shop :: One week until Christmas!

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It's such a busy time of year. Take a break and remind yourself why this season is magical: sharing a glass of cheer with friends and family, youngsters being good while Santa is watching, twinkling lights outlining houses and trees. There is only one week left until Christmas... make the most of it.

Be the best gift giver.
We shared our favourite gifts to give and wish lists last week. Kendall is inspired by our abundance of local makers. Gillian won't be showing up empty handed to any holiday parties. Callie's upcoming wedding has some influence over her 2013 wishlist.

Not sure where to shop? Think outside the (big) box and let the independent stores along 124 Street, 104 Street Promenade, and Whyte Avenue inspire you. 104 Street is hosting its Customer Appreciation Day on Thursday, and Old Strathcona has free horse-drawn sleigh rides between shops on Saturday. Local shop owners have such a wide variety of unique gifts, and you'll feel good knowing your money is staying within the community.

Mail out your Christmas cards.
It's not too late! Canada Post can still get them to friends and family by Christmas within your city if you mail them by December 19, and within the province if mailed by December 18. Kids can send their letters to Santa Claus at the North Pole, H0H 0H0, Canada. Don't forget a return address so that Santa can reply.

Host with the most.
Decorate your home, build a gingerbread house, wear the perfect dress, and make a signature drink (option 1, option 2, option 3, option 4). Set the tone you want with the right holiday candle scent. Serve brunch the way Callie would. However you host, do whatever makes you stress less.

*Image from Dreamy Whites - French Farmhouse Inspired Living