Now that Halloween has passed, November is here and Thanksgiving is the next holiday on our horizon, I don’t feel quite so bad talking about Christmas already! And, more importantly, Christmas shopping. I know everyone is worried about money, is watching their money, has no money, etc., but the holidays will arrive regardless of the size of our bank accounts.
Like most people I know, we’re all having to scale back this year — and carefully choose gifts for, perhaps, quality over just making sure we have a massive quantity. I figure I should start investing some time looking for personalized, unique items to present, and these will make a bigger impression (and cost less) than running out to Kohl’s or Target, grabbing a whole mess of stuff and throwing it in a gift bag. Though that can be fun sometimes, too!
That being said, I’m having to actually scour the Internet looking for fun, different things — and this is beginning to make my brain hurt. The constant hunt for better deals, coupon codes, cool ornaments or other gifts and awesome prices on jewelry is getting to be a little stress-inducing. I have my sister largely covered already — and hopefully she’s not reading this post — but I’ve yet to really tackle gift ideas for my boyfriend. And, to top it off, I also need a gift for Palmer to celebrate our two-year anniversary in November! And as he’s preparing to leave for the military, it can’t be something he’ll have to store or really leave behind. I guess, ideally, it should be edible — or a gift card. At least buying for our dog Rudy is simple enough — a bag of bones, a new toy or two and he’s ready to rock and roll. Does he know it’s Christmas? I think he does!
So far, I’m liking the look of . . . address labels! Yes, a little kooky, I know. But my sister requested some after going through her stash and, checking out everything over at Colorful Images, I actually think it’s a pretty cute idea. I ordered some for my friend Christina as a part of her wedding gift — a present with her new family name on it, as well as their new address. I thought that was pretty clever, though I can’t take all the credit — my mom schemed up that one. But they have a million and one options, they’re not very expensive (around $8.99 a set, which is several sheets, and you get an additional discount when you order more than one set). They have other cute stuff, too, but I’m sticking with the labels.
Another classic is the “photo gift” — taking your favorite pictures and emblazoning them across mugs, aprons, mousepads, cards and calendars. I made a calendar through Shutterfly last Christmas for my mom using all pictures from our trip to Italy. We thought it had gotten lost in the mail so I actually got a second one, which I’ve had hanging on my office wall the past eleven months! I’ll be really sad when my year of Italy is over, actually. I’ve been thinking about making up another one but haven’t buckled down enough to get it done . . . maybe soon. Regardless, they have decent prices on everything from complete photo books, prints and merchandise, and they have a whole holiday gift guide section up right now. And free shipping, if you’re so inclined.
My friend Kelly just introduced me to the veritable poison that is Bronner’s — they have an ornament for, um, anything you could possibly want. Recent graduates? New baby? Just married? Hocky player of the year? Yeah, they’ve got you covered. Need a snowman playing sudoku for that special someone in your life? No worries — they’ll scrawl Uncle Bob’s name on there and get it out to you in 10 days or so. Some of them can be a little pricey — $19.99 or so — but most run around the $8.99 to $10.99 range. We can live with that. And they look nice — in many ways, I guess we get what we pay for! And who doesn’t need a few more snowmen in their life?
Leslie got me hooked on checking out Red Envelope, too, though they’re a little out of my price range! They do have beautiful, personalized gifts. A good thing to keep in mind if you want one really impressive item.
And that’s my preliminary, inexpensive and personalized gift guide! I’m off to troll the Internet for more deals. If I find anything particularly exciting, I’ll be sure to mention it. As it stands, everyone’s getting address labels and calendars for Christmas! Hope y’all aren’t reading this!