

    Compare prices on on-line shopping. Yet another guud contest. TY @Miss604 guud luck every1

  185. MilaThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 10:00am PST

    Shop for gifts all year round.

  186. AmandaThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 10:01am PST

    My tips for surviving the holiday shopping are to never go on the weekends and have a plan! Know what you need to buy and where to find it. If you are really ambitious, check out flyers and prices online before heading out to get the best deals!

  187. BarryThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 10:01am PST

    Avoid the crowded malls, and shop online or at smaller retailers in detached shops.

  188. janiceThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 10:02am PST

    Don’t drive because parking is a painnnnn.

  189. JoeyThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 10:02am PST

    Bring a friend, and don’t try to do it all at once!

  190. Lindsay GoertzenThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 10:03am PST

    Shopping local is a favorite tip for me! I find it easier to get personal service and often little extra’s are included like gift wrapping or just making a phone call to the shop owner and they will send out the gift for you. It’s also a place to find something unique and different!

  191. JeanieThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 10:03am PST

    two words: SHOP EARLY!!!!! 🙂

  192. merisaThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 10:05am PST

    my niece and I make ours..Grandparents like the homemade gifts..they have everything they want so y buy them more ‘stuff’

  193. TeresaThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 10:06am PST

    I try to do my shopping at craft shows, online, and in independent stores. Mostly because I want to support independent businesses, but also because I can find less usual gifts.

  194. ChristineThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 10:06am PST

    I need to get in the zone. Headphones in, tea in hand. Block out the craziness and get it done!

  195. CoralieThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 10:06am PST

    if you live close to the border, shop in the states! way better deals, especially on the food you will eat during the season!

  196. JTThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 10:09am PST

    Deep breaths. Understand that everyone else is trying to do the same thing as you, so take it all in and enjoy it. It’s only shopping – it’s a luxury!

  197. AllieThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 10:11am PST

    I say avoid malls altogether if you can. Fresh air between stores is the key to staying energized.

  198. ChrisThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 10:12am PST

    Make a plan of attack. Instead of going from store to store looking for a gift, plan ahead what you are looking for and what stores to stop into. You save so much time and money.

  199. KodyThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 10:15am PST

    Hello, Christmas shopping…

  200. ImranThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 10:23am PST

    Create something yourself to give to others. Something from the kitchen perhaps! And don’t forget to use green alternatives to wrapping paper, such as colourful newspaper pages!

  201. ValThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 10:33am PST

    Buy experience gifts, even for kids. Their parents will love you.

  202. JoanneThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 10:33am PST

    When the malls open on weekday evenings before Christmas, I go shopping on Monday or Tuesday nights between 6 and 9 pm. Way less crowded than weekends, or even evenings later in the week.

  203. anneThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 10:34am PST

    take advantage of all the amazing local talent and check out a craft show!

  204. AdrienneThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 10:46am PST

    Shop online!

  205. Annie TomljanovicThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 10:47am PST

    Leave the kids at home!!!

  206. VeronicaThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 10:52am PST

    Start early. And Budget..nothing worse than having Christmas stress with money blues.

  207. DeborahThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 10:54am PST

    Shop early and online! Watch for groupons for deals

  208. RennThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 11:16am PST

    Shop early, go on weekdays, and check out local boutique stores on Main, Granville, downtown, or Granville Island!

  209. TYThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 11:34am PST

    would love to go on a shopping spree! weeee!

  210. LainaThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 11:38am PST

    shop EARLY and shop sales!! If you’re online shopping, make sure you give yourself enough time for shipping.

  211. JaninaThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 11:46am PST

    -Avoid shops/malls during busy hours and shop early during the week.
    -Subscribe to blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter and sites (like Miss604, Groupon, SPC) for deals!
    -Sometimes it’s easier and more convenient to shop online (with the same deals in-store and free shipping).

  212. MarthaThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 11:50am PST

    make a list of what you really are going there for to buy, don’t get distracted or else you will be there forever with horrid crowds!

  213. AlisonThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 11:55am PST

    I like to dedicate a day to ‘shopping for inspiration’ before making final purchases. That way I can shop for sales and avoid gifting remorse!

  214. mitziThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 12:05pm PST

    shop between nov 30th and dec 20th!

