Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tricky Gifting Made Simple at Toronto Eaton Centre

A sponsored hip + urban girl post. 

Some people on my Christmas shopping list are so easy to buy for. My bestie who is a yogi / leadership strategist loves anything earthy, boho, good for your bod and the planet. My dad the foodie techie is another. I just get him the latest kitchen gadget and he’s good to go. Then, there are the tough ones. My cousin who is just a little bit of a label snob, for example. God love her but it’s all Chanel, Prada, Tom Ford. I can’t shop on the sales rack or she’ll accept it lovingly and then shove it to the back of her closet which is such a waste but I definitely don’t have the budget to hit her most frequented shops on Bloor so it’s always a challenge.

If you’ve got a challenging gift recipient on your list, Toronto Eaton Centre is the premiere destination in the city to make the hunt so much easier. With over 235 retailers to choose from and free gift wrap valet service to boot, you can find something fab for just about anyone on your list in record time.

To test the theory, I took on a major shopping challenge this weekend to find gifts for 3 very hard to find loved ones to show you just how easy it is to score major brownie points this holiday season:

The Young Fashionista
Trendy teens or tweens can be tough. They want the latest and practically live at the mall so it’s a challenge to find items they’ve love and don’t already own. My strategy here is to search for what I call trendy staples. Items that are on trend but easy to mix with basics and not as likely to go out of style next week. 
Mission Accomplished: I hit up Aritzia, Pink by Victoria Secret and French Connection where I found a great camo jacket, bejewelled backpacks and animal motif sweaters. Fun but functional as my little style maven can wear these pieces to school but also to the movies and just chillin’ with friends on the weekend. Wait. Do kids say chillin’ or is my 30s showing?

The Gear Loving Athlete
Being the opposite of sporty all my life, this is always a hard one for me. Can someone explain the difference between a cross trainer and a running shoe? I usually just pick based on colours I like best. To get the right gear for my athlete, I figured hitting the sports speciality shops at Toronto Eaton Centre were my best bet and I was totally right.

Mission Accomplished: Both the Nike Store and Foot Locker had super knowledgeable staff and I found great pieces with moisture wicking properties and light weight warmth that are great winter sports. They also happened to be super stylish... perhaps I should strap on those skis and get active myself?

The Label Savvy Friend
Remember that cousin I mentioned earlier? Well she might be sad to know she’s not getting Louboutins or Balenciaga bags this year -- Sorry cuz! However, I did score major success with a little creative thinking.

Mission Accomplished: Michael Kors is a great entry priced luxury label and I found great wristlets, phone accessories and wallets under $125. Sephora’s luxe beauty selection also has labels she loves like Gucci and Dior but in the form of perfume and polish which means I can gift her the brands she covets while still paying my mortgage. 

So there you have it 3 major gift giving challenges solved and I’m happy to report I had 3 items picked out, paid for and wrapped for free in less than 2 hours on a Saturday morning. If you’re looking for a one-stop shop Toronto Eaton Centre is sure to make your challenging gift shopping a breeze too with extended hours and that fabulous gift wrapping valet service being offered now through December 24th on Level 1 just outside of the Dundas station or at the valet kiosk in the Urban Eatery. With this service you actually drop your gifts off and can pick them up any time before the mall closes. A great way to free up your arms as you buy gifts throughout your visit.

To get you started I’ve giving one lucky winner over $300 in gifts I scored during my shopping challenge. The prize includes items from French Connection, Michael Kors and Aritzia and is perfect for the fashion lovers on your list. It comes already wrapped and ready to give!

To win, simply leave a comment with your biggest holiday gift giving challenge and your email address and one winner will be selected randomly on Friday, December 6th, 2013. Good Luck!

For more info on Toronto Eaton Centre including store info, shopping hours and details on gift wrapping valet and other holiday services visit Toronto Eaton Centre online at www.torontoeatoncentre.com follow them on twitter @toeatoncentre and like them on Facebook.

-- Tamika Auwai is our resident Style Editor, Shopping Enthusiast and Wardrobe Expert. 

58 comments:

  1. My biggest challenge is staying in budget! I want to give and give and give some more!

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  2. My biggest holiday challenge is my brother- he is a teenager, a tecky who already has most gadgets and who enjoys sports!
    Last year, I got him a Nike backpack and shorts.
    this year, I am CLUELESS!!

