Perhaps you aren’t aware of how I feel about lists, so I will remind you that I have a severe love/hate relationship with them. I use them daily to keep track of my life, have been known to write additional items on a list that I have already completed for the sole purpose of being able to cross said item off, and I do read lists on other folks’ blogs almost daily. That said, when trying to compile a list of “top ten trends, do’s, don’ts, have to haves, have to gives” and whatnot I find myself stymied. I have scoured my brain and I will, however, share with you some of my favorite gift ideas for this holiday season. My trendslation of Holiday 2014 will not change your life or break the internet, but it may just give you a great idea for that hard to shop for loved one.
I have to begin with the Fashionista in your life. The obvious choices here would be to give this person, you know, fashion, but as anyone who’s ever bought me an outfit could tell you, it’s hard. Sizes, cut, style, fit, wearability, all very very personal endeavors. Sure, you could give a gift card, but really, that’s cheating. Some of the most well received gifts I’ve ever given have been pretty mundane items. And I don’t mean blender mundane, I mean the time I gave my pregnant friend a huge basket of every little knick knack and doo-hickey that saved my tired ass in the first year of my daughters’ life. They were not pretty, they were not monogrammed, but damn if I didn’t rely on that S-hook that held the diaper bag to the stroller while I changed my screaming kid…..you get the idea. Sometimes the least sexy item can be the best. I’ve also given foodie friends baskets with every little random spice or condiment I’ve loved. Garlic paste. harissa, maybe a green olive tapenade. Nothing they couldn’t pick up themselves at their local Whole Foods, but I was able to give them MY favorites to enjoy (add a recipe with each for an extra touch). Along those lines, here are some items I use all the time and even though they’re not beautiful, they can help you feel that way.
There are pre-fab Fashion Survival Kits on the market that have mini sewing kits and the like, but those never work. Make your own including clip on stirrups (keeps your jeans tucked into boots without elephant knees), an invisibelt (a denim or clear colored belt to keep jeans from gapping while laying flat enough under snug tops) Fashion tape, (to secure low necklines, errant bra straps, gaping blouse buttons and the like), and my favorite, Blister Stick. This non-chafing stick glides on and prevents blisters BEFORE they happen and it actually works. Whether you’re wearing ski boots or stilettos. No lie.
Another type of gift I love to give is one that’s personalized. There are some great sites that specialize in monogramming like Mark and Graham, Red Envelope, etc. but I also love the easy-to-grab-at-Bloomies Alex and Ani bracelets. A hit with young and old, these collectible bracelets come with initials or even college sports team charms. At home selling Jewelry company Stella & Dot has spun off with their newest venture, Keep Collective, and adorable collection of personalized bracelets and necklaces that is sure to please. If initials aren’t your thing, try the $25 mantrabands. A simple clean bracelet with inspirational messages on them that can be worn alone or stacked in multiples.
For the techie in your life, I vote that unless you have the means to actually get the highest end version of whatever it is they want or need (like, don’t get them $20 iStuff headphones when they’ve asked for beats), instead try some really cool accessories. I love the site Casetify, and this may be the time I lift my gift card ban so that the gift recipient can personalize their case to their hearts desire. Upload photos, or choose colors and styles, the whole site is just fun. At the risk of encouraging folks to capture more of themselves, there are handy tools like the selfie stick, tripods and remote bluetooth shutter clickers to allow for farther than arm length photo sharing. I love practical gifts like charging stations and Otter Boxes, durable and protective items to corral your iThings as well.
For the sentimental person on your list, or maybe someone who has just moved or is moving, try Framebridge. So many people think to use photos for gifts — ‘Look, a mug with your mug on it!’ But even better would be to solve the number one complaint I hear from my decorating clients — “I have a thousand pictures on my phone that I love, and blank walls in my home.” For just $39, you can upload an Instagram photo and have it printed and beautifully framed. It comes with its own hanger and hanging instructions, and again — the website is just plain fun. Lastly, as technology continues to evolve, in addition to those pictures on the phone there are likely shoe boxes of actual photos sitting in closets of your loved ones. Legacy Box will take ALL the photos, old movies, slides, VCR tapes, what have you, and convert them digitally and mail the old and the new versions back to you. I can’t think of a greater gift than to safely secure your memories out of the cloud, and onto your walls, as well as some DVDs stowed safely away at half the space.
Trendslation for Holiday 2014? Combine technology and creatiivity with usefulness and beauty! Happy Holidays!