  215. AliciaThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 12:20pm PST

    I always plan out exactly what I’m getting and where so I can do my shopping in 1 or 2 days.

  216. Bronwyn LivingstonThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 12:21pm PST

    Home made gifts from the heart! Fun to make individual gifts for those special people!

  217. TracyThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 12:28pm PST

    go shopping on a weeknight

  218. KevinThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 12:33pm PST

    Do some black Friday shopping.

  219. AnnieThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 1:00pm PST

    The secret of avoiding crowds and getting sizes/stock…

    SHOP early! Going in November may be better than going in the middle of December.

    Also if you don’t have school or work, shopping in the morning in the weekdays can help beat the crowds as well. Stores are also much cleaner and neater

  220. JennThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 1:24pm PST

    start shopping by summer so you’re done by thanksgiving!

  221. CaitThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 1:38pm PST

    Try to finish your holiday shopping before December 1st, so you can actually enjoy the holidays.

  222. JovitaThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 2:43pm PST

    Have a game plan before you hit the mall to shop. That way you stay on track. Also, shopping early on a weekday is great because it’s less busy. The key is to stay focused on what you actually need to buy.

  223. lindsayThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 2:50pm PST

    I try to finish my Christmas shopping by mid November, it crept up on me this year – looks like I’ll have to brave the crowds or shop online

  224. Beki LiangThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 2:50pm PST

    Stick to a plan!! Figure out exactly what you are getting and for whom and how much you are spending. Break up the shopping into different sessions (for your sanity!!)…3 or 4 people every couple days. Plan the route you are using and stick to the shops that are required. DONT STRAY!!! Try to commit to an hour or a couple hours to each session…if you finish early, consider yourself lucky and get outta there! (If you like, treat yourself to something small as a reward for sticking to the plan) =)

  225. DebraThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 2:58pm PST

    A few of my friends get together with the gifts that they did not like and we swap them. So it’s like re-gifting, once removed.

  226. MikeThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 2:58pm PST

    i tweeted:!/miketengg/status/139839973724651520

  227. Michael TThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 3:13pm PST

    i tweeted!/MichaelTaxiarch/status/139843078289752064
    gl to all and happy holidays

  228. traceylikesyouThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 3:40pm PST

    amazon is you friend. order online, get it wrapped and shipped direct!

  229. Kira MarieThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 4:02pm PST

    Retweeted and happy to comment to enter! Thanks!

  230. JustineThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 4:22pm PST

    My #1 tip is to be patient and courteous with each other. It’s such a busy time of year and holiday shopping can get so stressful. Sometimes it brings out some of our nastier traits. Smiles and kindness go a long way.

  231. ColleenThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 4:33pm PST

    Go away for Christmas – that’s what my family is doing this year. We all booked a 3 week trip to Africa. Okay, so MUCH more expensive that just Christmas shopping, but it will be an unforgettable family experience.

  232. LaurenThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 4:38pm PST

    Online shopping only!

  233. RebeccaThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 5:23pm PST

    Start early. Shop online. Shop at small businesses. Try going to a charity shopping night at a mall.

  234. DanaThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 5:27pm PST

    Shop online for out-of-town family/friends. No waiting in line at a store or the post office!

  235. Elisa TangThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 6:48pm PST

    shop early!

  236. SimonThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 7:21pm PST

    Keep shipping times in mind when online shopping. And then add extra if you’re using Canada Post!

  237. IzThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 7:24pm PST

    Woot awesome prize!

  238. JaimeThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 8:12pm PST

    Over the past couple of years I’ve really started to embrace online shopping because it’s so much easier to compare and research items right there while I shop! 🙂

  239. Karen CThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 8:14pm PST

    I tend to shop online. More stocks AND sizes, AND the discounts are sometimes better! At malls, if it’s boxing day or black friday, I tend to wake up super early so that I miss the rush hour.

  240. FrancisThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 9:03pm PST

    Christmas craft markets are fun and have unique gift ideas (with an increasing number of vendors accepting VISA).

  241. NMThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 10:09pm PST

    Keep in mind what purchases you want to make. That way when you go into a store, you know what you planned to get..Otherwise, you’ll lose focus and spend more money.

