Thursday, December 04, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide

As the weather gets colder and colder and we flip the pages of our calendars, it's time to start thinking about gift giving. It can be overwhelming to come up with something for each and every person on your list (or even coming up with who to put on that list! Do I need to buy something for my brother's girlfriend? Are they even still together?). But before you resort to buying 30 Starbucks gift cards, check out some of our suggestions for cute, personal and (mostly) easy holiday gift ideas.

No one, I mean no one, can resist the allure of a cashmere sock. Warm and luxurious, they are perfect for lounging around on cozy mornings with family and friends, and look fantastic peaking out from the top of a boot. For the young and adventurous, try an over-the-knee style, but for Dad or Grandma, stick with a classic crew style. We have some awesome options available online.

This is a gift that is guaranteed to be enjoyed (and won't sit around in a drawer gathering dust). We especially love food gifts with a personal touch. The Food Network  and Buzzfeed have some great "in a jar" recipes that you can personalize with what's inside, and how you decorate the outside (By Stephanie Lynn has some good decorating ideas if you're stuck). If you're not the best cook, making a personalized gift basket is easy and fun (and less likely to cause a fire). Buy a basket at Goodwill, fill it with some tissue paper or rafia, and fill it up with foods that meet a theme. One year, I made a spicy basket with hot sauce, salsa, spicy dried sausage and chili peppers, though the possibilities are endless: sweet, savory, salty, chocolate, boozy. Have fun with it!

Although it helps to have some sense of a person's style before giving these keep-warm gifts, they tend to be one-size-fits-most, and going with a simple solid or a kitch-y holiday pattern will go over well with almost anyone. Scarves are my go-to last minute gift for those distant relatives I wasn't expecting.We carry some cute ones here at Village for both men and women, though if you're feeling adventurous (and crafty!) you could always try and make some!

This gift requires a little more finesse. Does the lady (or gentleman) in question like big, or smaller pieces? Simple, or more ornate? Do they wear earrings, or necklaces more often? If you think you can swing it, jewelry is the type of gift that can really wow. If you're around Ashland, drop by and check out some of the local and semi local artists we have in stock, if not, check on Etsy for beautiful handmade pieces that will set you apart from the Zales and Kay Jeweler's crowd.

Like jewelry, bags require a little more thought. When giving a bag, think about the other bags the person owns. Do they carry huge purses all the time (guilty!), or are they more of a clutch person? Are they the type that needs a pocket for everything, or are they more dump-and-go (also guilty)? For the gentlemen in your life, perhaps they could use a new briefcase or messenger bag. Bags are particularly good gifts for students of any age, as they need something to carry all those books and papers around in (but can't always afford something that the handles won't tear off of every 6 months).

Although I have a terrible time picking out book for myself at bookstores (or online), I love receiving books as gifts. If you have even the vaguest notion of that person's interests, you can do a quick online search for books about "_____". Gardening, painting, farming,'ll find libraries about any of them. Pick out one that seems particularly relevant, or, if you're unsure, just pick one that got good reviews. Of course, the New York Time Best-Sellers List is a safe bet as well. If you're out on the town and willing to spend a little more time shopping, head to your local bookstore and ask for suggestions. Supporting your local economy and getting a super personal present, now that is spreading the holiday spirit.

Good luck out there!


Jessie + The Village Shoes Team