Christmas Shopping…in November

Recently in the newspapers and on TV we have been reminded that there are delays in product supply chains and in the stores. There are warnings to shop early and avoid disappointment, and to take extra money along because prices are going up. Vendors have made promises to lure us back from online shopping by keeping things new and interesting.

With Christmas on the horizon what are we to do with all this news? As a writer with dedicated shoppers following my posts, I decided it was time to investigate. So I put on my comfortable shopping shoes, filled my wallet, and set off for Sherway Gardens, my local mall.

As I wandered down the hallways, I noticed few signs of the pandemic. Most of the directional arrows have been removed and there are fewer hand sanitizer stations. But there weren’t many people there either; only a few retired folks like me; some shopping, some sitting down for a quick nap, some walking purposefully in order to get their 10,000 steps.

Sherway’s holiday decorations this year are white, in various shapes. There are a lot of spheres; snowballs I guess. And there are white animals: moose, reindeer and at least one cute little bear. The tone is more of peace than festivity – all that’s needed are some white doves flying overhead. In fact, with all the climate disasters, disease, and civil conflicts in the world right now, peace is a very good way to go.

Reindeer of peace….

My first stop was Indigo. This used to be a book store with very few gift items. Now it is a gift store with a few books. You could easily do all your shopping here. There are plush throws tied with beautiful ribbon, mugs and more mugs, gourmet food items, and tree ornament for every taste. I managed to pick up a couple of stocking stuffers, but there were no sale items.

Then I tried The Bay. I wasn’t too impressed – there didn’t seem to be much effort at decorating. One tree was only half-lit! Following predictions of price hikes due to low inventory, there were very few sale items. I managed to buy only one gift at 30% off. But there weren’t many clerks either and I had to walk around a lot to find somebody to take my money.

Half-lit tree…

Then I headed for the food court. Here I did have to show my proof of vaccination in order to sit down and eat. The area wasn’t crowded, and there was no Christmas music, no ear worms of “All I want For Christmas Is Youuuu!” There were no Christmas food items either; no Tim Horton’s holiday specials of polar bear donuts or candy cane hot chocolate.

But all is not lost! As I walked back through the mall, I noticed that vendors in some stores have definitely got the holiday spirit. One shop had everything gift-wrapped in red at the front entrance. The TESLA store had red cars in the showroom. Tommy Bahamas had red bikinis in the window. How festive!

And what about Santa? How is he faring this year? Well his little hut and big chair are set up and waiting for him. But studies show that there aren’t many Santas available this year. It seems that Covid has taken a toll on Santa candidates. So, if you have any spare time this holiday season, you might consider growing a beard and gaining some weight…


Santa’s house is waiting for you…

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