  242. Andrew C.Thursday, November 24th, 2011 — 10:41pm PST

    Christmas shop all year except for Christmas time

  243. CarrieThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 10:48pm PST

    Shop througout the year.

  244. LeslieThursday, November 24th, 2011 — 11:12pm PST

    wake up early to hit the stores! and bring a set amount of cash to spend on each person so you don’t go overboard on your budget.

  245. Sandy NFriday, November 25th, 2011 — 12:42am PST

    Arrive at the mall early, so you can find a parking spot easier.

  246. RonFriday, November 25th, 2011 — 8:26am PST

    Shop early. It’s the only way to survive the holiday season!

  247. VaughanFriday, November 25th, 2011 — 10:07am PST

    Shop on Black Friday or Boxing day!

  248. AnnFriday, November 25th, 2011 — 10:52am PST

    Shop early for Christmas!

  249. Katrina BradyFriday, November 25th, 2011 — 10:55am PST!/sweetmamabrady/status/140141412229459968

  250. BrookeFriday, November 25th, 2011 — 2:08pm PST

    shop online in november.

  251. Teresa KFriday, November 25th, 2011 — 2:52pm PST

    Make a plan.

  252. Denise PFriday, November 25th, 2011 — 4:05pm PST

    Make a list; shop online; and.. the early bird gets the worm! Arive as the store opens 🙂

  253. RuthFriday, November 25th, 2011 — 4:27pm PST

    shop online, avoid the crowds and then you can spend time choosing something special for everyone.

  254. valerieFriday, November 25th, 2011 — 4:48pm PST

    Survival tip: avoid the big malls and give your business to the small, family-owned businesses!!

  255. RaiaFriday, November 25th, 2011 — 6:44pm PST

    Shopping online means more sizes, I’m the most popular size in clothes and shoes, and I find they sell out fast at the store!

  256. Mark DawsonFriday, November 25th, 2011 — 7:40pm PST

    Shop on 4th Ave!

  257. Loris MendozaFriday, November 25th, 2011 — 7:40pm PST

    Buy online 🙂

  258. anashFriday, November 25th, 2011 — 10:33pm PST

    DO not go shopping during the madness, number one tip on survival! Thanks for this splendid giveaway

  259. anashFriday, November 25th, 2011 — 10:33pm PST

    I tweeted at!/anashct/status/140316953343561728
    email: anashct1 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  260. mike l.Saturday, November 26th, 2011 — 9:04am PST

    Purchase online.

  261. SharonSaturday, November 26th, 2011 — 10:03am PST

    The mall is insane. Shop online.

  262. loriSaturday, November 26th, 2011 — 2:18pm PST

    When your local mall starts its extended holiday hours, go during those hours for the first week, as most people won’t yet realize that the hours are now available.

  263. DanSaturday, November 26th, 2011 — 5:47pm PST

    I ask my wife for a list and know where to go and what to get.

  264. LoriSaturday, November 26th, 2011 — 5:48pm PST

    Shop online – just love that!

  265. AndrewSaturday, November 26th, 2011 — 8:37pm PST

    Shop online. Save the gas

  266. icitea/ClareSaturday, November 26th, 2011 — 10:50pm PST

    Keep an eye out for presents weeks before black friday… then take the transit to a mall during lunch time (when everyone is busy eating) and buy, buy, buy!

  267. RenfrewSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 10:57am PST

    Shop online as much as you can. It’s so convenient.

  268. JennSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 11:18am PST

    Shop at craft fairs and the Holiday Farmers Market. Give the gift of local products, hand-made with love. Chai Honey? Original jewellery? Recycled Wallets? Lovely pottery? There’s something for everyone. If you have more time on your hands, make something yourself or give an experience rather than a thing.

  269. padme amidalaSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 11:56am PST

    I am doing some of my shopping online.

  270. ninaSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 11:57am PST

    love shopping online!

  271. TeresaSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 11:58am PST

    you don’t have to spend a lot but do spend a little at a small retailer…don’t forget to shop outside of the big box stores!

  272. BrittaSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 11:58am PST

    This year I’m using an iPhone app to budget and create my shopping list. So handy!

  273. ShannonSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 11:58am PST

    I’ve not done much online shopping, but would love to get more into it. Would definitely enjoy the perks of no crowds! 😀

  274. DarrylSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 11:59am PST

    Remember to shop local and support small business this Christmas season.

