We all have left shopping to the last minute once or twice before which of course brings us to panic when Christmas creeps up and we still can't find any meaningful gift out there.
This guide will help you toss those feelings to the side and be the best gift giver EVER this year...even if you were the least prepared for it!
#1: Shop local first!!
Since you are shopping more on the last minute side of things you might think that running into one of the big box stores or scrolling through Amazon is going to serve you best, but the issue here is that there is always a shipping deadline you have to navigate and you have to search through a huge store/mall hoping to find something that is meaningful..and when you are leaving it to the last minute this can be super hard.
Then we tend to panic and buy something expensive or cheesy and not well thought out and it feels like a waste and we don't end up even feeling excited about giving it.
You know the saying "It is the thought that counts"...well that is only true when you both can feel that it is well thought out. We all know the feeling of getting a gift that feels beyond generic and you know they didn't really know what to get you so they just got you a thing to say they got you a thing. I feel like that sounds terrible...but it is true and it isn't a good feeling for either person. When you get a gift that really feels like a quality, thoughtful gift it is a different feeling entirely and it really doesn't matter what it is because you can feel how much the other person put into it. It doesn't have to be a magical, super expensive gift or anything over the top either - it just has to feel like you thought it out! Just avoid the blanket statement gifts we have all gotten before!
Local boutiques, artists, designers & makers offer beautiful quality gifts and they usually offer some sort of cute gift wrapping and can often help you out with ideas too!
If you follow a maker, designer or artist on social media that doesn't have a store front (cough RUBA RUBA cough..lol) you can always reach out to them directly through Instagram or Facebook and see what they would suggest for a special gift!
Reach out to local artists for pottery, a painting, weaving or a one-of-a-kind piece of clothing. You can always offer to pick it up if they live close enough to you so you can beat the shipping as well. They might just gift wrap it up nice for you too - always ask if that is something they offer!
I love getting beautiful ornaments, handmade jewelry, leather goods, art work, home goods ect from small shops on the shoreline of CT to give during the holidays.
#2: Give an experience rather than a thing!
Gift cards for something you know they will love to do is an AWESOME gift! People always need something to do, and we tend to not do alllll the things because we don't have a real reason too so if you give it, they will have something to do after the holidays! Giving an experience can be the BEST gift ever. Nowww stick with me you giver out there that says "but a gift card is so impersonal" - It doesn't have to be! It is allllll about how you give it. Handing over an envelope with a plastic card for 50$ that says 'TO: Tammy FROM: BECKY' is yea...super impersonal, BUT if you give it with a mini experience within its self that is a different story.
Here are some Examples:
> Gift cards to a restaurant that you know the person loves can be a great gift that will actually excite the person you are giving it to. Instead of just giving them a little envelope with the gift card get creative and spice it up with an accessory to go with it.
Examples: A gift card to a coffee shop: Give them a cool reusable ceramic coffee cup filled with chocolates and the gift card!
> You can also give an experience like tickets to a broadway or local show! Pair it with a bottle of wine and you are good to go!
> Another experience gift would be a gift card for a massage or facial! You could create a little "spa kit" for them to go along with it > A face mask, fancy candle, great book and some essential oil are just a few ideas!
> Cooking class and get them a new quality apron & a bottle of wine to go with it!
You can also give a service rather than an experience! Think how you can give it to make it feel more thought out!
The opportunities are truly endless and could be purchased two days before xmas and no one would ever know!
#3: Get creative and hand make/create something!
So, for this one you might need a little extra time, but I wanted to include it because it can be a great opportunity for someone on a tight budget but that still wants to give something meaningful to their loved ones. You don't have to be Picasso to create something for someone!
Here are some things you could make:
> You could knit them a hat and pair it with a bottle of their favorite wine or delicious local candy.
> You could make them a beautiful potted floral/greenery arrangement like a succulent garden in a cool container or give them an air plant in a funky holder.
Type up or hand write instructions on how to care for it in a cute way and you are good to go!
> Screen print or embroider their initials on a tote bag and fill it with something they love like a candle, great book, fancy soaps ect.
(I am sure there are local makers/companies that can help with this as well - I have embroidered initials on Sheet Scarves and jackets for custom gifts before)
> Refurbish something old/antique. Antique stores are full of old funky things that you can customize for someone! This would be a really cool gift for your significant other or parents. Finding something cool and old for them and refinishing it, painting it or turning it into something else and then engraving your initials or the year ect would be a good meaningful gift they will truly love for years instead of minutes/hours/days + It is much more meaningful than a sweatshirt from some old box store they will probably shrink or loose before the next holiday season.
> Going off of the ideas related to giving an experience: Give a goodie basket - sorta like a grown-up easter basket but more sophisticated...and not for Easter!
A basket for the foodie in your life: Get a cute little basket and fill it with an apron or table cloth that matches their style, a new pan or cool cutting board, high-quality olive oil, a cook book, a gift card for something like Hello Fresh or nice knives ect.
*This could be done for almost anything: A beauty basket, a spa basket, a gardening basket, reading basket, a cozy home basket ect.
It is mostly about picking a few quality items and then arranging them in a cute basket and giving it in that way and not wrapping it in your traditional manner.
Hope your gift hunting goes well! Reach out to me if you have any questions or if you are local to the CT shoreline - some of my favorite spots to shop!
If you need help with giving a thoughtful, handcrafted gift this year reach out to me and let RUBA RUBA take care of you too!
Georgia // RUBA RUBA