Hassle-free shopping

Your guide to the best gifts on the web

Stressed about your long holiday shopping list? Help is here. We found the web’s best shopping sites – featuring fantastic gift ideas as well as tight security and delivery in Canada. You’ll find 60 sites here. And the best part: now you’ll have time to compile your own Christmas wish list!

The beauty queen

Delight any diva with these fabulous finds: from accessories to makeup to clothes, there’s a gift for every gal in your life, including yourself, of course!
Outfit your sporty soul sister in Lululemon’s nylon/Lycra athletic wear and you’ll be friends for life. She’ll live in her Y tank ($48) and Groove pants ($93). Sizing charts help with fitting.
Thrill the friend who has everything – at this site, owned by Chatelaine’s parent company, find jewellery, cosmetics, fashions and decor gifts. Or – OK, we can’t resist – give the gift of Chatelaine sheets (400-thread count four-piece queen set, $130).
Dig into a juicy selection of discounted makeup, skin care and perfume for great deals, such as Burberry Brit Eau de Toilette (30 mL/$36 US). Bonus: free shipping and five per cent off your order when you buy three items at once.
What’s more luscious than sinking into a hot frothy bath? Give the gift of a little me-time along with bath bombs, massage bars, soaps and fragrances. No animal testing. Gift sets from $7 to $175.
From funky skirts to must-have totes ($58 US) and canvas striped belts ($17 US), chances are you’ll add a few things to your wish list too. Don’t forget to surf the sale section.
Brighten up her holidays with a little bling, like a silver and garnet charm bracelet for $50 US or a 14K white gold and diamond initial pendant, $125 US.
Help your gal pal glam it up with the sultry new Tempt Me… line (Precocious tinted Lipglass, $16). Plus, check out the Looks tool (printable makeup how-tos and product suggestions) for more gift-giving ideas.
Browse a huge selection of brand name cosmetics and fragrances. Check out “Best gifts under $30” for steals like the Sugar Cosmetics 12 mini lip gloss set, $28 US. Or, go for a gift certificate.
This site was made for your all-organic friend. Peruse the Primavera line gift shop for skincare, aromatherapy, fountains and more, $23 to $112. Or click on “What’s hot” to see the week’s 10 top-sellers.
Score trendy NYC duds, jewellery, footwear and bags from designers like Ben Sherman and Lulu Guinness in a wide range of prices. Search by category, price, designer or type of gal for whom you’re shopping.
Find cuff watches, cord blazers, silk cushions and more in this one-stop trend shop. Save cash when you buy in bulk (two Polo-tees, $16 US each).

The active type

Athletic and adventurous sorts want maximum action plus entertainment, and these sites deliver. Book a flight to a travel bug’s favourite city or reward all your loved one’s mountain climbing training with some dynamite gear.
Got a road warrior in your life? Show your support and shop by brand or item type (between $2 and $500) for the perfect pair of Lycra shorts, a pedometer or energy snacks. Become a member to get discounts.
For venturesome types, shop for climbing, cycling, hiking, paddling, snow sports and camping gear. There’s a $5 membership, but all products are tested, competitively priced and guaranteed.
If you’re a newbie, take the tutorial. Then browse for everything from travel vouchers and time-shares to backstage passes and Mercedes rentals in the Tickets or Travel sections. The trick: check the sellers’ reputation by reading buyers’ feedback and keep an eye on opposing bidders.
Treat your globetrotter to an escape – be it an ocean, mountain or relaxing spa getaway (you can even bring the dog to some destinations). With oodles of choices, you’ll get excited just browsing.

