Friday, December 10, 2010

Holiday Shopping

Here it is December 10th and I don't have my holiday shopping list together. What? A professional organizer who doesn't have her shopping done, wrapped and ready to go by December 1st? I am a little bit behind this year, but being a very practical person, I tend to give practical gifts, so I figure it isn't going to take me too long to do my shopping. I also have been known to buy in quantity, if I like something and then give it out as my signature gift.

One year I gave everyone a coupon, saving Entertainment book tailored for their part of the country and another year everyone got a pizza stone with pizza fixings.

Here are some ideas to wrap up your shopping quickly to minimize stress so that you can really enjoy this special time of year.

1. Think about giving some high quality chocolate, coffee, wine or other consumable gift in a fun, festive container that the recipient can reuse.

2. If you are a baker, make some candy or other treat and create a fun label to show that you made it. You can buy a dish or unique container to hold your homemade treat.

3. Everyone is going to be thinking of getting organized after the holidays so give a gift card to the Container Store along with one of their unique stocking stuffers.

4. It appears that fondue is back in and the fondue pots are smaller and more attractive. Bed Bath and Beyond and Crate and Barrel have nice options.

5. An easy way to knock out shopping quickly is to personalize a gift card, which is the way I am going this year. For example, most people like to read, so along with a book store gift card, give one of your favorite inspirational books, a unique book mark, or reading light. Also, have you seen those puzzle/maze gift card holders where the gift card is placed inside and the recipient has to solve the maze to open the gift card holder? I did pick up several of those at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

6. Another great gift idea is to buy a Washington ornament such as the White House ornament, Mt. Vernon or Congressional ornament.

I don't mean to minimize the importance of finding appropriate gifts. There are those expert shoppers out there that truly enjoy personalizing and finding just the right gift for everyone. I think as the years go on, it gets harder and harder to do so, and in some respects the gift giving becomes the emphasis, instead of the holiday, and time shared together with family and friends. I think the more we can think of ways to simplify our shopping, the less stress we will feel and we'll enjoy this special season more.

I wish you luck finishing up your shopping and hope that I start and finish mine up quickly!

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