  275. AngelaSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 11:59am PST

    Gift shopping is both one of the best and worst experiences ever! It’s all worth it once you see their faces light up… if you got them the right gift that is! :p

  276. NatalieSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 12:01pm PST

    Lots and lots and lots of wine. lol. Surviving shopping? Online all the way!

  277. AnakinSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 12:01pm PST

    Take a day off mid-week and go when the stores open to beat the crowds. Of course, there are NO crowds online and you can shop at midnight.

  278. SamSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 12:01pm PST

    We’re sending family photos – Who needs more “stuff”?

  279. Eran RoubiniSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 12:02pm PST

    Don’t be in a rush and enjoy the experiance.

  280. vishiSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 12:05pm PST

    I coild use the extra 50$ to pay for my flight so I can see my girlfriend this chirstmas

  281. Jo-AnneSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 12:05pm PST

    Take a list of the people who you are buying presents for and check off the names as you find the gift. I try to shop local merchants, within walking or transit distance, as I don’t like making huge treks out of my “comfort zone”! I also, for the most part, don’t shop the last minute sales. I try to do shopping through the autumn. Makes me less crazy!

  282. DorisSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 12:06pm PST

    Avoid mall traffic and shop online or boutiques

  283. BrendenSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 12:07pm PST

    Avoid the parking lots! Either take public transit if your shopping load is manageable by one person, or arrange pickup by a friend or spouse if you bought a lot of stuff.

  284. JeffSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 12:08pm PST

    Go an hour before the malls and/or shops close. The least busiest time of day!

  285. DixonSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 12:13pm PST

    Make a list of what you are buying and browse online instead of in-store. Cross the border when it isn’t busy to get better deals (and wait for the Canadian dollar to go up!)

  286. MaggieSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 12:14pm PST

    I think the most important thing is to start early and have a plan! I always try to decide on gifts beforehand, or at least make a shortlist. Many malls have extended hours, so it’s always good to go late at night or early during the day!

  287. MelissaSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 12:17pm PST

    Last year I avoided the madness by running off to Haiti to volunteer for 2.5 months. Instead of worrying about when to put up the tree and what to buy all my friends and family it brought me back to the true purpose of the holiday… being with “family” and “giving back”. We had a beautiful dinner and made decorations for our tree “really just a few sticks spray painted white). It was the most beautiful thing ever. This year, instead of gifts, I will be paying for some very special children’s education in Haiti ( No stress and greatly fulfilling. Happy holidays!!

  288. MenaSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 12:27pm PST

    Online shopping bestest way to get it all done without having to deal with the malls!

  289. caitlinSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 12:55pm PST

    i keep a list of gift ideas year round, then when its time, do all my shopping online! easy!

  290. MareSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 1:03pm PST

    Shop early in the day and on a week day if possible. Online shopping is gr8 for books and home decor such as candles and diffusers, soaps if you know someone’s fave scent. Shopping for other people’s kids? If poss avoid toys and buy books online. Most of all, keep it simple and fun and remember this is a time to be with loved ones not a time for stress

  291. Laura RSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 1:06pm PST

    Start early! I try to start my holiday shopping in November to miss the rush. It also helps to know what you’re going out to buy before you leave the house. Do your research online, shop around to find the best price and sales, then head out to pick up those specific items. It saves time and money!

  292. Katrina BradySunday, November 27th, 2011 — 1:12pm PST!/sweetmamabrady/status/140900768227135488

  293. AndreeSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 1:18pm PST

    Go early, when the malls/stores open to avoid crowds/lineups.

  294. LionelSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 1:20pm PST

    Shop for perfume, etc. for your significant other in the afternoon of Dec 24 at Bay downtown. The clerks are happy to help and they like to give extra samplers. They’re in a good mood because Christmas shopping is almost over.

  295. WilsonSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 1:25pm PST

    Shop early, shop online.

  296. KaitlynSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 1:28pm PST

    My tip is to always do your shopping research before you go. Figure out the best present for each person on your list, do some online research to see who has it and at what price, and then get it (online or in store). I also like to look at the floor plan of the mall online and create a route beforehand (this prevents me from stopping in a store that I like to buy items from for myself).

