i am going to be taking requests for posts regarding the holiday season and holiday shopping. if you have a question or request, please email me at email@example.com! if you have a non-holiday related request or question, feel free to send it anyway!
when i was three or four years old, i totally freaked out on my parents one christmas eve. why? i was afraid...of santa. yes, SANTA. i was completely terrified that he was going to open the door, come in my house, and leave gifts. yeah, i don't know. i was scared of everything as a kid. especially santa that one year. i cried until my parents offered for santa to leave my gifts in the gazebo in the yard instead of the house.
why did i just share that? dunno. hopefully someone finds it entertaining ;o) ... but what i really intend on sharing in this post is my holiday gift guide. i'll include some of my general gift giving guidelines (MY ENGLISH TEACHER WOULD BE SO PROUD OF THAT ALLITERATION, now that is why i got a 5 on my ap language test hollahhh) along with some of my favorite, fabulous gift ideas. if my guide can help one person give one awesome gift this holiday season, i'll be a proud bloggy bloggah.
...just please excuse me, i sound like i drank the eggnog all by myself.
general gift giving guidelines
* for acquaintances and friends, stick to a budget of under $50. two reasons. one, if you give them a few things, even if they were each like $15, they may come across as cheap. two, you don't want them to feel uncomfortable. $50 may not seem like a lot to spend, but you shouldn't be so worried about spending a specific amount. as cheesy as it sounds, it truly is the thought that counts. it's a token of friendship and thoughtfulness - not to show them that you can afford to spend $50 on some random gift. you're better off getting them something you know they will like and enjoy. preferably, stick to a budget of $10-$30. trust me, it makes sense.
* the icky situation - don't know whether you're exchanging or not? you can go about this a few ways. you can straight out ask (which can be sort of awkward) or even say, hey we have to go out for coffee before the holidays, i have a little something for you. you could also not say anything and be prepared just in case. some people like to wait to see if they receive a gift first... or you can just give it. after all, you're supposed to be giving gifts out of the kindness of your heart, NOT because you expect to receive something in return (where am i getting this cheesiness?) get something small. i'm running into this situation this year and i plan on getting the opi gift set for a friend i met in college. a small token, but doesn't look inexpensive nor expensive. guaranteed not to make either of us feel uncomfortable whether she gives me a gift in return or not.
* secret santa. it can be hell. you can wind up with something you really really do not like...and then you may feel awkward about not wearing it (ex: that hideous scarf your coworker got you, or that necklace that really isn't your style). secret santa with guidelines is the best way to go. my mom does this with her six coworkers. they pick the names out of a hat and they set a budget of $25-$30. in order for a successful secret santa, this is key...so everyone doesn't feel like they're not spending enough or spending too much. i'd also suggest to make this even better by including the person's interests on the slip with their name.
* this next tip can also be applied to secret santa. my number one guideline - when you don't know what to get, get a gift card with a small token. this is the universally the best tip with anyone and everyone. know your coworker likes starbucks? get them a pack of via and a gift card. know your hard to shop for teenage cousin likes beauty products? get them a lipgloss with a sephora gift card. know your brother likes the yankees/giants/any other sports team? get him any team gear, like a t-shirt, and a sporting goods gift card. i can really go on and on with ideas for these, as my mind tends to gravitate towards the gift card / token idea. this is one of my favorite things to do because gift cards alone often seem cold. a small little gift along with it shows that you put thought into it. another example, if you know someone has an ipod..get them cute headphones like these and an itunes gift card.
* sometimes gift cards should be tricky. how much to give? well, you may want to give your brother or someone closer a bigger giftcard than your coworker. it really depends on the place too. a $15 starbucks gift card is substantial, where a $20 gift card to sephora is appropriate, and a $30-$50 gift card may be fitting for your brother. it really depends what you're giving with the gift, who you're giving it to, and where the gift card is for.
* ah, the gift basket. along with the gift card idea, i am the gift basket queen. i have this odd innate ability to put together a flawless gift basket, especially gourmet food ones. i once made an awesome gift basket with old fashioned candies for less than $30. some ideas may exceed your $50 limit if you're using top of the line items in the basket. i could give you a million and one gift basket ideas, but i'll save that if someone cares to request it :P
* let's admit that we all regift. it's not a big deal...but really consider a few things when you're regifting. if it looks like it's regifted, don't do it. think about how you would feel if you got something that you just knew was regifted. ask yourself: would i really want to receive this or am i just looking to get rid of it?
