SPONSORED The Amex Hot 100 Wishlist

The Amex Hot 100 Wishlist is brought to you by American Express Canada.

Friends, I need not remind you that the very idea of holiday shopping fills men with dread, as we envision malls choked with competitors equally desperate for those last dubious back-shelf bargains. If you’re like me, you’ve probably turned around while still in the parking lot without daring to enter the seven circles of gift-giving hell. Our time is precious; our savvy shopping cannot be waylaid by aisles choked with slow-moving strollers and lineups at the registers.

Today’s practical man shops with strategy. One method for maximizing efficiency is to rid oneself of human obstruction: Shop online.

While shopping online isn’t a new phenomenon, infrastructure and process have made leaps and bounds in the last decade. Never before has it been as easy as it is right now to obtain just about anything with a click of a mouse. The vast, vast majority of businesses offer shoppers some chance to avoid leaving home, by strolling through wares in the virtual world (and sparing the expense of shoe leather on sales floors). The upside is convenience; the downside, having to make multiple site stops to fulfill one’s list.

This is where the services of an online shopping guide are nothing short of invaluable. Enter the Amex Hot 100 Wishlist app for Facebook. This application works two ways: making suggestions for your purchases, and alerting those shopping for you to items you will cherish. One of the increasingly documented holiday anxieties is the stress of trying to return an item, with or without receipt. Let us all do our part to eradicate that affliction this year.

I’ve had an Amex card for longer than online shopping has existed. I’m conversant, if not intimate, with the system of rewards the company offers, the array of which is too dizzying for one man to take advantage of; still, I’ve been happy to jump a queue when given a leg up. Further, I’ve been shopping online for several years, from books and CDs to washing machines and home lighting, shoes and DVD players and you name it — I’ve travelled the world in search of a bargain.

When Amex offered me an allowance to shop without dropping and, en route, try its brand new web application, I began planning my own shortcut to filling a couple of stockings well in advance this year. I should confess that I plan to shop early every year and rarely succeed, having usually bought one item on or about October 28 and leaving the rest until the week leading up to Christmas. DailyXY and Amex pushing my schedule up six weeks will prove a godsend if the app can guide even me to those elusive must-haves.

The purpose of the Amex Hot 100 Wishlist is to provide shoppers with a one-stop wishlist of this season’s most sought-after items — from clothes to electronics, toys to books, and so on — all from retailers who accept American Express and can ship their goods under the proverbial tree in time for you to be the holiday hero to those who matter, or for someone special to reward you commensurately.

For the next three weeks, I’ll be providing regular updates about my desk-chair heroics. If it could happen to me, gentlemen, it could surely happen to you, too.

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