  297. HeatherSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 1:32pm PST

    The best gift is time… Snowboarding, going to a movie or play, biking on the seawall then stopping for a hot chocolate. Life is about experiences not ‘stuff.’

  298. ElysiaSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 1:36pm PST

    Make a list and check it twice!

  299. Armando TangSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 1:48pm PST

    make a list, set a budget and shop early

  300. HarpreetSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 2:37pm PST

    Shop online and at local independant stores…rarely haveto deal with crowds!

  301. HelenSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 2:41pm PST

    Shop early and shop online!

  302. SaraSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 2:44pm PST

    Definitely going to be doing some christmas shopping online! $50 visa gift card is such a great idea

  303. ShelleySunday, November 27th, 2011 — 3:11pm PST

    Try and do your shopping at stores very early in the morning, or late at night. Some stores stay open 24 hours during the Christmas season, so try going at odd hours to avoid all the lineups. It works for me!

  304. AnnieSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 7:16pm PST

    shop online and avoid malls!

  305. TracySunday, November 27th, 2011 — 7:34pm PST

    Shop throughout the year or at least shop a few months in advance!

  306. marianneSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 7:55pm PST

    Any kind of shopping is fun! Merry Xmas!

  307. GuriSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 8:48pm PST

    Wow, 300 comments already?

  308. BenjaminSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 8:53pm PST

    Make a list, put the stove-top espresso machine on to make some coffee, warm up some coffe cake and lean back on the ‘puter chair and stretch your wrists & fingers before tripping the light fantastic wih the keyboard n mouse whilst enjoying the feeling of slippers while the rain pours down outside. And then think about what to buy that special someone with a $50 Visa gift card…

  309. ikkinlalaSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 9:26pm PST

    Give gifts of experiences rather than things. That way you can avoid the shopping (or, in the case of tickets to a place or event, you can usually do the shopping online).

  310. HeidiSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 9:50pm PST

    Shop at odd hours and online as much as possible!

  311. ShelSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 10:41pm PST

    Make a list with specifics so you’re not just wandering around aimlessly. And get a gift receipt whenever possible.

  312. GordonSunday, November 27th, 2011 — 10:47pm PST

    Shopping online can find you great deals but to help the local economy, go to stores and shop during odd hours (like weekday evenings). 🙂

  313. Katrina BradyMonday, November 28th, 2011 — 8:45am PST!/sweetmamabrady/status/141195984003805184

  314. BrittMonday, November 28th, 2011 — 9:25am PST

    Go to Metrotown during the morning on a weekday – it’s the best time to go! Not so crowded then, so you can actually get your shopping done without the hordes.

  315. VickyMonday, November 28th, 2011 — 11:14am PST

    Shop on-line in your Jammies…

  316. Angela RMonday, November 28th, 2011 — 2:24pm PST

    VISA ME!

  317. KarenMonday, November 28th, 2011 — 2:59pm PST

    Shp on a Wednesday evening and take the bus:)

  318. LindaMonday, November 28th, 2011 — 6:04pm PST

    i’ve been shopping for my xmas gifts all year long – get stuff you know ppl will LOVE and be done all your xmas shopping by november – like me 🙂

  319. NancyMonday, November 28th, 2011 — 6:40pm PST

    Shop online, and for god’s sake… avoid malls!

  320. PortiaMonday, November 28th, 2011 — 7:27pm PST

    I have a ‘gift closet’ where I would periodically add things to throughout the year, that way I can quickly get it done right after halloween. no stress, no mess!

  321. lsiaMonday, November 28th, 2011 — 7:43pm PST

    sadly im those who are always stuck with last minute shopping -_-“

  322. KimMonday, November 28th, 2011 — 8:34pm PST

    Do your homework online first and then head to the stores. Go at non-peak hours when possible.

  323. SPMonday, November 28th, 2011 — 9:55pm PST

    Shop online! Yah!

  324. MaeMonday, November 28th, 2011 — 10:20pm PST

    My friends and I shop for each others’ gifts during the Boxing Day Sales, to save on money. But if you must give gifts before Christmas, make a list of people you want to get gifts for and budget for each gift and then brainstorm some gift ideas before you go shopping for them.

