How to buy last-minute gifts

Christmas can be a stressful time for Whistlerites.

Many people are ramping up for the busiest time of the year at work, but still have to squeeze in holiday shopping — and, often, shipping gifts to their family and friends back home.

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Combine those two realities and there’s a good chance a lot of people out there still have some last-minute shopping to do. If you have a moderate-to-long list, at some point you’ll probably start to wonder why you’re partaking in the annual show of consumerism and consumption at all. Buying stuff because you have to — not because you found the perfect gift for a loved one — can be frustrating. While it’s certainly the thought that counts, if the gift receiver is secretly not into the gift that means you spent hard-earned money for nothing.

So what can you do to combat this cycle? Easy — buy a gift that benefits more than just the giver and receiver.

That can mean making a donation in the receiver’s name to your favourite charity — a great last-minute gift plan, in particular. But it can also mean supporting local artists, artisans and businesses. The Made in Whistler Market will have an extra market at The Westin on Dec. 24 with goods from local artists and bakers, for example.

By spending your dollars locally you’re not only helping your fellow neighbours, but you’re also giving a unique gift that you can’t find elsewhere in the world (a particular treat for your family overseas).

Then there are the experienced-based gifts that have the added bonus of giving you an opportunity to spend time with your loved one. Luckily, there’s no shortage of cool experiences in Whistler — from ziplining to snowmobiling, bobsledding or snowshoeing, to name just a few.

Another plus: this gift comes without wasteful packaging and won’t eventually end up in a landfill.

If you’re tight for money, take a different approach to the experienced-based gift. Plan an epic hike with a picnic finale, enjoy a day of bliss at a local hot spring or even just do something nice like shovel the driveway or haul recycling to the transfer station.

A hidden plus? If you spin it right, you can earn bonus points for considering the environment in your gift — and mask the fact that you were scrambling to finish your shopping ahead of the holidays. 

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