Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tis The Season to Give Really Good Gifts

Yesterday, in between wrestling over the remote control (I wanted to watch Gossip Girl, she wanted to watch Friends reruns) and arguing about the caloric content of a turkey burger, Bailey gave me a compliment.

“You are the best gift giver,” she said. “You always buy people things they really want, not just any old thing. You’re so good at it - I love getting gifts from you.”

An unsolicited compliment from the little nug? It almost brought me to tears – especially when our mother chimed in and agreed.

I appreciate the sentiment. I work hard at buying the people I love exactly the right present – I love watching someone open a gift and immediately start talking about how much they love it and can’t wait to wear or use it.

Therefore, since the holidays are right around the corner – Hanukah is literally a few days away and Christmas (even though I don’t know anyone who celebrates it) about two weeks away – I thought I’d post a short gift guide.

When buying gifts, there are a few things I keep in mind:
- I always try to buy people something they would never buy for themselves. That usually means the things I buy aren’t practical. I don’t particularly care – that’s the beauty of receiving a gift, you didn’t spend any money on it, so you can simply enjoy it!
- I ALWAYS remember when someone mentions something they like or want, even if it’s months away from their birthday. I keep a memo note in my Blackberry where I write down the things people mention so that months later, when their birthday is the next day, I have at least some idea of what they’ll want.
- I am honest with the person who I am gifting. I always tell them that there’s a gift receipt attached if they want to return it. Even the best gift givers go wrong sometimes – I don’t take it personally if someone wants to return or exchange something for a different color.

These are all things I’ve recently received or purchased and loved, and eventually bought and given away as gifts to people I love. Without further ado, here we go!

1. Ribbon bow pads – I keep one of these on my desk at home and have given them away to tons of people. I use this website, which I like because you can personalize everything about the notepad – the color ink, the color ribbon, the size of the pad, and you can add extras on as well – rhinestones, flowers, the works! This is a perfect gift for just about anyone – who wouldn’t want one of these pretty things on their desk?

2. Ugg slippers – I have personally gone through 3 pairs of these slippers and just bought myself a new pair. They are my absolute favorite things to put on after a long day at work – I especially love the Dakota Slipper, pictured below. True confession – I have been known to accidentally run out of the house with them on my feet instead of wearing real shoes. Since they come in male and female sizes, you can literally buy these for anyone! They’re sold everywhere – Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus… what are you waiting for? Go get them!

3. Picture frames – I love taking pictures and I collect picture frames, so if anyone gave me one as a gift, I’d be thrilled. Sometimes, even if I buy someone a gift, I like to buy an inexpensive frame and give it to them with a photo of us enclosed. I think that shows real time and effort and most people would really cherish the thought. If the person you’re gifting to is someone who you have a lot of pictures with, why not give one of those electronic photo frames, and preload it with photos? I did that for a friend of mine earlier this year and she loved it!

4. Sephora Deluxe Palette – this is something I got for Hanukah last year that I am obsessed with! I can’t think of ANY woman who wouldn’t want this – it’s literally everything you need, all packaged up in one cute little box. Lipglosses, eyeshadows, blushes, and more – a $130 value for only $36? Yes please!

5. Jewelry – now, you may think jewelry is a hard gift to buy for people. I don’t agree – I think jewelry is one of those things people rarely buy for themselves. If you're unsure, the trick is to stay simple – a small gold or silver charm on a simple chain is a gorgeous idea. Of course, if you know the person you're buying for LOVES bold necklaces, go ahead and go crazy. This is a necklace I bought for myself - everytime I wear it, people go nuts. I may have to scoop some up for future gifts!

(Speaking of jewelry, my next blog post will feature some exciting news about a way to buy ADORABLE jewelry for VERY low prices from a VERY dear friend of mine :) stay tuned!)

The most important thing to remember is the person you’re buying for. Odds are, if you love it for them, they will too. Happy holidays (a little early) and happy gifting!

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