On the ninth day of Christmas….Oh hello there! You aren’t singing Christmas carols? Could it be because you are pulling your hair out or falling down on the slippery sidewalk running from your car to a bunch of shopping malls, wishing you were anywhere else in the world? Having one of those hot toddies people always talk about? Last minute Christmas shopping is absolutely the WORST!!!!!
There are ways to conquer the last minute holiday shopping and gift giving, stay off the roads and out of the malls, get gifts for everyone on your list, not break the bank, and actually make yourself as well as your loved ones really happy.
Let’s start with the obvious: it is late in the game. So if you are willing to spend a bit of extra money, you can buy many wonderful gifts online from many wonderful sources, and have them shipped in time for an arranged docking time with Santa and his elves. I am a big fan of small independent companies like The Grommet for interesting inventive gadgets, Uncommon Goods for an array of gifts from art to food to toys to jewelry, Food 52 for kitchen and food items, Mouth for food stuffs, Huckberry for cool outdoor and knickknack gear, Guideboat, and Olive and Cocoa for beautiful things for the home, men, women, babies, florals. There are also the large online catalogue companies that can accommodate pretty much any gift whim you have if you are willing to spend the money: LL Bean, Land’s End, Orvis, William Sonoma, Sharper Image, Hammacher Schlemmer, and many more.
I also love the idea of giving the gift of a subscription service to something: a floral subscription for 3 or 6 or 12 months, a food subscription, a music or movie subscription. These can get to be expensive, so find one that will work within your budget, but will give your friend or loved one an ongoing gift, that he or she will remember and enjoy for the entire year. I really like Farmgirl Flowers and Enjoy Flowers because they are locally sourced, and are women owned. I also covet the floral subscriptions from Olive and Cocoa (hint hint). Mouth has reasonably priced food subscriptions and I have actually given gifts to people from their collections before and have gotten great feedback, but I know there are many other great food companies online that do subscriptions. There are also App subscriptions in all shapes and sizes depending on interests. For example, if you are a yoga practitioner, there are a number of yoga app subscriptions, like Asana Rebel, you can buy for a friend or loved one that he or she might have wanted but have put on the back burner. The same idea for a reader, with an online book app like Audible.
In that same vein, giving lessons or life experiences for gifts is to me so much more personal than a sweater, or a purse, or makeup. Cooking lessons, music lessons, art lessons, sailing lessons, horseback riding, knitting lessons, you name it. Anything you can learn, can be taught, and therefore can be given as a gift. This year I know a little one who is getting swimming lessons because she already loves the water, and since she already has so many books and toys and clothes, her parents requested this as a gift, and her grandparents jumped at the idea.
Giving yourself as a gift is a fabulous way to show your thoughtfulness to family and friends, and it costs much less than a traditional gift. What I mean is offering yourself as a helper, an assistant: “My Christmas gift to you this year is dinner and clean up one night a month for three months, of your choosing.”, “My Christmas gift to you is babysitting for you and your spouse one weekend afternoon or evening, every month for the next six months.” “My Christmas gift to you is to give you three hours of organization anywhere in your home.” There are so many options that you can come up with, and believe me when I say that this can be one of the best gifts a friend or relative will ever receive.
Another wonderful idea in terms of gifting for the person who has everything and wants to have less in his or her life is the gift of a donation to a charitable cause in his or her name. It should be a charity he or she aligns with, something that matters. The InLieu App makes it super easy to do this and, even better, provides anyone on the app to match your donation if they feel inclined! I personally don’t think you can give a nicer gift than that.
If you want to buy clothing or accessories for women and men I encourage buying from small ethical, sustainable companies like Amour Vert, Cuyana, and Everlane. They care about the environment and they give back to countries they source from.
Finally, if you just can’t think of anything, and I know that you can always fall back on the gift card. But just remember, put it in something really, really festive so your recipient won’t forget about it or misplace it, and don’t buy the kind that expire. Check out some fresh, eco-friendly ideas for wrapping here!
And before I go, I wanted to remind you that you can always give the gift of organizing! As a special gift to all of you I am offering my services:
- 3 hours of in-person organizing for the price of 2 hours (for those that live in the DC Metro Area)
- 2 hours of online organizing coaching + $75 giftcard to the Container Store
Now, how about that hot toddy? What is a toddy anyway?
Merry merry and happy happy from The Organizer!