    Lana

    ekobeici@hotmail.com

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  3. My challenge is my younger sister! She has such great and eclectic taste that finding that "certain something" is always a challenge! You need to look off the beaten path!

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  4. I don't celebrate Christmas, but my biggest gift giving challenge any time of year is being able to focus on the person and not worry about getting the perfect thing!

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  5. I have a hard time finding gifts for men!

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  6. MY BIGGEST CHALLENGE is my in laws.. they have everything and never need anything always always the worse ppl to buy anything for...

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  7. My biggest holiday challenge is making sure that you're not buying them the exact same gift someone they know is giving them.

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  8. My biggest challenge is buying gifts for my parents. They already have everything they need and it's hard to think of new things to give them after so many years

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  9. My biggest gift giving challenge is finding gifts for men!!

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  10. My biggest holiday gift giving challenge is finding that special gift for everyone in my family and still stay within my budget.

    secret_santa_wwf(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  11. My biggest challenge is my boyfriend! So much easier to buy him what I would like to see him wearing lol I always have to think long and hard to figure out what it is that he really wants!

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  12. definitely not spending too much money on gifts 0____0

    amyliu531@hotmail.com

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  13. I have not actually started with my Christmas shopping. I am actually planning to start this weekend. Wish me luck. For sure, I will be having a hard time due to Christmas rush of the busy people like me.

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  14. my biggest challenge is buying for my parents! they want something practical, but then they just buy what they need.

    email: xiaoeats@gmail.com

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  15. My biggest challenge is staying within budget! I love seeing people open gifts that they really, really wanted so I find myself going a bit over-the-top sometimes.

    terriwinter@hotmail.com

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  16. my hubby is the hardest person to shop for, his birthday is exactly a month before so any good ideas I have, I usually get for his bday and then struggle to find something for Christmas emmabartlett31@gmail.com

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  17. my biggest holiday gift giving challenge is trying to buy for my sister! She's far too practical, and I have a hard time finding fun gifts for her that she'll enjoy!

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  18. My biggest gift giving challenge is DEFINITELY keeping a surprise! I always get so excited about the presents I've chosen that it's hard not spilling beans before exchanging :P

    Fingers crossed for this! xx

    marni.zaretsky@gmail.com

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  19. i have trouble finding the perfect gift for my fiance and my brother-in-law! - CL cinlchin@hotmail.com

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  20. The biggest challenge so far is getting something for my fiance. Whenever I ask him what he wants, he tells me that he's already got everything he wants which is super cheesy but doesn't really help me. I'm still on the look out for something amazing!

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  21. My biggest challenge is my mom, there are so many things she deserves, I have a hard time narrowing it down to fit my budget!

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  22. My biggest challenge is shopping around buying gifts for all of my loved ones, but then seeing items that would be great for me. So hard to resist. :) bubblez_3@yahoo.com

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  23. Biggest challenge is staying on budget..

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  24. Biggest challenge this year especially is stretching the dollar as far as it can including making sure to have enough for the postage for loved ones far away! I'm creative but its a tough one this year to make it all happen and on time!
    traveliciousdee at gmail dot com

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  25. My biggest gift giving challenge would be my mother who is as crazy of a fashionista as I am!
    mijana.veljkovic@gmail.com

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    1. Hi Mijana! You're our winner by random draw. Please look out for an email from Tamika requesting your shipping address. Congrats and Happy Holidays!

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  26. My biggest challenge is finding something unique that everyone will love. I hate getting someone a generic gift, so I try all year to find something that they really want and remember it for when I do my holiday shopping! torontoisfashion@rogers.com

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  27. My biggest challenge is my father-in-law, who has everything he needs and can afford everything he wants! My husband and I try to be creative and make something for him that cannot be bought, or we take him out for dinner and spend quality time with him. Afterall time with family is priceless. :)

    clementine.jonathan@gmail.com

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  28. my biggest christmas shopping challenge being able to resist the temptation of shopping for myself!!! :'( far too many times have I gone on gift hunts only to end up totally distracted by things i wanted for myself... #ShopaholicProblems
    email: monica.pang@outlook.com

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  29. My biggest challenge is finding something unique that everyone will love

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  30. My email is loretta@phatoronto.ca

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  31. My biggest challenge is staying within budget. I love Christmas shopping for friends and family, and keep finding fun things I know they'll love.
    CindyinTO(at)gmail(dot)com

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  32. My biggest holiday shopping challenge is actually finding gifts that the people on my list will actually like.