The homebody

Everybody loves a gift they can enjoy at home, so share a favourite film, help fill a friend’s abode with chic decor or buy her a new power tool. From bookworms to gardeners, here are gift ideas to satisfy them all.
A handyman (or handyma’am) can never have too many home improvement toys. From gardening gadgets to power tools, you’ll find selections at a wide range of prices. Check out the Gifts & Registries tab for suggestions.
Contribute to a film buff’s video or DVD library when you buy a gift from this site ($8 to $150). Use the search engine to look for a specific film, or browse by date of release.
Find furniture and home decor accessories in a range of styles from country to contemporary. Click on the Gift Ideas tab for suggestions, such as a hand-blown hurricane candle holder ($10 US) or a set of photo coasters ($25 US).
Whether you’re shopping for a book fanatic, music aficionado or movie lover, there are hundreds of titles to choose from here. Or pick up a stylish vase for about $25 or a sterling silver-and-enamel charm bracelet for $125 in the Gift section.
Browse products from the Hudson Bay retailers, including the Bay and Zellers. Then click on the tab to save big on home decor accessories, furniture, bedding, cameras, luggage, health and beauty products and more. Find a gift for as little as $10.
Ikea offers stylish home furnishings and accessories at outstanding prices (where else can you get a bookcase for $29?). You can also look for stocking stuffers here – such as small picture frames ($5 to $30) or candle holders ($1 to $4).
If you’re shopping for a studious type, look no further. Choose from stylish desk accessories (sets come in a variety of colours to make any desk top sleek and organized) or swanky writing paraphernalia, such as pens and journals, starting at about $20 US.
Not sure if your music fan likes to bop to Britney Spears or U2? Let them choose from thousands of CDs and DVDs using a gift certificate. Pick up music and movie titles starting at about $10.
Help someone sleep better with the gift of cozy bedding. Choose a full bed ensemble, right down to the pillow shams, or pick just a cosy queen-size duvet (from $160 to $550). Or, for the bathroom, go for a set of lace towels ($80).
Shop here if you’re looking for a vibrant, original gift, and if you want to please a flower lover. Pick a Christmas-themed arrangement, starting at about $25, or send a holiday wreath or poinsettia.
A book lover’s dream – this is the site to go to for coveted first editions (got 30 grand floating around for the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, anyone?). You can also find best-sellers, both new and used, starting for as little as a buck.

The food fan

Whether the food lovers in your life prefer cooking or eating, they’re sure to have the tastiest holiday ever with gifts from these sites. From appetizers to desserts, cookware to table linens, choose from a banquet of gift ideas that fit any holiday budget. (Note: sites may also ease the digestion of stressed shoppers.)
For the hottie in your life, this site hosts more than 900 sizzling products, from dried pods and powders to jalapeño jelly beans ($8) to “Death Martini” habañero stuffed olives in vermouth ($10).
Check out this site’s extraordinary gifts – sure to quicken the pulse of any serious gourmet. Browse gift ideas including: foie gras from Quebec ($10); sea salt from the Isle of Anglesey ($11); and 25-year-old balsamic vinegar from Italy ($199).
Rogers’ Chocolates is famous for its hand-wrapped creams, Empress Squares and chocolate almond brittle ($40 per pound/454 g). Gift baskets offer an assortment of goodies for your sweet-toothed sweetie (from $132).
What do you buy the bon vivant who has everything? A set of horn-handled cheese knives ($660)? A stoneware bean pot ($104)? Hand-painted Alsatian baking dishes (from $50)? Well, yes. Take your pick here.
Let’s face it, macaroni art is quaint, but nothing says “You’re special” like top-of-the-line brand name kitchenware. Choose from All-Clad, Mauviel Cuprinox Copper, Emerilware, Dualit toasters, and more, many at below retail prices.
From stocking stuffers – who wouldn’t like a strawberry huller ($3)? – to the Cuisinart Toaster Oven Broiler ($110), the company name says it all. Great selection of top brands, low prices.
Nostalgic for holidays past? Order a traditional Christmas pudding ($25), or delight the kids with a cast aluminum gingerbread house mould ($45). Quality cookware and more for the passionate gourmand.
Impress your friends with premium Nova Scotia seafood delivered fresh to your door. Maritime Feast includes live or cooked lobster, coquilles St. Jacques and smoked salmon ($159/feeds 4).
Pique your palate with traditional country fare in decidedly modern flavours. Try jam made from gooseberries and grappa, chutney in pumpkin apricot or popcorn seasoning in bubblegum or strawberry (all $6). Also features gourmet oils, honey, dips and more.
Retro candy! Candy bouquets! King-size candy! Bulk candy! Testimonials from addicts attest to freshness, quality and wholesale prices ($28 US buys an assortment from the 50s, 60s or 70s). Mmm, candy.