  325. Michelle WebsterTuesday, November 29th, 2011 — 9:58am PST

    Take advantage of stores extended hours, shop late at night or early in the morning. Stores are less busy at these times. If you leave it to the last minute, there’s no escaping the lineups, so just accept it as part of the adventure, smile and be nice to the retailers/workers. If you think your day is stressful, imagine being in their shoes!

  326. richard wTuesday, November 29th, 2011 — 10:40am PST

    Shop on-line and/or do some homework on-line as well.

  327. JaclynTuesday, November 29th, 2011 — 11:51am PST

    Shopping online is a great time-saver!

  328. Katrina BradyTuesday, November 29th, 2011 — 12:22pm PST!/sweetmamabrady/status/141612911788429312

  329. CATuesday, November 29th, 2011 — 12:25pm PST

    Definitely agree about the transit tip! I was just down on Robson last night.

  330. CATuesday, November 29th, 2011 — 12:26pm PST


  331. Karen STuesday, November 29th, 2011 — 12:56pm PST

    Get your friends together before the holidays and put everyone’s names into a hat–everyone draws one name. Then you only need to buy one gift instead of multiple gifts!

  332. Steve Zussino – Grocery AlertsTuesday, November 29th, 2011 — 1:26pm PST

    Make sure that you do your research first online or in print before heading out shopping. Great for comparison shopping and potential coupons!

  333. CeciTuesday, November 29th, 2011 — 1:36pm PST

    Shopping online is so much easier and you can avoid all the hassle of going to the mall.

  334. FPJensenTuesday, November 29th, 2011 — 2:39pm PST

    when you wake up from a dream and absolutely must have *it*, turning on the laptop & doing a search to find what you want & getting it, is the difference between real time reality & missing out by waiting.. having a credit card helps!!!

  335. KimTuesday, November 29th, 2011 — 2:39pm PST

    I always come to the mall with a list of what I want to get, that way I am prepared and do not get sidetracked. I always price check before as well.

  336. MargaretTuesday, November 29th, 2011 — 3:34pm PST

    Shop early to avoid crowds or shop on-line in the quiet of your own home while wearing your pjs.

  337. FarhanTuesday, November 29th, 2011 — 4:17pm PST


  338. Naz QTuesday, November 29th, 2011 — 4:43pm PST

    definiately start shopping early!

  339. Sheryl StephensonTuesday, November 29th, 2011 — 4:57pm PST

    This would be helpful

  340. Leonora GWednesday, November 30th, 2011 — 12:23am PST

    My tip is to phone for whatever you can – to check where to park to be closest, to see if they have what you’re looking for – to see if there are any early/late off-rush hours. And another tip is to do ACTIVITY gifts – share an activity with your family member or friend, instead of something “material”.

  341. JudithWednesday, November 30th, 2011 — 7:53am PST

    I would say a real stress reliever is to survey online then call some stores for the product and get them to hold it at the desk then just pop in and pick it up…even alternate your lunch break for an hour before so you can get there when it’s relatively quiet 🙂 It works and you have done all your research already 🙂 I avoid “emotion buys” this way 🙂 It works for me 🙂

  342. EmmaWednesday, November 30th, 2011 — 8:54am PST

    I find that if I go before/after “regular” hours, the stores are less busy and then I can get my shopping done faster.

  343. sandyWednesday, November 30th, 2011 — 10:30am PST

    nice little bonus before xmas

  344. Katrina BradyWednesday, November 30th, 2011 — 10:33am PST!/sweetmamabrady/status/141947884248637440

  345. LauraWednesday, November 30th, 2011 — 11:53am PST

    Handmade gifts! The craft & grocery stores aren’t nearly as busy as the mall!

  346. LauraWednesday, November 30th, 2011 — 1:03pm PST

    Shop alone! Leave the kids, husband, and friends at home. Go shopping with a list and with purpose, and get in and out as fast as possible!

  347. ScottWednesday, November 30th, 2011 — 1:17pm PST

    Do your research in advance/look for the best deals online before heading out to the malls whenever possible.

  348. EileenWednesday, November 30th, 2011 — 1:56pm PST

    Online shopping all the way!

  349. myraWednesday, November 30th, 2011 — 2:59pm PST

    Online shop or do your research online, so you can go in and get out as fast as possible! Also, if you must venture into crowds, add a little bailey’s to your blenz/starbucks, etc. as it’s the only time of year you can really do that (it makes being in crowds a little nicer..)

