food

Countdown to Christmas: Great Gifts On-the-Go

Here we are, in the last full shopping week before the Christmas holiday. In the past, I’d be making a list and checking it twice – in a panic – right about now. However, over the years, I’ve learned that it’s possible to find amazing gifts in unconventional places! So, if you find yourself out and about this week, I’d love for you to consider the following gifting ideas -

The Airport

Know someone who’s flying in? Taking a flight home for the holidays? Don’t forget to take advantage of last-minute gifts, special edition items and duty-free alcohol. For example, did you know that Toronto Pearson has something for everyone right at the airport? Whether you’re shopping for the beauty buff, the gadget geek, the hostess or you simply forgot a last-minute stocking stuffer for a special little one, Toronto Pearson has tons in store this holiday season.

My Picks: Delicious holiday themed caramel apples are available at Toronto Pearson’s Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Terminal 1; Chivas Brother’s Blend Scotch and Johnny Walker Explorers Club Collection Spice Road are new and exclusive to travel retail at Nuance Tax and Duty Free locations; and The Hudson’s Bay Company Trading Post in Terminal 1 has cheerful knitted and wooden holiday friends ideal for last minute stocking stuffers and gifts. Stop in and pick up Echo the Bunny for $40 CAD or the HBC Nutcracker for $25 CAD.

The Grocery Store

The very first time I had a Bauli Canada croissant, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Soft, sweet and as fresh as a Parisian Patisserie (okay, not *quite* the same, but darned close), it was absolutely love at first bite. Available in delectable chocolate cream, custard cream, cherry and apricot jam, you’ll want to have one in your desk drawer at 3:00pm.

This Christmas, share a sweet gift – classic Bauli Panettone. The sweet richness of Panettone can be enjoyed many ways: either made up into a fancy recipe (LOVE this Panettone Bread Pudding) or paired with a simple glass of fresh milk. They’re perfect for having on hand as “emergency” gifts – and if you don’t end up giving one away, you get to enjoy it yourself! Sounds like a festive win-win to me!

The Office Supplies Store

Shopping online at Staples Canada for a few office essentials? Grab RealCup Brown Gold 100% Coffees Variety Pack, RealCup Martinson Coffees Variety Pack or RealCup Higgins & Burke Teas Variety Pack for a hot beverage-lover on your holiday list. Why RealCup?

Only RealCup single serve cups have the Flavor Max Filter to give you the maximum flavor from your favorite coffees and teas, hence the name. Unlike other filters, the Flavor Max Filter uses non-woven fibers to make sure all the rich flavors, colors and aromas end up in your cup. Plus, the single serve cups are compatible for use in your Keurig K-Cup brewer.

I had the pleasure of testing out some of their most popular hot beverages, and I am a believer! The coffees were bold and full of depth and flavour, and are particularly delicious when your husband brings you coffee first thing in the morning :)

(Tip: Try Higgins & Burke Chai Tea poured over ice for a refreshing and complex flavoured iced tea.)

The Drugstore

Popping in for some cold remedies? Bet you didn’t know that both Shoppers Drug Mart and Rexall have amazing prices on confectionery. It’s true! In fact, two weeks ago, I stocked up on Nestle Turtles – they were on sale for just $6.49 for a 400g box! I love giving the gift of chocolaty goodness to my three wise men: the drivers from Purolator, FedEx and UPS.

This year, Nestle Canada has launched two new limited edition holiday treats – Pecan Praline Turtles and Fudge Brownie Turtles. The Pecan Praline Turtles are the ultimate sweet and salty experience, and by far my favourite: carmelized pecans dusted with sea salt and finished with a ribbon of white chocolate. De-lish.

The Coffee Shop

I know that Tim Horton’s Gift Cards are circulated frequently around the holidays, and why not? Nothing says thank you like a freshly brewed cup of coffee!

And here’s another reason to give the gift of Tim’s: their new Turkey Sausage Breakfast Sandwich, a satisfying, lean protein breakfast option under 350 calories. Available at participating Tim Hortons restaurants across Canada for $3.29, the Turkey Sausage Breakfast Sandwich is made fresh, served hot and can be ordered with egg and cheese on a toasted English muffin.

The standard version of the sandwich has 330 calories, 20 grams of protein,14 grams of fat and is a good source of calcium and iron. For an even lower calorie choice, you can order the Turkey Sausage Breakfast Sandwich with an egg-white option, with just 280 calories, nine grams of fat and the same amount of protein.

Put it this way: if I received a Tim’s gift card that said “Breakfast is on me!” – I’d surely be all smiles :)

Well, there you have it, friends. Five gifts that you can grab on-the-go this week. If you’re out and about, keep a level head, stick to your budget, and bring a lot of patience and good cheer. Good luck!

42 Responses to “Countdown to Christmas: Great Gifts On-the-Go”

  1. Chandra Christine O'Connor
    December 16, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    few of those I am giving for gifts.

    • Lena
      December 16, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

      Nice! You have great taste Chandra, LOL!

  2. Marissa
    December 17, 2013 at 6:46 am #

    Great gift ideas Lena and thanks for the tips! Like you said, one can find amazing gifts even in unconventional places – and best of all, no rushing to the mall to stand in long line-ups.

    • Lena
      December 17, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

      Absolutely Marissa! Thanks for the feedback!

