Holiday shopping is stressful - period. The crowds, lugging around a heavy coat and bags, the nervous energy in the air; it's enough to have made me surrender to online shopping for the holidays out of sheer fear of going to the mall. When I was turned on to the Avion Holiday Boutique at Yorkdale Shopping Centre (one of the busiest malls in the province), I was skeptical. I was assured that this boutique would change my view on holiday shopping, and I was not disappointed. From coat and parcel check, to valet parking, complimentary gift wrapping and everything in between the Avion Holiday Boutique is such a nice reprieve for the madness of the mall that I'm totally giving in-store holiday shopping another shot!
|Photo by La Petite Noob|
Reserved for RBC Avion cardholders, the Avion Holiday Boutique can be found at Yorkdale Shopping Centre. While chatting with some of the staff at the Avion Holiday Boutique I found out the whole experience is a way for RBC to give back and thank their Avion cardholders for their loyalty and reward them with an upscale shopping experience - so nice!
Another cool feature available at the Avion Holiday Boutique is the virtual reality experience. I've only tried virtual reality once before at a large and crazy party, so I was excited to give it another go in a more intimate environment. I could have stayed on the tropical beach that the experience provided for hours -- you can tell in the photos that I am clearly very into the experience!
Another service that I fully intend to take advantage of is the complimentary gift wrapping. I am notoriously pretty terrible at wrapping gifts, so I was relieved to find out that I could simply bring in my holiday purchases that I've made during my shopping trip and have them expertly wrapped at no cost! The best part is that non-Avion cardholders can also have access to complimentary gift wrapping (for five gifts) by downloading the Avion Passport App and making a small donation to SickKids Hospital.
Next came the best part, and in my opinion the most incredible perk of the whole Avion Holiday Boutique - the chance to take a load off and relax. The stress of the holidays is a very real thing, especially when scrambling around trying to get errands done and presents bought. What a treat to be able to sit back with complimentary coffee and treats and enjoy time with friends (or some well-deserved "me time") while the madness of the holidays stays outside of the Avion Holiday Boutique's doors. I can truly say that this experience has changed my thinking on holiday mall-shopping, and I fully intent to pay the Avion Holiday Boutique a few more visits before it ends on December 31.
What do you guys think? How do you cope with the stress of holiday shopping? Let me know!
Photos provided by Kristina Ruddick unless noted otherwise.
This post was created in partnership with RBC. All opinions are my own