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With Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the news, you just know we’re officially entering the holiday shopping season. This year, consumers are taking a more careful, cautious approach to holiday shopping, being mindful of the bottom dollar.
That said, the latest Mastercard Spending Pulse survey shows the days leading up to Christmas are set to be the busiest of the season.
“A major boost for this season’s retail growth is expected from in-store shopping as customers have more flexibility to shop in-store again,” notes company officials in a recent media release. The survey shows last-minute gifts will include jewelry and leather goods, and apparel is also likely to be wrapped and given for the holiday season, in addition to electronics.
That said, everyone’s looking for a bargain, and one of the best places to look is seasonal warehouse sales and pop-up shops. There are plenty in the Greater Toronto Area, starting with one of the most popular ones of the season:
LISA’S COSMETICS 2022 CHRISTMAS WAREHOUSE SALE: I wait all year for this awesome sale, and am so thrilled that it’s now officially open Nov. 25 and other choice dates. This amazing sale features deep discounts (savings up to 80%) on everything from your favourite perfumes to cosmetics and toiletries, to gift items for the whole family. You’ll also find fashion purses, wallets, purses, designer sunglasses, fine chocolates and much more! Name brands include Stila, Armani, Gucci, Lise Watier, Juicy Couture Versace, and many more. Check sale dates carefully.
– Lisa’s Cosmetics 2021 Christmas Warehouse Sale, Nov. 25-28, Dec. 2-5, Dec. 9-11, 135 Commerce Valley Dr. E., Markham (off Hwy. 7 and East Beaver Creek), Saturdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mondays and Fridays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., lisascosmetics.com.
MR B’S FAMOUS CHRISTMAS SALE: Is coming up next Saturday, Dec. 3 and the messaging is clear: Pre-Covid pricing will be in place to help fight inflation and make it a merry holiday for everyone. Mr. B’s Christmas Sale is particularly special and this year there’s a huge selection of stocking suffers, Christmas blankets, candy sets, gift sets, slippers, chocolates and unique and special gifts all deeply discounted.
– Mr. B’s Famous Christmas Sale, Dec. 3-18, 1590 Matheson Blvd. Unit 16, Mississauga, Tuesdays-Fridays 10 a.m., to 6 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m., to 4 p.m. Closed Mondays. mrbsfamoussale.com; @MrBsfamoussale.
CLEARANCE WAREHOUSE Another fan favourite, this sale, with three warehouse locations, offers the great savings on everything from housewares to health and beauty, baking essentials, gift sets, small appliances and seasonal goods – stock is constantly being added. Prices are from 30% to 90% off retail.
– Clearance Warehouse Sale: three locations, 375 Queen’s Plate, 183 Lakeshore Rd. W. (Oakville), and 10 Bramhurst Ave. Units 3-4 (off Torbram Dr.); Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; clearancewarehouse.ca./cwsale.com.
WILLIAM ASHLEY WAREHOUSE SALE: Considered one of the most popular warehouse sales and now in its 46th year, this famous sale is offering deep discounts on everything from home decor to bed and bath, corporate gifts, furniture, holiday gifts, Christmas ornaments, toys, foods and more. Daily specials and more than 20 departments to choose from, savings up to 80% off retail.
– William Ashley Warehouse Sale: to Dec. 19; 111 Creditview Rd., Vaughan; Tuesday-Wednesday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday-Friday 10 a.m., to 7 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m., to 6 p.m., closed Mondays for restocking. williamashley.com/warehousesale, @WAWAREHOUSESALE
REAL DEALS WAREHOUSE: The sale offers an astonishing array of deals on everything from lighting to housewares, home decor, gift items, fitness goods and so much more. More stock is being added daily, particularly holiday gift items, plus lots for the pet lover. Prices are from 50% to 90% off retail.
– Real Deals Warehouse Sale: to Dec. 23, 358 Humberline Dr., Etobicoke; Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; closed Mondays; realdealswarehousesale.com.
IT’S A WRAP!
Gift bags with plumes of tissue paper have been the traditional go-to choice for gift-giving, but nothing really beats a beautifully wrapped holiday package. Many will tell you gift wrapping is an art form, with styles and trends that transcend the years. One year gift wrap may be a busy blend of holiday themes, another year it’s one basic colour, but tied with brilliant-hued bows, ribbons and even fresh pine cones.
The key is in making the packaging lines look at seamless as possible.
“This year’s wrapping trends are moving toward natural and thick textured papers and fabrics, with natural twine and rope ties,” says Maggie Fox, founder of Ciselier heritage European handmade scissors (ciselier.com). “There’s also the all-out luxury of heavy fabrics like velvets. Decorations include natural tree boughs, pine, live greenery and florals.” Big this year, adds Fox, is “the glitter and sparkle of thick ribbons.”
A perfectly wrapped gift is all about the anticipation of what’s inside the box. But then, some wrapped gifts are so beautiful, you may not want to open them up so quickly!
LITTLE CANADA MAKES FOR A BIG CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEA
Little Canada is one of the country’s most popular miniature tourist attractions, located in the heart of Toronto. The attraction is a true celebration of Canada — shrunk into a two-hour experience showcasing the country’s beautiful vistas, famous landmarks, iconic cityscapes in this wonderful little miniature world.
This year, the popular miniature tourist attraction is offering a truly memorable gift — in the form a 2 1/2-inch “Little Me” tree ornament. It’s a miniature version of yourself or the best gift to give someone who has everything. The company uses a special “Littlization station” that takes 3-D photos of the person to be transformed into the ornament. Prices range, depending on size.
There are other gift ideas as well – check out little-canada.ca for more details. And become a Little Canadian!