  3. loriag
    December 17, 2013 at 8:34 am #

    Your such a smart girl, multi tasking even for Christmas, gifts on the go truly are great ideas. I really like the airport ideas!

    • Lena
      December 17, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

      Thanks a bunch! Yup, I’ve found some great gifts at Pearson!

  4. Darlene Schuller
    December 17, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    These are great suggestions, especially for hard to buy for people, which my family seems to be polluted with, or those last minute guests! (another frequent thing in my family)

    • Lena
      December 17, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

      LOL! Sounds like you have an amazing family, hahaha!

  5. Allie
    December 17, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    Hey Lena nice choices.
    Thanks for the wonderful year full of many new and exciting tales and products!
    This is my last day have a Merry Christmas!!!!! All the best to you and your family for a great year ahead!!
    Allie xo

    • Lena
      December 17, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

      Thank you Allie! Same to you! Merry Christmas!

  6. Judy C (Judy Cowan)
    December 17, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    Great ideas, I am giving a few of those Tim Gift Cards myself :)

    • Lena
      December 17, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

      Nice! A great way to spread the joy!

  7. MrDisco
    December 17, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

    I’ve tried nearly all of the ‘Walker beverages, but the Spice Road is new to me. I’ll have to find out locally

    • Lena
      December 22, 2013 at 8:46 am #

      It’s exclusive to Pearson, Mr. Disco!

  8. Heidi C.
    December 17, 2013 at 11:04 pm #

    Fudge Brownie Turtles? Ok, I know what I am going to be searching for :)!

    • Lena
      December 22, 2013 at 8:46 am #

      They are SO GOOD! Like, beyond delicious!!!

  9. Tammy M
    December 18, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    Awesome tips and suggestions, thanks!

    • Lena
      December 22, 2013 at 8:47 am #

      You’re welcome Tammy!

  10. sarah sar
    December 18, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    Oh my gosh, why didn’t I hear about the limited edition Turtles before?? WANT!

    • Lena
      December 22, 2013 at 9:15 am #

      OMG Sarah – I LOVE them! At first I was all about the Praline turtles… but now I have developed an affinity for the brownie ones!

  11. Christina
    December 18, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    I love the RealCup variety pack idea! I also always get Timmies gift cards – everyone loves them, and it lets you get coffee and breakfast guilt free after the holidays. Such a nice treat!

    I also love lottery and scratch tickets as stocking stuffers. It’s so much fun when people win something!

    http://www.CountryUrbanLife.com

    • Lena
      December 22, 2013 at 9:15 am #

      Scratch tickets! Thanks for the reminder – definitely need to get some of those!

  12. jan
    December 18, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    I love the stuff they have in airport stores

    • Lena
      December 22, 2013 at 9:16 am #

      Me too :) I’m an impulse buyer, so it’s dangerous!

  13. Flora M
    December 18, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    There’s a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory store near me :) Love them ! The Tim Cards are perfect stocking stuffers and MMMMM, I love Turtles LOL ! Fortunately all I have left to pick up are the Tim Cards – so no last minute crowd-battling trips to the malls for me :)

    • Lena
      December 22, 2013 at 9:16 am #

      Nice! I have a few more things to pick up, but it’s so nasty outside, I’m afraid to venture out!

  14. mrdisco
    December 20, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

    Did some more investigating and the Scotch is the first in a line of ‘exploration’ whiskies. Can’t wait to try them all.

    • Lena
      December 22, 2013 at 9:19 am #

      Nice! Enjoy!

  15. Soozle
    December 22, 2013 at 7:16 am #

    Great ideas! I really love popping into Shoppers Drugmart for a quick gift – they are EVERYWHERE so it’s easy to pop into on your way somewhere and if anything you snag a giftcard from their large collection!

    • Lena
      December 22, 2013 at 9:19 am #

      Indeed! Great tip, Soozle!

  16. Victoria Ess
    December 24, 2013 at 8:07 am #

    Great ideas! Best wishes to you and yours, Lena, and happy holidays.

    • Lena
      January 5, 2014 at 7:25 pm #

      Thanks Victoria!

  17. Leigh-Ann Murphy
    December 28, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    You know, I see that Bauli cake all the time in the store but have yet to pick it up. I think I will give it a try!

    • Lena
      January 5, 2014 at 7:25 pm #

      Please do – it’s yummy!

  18. Stephanie
    December 30, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    I love those cakes too – lots around this holiday season in my home.

    • Lena
      January 5, 2014 at 7:25 pm #

      You bet! And they’re perfect for gift giving!

  19. francine
    February 15, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

    I loved those praline turtles. I got some for Christmas and had to buy them on clearance until we couldn’t find them anymore lol.

    • Lena
      February 15, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

      Ha! I love them too! I have exactly ONE left and I’m hoarding it!

  20. Susan T.
    February 17, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

    I love bringing a Panettone home for the holidays! Timmie’s gift cards are always a great present too!

    • Lena
      February 17, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

      Totally agree Susan!

  21. Rick F
    March 1, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

    never liked pannatone

  22. Lynda Cook
    March 5, 2014 at 7:03 am #

    I have never ever tried Biscotti in my life, well I was gifted a box of them for Christmas and they were chocolate with some kind of nut I can’t remember now, but I also liked that they were all ind. wrapped, I took my first one out of the box, looking at unsure if I should try it, well I tried it and fell in love, boy are they good, I’m glad I was gifted them now…and they didn’t last to long either after that first bite…lol

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