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A Quick Survival Guide to Holiday Shopping

It’s that time of year again – the holiday shopping rush is upon us. We know, we know – the holidays aren’t just about presents! But no matter what, the shopping factor tends to creep in every year.

Whether you love it, hate it, are super organized about it or haven’t even started a list yet there is no denying that we are in the thick of it. Here’s a few tips to keep you sane, organized and joyous this holiday season:

BEFORE

1. Haven’t made a list yet? There’s a reason why we always talk about Santa’s list – he’s super organized! Make one. Write down everyone you need to shop for and what you think you want to get them, if you have a thought. Otherwise, wing it. I have to say that some of my favorite presents that I’ve received over the years are things that I never would have bought for myself.

2. Set a date…or two. I find it easier to be really focused and on-track when I dedicate a few hours to just shopping (preferably alone or with a trusted, like-minded friend – you don’t want someone who is going to spend two hours in the dressing room trying on clothes for themselves while you try to find a pair of socks for your brother). I like to set aside one afternoon to scope out stores, get inspiration and start stockpiling gifts – then a second afternoon to pick up where I left off and finish everything up. That way, I don’t feel as much pressure the first time around and I get two whole afternoons to myself (unheard of).

3. If you have toddlers, I highly recommend starting by dropping them off at Play Garden for a few hours so that you can spend your shopping time more efficiently without bribing and whisper-yelling.

DURING

4. SHOP LOCAL! I know – it’s so much easier to sit in bed at 10 pm on Amazon and order random things that are delivered two days later. But that strategy literally takes the fun out of everything. We’re lucky to live in a community that has a ton of options for holiday shopping – we have a wide variety of stores, unique items and gifts at all different price points. Yes, occasionally things are more expensive than they are on Amazon. But trust me – last year I got my two toddlers digger truck forks and spoons as stocking stuffers and I spent $8. This might seem high for a piece of plastic silverware but I can assure you they are still obsessed with them nearly a year later. (And hint – they are still at Lyon’s this year if you’re in the market for a digger truck spoon).

5. When in doubt: an olive oil and balsamic vinegar combo from Elevated Olive makes the perfect gift for literally anyone (except for said toddlers above). There are a ton of options to choose from (and you get to taste them personally, so go hungry) and the price point is low enough to not break the bank but the packaging is classy enough that it looks like you did.

6. If you don’t know what to get for your dad or your brother (me every year), just go to Ace. You’ll find something, I promise.

7. Need a break? Stop for a quick coffee at Big Iron Coffee Co. and then get back out there!

8. Who doesn’t need another sweater?! When I’m really procrastinating or out of ideas, I always buy my mother a sweater (and she always says she loves it). Chrysalis has great options for women, at the perfect price point. In fact, when researching this story, I may have bought one for myself, just to test it out of course.

9. Gentlemen, if you’re reading this, I have four words for you: Life Essentials Day Spa. My husband gets me a gift certificate every year, most likely because he doesn’t know what else to get me (although I provide him with endless ideas throughout the year). But needless to say, it’s always a welcome gift.

AFTER

10. You’re done! Head to Besame for happy hour and grab one of their seasonal sangrias – you deserve it.

Happy shopping, Steamboat!

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