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  33. My biggest holiday challenge is overspending and continually adding gifts once I've already bought people a gift!
    ericaopoku@icloud.com

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  34. My sister's family...I need a group gift that everyone wikl like.
    Kimkx100@gmail.com

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  35. My biggest holiday gift giving challenge is trying to stay within my budget. I always end up buying something for myself too. I need to focus on the task at hand which is to buy gifts (not for myself).

    a_meecq@hotmail.com

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  36. My biggest holiday gift giving challenge is getting something that everyone will use! I find it so hard to stay on task and think of something that will actually be of use to my loved ones, and end up making something like holiday mugs and little knick-knacks!
    simran.jassal@hotmail.com :)

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  37. My biggest holiday gift giving challenge is buying for my teenage cousins! They're very stylish and know exactly what they want.

    nsserrano@hotmail.com

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  38. I would have to say my grandmother. I have to compete with all the other grandchildren (and there are a lot of us!) and parents/aunts/uncles for the best present. And we all love her dearly, so we all do our best to get her something more awesome than everyone else. Thanks for doing this giveaway!

    Cheers,
    Eileen
    email: eileen@yesmissy.com

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  39. My biggest holiday gift challenge is to come 20% under budget. It's a goal I wanted to try this year so the extra funds can go back into my household budget. lhomareau@yahoo.ca

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  40. My biggest challenge is my brother in-law. He has everything and doesn't hold back on what he really thinks of the gift! Every single year has been an epic fail. We've tried sentimental, practical, unique, G.C's, vintage wine! And not once have we hit the nail on the head. I'm completely at a loss this year. tryon1@hotmail.com

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  41. My biggest challenge would be my boyfriend's parents! I never know what to get them.
    jessycow.blog(atgmaildotcom)
    jessydust.com

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  42. My biggest gift-giving challenge is my older sister! She is super picky about her clothes and only wears brand names! This designer prize pack would be perfect for her.. it's just her style!!

    jlookfoe@gmail.com

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  43. Ahh budget, it's a very tight one indeed. That is a challenge to even this self professed frugal fiend.
    shoegazerheart@hotmail.com

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  44. Having to wait for my cousin to sneak a peak at her daughters' (my niece) letter to santa to know what she wants for Christmas.

    jasper.ibe@gmail.com

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  45. My mother is the hardest person to shop for. She's never happy with anything she didn't pick out herself.
    andrews_cheryl at hotmail.com

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  46. My biggest challenge is staying on budget!
    wherejessate@gmail.com

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  47. biggest challenge is sticking to a budget for everything.. so many gorgeous things :)

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  48. budget is the toughest one .. so many gorgeous things !
    melissalexadoyle@gmail.com

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  49. My biggest challenge is buying for the inlaws.. they never need or want anything so its always so hard to find something that they would like... always end up going to get something last minute for them... stresses me out to the max!

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  50. Mine is probably my mother, she has all kinds of stuff and is impossible to shop for! danielleafterdark @ gmail . com

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  51. My biggest challenge is trying to find something to buy my loved ones that isn't boring, overpriced & is something they'd actually not only want but need! lauren.marinigh@hotmail.com

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  52. it's a challenge for me to find time to shop earlier, xmas seems to be here before you know it and there's always last minute gifts to buy no matter how early I start to shop
    mbenz37@gmail.com

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  53. my mother! She is so picky to get a gift for. I pull my hair out on it. fabulousbabe3750@yahoo.com

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  54. My father is my greatest challenge. He hates it when I spend money on him and he seems to always have everything that he needs.

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  55. biggest challenge. My family has everything. My mom and dad present the biggest challenge because they need nothing! lol

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  56. Biggest challenge is definitely sticking to the buget. Shopping for others always excites me.

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  57. My biggest challenge is finding the perfect gift for the girlfriend when I already got her some amazing Sephora makeup and need something really surprising :)
    e_aguiar@rogers.com

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