If you’re fired up for holiday shopping and ready to venture into the local mall to unearth perfect gifts for everyone on your list, you don’t need to read this gift guide. For the rest of us, who dread shopping mall crowds, scratch our heads over whether to opt for the cashmere or the wool sweater, or draw a big blank when it comes to the perennial question of what to get that person on your list who has everything, then this gift guide is for you.
Here’s our annual contribution to reduce the stress and headaches of holiday shopping with gift-giving tips, ideas for wine, electronics, online shopping, re-gifting, corporate giving and buying for men. Let’s get started.
Basic Tips on Giving
Don’t guess about what people on your list might want. Pay attention to their hobbies, think about what they like and feel free to ask then, says Alison Deyette, a gift and lifestyle expert in New York. “So many people buy gifts for family, friends, associates that they think the other person needs or wants without bothering to ask,” she says.
If you don’t want to ask, then think about what that person enjoys. If a friend is getting a gym membership, buy a new gym bag and fill it with toiletries for the gym.
For the movie lover, opt for a Blockbuster gift card, but personalize it by putting it in a little cooler filled with candy, popcorn and drinks.
If you’ve got a music fan in your life, buy a beautiful CD gift box and a selection of CDs they might like, says Barbara Sussberg, a personal stylist in New York.
For a friend who likes to ride her bike, go for a gift certificate at the local bike shop.
And everyone loves a good massage. With the prevalence of days spas in nearly every town, it’s hard to go wrong with a spa gift certificate.
Also, look for gifts the user wouldn’t buy for him or herself, like a cashmere sweater, Sussberg says. Pick a bright, beautiful color at Land’s End or J. Crew, such as tangerine or apple green, she says.
If you do go to the mall to shop, try to plan your voyage for a weekday morning. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, switch with another mom to take care of each other’s kids so you don’t have to worry about feedings and moods of little ones. Also, don’t forget to layer up your clothes because you’ll go from the car to the mall, where it’s usually toasty.
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