As students, we work hard every day to get the best grades possible, pushing our boundaries mentally and emotionally. Life continues around us; seasons come and go. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner and the pandemic still upon us, we must think of safe and efficient ways to do our holiday shopping.
Being a student also brings the challenges of money, but many Edmonton stores provide the coolest options for gifts at a reasonable cost. Let’s give some practical presents that help our friends and loved ones.
Starting with your local Dollarama. Dollarama is a Canadian company, and though they may not be a small business, they are still local. Dollarama provides fun decorative ideas to spruce up your space; my favourites are the window clings (I purchased Valentine’s-themed dinosaurs). They help get you in the spirit, whether you have a window or just a bathroom mirror. They’re something cute to put up, and one sheet is only $1.25.
You could make up a fun basket with some home essentials and chocolates all in a decorative basket for under $10. Their greeting cards also are $1 each so that they won’t break the bank.
Another excellent shopping place is Oomomo Japan. The store is located in Londonderry Mall and offers a great selection of lifestyle items ranging from cosmetics to kitchenware to stationery. Most of the store items start at $3, and they have stores all over Canada. You feel like you have teleported to Japan when you enter their store. The staff is beyond friendly and helpful, and they greet you in Japanese when you enter and exit the store.
Oomomo is excellent for student gift ideas as their stationary aisles are extensive. You could grab a desk organizer and fill it with some page tabs, stickers, and coloured pens. Though we are in our winter term, we may need a refresh on some school supplies.
Another fun option could be to grab a bento box and some chopsticks, some fun rice moulds (bears, cats, etc.), seaweed cutters (alphabet, numbers, etc.), and tie it all up in a Furoshiki-style gift wrap, which is a piece of fabric that gets tied up at the top. Oomomo carries lots of fabric options in-store to create this cute style of wrapping.
The staff are also very knowledgeable and could provide you with a tutorial on making your masterpiece.
It’s hard to leave Oomomo without grabbing a fun new Japanese snack to try. Pocky is an excellent old-fashioned staple, but they do offer other interesting options. I love the pizza chips; they’re very cheesy and yummy. You may want to ask staff for suggestions also as they have tried it all.
Valentine’s Day doesn’t seem so daunting now that you have some fun options to brighten up the day. Even though we are in different circumstances right now doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun and get creative in our gift-giving. Good luck shopping, and Happy Valentine’s Day!
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