There’s a good chance your holiday season will look a lot different this year compared to previous years. Weekends in December are often filled with office parties, friend or family get-togethers, shopping trips, and special events like Christmas markets or visits with Santa. To put it simply, this year won’t be the same. It’s important to make the best of what we have, find joy in the little things, and connect with friends and family in other ways. 

Since the start of the pandemic in March, consumer behaviour has seen a huge shift towards online purchasing, understandably so. As a result, Canada Post and fellow couriers have been faced with a volume of home deliveries they had never seen before. Canada Post has been urging Canadians since mid-October to shop early to avoid disappointment as they work their way through what will likely be their busiest holiday season. 

If you’re looking for gifts or some sort of special holiday treat this year, the world is at your fingertips. But you can also bundle up, take a walk, and see what our local businesses in the Heron Park area have to offer. Get the ideas flowing with this Heron Park holiday guide.

Specialty Stores

Have you got a crafter, birder, or young kids on your shopping list? We’ve got quite a few specialty stores in the area that could use your support. Tag Along Toys in Blue Heron Mall comes recommended by community members, and the line-up outside Wild Birds Unlimited just a few stores down suggests it’s a popular spot too. In the same mall a community member suggests The Clothes Tree consignment shop. Over on Kaladar you can shop at Zelikovitz Leathers for crafting supplies, or search online at Uashmama’s array of washable, eco-friendly products (like bags, accessories, and home goods) and pick up in store. West of Main next door sells beautiful home decor and furnishings. You can even include the family pet and pick up toys or treats from Pet Valu at the plaza on Bank and Alta Vista. 

Sport Lovers

If you’re shopping for someone who is passionate about sports and the outdoors, there are a few spots you can search close to home. Kunstadt at Bank and Heron specializes in skis and snowboards this time of year, but also sells gear to keep you warm outdoors (wool socks!). Not far down the street, Disalvo specializes in soccer gear including hard-to-find authentic jerseys, but also sells activewear and running shoes too. Moving on down Bank Street you’ll encounter Play It Again sports for new and used sporting gear (skiing, hockey, soccer, baseball, etc.), and Rebec and Kroes, a bicycle shop. 

Tasty Treats

While gift giving is great, sometimes showing you care is as easy as dropping off a treat – or treating yourself to something tasty because you deserve it too. Beer lovers will enjoy the variety of brews at our friendly neighbourhood brewery, Overflow Brewing Co. Packaged treats like chocolates or cookies are easy to find at Farm Boy if you need something that can keep for more than a day or two. If you are looking for a special treat to be consumed immediately, look no further than Maverick’s Donuts and Ichiban Bakery in the Blue Heron Mall. If your giftee (or you) enjoys cooking, check out Microgreens on Heron.

Easy Meals

You may still find yourself busy this year even without the extra events and gatherings. Or hey, maybe you want a break from cooking and doing the dishes. Farm Boy has a special heat-and-eat Christmas meal for two or more for pre-order by December 19. Pelican Grill also has frozen meals ready to go which you can browse on their website. Natural Food Pantry in Billings Bridge is the closest spot for vegetarians and vegans to pick up a Tofurkey roast and Farm Boy often has a similar product made by Sol Cuisine. Vittle on Heron Road sells chef-crafted meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and fresh-pressed juices. Or keep it simple and order take-out from any of the restaurants nearby. A gift certificate from a local restaurant, shop, or grocery store would also make a nice gift for friends and family.

Bath and Beauty

A small business in our own community called Eleven Bees produces beeswax-based soaps, beard balm, shaving products and more. Check out their Facebook and Instagram pages for further info. New in the Alta Vista/Bank plaza is a store called Castle of Alchemy, which also sells organic and natural beauty products.

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