With the holiday season quickly approaching nothing can cause more stress than making sure everyone is crossed off of your shopping list. I have compiled some of my best tips for making the holiday season as meaningful and seamless as possible.
- Firstly, always think ahead. While, everyone likes a nice scented candle, by thinking ahead not only to you get to find the perfect gift, you also save yourself some getting ready time by not having to stop at the mall on the way to the party.
- Set a budget. We've all been on both sides of this- maybe you shelled out 200 dollars for a very nice gift and then you received a sale bin reject in return. By taking into account, both parties financial state, length of time knowing them, how much they mean to you, as well as taking the lead from the last gift they gave you, you will find the an appropriate present. This also prevents the dreaded credit card bill from causing some serious shortness of breathe once it comes in January.
- Listen. I keep a list of notes in my phone of things my friends and loved ones mention year round. Maybe your sister mentioned her crumby mixer, or in passing your boyfriend mentioned how he has always dreamed of taking a trip on a train. While, you don't have to keep a written record like I do. It pays to listen. Those little tidbits and details can take a gift from good to great.
- Ask around. Nothing is worse than picking "I know nothing about him" Gary from accounting for your office Secret Santa gift exchange. Sometimes asking questions of friends and family can help immensely. Simply by finding the guy he goes to lunch with everyday and asking a favorite sports team or hobby can be the key to giving a great gift without having to resort to socks.
- Practical versus straight up useless. This one can go either way. Sometimes the best gift is one that the person really needs. Noticing that your bestie is constantly dropping their phone justifies buying that industrial phone case for them. But sometimes a good gift is buying someone that one thing that they wouldn't buy themselves. You've caught them looking at a Land & Kamp bag multiple times and you know it's up to you to pull the trigger.
6. Shop around! Chances are the most meaningful or cherished present wasn't bought at a mall. I like to shop local, or find treasures on Ebay or Etsy- where you can be certain that they wont get two of the exact same thing. Again, this goes back to giving yourself adequate time.
7.Lastly, be sincere. For me this verges on sentimental, but by genuinely wanting to give a good gift makes all the difference. Adding a personal touch can bump any gift to wonderful. This may be a small token of childhood know-how or even a simple handwritten note, but by taking a minute to think of the person you're shopping for, what they like, their fashion sense, conversations you've had, etc, you will be able to bring them the most magical kind of holiday spirit.
-Emily McKernan of Land & Kamp