Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Gift Guide: How to be the best Santa this year

Hello lovely people of the internet.
Are you  all excited that it's Wednesday as much as I am?
Finals week is halfway over, but luckily for me I'll be back home tomorrow!

Christmas came early in my household; my family just adopted a black lab beagle mix named Caesar. Just take a look at this little cutie

Speaking of Christmas, I promised earlier this week that I'd post a gift guide and I've kept my word!  I want you to all to be the best Santa this year.

A rule to always remember is that it's the thought that counts. I know, I know it's cliche, but it's true! Here are a few quick rules to remember when you are out holiday shopping:

1. Don't stress!
For all my fellow college students out there, your friends, family and loved ones know that money is tight.  How much you ultimately spend on them or how many gifts they receive from you does not matter. Really. They will love what you get them because they are receiving it from you.

2. Make a list ( and check it twice!)
Take a lesson from the big gift giver himself and make a list of who you are buying gifts for, how much you want to spend and where you may want to look for this item(s). If you are organized you won't spend money you don't have on things other people don't actually  want or need.

3. Get creative
My dorm did a secret snowflake exchange ( aka secret Santa). Our limit was $5 -although many of us spent up to about $10- and I must say many of the gifts were extremely creative!

-The gift I gave was a  small stocking from target filled with candy and a dream catcher ornament. 
- I received a box with two miniature cupcakes, nail polish and Hershey kisses.

- My friend received a little Santa mug and a jug of milk (that girl loves her dairy!)

- A game artist in my dorm received different sharpies, pens and sketchpads and was as happy as a clam.

As you can see from my list above, simple things that play off of a person's interests can be the most memorable gifts one ever recieves.  

We as humans love even the most simplest of things. I promise you that no matter what the gift may be, no matter how much it costs, it will be appreciated. 

Below are some of my favorite gifts that I've found while exploring the web.
I've split this list into  best overall gift guides, favorite websites, gifts for your bff, gifts for boys, gifts for your parents and DIY gifts.

Remember to also look around in catalogs, for coupons or in store instead of all online. Sometimes stores have the cutest stocking stuffers and gifts that  are, unfortunately,  sometimes overlooked!

 I hope my picks inspire you on your Christmas shopping journey whether something sparks your interest or gets you thinking more about what to give your loved ones.

 My favorite Gift Guides:

Favorite overall websites:
1. Fred & Friends The cutest, off the wall gifts

For your BFF:

Titanium Boyfriend Watch $20 at Nordstroms.
This is the best for the friend that wants to look grown up or put together. Hey and for $20? It looks like you spent way more than you actually did! It'll be our little secret.

It's no surprise that girls love to paint their nails. I covet Essie and OPI for their salon quality, but their prices? Not so much. The New Black is starting to gain a cult following at Sephora and for them to release this pack of 2 nail polishes for only $10!? Unheard of! 

Birds on a Wire $12.79 at Perpetual Kid, Urban Outfitters and Fred & Friends
I've seen this little gem everywhere recently. Instead of hanging your photos in a boring arrangement, why not use this clever picture holder?  Birds on a Wire adds some detail to your favorite pictures. I've also seen other animals as well if birds aren't your friend's style.

For the guys:

Guitar Pick Punch $19.99 at Think Geek
This gift is perfect for your fellow musician. Guitarist's seem to always lose their picks and probably don't really care. However, this punch will allow them to make their own, customized picks that they can cherish forever (and think of you every time they play!)

Neff Beanie $16 at Pacsun
  If there's anything somewhat related to clothing that boys actually like its beanies from Neff. I see them everywhere. (Ok, granted I live in Vermont) Beanies are a perfect way for guys to "accessorize" their outfit or hide a bad hair day. These also come in so many colors you can't really go wrong.

Slang Flashcards $10 at Knock Knock
I feel like slang is something guys tend to use most often. This flashcard set on Knock Knock is hilarious and while a bit extreme, definitely entertaining... I may just have to get this for myself.

For your Parents:

Mason Jar Candle $19.55 Primitives by Kathy
Primitives by Kathy are everywhere! Even if you are unfamiliar with the brand name, you have definitely seen Kathy's designs in numerous stores. Instead of getting your mom one of her (insanely popular) tabletop boxes, get her a vanilla scented candle. Moms love candles and will love the heartfelt, rustic saying on the front.

Charcoal Companion Grilling Mitt $19.99 at Sur La Table
Dads love to grill. Even though it may seem impractical to buy a grill mitt in the  of dead winter, this gift is actually pretty cool. Now your dad can grill with ease in the summer and not have to worry about getting singed.

Custom Photo Book Price Ranges at Shutterfly
My aunt makes my grandparents photo books almost every year for Christmas. A few years ago I made my best friend a calendar. Shutterfly has tons of options to personalize and display your photos. Anything from Shutterfly will definitely be a hit for your parents. Also, depending on what you get you could split the cost between your siblings and have a combined  kids gift to your parents. Happiness all around.

Gifts to DIY:

The possibilities are endless on YouTube and Pinterest this year regarding DIY gifts- there's too many to count! Below are just a few of my favorites.

100 Best DIYS via Savvy Sugar
No explanation necessary. DIYs galore!

DIY December Miss Glamorazzi on Youtube
 Oh Ingrid. She never dissapoints me. Everyday this month, Ingrid is whipping up some of the best DIY gifts. All  of them take little time or money to make, but are adorable! There's definitely something to make for everyone on her channel.

Sharpie Mugs A Beautiful Mess Blog
One day when walking downtown I saw a sharpie mug kit and I thought it was one of the craftiest things ever. THANK GOD I didn't spend $14 or whatever the price was on them because Elise's guide on how to make your own DIY mugs is so fast and easy! Go buy a cute mug at Goodwill or TJ Maxx and then do this tutorial. Such a memorable gift.

Have a great day and good luck!

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