Last minute Christmas Craft Fair shopping guide

Thistle Town Toys @ Got Craft Photo Credit: [stu-di-o] by jeanie

Thistle Town Toys @ Got Craft   Photo Credit: [stu-di-o] by jeanie

Only 13 days until Christmas and I still need to shop for some of my loved ones, far and near. Methinks I’m not alone, judging from the wild-eyed, panicked looks I see on my fellow shoppers lately.

If you want to trade in the madness of the malls for the craziness of craft shows then you still have some time.

Whether you need to buy some jewels for your boo, some botanical body care items for your secret Santa at work or gourmet host-gifts for your Christmas party circuit, craft shows like Got Craft and Shiny Fuzzy Muddy have got you covered.

There are still a number of craft shows and sales taking place over the next two weekends from East Van to Abbotsford and points in between.
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Last minute Christmas Craft Fair shopping guide

4 Unique Christmas Shopping Alternatives in Vancouver

Vancouver shopping alternatives

Image posted on the Inside Vancouver Flickr Pool

With all the Black Friday sales popping up in Vancouver, it’s a great time to start thinking about all those people that are on your holiday shopping list (how did it get so long!?). But, when you’re tired of the mall and you’d rather not step foot in another big box store, it’s great to remember that there are a few unique shopping alternatives around town that will make your Christmas present shopping almost… enjoyable!

We’ve compiled a list of 4 interesting and unique places to pick up your presents this year for Christmas:

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4 Unique Christmas Shopping Alternatives in Vancouver

Holiday Shopping in Vancouver: Downtown District

Downtown District Shopping

The holidays are upon us and while deals across the border might seem tempting, merchants around the city are stepping up their game to offer discounts, packages, and unique retail experiences for shoppers. To promote local spending, I’ve talked to several local business improvement associations about what makes their neighbourhood shine for shoppers. This week’s feature is the Downtown District. Continue reading:
Holiday Shopping in Vancouver: Downtown District

Black Friday Shopping in Vancouver

Photo credit: Steve Snodgrass on Flickr

The holidays are upon us and as our neighbours to the south prepare for their own Thanksgiving, there’s one special day for any shopper out there that’s circled and marked on the calendar: Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving in America is called Black Friday because, similar to our Boxing Day, retailers offer deep discounts to move massive amounts of stock hoping to jump “in the black” in their books after operating at a financial loss throughout the year.

Black Friday is November 29, 2013 and Canadian retailers are taking advantage of the trend including several shopping hot spots around Vancouver. Here’s a quick guide to help you navigate all of the deals, discounts, and specials in your local shopping district or shopping centre: Continue reading:
Black Friday Shopping in Vancouver

Vancouver Christmas Shopping: 6 Holiday Markets and Pop-Ups

Holiday Cards at We Are Local. Photo credit: We Are Local

With just two weekends to go before Christmas, it’s time to start or finish your holiday shopping. I respect both camps of shoppers: the early birds and the swift’n’serious. Early birds know what they’re after and exactly how long it takes to secure such a prize. The swift’n’serious crew relies on last minute inspiration.

Whichever camp you belong to, here’s a round-up of Vancouver’s most exciting, Christmas-only shopping options. You’re already familiar with the big malls and shopping districts. These are the seasonal gems that feature unique, often locally-made goods.

From holiday craft markets to holiday pop-up shops, here are some ideas to help you find something special for everyone on your gift list.

6 Holiday Markets and Pop-Ups

1) The Great Canadian Craft Fair: Saturday, Dec. 15 – Sunday, Dec. 16
Bah-zillion (200) B.C. vendors take over the iconic Salt Building in False Creek selling handmade indie wares including ethical baby clothes, quilts, terrarium globes and so much more. There will be cocoa and face painting for the kiddos, plus workshops and music. It’s open 10am-6pm. Tickets are $7 on Eventbrite. Continue reading:
Vancouver Christmas Shopping: 6 Holiday Markets and Pop-Ups

Holiday Shopping? Check out the Örling & Wu Christmas Pop-Up Shop at Holt Renfrew

Holiday shopping can be daunting. The new Örling & Wu holiday pop-up shop in the downtown Pacific Centre’s skybridge to Holt Renfrew has the seasonal charm that encourages a lazy linger rather than hurried, list-based browsing. The Gastown-based retailer has curated a lovely selection of Christmas decor and hostess gifts which will be on sale there through Dec. 24.

The Örling & Wu holiday pop-up is Holt Renfrew Vancouver’s first-ever home decor pop-up shop. It’s reassuring that the 175-year-old queen bee of exclusive fashion made it a point to work with a local business. The pop-up has old-fashioned holiday decorations by Jan Constantine, festive tea cozies by Poppy Treffrey, historical bone china mugs by Cole of London, sparkly Sabre serving spoons and clever ornamental creations by Italy’s Miho Unexpected.

“Our business has always been about making homes and lives feel beautiful. Adding beauty to simple moments is what makes the holiday season memorable,” explains Julie Wu, co‐founder of the local biz.

Holt has also partnered with Vancouver-biz Soirette Macaron on a Christmas macaron and tea shop in Holt Renfrew, so you can power up with gingerbread and mint-choc macarons while shopping.

And now for a montage of glamour shots from the Örling & Wu holiday pop-up. Continue reading:
Holiday Shopping? Check out the Örling & Wu Christmas Pop-Up Shop at Holt Renfrew

Top 5 Stocking Stuffers that say Vancouver

Whether you’re buying for someone naughty or nice, stuff this year’s stockings with great gifts that say Vancouver.

1. They’re back! Nearly one year after Vancouver’s biggest party you can still purchase a pair of signature “red mittens” from the Bay, and support Canada’s athletes ($10). Note however that these are different from the original Olympic mittens. Those are no longer available (unless of course you’re a regular reader of Inside Vancouver, in which case you would know that we have a few pairs we’ll be giving away in the weeks ahead!)

2. Travellers Deck is your go-to guide for eating and shopping in Vancouver ($11.95). This deck offers a number of discounts and freebies to 100 venues in five distinct neighbourhoods throughout the city.

3. A bottle of mouth-watering birch syrup from the Edible British Columbia retail store, located on Granville Island ($7.95 for 50 ml). Its slight bittersweet notes give it a more complex, less cloyingly sweet taste than maple syrup. This syrup is so good you can savour it by the spoonful!

4. A copy of City of Glass, a book by Vancouver-based author Douglas Coupland. Featuring short essays and photographs of Vancouver, each essay deals with a different aspect of the city, such as the glass condominium towers which dominate the Vancouver skyline and give the book its title. Available at the Vancouver Art Gallery ($24.95).

5. A bottle of Osake’s Junmai Nama sake ($27). This sake is handcrafted in an artisan studio located at Railspur Alley on Granville Island.