A little thing to know about me, is that I’m present fiend. If present giving were a sport, I would be an Olympian. Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation says it best: “Giving gifts is like a sport to me. Finding or making that perfect something. It’s also like a sport to me because I always win.” My gift giving philosophy is all about starting early. This is so you can make your gift giving personal. When you shop during the holiday rush it’s about what the stores are selling you that fits the recipient, but if you think about your gift giving throughout the year you can wait till you see something right for that person.
My main rules of gift giving are:
1) something the person has mentioned that you took note of
(I.e. my friend was commenting on my cashmere sweater and how she had never had one, and I
knew of a great cheap way to buy one)
2) something that makes you think of the person you’re shopping for
(I.e., I was shopping the Nordstrom sale and saw a Winnie the Pooh blanket, and my sister loves
Winnie the Pooh!)
3) something you personally love, and you know they will love too
(i.e. my favorite shoes Rothy's I wear literally everyday and I know my sister is always looking for
comfy shoes as she has feet problems)
4) something “outside the box.”
(I.e. my mom has portraits of my sister and me so for my sisters 40th i thought how great an idea it
would be to get some made of her kids.)
Though the main reason you should start early is so you can distribute the cost of Christmas gifts over several pay checks rather than go broke in December (a real peeve of mine when people talk about this- you know Christmas is coming!). Also, there are great sales in the summer, as its a slow period in retail. Finally, in December stores are selling winter gear (which is great) but most people don't live in cities that are cold all year long. Rather, we live cities with multiple seasons, so it's nice to get presents for different times of the year . As someone with a birthday a month after Christmas, I know this, as it means the only presents I get are winter gear. Also, it makes no sense to give holiday gifts (plaids and christmas sweaters) on Christmas since you can’t wear them for another year after that day.
My family's tradition includes stockings, which is a task my mother and I take on for Santa. Stockings can be tricky. They require a lot of items, and you don't want to spend a lot of money; and yet it sucks when it's all just junk you don't want or care about, or worse, (sad, really) utilitarian products. I like to think of stockings as is my favorite things list (as in Oprah's favorite things). This might include products you found throughout the year and love.
Although it’s “the most wonderful time of the year,” Christmas can be a stressful time that has a lot going on: parties, people, and trips home for the holidays, etc. Hopefully, these tips can make it easier for you, but whatever you do- make sure you follow one cardinal rule about gift giving: make it personal.
My “favorite things” list so far: