It’s better to give than receive…we all know that, however, there is always a great amount of Stress in worrying about whether or not you are giving the right gift, or a gift that will be loved. I received this email from a dear friend of mine, who is already stressing about the holidays and the gift giving: “NOT my favorite time of the year due to the gift giving. I know it’s for the kids, and hate to be a Scrooge, but it sucks so much joy out of the holiday for me…worrying about someone’s reaction to a gift is such a wrong way to start this blessed holiday. Plus knowing that kids are usually not blown away on my budget, never disrespectful, but not overjoyed…which is probably ok with me, maybe I’ve tempered them to have reasonable expectations and be grateful for the $200 of misc. they each get? Wish there was some way to truly balance the budget, kids and family expectations and the real meaning of Christmas. Everyone struggles with this. “
So along with stocking stuffer ideas, here are some Holiday Gift Ideas, which hopefully, will please whomever is on the receiving end, and lessen the stress of gift-giving. And please remember the true reason for the season! :)
NOTE: Lengthy blog ahead…proceed at your own risk, or just read what’s in BOLD.
Holiday Gift ideas – What Women Really Want (and some of these would apply to men, as well)
1. Hunter Boots – I have noticed more Hunter boots, as of late. And they look super cute with the socks peeking out the top. $115
2. iPad – I will write about this often – the gift that keeps on giving. In fact, I will put this on every list I write, because it really is That sensational! You can buy one for less than $400…which, I realize is a lot of money, but you can also look for used iPads, and get them for closer to $275.
3. Cashmere or Leather Glove - I was just given pink leather gloves…and absolutely love them..And, they go with all of my coats!
4. “Dinner and a Movie” gift certificates - There’s a new romantic comedy coming out “New Year’s Eve”, which paired with her favorite restaurant, makes a Perfect evening! Or, for those here in Chicago…how about a Shaw’s gift certificate (Lettuce Entertain You) and AMC Movie Theatre…and I would use the Shaw’s certificate from 3P – 6P, where Oysters are Half-priced Every day of the Week!! And of course go and see a lovely romantic comedy or that new movie with George Clooney! Every year (or whenever he’s in town) my old CEO (he’s not old, I mean former) and I go to Shaw’s and eat oysters and drink chardonnay. Always one of my favorite days of the year!
5. Spa Certificate – sign me up! Or, the lady you are buying for.
6. Anything from Tiffany – sign Kevin up!
7. Sporting Event/Concert tickets – with basketball season starting and football winding down, these could be huge winners! And hopefully, so will the Bears! Remember women love sports too!
8. “Of the Month Club“…Beer, Wine, Breakfast, Dessert, Coffee, Flowers, etc…there are many, many options
9. A year of car washes. You can also find great deals on Groupon for Car Washes…I bought 10 for $10 (each is typically $3.50), and these are not the gas station variety either…it’s a pretty darned great car wash for a buck! It’s wonderful driving around in a clean car!
10. Perfume – my favorites, as previously indicated Amazing Grace by Philosophy; Gucci Li; and Beach by Bobbie Brown. Find out her favorite, and get a gift set…It’s all about gift sets during the holiday season, and many of the add-ons are discounted…
11. A day with my family…No cell phones. No blackberries (and that goes for me as well). Just us, and I’d like to play Apples to Apples (and perhaps enjoying a glass or two of chardonnay). I’m pretty sure most of my friends would agree with this as well.
***Things that are “In” now for Women: Faux Fur; Sparkly things (Sweater, shoes, handbag); Rose Gold; Painted Totes.
(Proceed with at your own risk…this blog now gets rather lengthy)
What Men Want – we know men typically buy things they want, so typically don’t ask for things. I know this first-hand from Kevin, plus Jason confirmed this for me…However, these are some great gift ideas, provided from my posse:
1. iPad – again…everyone will Love an iPad!
2. Electronics, to include, but not limited to: iPhone; iPod; Bose headphones or ear buds; Garmin GPS; Flatscreen TV.
3. Things for their car – anything from car washes, to iPhone chargers, to car vacs, to trunk organizers.
4. Luggage – Tumi luggage…lasts a life time. Costco even carries it. Less then $200!
5. New Gym Shoes – but only if they ask, you don’t want to give the impression you want them to “work out”.
6. Watch – while a personal gift, this can be something you shop for together. The days of the Gold Rolex President are Long gone! Watches are more modern, more sleek and much less expensive.
7. Tickets to a Sporting Event – may I suggest the Bears v Packers NFC Championship Game? God-willing, of course. (Not after yesterday’s fiasco).
8. Clothes – anything North Face; Tie (try the color pink, please); Dress Shirts; Sweatshirt; Belt; Jeans
9. Tools – Good Craftsman tools!
10. Gift Certificates Sur La Table (yes, men do cook), Sporting places (Dick’s; Sports Authority; Cabella) ; Nordstrom (yes, Men like Nordstrom as well); Barber.
***Things that are “In” for Men: Bomber Hats; Puffy Jackets (not the Seinfeld Puffy shirt, either); anything Wireless; Headphones
What Not to Buy!
“Just don’t buy me a sweater. Wives like to buy men sweaters. We don’t like that”. (Mark)
KIDS – this would be its’ own blog, which I will not be doing this year, but what’s new and trendy this year for kids:
Let’s Rock Elmo
Angry Birds Wood Game – it’s not just for your iPad or iPhone
I am T-Pain
More Unique Holiday Gift Ideas
1. Go for the Limited Edition: It doesn’t matter what your friends and family are into, there’s usually a limited edition version that you can get hold of that will make their eyes light up. Think about their favorite perfumes, books or films. Getting a signed poster of their favorite film or a bottle of the champagne they love that only comes out once a year will show them that you pay attention to the things that they enjoy. They might be a little harder to get hold of, but the effort will be rewarded when you see how happy they are to receive it.
2. Make a Photo Album: Making a photo book for someone is a great way of creating a unique, inexpensive gift that can be treasured for a lifetime. Photo books are versatile – you don’t have to stick to a pre conceived format or style. Put your own stamp on it by writing a story and using photos of your friends and family to illustrate it. There are hundreds of ideas that you could choose so take a look around for some inspiration and then get snapping!
3. Treat them to a Little Luxury: If they’re the type of person to feel guilty for spending money on themselves then consider buying them something extra special. Pick up some exclusive chocolates, a bottle of champagne or a voucher for a foot massage – anything that you think they would enjoy but wouldn’t buy for themselves. Everybody loves to be indulged and pampered a little, so go all out and make them feel special.
4. Nostalgia: Everybody loves a bit of nostalgia so think about buying something retro rather than shiny and new. If your friends were children of the 1980’s then get them a Super Nintendo to game on or the Back To The Future DVD box set. Stocking fillers like dominos, microcars, Tamigotchis and an Etch A Sketch are guaranteed to make people smile. Pez dispensers, trivial pursuit, there’s a huge wealth of opportunities to explore so be creative and create a festive trip down memory lane.
5. The Gift of Time: Give your cherished one the gift of Your time…Give them a day to do Whatever they want…Eat where they want and when they want…Make it all about them! And you will reap the rewards!
Whatever you give, if given with a smile, and given from the heart, you can’t go wrong.
Upcoming Blogs: Wednesday; More Holiday Gifts: Friday; Ugly Christmas Sweaters.