This year is shaping up to be one of the more hectic holiday seasons – 4 birthdays, 3 Secret Santas, 2 Christmases…and a partridge in a pear tree (sorry). I’ve had to be a lot more organized this year as a result. Evernote has been my saviour, which I credit with keeping me and my shopping lists/expenses sane (mulled wine helps, too, if we’re being honest).
I’ve also had to get creative with presents this year. While trying to shop for Secret Santas with vastly different limits, birthdays for children that I am not related to, and the overwhelming pressure to get the perfect gift for adults that seemingly have everything, I’ve found some hidden (at least, for me until this year) shopping gems in Toronto. Some of my favourites:
Drake General Store – aside from the awesomely quirky Canadiana paraphernalia (Toronto Public Library tshirts? Mountie cocktail napkins? yes please), they have great stocking stuffers like candles, cook books and one-of-a-kind jewellery. And this fantastic contact lense case that’s shaped like Wayfarers…
AGO Museum Shop – not your typical museum shop, that AGO. They have more modern gifts like wine thermometer sticks (for the sommelier in your life) and baby bibs with pearl necklaces printed on them (for the future socialite).
Monkey’s Paw – they have a book vending machine! $2 gets you a mystery paperback. Novelty? Yes. Kind of cool? Yup.
Bridge + Bardot – great vintage find on Dundas West, with a super pun-ny name. One shopping trip with a friend yielded mid-calf cowboy boots for her ($30!) and a Hermes-style scarf for me (just $10).
One of a Kind Show – comes but twice a year. This was my first foray into the wonderful world of One of a Kinds, and I came away with gifts for almost everyone left on my list. A great way to support local artists, and get truly unique (but quality!) goods. I treated myself to the Toronto airport pillow below as an accent piece that says something (namely: that’s the airport code I put in the “from” field when booking flights).
The holidays may be all but over, but there are always those “just because” gifts for your loved ones throughout the year. Happy shopping!