Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pre-Christmas Madness

Christmas, it has always been a special holiday to me.  (1) it is a time when we all get gifts, (2) it is two days before my birthday, and (3) I don't need an excuse to re-decorate the house and entertain friends.  The Holiday spirits used to hit shortly after Halloween when I was a kid, as the retailers slowly finished off the Fall decoration and getting into the Winter mode.

As our pace of lives gets faster, so are the retailers.  Now you almost have to start shopping for Christmas in October as retailers would pull their products out already and sometime even on sale as early as the first week of November!  My past experience taught me if you waited until the end of November or early December to start looking around, welcome to the weirdly decorated leftovers!

My research for this entry started in early October as Homesense couldn't hold back anymore. From rustic birch branches to glamourous nut crackers, from trendy plaid to mummified moose, and ornaments in every colors and forms you can imagine, Homesense has it all!  It is a good place to start with the basics as you do need a fair amount of them. Homesense offers a wide variety of products at affordable prices.

Other than home decor, Homesense also brought in furniture and pillows that are more festive oriented.  Here are some examples:

The Bay also started pretty early this year.  Their Holiday department grant unveiling was October 16th at their flagship store at Queen and Yonge.  Here is what they've got this year:

Most of the products at the Bay are from the Gluckstein collection and so they are at "designer" prices.  The best time to get them is when the Bay has its one-day only sale at 40% to 50% off of all holidays products at end of November/early December.  You will have to know what you want, where to get them, and have to be there early as somehow all these people working around the area can manage to sneak out during work to shop!

Pier 1 also started early and got some pretty nice options:

Pier 1 also got some rather "interesting" choices. .. Christmas at the Zoo anyone?

My advice at Pier 1 is: don't wait for it to go on sale unless you are in town for boxing day.  Their Christmas products didn't go on sales even the week before December 25th in 2009 and when I was back from vacation during boxing week, everything was gone.  So, if you like what you see, get them now.

Ikea also pulled out their Christmas collections in late October.

As always, Ikea offers a wide range of products.  From ornaments to stocking, lighting to packaging, Ikea offers them all at really affordable prices.

and here are a couple of lighting options I want to bring to your attention:

These two items will probably be sold out quickly.  They are unique and there are no other similar alternatives out in the market (not that I've seen ... yet).  So, get them while they are in stock!

West Elm offers a more urban and sophisticated approach to Christmas decoration.  Not your traditional red and green, or trendy plaid, West Elm opts for quiet, simple, and nature inspired decor dressed in warm white, silver, muted gold, and green.

These plates are perfect for the Holidays!  Almost too pretty to put food on it.

Porcelain origami ornaments:

Love the nature inspired chandeliers, the white owls and the pops of kelly green:

Being a very good sport, Pottery Barn didn't bring out their Christmas products until November 1.  As always, PB always got what I want, with products inspired by nature and in many shades of whites.  Country farm house setting. .. hm.. . maybe I do need a winter getaway afterall.

The rustic, traditional tree:

The sparkling, unconventional tree.  Got to love the new paper garland and the unexpected bird cages.

The Design Diva, Ms. Debbie Travis, also got her products out in full launch at Canadian Tire, offering styles in affordable prices.  I particularly like the glittered feathers and the new take on red/white ornaments.

Holts:  I wasn't looking for Christmas decorating products there but always like to see what the high end fashion power house would decorate for the Holidays.  I really like their simplistic approach this year:  pines/spruces, dressed in white lights and its signature hot pink boxes... classic, sophisticated, and a little whimsy.

Absolutely love this idea in the cafe where a branch was hung from the ceiling, wrapping by white lights and decorated by an assortment of ornaments in various shapes and colors.

Teuscher: the chocolate maker.  Who knew chocolate can be so much fun!

Indigo, a book store has also tapped into the Christmas decoration market.  Here are a couple of wreath options:

Martha Stewart has breathed new life into Home Depot for the holidays:

Fun and festive plates at Urban Outfitters:

Polka Dot Kids offers Christmas decoration with a homemade flair:

The Paper Place always inspired loads of gift wrapping ideas but this year, it carries a collection of playful ornaments as well.  The stable DIY wooden ornaments are also back.

Urban Barn carries a wide variety of Christmas decorations and they do go on sale before the holidays.  Be sure to check out their outlet locations as well.

Take Me Home (underground at RBC plaza)

and here are a few unconventional options for THE Tree:

 and how about these for a DIY wreath ideas:

Update: 12.05.10

Tested my theory at The Bay this year... the one day sale is within the week where November hits December.  The Bay also has a 7 days price adjustment policy..  so my advice is get what you want the last week of November. .. .and when they do the one-day only sale, all you need to do is to walk up with the receipt and get all your previous purchases at deep discount without rushing with the crowds!


  1. Wow, you've really covered the market! Good shop girl ;-) Hope you found some goodies at HomeSense!

  2. I figured I should try to cover as much ground as I can but the reality is, the stores are still pulling out new stocks and I can't possibily do them all in one entry.

    got to stop somewhere.. . so is shopping. I'm into some serious bleeding here lately.

    My place is mostly deck for Christmas already but I'm now stuck in what to do with the console table. I'm getting this wallpaper installed next week and since it's a very bold and graphic wallpaper, I want other things in front of it being claim.. ..

    it's funny how it's always that console that gives me trouble. seasons after seasons that's the spot where I'm not too sure what to do with. ..