Christmas gifts are piling up in my room... For those of you who are a bit lost, here are a few tips.
Wrap it - Half the fun about presents is wrapping and unwrapping. Skip over-priced gift paper and use pages from magazines or newspapers - glossy ad images, crazy National Enquirer type headlines, or something meaningful to the giftee.
Write it - a little note makes a present more precious and personal. Even "tired" presents such as the perennial soaps, mugs, and scented candles can become fresh with a note - for eg., Because I know you dream of Provence with a lavender/fig candle, or To help you dream sweetly with a chamomile tea for someone who has trouble sleeping.
Open up - I would never give makeup to my beauty editor friend or my sister who might as well be one. Rather than risk yourself into their field, open yours up to them. I may get some DVD's/books about ballet for friends who told me they find ballet fascinating but don't know anything about it.
Eat it - If you're going home for the holiday, stack up on local goodies. Even your home region that doesn't boast a stellar cuisine, you can find some local honey, or delicious preserves made by a local granny. It makes great little presents for colleagues, neighbors etc. I'll be bringing back from France treats such as: fleur de sel (fabulous sea salt), artisanal mustard, bonbons...
Drink it? I don't like giving alcohol. Still, a bottle of cider with a pretty jar of mulling spice is a lovely gift.
Don't splurge - I don't like getting sumptuous presents (note to Mum and sis: disregard this; I don't even mean it.): they make me uneasy - like I need to reciprocate. No one expects an expensive present, nor should they.
This year, I'm going (almost) all Etsy. A few ideas and shops I like: Tweet Heart for laptop vinyl decals; Good4You for fun teas, artistically packaged; Ippuku and Koide Studio for exquisite ceramics; handmade yoga mat bags; pouches to keep your handbag/suitcase/closet organized; etched mustache pint glasses from Bread & Badger; custom return address stamps from Asspocket (mention AUREA with your order and get 15% off!); message pillows stating Let's Make Out (I adore it!) by Alexandra Ferguson or Love (from Dedeeetsyshop)...
After my presents are distributed, I will post some pics. Until then, if you are clueless about what to give someone on your list, leave a comment and I'll provide ideas for all budgets. Promised.