Scarborough Town Centre is already decked with Christmas decorations.

Avoiding the pre-Christmas shopping mayhem

Scarborough Town Centre (STC) is already decking the halls with Christmas decorations. With the early prep, what steps are Scarborough residents taking to ensure that they don’t get caught in the chaos of the Christmas season that can sometimes be more feisty than joyous?

The Bay hired extra employees for the holidays weeks ago and has started receiving Christmas shoppers who want to get an early start.

“Customers have already been coming to look around to see what they want to buy,” Luptia Duke, a cosmetics sales associate at The Bay, said. “ We’ve already hired a lot of people this year because we’re expecting an early holiday rush.”

According to research conducted by GDSourcing.com, 44 per cent of Canadians start their Christmas shopping a month before the big event while 37 per cent start a week before and 11 per cent put it off to the last minute.

Vanessa Thesole, an early Christmas shopper who was walking through STC on Thursday afternoon with shopping bags, says that she hates the holiday rush and prefers the early days when there is no pressure.

“Christmas is my favourite holiday, but it’s hard to enjoy it when there is so much to do,” Thesole said. “The more you get out of the way now, the easier it will be and you will able to enjoy the holiday with your family instead of elbowing your way through crowds of people who are trying to get the last PS3.”

When I’m working, I try to sneak some time online to buy some gifts

—Vanessa Thesole

Apart from visiting the mall a little early, Thesole says another way to avoid the holiday rush is to shop online.

“When I’m working, I try to sneak some time online to buy some gifts,” Thesole said. “It’s sometimes more expensive because of shipping, but it’s easier, especially when you’re busy and time is going by.”

According to GDSourcing.com, 51 per cent of Canadians take advantage of online shopping by participating in Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday is the biggest online shopping day of the year and comes on Nov. 28 and offers shoppers a lot of discounts.

Mindy Mason, a sales associate at WalMart in STC, advises shoppers to take one mission to one store for all their Christmas shopping.

“Rather than visiting a hundred stores to get different presents for people on your list, go to a store – like WalMart – that has a range of items and stay until you have everything on your list,” Mason said. “This method saves time and of course, the headache of visiting tonnes of crowded stores.”

Christmas is weeks away, and although many people still haven’t packed away their Halloween decorations, Thesole says that an early start to Christmas preparation, truly makes the season joyous.