Christmas Eve and the first night of Hanukkah are eighteen days away. As usual, the holidays sort of snuck up on us. But this year we are NOT giving in to holiday stress! And neither are you.
There are two reasons for this.
First, holiday stress and guilt is completely pointless, plus no one is actually capable of executing a Martha Stewart-worthy celebration other than probably Martha Stewart. And she has staff. It is best to simply accept that reality. Heavily pare down your list of must-dos, focus on the few things that really matter to you and your kids, and let the rest go.
And second, if you’re not finished shopping yet (HAHAHAHAHA no one is finished yet), you’re going to knock it out in one epic night.
Think we’re kidding?
Nope. Not even a little bit. How much will your holiday stress level drop when ALL your shopping is done?
We’re going to assume you have a pretty good idea of what your own kids want, so we’re not going to bother with kid ideas here. Our own children have already provided us with detailed lists of greed, complete with hyperlinks to specific Xbox games, American Girl accessories, Pokemon card sets, etc.
But then there are those other people on our lists who are tricky, and we’re betting you have them too. Perhaps a mother in law with very specific taste, a brother who has everything, an uncle who doesn’t like anything?
Here’s our carefully curated gift guide targeting those difficult-to-buy-for people. It’s short and sweet, and everything is purchasable online (most with free shipping too).
Pour yourself a big glass of wine, get your credit card ready, and let’s do this.
Food and Beverage Drinks:
Gin and Tonic Set from Mouth.com. Don’t like gin and tonic? Ok first of all, what’s wrong with you? And second of all, no worries, because this website sells about ten other awesome drink kits. Customize as needed to please your pickiest relative.
Bento Box from Sugarfina. Sugarfina is sooooo yummy, and they sell the most beautifully packaged sweets in the world. Depending on your level of panic/time constraint, you can purchase one of their pre-selected holiday-themed bento boxes or customize your own.
Pretty Much Anything from Woodhouse Chocolates. A friend once gave Erin a small box of Woodhouse Chocolates as a thank you gift, and the first bite was so delicious she almost cried. This has been on our go-to list of gifts ever since. Their fleur de sel caramels are straight-up amazing. Even your mother in law won’t be able to find fault here.
Subscriptions and Services:
Book of the Month: BOTM is brilliant because you don’t really have to know what your recipient likes to read. Instead, every month they’ll receive an email listing five books picked by a guest judge. They choose the book they want. If nothing looks interesting, they can skip a month. (And they’re not going to use that option much, because BOTM generally offers up great choices – from New York Times bestsellers to up-and-coming authors.) 3-, 6-, and 12-month subscriptions are available.
One Potato: This is a weekly food delivery service like Blue Apron or Peach Dish, but with two big differences from the rest of the crowd. First, the recipes are kid friendly (but still interesting and delicious enough to appeal to adults). And second, almost all the ingredients arrive pre-prepped, so the finished meal can be on the table fast. No one has to spend an hour chopping veggies. One week of meals makes an awesome gift.
Drybar: Full disclosure that we are obsessed with Drybar. A single 45-minute appointment keeps hair gorgeous for days on end (we have one friend who can make a blowout last six days with the help of dry shampoo, special ponytail holders, and silk pillowcase). Give a gift card for one blowout or many, and be a hero.
Concierge Package from Artkive: For a flat fee, Artkive’s concierge service will take a messy box full of your kids’ artwork and convert it into a beautiful coffee table book. Just think about it: no more bins of old kindergarten artwork sitting in the garage! This would make an awesome gift for the parent or parents who have everything.
Fun, Frivolous Stuff That Works for Tweens to Adults:
Instax Camera: Erin has one of these, and so does Heather’s teenage daughter, who puts the pics all over her room! She and her friends have so much fun taking pictures, arranging them, trading them, etc. And the Instax film can be bought with various borders: sparkly, tie dye, polka dot, etc. It’s adorable.
Lego Set: We could not be more serious about this. Have you been on the Lego website recently? In addition to the standard kid fare, they have a bunch of fun stuff that works on a kitschy, throwback level. Scooby Doo, Ghostbusters, The Simpsons, Lord of the Rings…name your pop culture favorite. Their newly-launched DC Super Hero Girls and Lego Batman Movie lines could work for a teenager or twenty-something with the right sense of humor.
Monogramming for Everyone!
If you need a more personal gift for an extra-tough relative, buy something monogrammed. Our favorite shops for personalized goods include the following:
Mark & Graham: This site can be organized by recipient and price point, making it fast and easy to find something cool.
Madewell: Gorgeous stuff at a wide variety of price points, from luggage tags to belts to iPad cases.
Land’s End: Their canvas totes are classic for a reason. They wear like iron and never go out of style. Buy one and have it monogrammed and watch your friend haul it out for years and years of outings.
You can’t go wrong with a donation to a worthy charity made in honor of your friend or family member. If you need someplace to start, we’ve got a nice long list sorted by cause in this post.
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Whew. Is your credit card screaming yet? Wine all gone? Names crossed off the list?
Good job, you. You have tackled the most stressful part of the holidays with plenty of time left on the clock. You’re such a badass.