* remember, keep it personal...but not THAT personal. don't scare the recipient. just..don't.
now that i've given you my guidelines (i think i have a few more up my sleeve, but i can't think of any more right now), here are some of my favorite gifts to give this holiday season.
opi orna-ment for you
this is my favorite gift to recommend this season. my mom bought it for me as a gift and i loved it. not only does it include some of opi's newest and hottest colors for the season, it also includes a stylish cuff. for under $15, this is perfect for the fashionista in your life. like i said, i plan on getting this for my friend at college. there are three options - different colors for the polish as well as the cuff.
keurig coffee maker
different prices for different models
i bought this gift for my mom two years ago on christmas eve. it was the best gift i could have ever given her and it is still one of her favorite gifts to date. yes, it is a bit pricey and goes against my budget guidelines. however, if you want to splurge on one gift (especially for family or a close friend), THIS IS IT. perfect for the caffeine fiends in your life.
i honestly swear by this coffee maker. they use little "k-cups" that you put in, press down, and brew! it's really simple and the coffee always tastes great. they come in different sizes and varieties. the newest model actually makes iced tea and iced coffee (it's called the platinum...i got this for mom this christmas since the one we have just does hot beverages). also, you can just get hot water out of this baby so you can put your own tea bags in, etc. the k-cup varieties are endless - coffee (i totally just bought pumpkin spice the other day..so good), tea, hot coco, cafe mocha, etc. trust me, one of my favorite products ever. i may be slightly obsessed.
dude..just learn more here about it...cuz i can ramble for days (too late, right?). my tip... if you have a bed, bath and beyond near you, use one of their million 20% off coupons and get this baby...even for yourself instead of as a gift...hey, i'm not judgmental ;o)
dean and deluca diner mugs (set of 4)
found here for $20
like the idea for your caffeine obsessed relatives/friends but don't want to commit to buying them a coffee pot? totally understand. instead, opt for these impressive mugs. diner style mugs = huge, comfortable and cozy. dean and deluca is known for their expensive products, so this gift is an afforable way to give a bit of luxury. include a bag of gourmet coffee, box of via, or even k-cups if you know they have a keurig maker already.
a cute, yet affordable purse
it's hard to shop for clothes and shoes for other people. handbags give us some leeway. i only recommend this when you generally know the person's style, especially if you bought it at a place that does not accept returns, etc. i found handbag heaven via gigi's gone shopping ... which i think is a good site to check out since their bags range from $15-$75. my tip if you want to get this gift is to stick with classic styles that aren't too trendy - and also, stick in a gift receipt if possible ;o) i recommend target to be the best place, as they have a fair return policy and quality handbags.
raj imports beaded scarf
found here for $38.00
how pretty are the details on that scarf? i honestly can't even pick out what color i like best - they offer black, white, brown, fuschia (shown), grey and lavender. i'm honestly not a scarf person, but this actually tempts me. it looks much more expensive than $38 and also looks so international-chic (where do i get this stuff? i dunno.)
the sims 3
found here on sale for
$29 $47.99 (wow, that sale ended quickly)
i used to love the sims growing up. keep in mind the age of the recipient for this gift...the sims "woohoo" (lololol), so you don't want to give this to an eight year old.
baby name books
not your mom's baby name book. i love nameberry, even though i'm not planning to have kids for a good ten years.
the newly non-drinking girl's guide to pregnancy
found here for $12.95
also a cute gift idea for your former party girl friend who is expecting.
sustained and overruled cufflinks
found here for $86
i wish i was a guy so i could wear these. they're that awesome. get these for the lawyer in your life - and i'm not saying go out and get in trouble and get one. they're not exactly inexpensive, so get them for your boyfriend/husband/etc.
silver moon necklace
found here for $24
(other varieties available)
for the twilight freak. 'cuz, face it...we all know one. and this is cute even when the twilight phase ends (don't kill me hardcore fans, i know you+jacob/edward/whoever=fo-evah.)
attachment for camera phone for a special lens
i really love this, but i resisted temptation for myself. perfect for the gadget geek and there are three varieties to pick from.
amazon has amazing deals on magazine subscriptions. i wouldn't mind receiving this as a gift and i'm sure your fashionable coworker/cousin/mom wouldn't either. i got my mom redbook for $5 ... for TWO YEARS. amazon has sales every so often on the subscriptions. for example, cosmopolitan is on sale for $5 for a year. how could you go wrong?
for creative, one of a kind gifts... i'd flock to etsy. i recommend regina pierallini for affordable, chic jewelry (my actual review here).
okay, so i tried to include various categories of recipients. if you noticed, i didn't include kids. they are harder to buy for than you think. i'd suggest asking their parents what they could actually use intsead of getting a random toy (or clothes.. i hated opening clothes as a kid.)
WHAT ARE YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING GUIDELINES? DO YOU LIKE ANY OF THE SUGGESTIONS/GIFT IDEAS?