Holiday magic is in the air with festive trees twinkling, the aroma of hot spiced drinks wafting from cafés citywide, and picture-perfect gifts taking centre stage in shop windows. The countdown to Christmas is on, and shoppers will be relieved to learn they can find showstopping decorations, hosting necessities and presents for everyone on their list all from one enchanting neighbourhood: Yaletown. This season, Yaletown Kissmas encourages consumers to buy local – and in return, merchants are giving the gift of extended store hours to ensure holiday shopping is easier and more efficient than ever.
There’s nothing more stressful than frantically searching for meaningful gifts as the clock ticks toward Christmas. Yaletown shop owners are encouraging locals and visitors to get a head start on shopping. The neighbourhood’s bevy of merchants have stocked their stores with seasonal goodies guaranteed to impress, and for the duration of the Yaletown Kissmas campaign (November 27 to December 24), visitors will benefit from longer store hours so they can browse and ponder at leisure. Locals who work or live downtown can easily walk or bike to Yaletown from the downtown core, or hop aboard a mini-ferry and cruise over from Granville Island – and once they’ve arrived, a wonderland of top fashion and design stores, spas, cocktail bars and tea shops await.
Shoppers seeking stylish yet affordable clothing can visit Woo to See You for high-quality threads, shoes and giftables sourced from local and global designers. Gourmands will adore Cha Le Tea Merchant, a cozy café that sells beautifully packaged teas and accessories (before departing, be sure to try an aromatic cup paired with a sweet or savoury toast). Pick up the perfect hostess gift at Fine Finds Boutique, an eclectic shop whose wares range from furniture and home décor to exquisite jewelry, candles and clothing.
For holiday entertaining, head to The Cross, a gorgeously outfitted home décor shop that’s every Instagrammers’ dream – here, stock up on fairy lights to cast a holiday glow, find a cozy throw for cold winter nights, and add pops of greenery to centrepieces with beautiful pots and planters. On the next block, peruse one of the biggest selections of B.C. wine in the Lower Mainland at Swirl Wine Store, where guests can buy local and international bottles of red, white and bubbles as well as accessories. Divine Vines is the best bet for stunning bouquets, including “grinch” trees and chocolates. Across from the Yaletown Marina, Urban Fare is the ultimate holiday meal-planning destination: the upmarket grocery emporium features an interior laden with gourmet and organic foods alongside a bustling cafe. For a decadent dessert, swing by Lime and Moon Pie Company, Vancouver’s top organic pie shop known for its assortment of sweet and savoury pies that can be made gluten-free, vegan or raw.
Visitors are also encouraged to indulge in the ‘Kissmas’ spirit; neighbourhood lampposts and signs will be adorned by mistletoe under which visitors can take selfies smooching their loved ones. Post a photo to social media with the hashtags #YaletownKissmas and #YaletownWishList so the Yaletown BIA can repost and share the love.
“Yaletown is truly a one-stop holiday destination – not just for shopping, but for an all-encompassing seasonal experience,” says Annette O’Shea, executive director of the Yaletown Business Improvement Association. “Yaletown Kissmas is intended to show shoppers that Yaletown offers all they need for the holidays: gifts for loved ones, décor, food and ready-made desserts for entertaining; and plenty of great spots to linger over coffee, a glass of wine or gelato. And the mistletoe hanging throughout the neighbourhood is a perfect opportunity to capture and spread the love – and isn’t that what Christmas is all about?”
Santa is coming early this year! St. Nick’s Picks is back between November 27 and December 8 on CityTV’s Breakfast Television; enter to win prizes on-air daily, valued at over $150. The Yaletown Business Improvement Association has also partnered up with Daily Hive to give one reader a $150 bundle of gift cards for some of the neighbourhood’s most popular shopping and dining spots; enter online here by Monday, December 4. Finally, keep your eyes out the week of December 4, as Yaletown collaborates with local influencer Viranlly Liemena as well as Canada’s luxury and lifestyle magazine VITA, to giveaway two exclusive Yaletown shopping experiences.