Christmas is right around the corner, in case you haven't noticed by Christmas trees popping up at local stores, and Black Friday ads to buy those perfect gifts. Forget Thanksgiving, advertisers sure have, and take a minute to discover a few gifts that are sure to become instant hits on Christmas morning.
For all of you men reading, let me give you a little hint, just because your wife loved your pick last year, does not mean she wants the same things this year. In all honesty, Christmas shopping is tricky for all of us! Some people have it all while others need so much you don't know how to choose just one thing. The ideas below should serve to spark creativity and help to channel your inner Oprah on a Dave Ramsey budget.
Think outside the (big) box this year. Many of my choices are from small businesses and boutiques local to Austin. Of course, I do have a few, pricey guilty pleasures, like the Bedhead PJs and Michael Kors shoulder bag, but I love the charm of boutique shopping. Typically, I have a hard time shopping online because I like to try things on, know how they look against my neckline, not some lanky models, but the pieces I fell in love with in this collage are all ones that I would feel no hesitation about purchasing from my living room. Not to mention, a few of the picks are not only fashionable, but make you feel good too. The multi-strand necklace in the top right corner is Catherine Nicole, a boutique that gives a portion of each purchase to micro loans for women in poor countries. To its immediate left is an adorable clutch made by fair wage workers in Southeast Asia. What's better than knowing the piece you gave someone is more than just a simple gift exhange, its changing a life? My own boutique celebrates domestic violence survivors by donating a portion of all profits to domestic violence shelters. Take the stress out of the season! Walk around your downtown, shop local boutiques, think of gifting as something bigger than just presents being exchanged.
With gifts for men, I find myself being less curious, less adventurous. Men know what they want, or they have no idea, either way choosing gifts for men is infintely easier than for women. The gifts above are primarily practical gifts. I find men like the practical, unlike women who label luxuries as necessities and end up with six million bottles of mosturizers. A decanter and rocks glasses will last a man for years. Find a perfect portion for engraving and make the gift last forever. Mark & Graham, an affiliate of Pottery Barn, West Elm, and Williams Sonoma, offers manly mongramming options, such as the leather watch case and the burlap and leather carry all bag at the center. I've said it once and it made me think so I'll say it again, just in case you didn't catch it, when it comes to men think practical!
A list of some of my favorite places to peruse include, www.themonogramroom.com, www.catherinenicole.com, www.veritasboutique.com www.teamson.com (for the little ones!), and www.zgallerie.com (for the homebodies).
I did encounter a little dead end when it came to shopping small for men. If you know of any good places that offer men's items and are small businesses or local to your community, I would love to hear about them! As always, e-mail me, tweet me @veritasboutique, or leave your comment here at CW.