The techie

Find the perfect gift for your beloved gadget geek who wants the coolest and newest toys. You don’t have to understand all those high-tech gizmos to buy them, but it sure helps to know where to look. Get started with these sites.
Shop for your astronomy junkie here and pick up everything from telescopes to night vision systems (from $275). Or hunt for microscopes (from $80).
Find all the tools an aspiring or professional photographer needs to capture holiday moments, including traditional and digital cameras (starting at $170), camcorders (from $330) and studio lights.
For a lighthearted but original techie gift, go for a gag T-shirt with the words “I love my geek” on the front ($18 US) or buy the James Bond Stealth Camera ($100 US).
Get it all here, from cellphones (starting at $60) to electronics and more. Also a great site for other tech toys, including computers and printers. Click on the Weekly Store Flyer for timely deals.
Shop here to satisfy the wants of computer gaming nerds. Find games for adults and kids starting at about $10 (from classic arcade to super-graphic Spiderman 2).
Now here’s a techie toy store: Sharper Image boasts a sizeable collection of gadgets – check out robotic massage chairs ($800 US), a personal cooling system ($30 US) and waterproof binoculars ($90 US).
Buy Sony electronics direct from the manufacturer here. Make someone happy with a home theatre system (from $399) or pick a mobile DVD system for your car (from $499) to keep back-seaters entertained.
Score big computer bargains at this site and help someone get connected. A computer liquidator, 123Compute specializes in gently used and refurbished MACs and PCs. Snag a desktop for as little as $200 or a laptop from about $400.
Help your pal on the go stay organized with the gift of a Palm Pilot (from about $113). For the person in your life who always get lost, choose a Global Positioning System (starting at about $300) – they’ll never wonder where they are again!
Shopping for a computer wizard who builds ’em from scratch? Start here, where you can buy new computer parts from modems (starting at $13) to motherboards (from $45). Also choose from built and ready-to-go new desktops, laptops and other computer paraphernalia.

The little ones

Kids get the coolest presents. But shopping for fab gifts during the busiest month of the year is enough to make most of us consider a nice crisp bill tucked into a card. Don’t do it! These sites have everything you need to put a smile on a kid’s face – from the (relative) quiet of home.
Visit this site first and you may accomplish all your shopping. It has everything a child could want, from dolls and puppets to a foosball table ($120), kites (from $15) and a karaoke machine ($250).
Give your kids a book they’ll love forever – because they’ll be a character in the story. Personalize one of three 100- to 130-page stories by providing a child’s name, characteristics and familiar places, which will appear throughout the pages of the book ($32).
Give your up-and-coming pilot the gift of flight with radio-controlled airplanes (from $40), blimps and helicopters. Sections also include model rockets (starter kits from $5) and classic model ships.
With these amazing gifts, there’s no need to tell kids they’re educational, too. Select from more than 15,000 toys, games and materials, all designed to make learning fun.
Rainy days and jigsaw puzzles go together like – well, rainy days and jigsaw puzzles. Choices include the 46-piece Arc de Triomphe 3D ($6), the 9,000 piece Veronese Wedding ($150) – and lots in between.
Choose from the world’s largest selection of video games (from $10 US), consoles and accessories. You may never see your kids again. Site includes age-appropriate ratings. It’s, like, totally rad.
Educational toys for all ages, including classic block sets ($35 for 1,000 pieces), a talking globe ($130), and – for all those budding fashionistas – the “Bling Bling” bead jewellery kit ($24).
Annette Funicello (the girl next door who came into the spotlight in the 1950s Mickey Mouse Club) has a collectible bear company that makes a “Zen” bear ($100) wearing a red kimono. Choose from a wide selection, starting at $8.
Remember ant farms? Check out the Smithsonian’s Bio Dome Habitat ($32 US). Invisible ink made from lemons? Don’t miss the Crime Lab Investigation kit ($52 US). Chemistry sets and so much more.

E-mall shopping

Does the thought of being mall-bound during the holidays turn you into a grinch? Leave long lineups to someone else and cruise the information highway to the hottest one-stop e-shops: check out (under Classifieds), or and click on the Shopping tab. Or visit the American virtual mall at (just make sure your merchant ships to Canada before heading to the checkout counter) and BizRate at

For a little discount digging, check out and click on Canada. This site’s done the comparison shopping for you – score a Canon PowerShot S1 IS Digital Camera for $445 instead of $631!