Christmas has been stale for me over the last decade or so. Either being in school or working endless hours seems to take up so much time that the two days that I got off around Christmas seemed more like a weekend than anything else. I like giving gifts though, and I expect that when I have children the whole Christmas gig will become more important to me.
Anywho, the next best thing at Christmas for me is spending money. This has a special feeling after Christmas because you know that you are going to get a great deal the retailers what to move all that extra stock that they bought for the season.
www.futureshop.ca A B.C. company that sells pretty good stuff for a great price. I went shopping there for electronics at the Boxing week sale. They always have great deals on blank CDs. $29.99 for 50 disks (spindle) is a great price if you have been downloading lots of music and need to burn it.
www.atic.ca www.frontierpc.com Both of these computer retailers have the best prices in Canada. I have checked prices from Halifax to Vancouver and nobody else really comes close to matching there prices. They juggle back and forth on who has the better price on specific things but shopping at either one will guarantee you just about the best price going. Frontier computers will let you shop online while Atic isn't interested in it as of yet. But with both being on Broadway Avenue in Vancouver they aren't all that far away.
(Note, if you want customer service go to Frontier Computers, Atic is kind of like going to the Soup Nazi from Seinfield www.spe.sony.com /tv/shows/seinfeld )
Everyone needs tools. We all know that almost everything you fix needs a specialized tool. My dad has spent a small chunk of my inheritance on filling his new workshop with some new tools. (Not to mention that he has been collecting tools for over 40 years.) Memories of walking through countless stores with him, driving to the depths of Langley trying to find www.houseoftools.com all in the relentless pursuit of having a pneumatic chisel. www.canadiantire.ca , www.sears. ca, www.leevalley.com are some Canadian stores that you can shop at. My personal favourite is Lee Valley. They manufacture some of the products that they sell and have the best selection of fine tools available. They also have a great gardening tool department for the green thumb in your group.
www.chapters.ca my better half and I just bought a DVD home theatre setup. Since I only have a couple of DVDs (The Sopranos, season 1 and 2, worth every penny!) the need to go out and buy some non-gangster movies has come. Chapters will ship anywhere in Canada and they have great prices. They used to give a Web-only discount, and occasionally have other specials (free shipping). Notable other places are www.dvdboxoffice.com and www.absound.com .
A few things about buying online.
1) I like to call the stores before I buy something from them. I just feel better about making sure that the company actually has people on the other end and isnt run out of a boiler room by people who walk on the wrong side of the law.
2) Check what the retailers policies are on shipping. With NAFTA being fully in effect there is very little or no duties on products imported or exported from/to Canada or US. But sometimes you have to pay brokerage fees for the package to cross the border. If you ship via FedEx overnight, FedEx will broker it themselves and not charge you for it.
Check www.ccra-adrc.gc.ca/menu-e.html to find out what duties apply to your purchases.