I feel like the holidays approach faster each year. Sort of like birthdays (as we get older)…and dentist appointments. I find myself thinking, “is it really time for this again?!” I don’t mean to equate the holidays with dentist appointments in any other way than to compare that sense of relief when you leave the dentist’s office that feels a lot like the sense of relief when you’re all done shopping and wrapping and cooking and more shopping and holiday parties and cards and decorating and more shopping… You just feel glad to be “done” for a while. Then, the next thing you know, it’s August and the retailers are setting up Christmas trees already! (Or, you get the 6 month reminder card in the mail to set up another dental cleaning.)
I truly do love the holidays (WAY more than the dentist), but there is a lot of time, money and preparation that all go into creating good holiday experiences not only for my kids- but also for those in the community who may need some extra help to make the season a good one for their kids.
So. The less time I am required to fight the shopping crowds and stand in long lines to complete a purchase, the happier I am and the more I can accomplish. I also like to buy gifts that are unique. Things that the recipient wouldn’t buy for themselves (unless it’s a child who has a specific wish from Santa:). This year, I’ve found 5 really cool websites that have unique, fun, affordable gift ideas for everyone on your list- including YOU:
1. Angela & Roi (www.angelaroi.com)
Handbags with a purpose, this company donates $5 from each sale to a donor partner based on the color bag you buy. Each color is paired with a specific cause. For example, brown bags support cancer. green supports anxiety & depression and so on. The bags are gorgeous and made of vegan leather. I, personally, have one of these on my list!
2. StitchFix (www.stitchfix.com)
Merry Christmas to me. Love this one! You log in and create a style profile with your measurements, personal preferences, price points, etc. The more you tell them the more they can help. You are then assigned a personal stylist who will select a box of 5 items just for you- called your Fix. You are shipped the Fix and do not pay for anything until you choose what you want to keep. You can send back anything you don’t like free of charge. With the arrival of the Fix, you will also receive cards that show different ways of wearing and pairing the items chosen for you. For those of you who love clothes, shoes, bags and accessories as much as I do, this is basically FUN in a box and you can give it as a gift!
3. Birchbox (www.birchbox.com)
Fabulous find for anyone who loves to try out beauty and personal grooming products- man or woman! You can subscribe to the service for $10/mo and get a box each month of fun samples to try that are specifically tailored to your individual profile. There are men’s boxes and women’s boxes, and you can gift a subscription as well. There are also many products available for purchase on the site that were sent originally a BirchBox samples. So, if you like the sample size of what you are shipped, you can buy the “big girl or big boy” size.
4. Poshly (www.poshly.com)
With the goal of connecting beauty brands with beauty consumers, this site is a fun gift to do for yourself. It’s FREE to sign up and participate. The concept is actually brilliant. You sign up and then sign in to see all of the available giveaways. You can choose any giveaway you would be interested in and answer a very fast, short quiz to enter the chance to win the product shown. Enter as many times as you like to increase your chances of winning. Everything from MAC lipstick to Georgio Armani foundation to the pricey but awesome Formula X nail polish.
5. Etsy (www.etsy.com)
With thousands of sellers on Etsy, you can find millions of unique, handmade or vintage gifts for literally anyone on your list. I, personally, love to support small businesses, and have had a terrific experience with every purchase from Etsy sellers. From personalized items to the monogrammed tshirts and hoodies my daughters’ love, you could realistically do most of your holiday shopping from the comfort of your keyboard with a glass of wine in the evening. Sure beats standing in line trying to balance an armload of bags behind a 2-year old throwing a massive tantrum or a lady who can’t decide which of the 2 items she would rather have when she’s at the register! No glasses of Chardonnay being handed out in those lines!