  350. CandiceWednesday, November 30th, 2011 — 3:50pm PST

    Support local, sustainable, artisan business. Shop @ethicaldeal. Make things out of found objects. Most of my gifts look like the spoils of elementary school art class actually 🙂

  351. ThomsonWednesday, November 30th, 2011 — 4:33pm PST

    Time to start shopping!

  352. Katie BWednesday, November 30th, 2011 — 8:33pm PST

    Give the gift of time and avoid malls. I find gifts such as meeting up with a girlfriend for dinner and a movie, going over to your parents house to make them dinner, or visiting the local mountain for some outdoor activities are very well-received gifts that help you avoid the unnecessary shopping mall madness!

  353. sher bWednesday, November 30th, 2011 — 8:39pm PST

    $50 visa would come in handy for online purchases!! woot woot

  354. CathyWednesday, November 30th, 2011 — 8:42pm PST

    Christmas shopping has to start sometime!

  355. willWednesday, November 30th, 2011 — 8:52pm PST

    do your shopping early!

  356. CarWednesday, November 30th, 2011 — 9:06pm PST

    Make a list of potential items so you stay on track! Bring some environmental bags to make the shopping experience green!

  357. MeganWednesday, November 30th, 2011 — 9:10pm PST

    Shop with a friend, go early, and be patient- but don’t over-think your choices.

  358. GaryWednesday, November 30th, 2011 — 9:10pm PST

    Get in, get out, don’t think too much about “what if it’ll go on sale next week?” because it probably won’t.

  359. LucilleWednesday, November 30th, 2011 — 9:30pm PST

    Online shopping is awesome!

  360. Cyndi TWednesday, November 30th, 2011 — 9:31pm PST

    Take someone who hates shopping – they’ll keep hurrying you along

  361. NicoleWednesday, November 30th, 2011 — 9:44pm PST

    My tip – know what you’re shopping for, go for that first, THEN browse for the extras. Also, get someone to help you hold your bags, especially if they don’t want to go into the store you want to go in – helps to have a few extra hands!

  362. harold victorWednesday, November 30th, 2011 — 11:43pm PST

    Take the Canada Line to hit up malls in Richmond, Oak ridge and Pacific Centre.

  363. ShaunaThursday, December 1st, 2011 — 12:03am PST

    I like to decide on a category of gift – like calendars, or socks, or books – and find one for each person on my list. Sometimes I set the size because things have to be mailed and because it helps narrow down my search. Once I have a plan it’s best to take a day off work and avoid weekend shopping but I love to see the decorations and always hope to find a choir or quartet singing carols to brighten up the experience.

  364. SherryThursday, December 1st, 2011 — 6:06am PST

    Give experiences instead of things – try a show, play, sporting event, game, membership, etc.

  365. Linsy RotarThursday, December 1st, 2011 — 7:37am PST

    I know these have all been said, but I write lots of lists and budget for them. I’m never very good at the shopping early thing, but it would help. Also if you are online shopping, make sure to pay attention to shipping dates!

  366. RajuThursday, December 1st, 2011 — 8:30am PST

    Shop online to beat the holiday rush!

  367. TinaThursday, December 1st, 2011 — 9:38am PST

    Shop throughout the year rather than just before the holidays. I watch the sales throughout the year on the things I want to buy for people and by the time holidays roll around I would have bought all the gifts and saved lots of money.

  368. lucy kabatoffThursday, December 1st, 2011 — 10:31am PST

    shop early

  369. AC07-NWThursday, December 1st, 2011 — 10:40am PST

    plan everything: wake up early, transit scheds, mall to shop, important things to buy, and most especially your budget

  370. DinahThursday, December 1st, 2011 — 4:47pm PST

    Make a list and start early in the day!

  371. Deb CFriday, December 9th, 2011 — 12:00pm PST

    Check flyers and websites of your favorite stores for the best deals and start at least 3 months early to get the best bargains. I shop all year round and always buy gifts on sale and shop during hours when the store isn’t so busy! Especially stocking stuffers! I saved so much money this year by simply buying my stocking stuffers (ie.body wash) on sale and sometimes with a coupon on top of the sale!

  372. BradFriday, December 9th, 2011 — 12:01pm PST

    Stick to a budget and avoid weekends.

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