With just 11 days left until Christmas (yes, really) many of us are starting to panic because we aren’t where we thought we would be with holiday shopping. I’ll be the first to raise my hand — Q4 for bloggers is the busiest time of the year, so making my list (and checking it twice) has been put on the back-burner.
Today I’m sharing five ways you can take advantage of the World Wide Web (seriously, what did we do without the Internet?) to save yourself a lot of time and perhaps most importantly, sanity.
G I F T A N E X P E R I E N C E
Tired of buying toys, clothing and knickknacks for everyone on your list? Gifting experiences is the new millennial Pink. Tickets to the movies, the theater, ballet, ice skating rink (and the list goes on) make for fantastic gifts and those gifts will create lasting memories, which is truly priceless! You can usually buy “experience gifts” online and print the tickets (or gift certificate, etc), so you don’t even have to leave your house.
Experience gifts for kids we love: Zoo membership, children’s museum membership, Little Gym classes, gymnastics or ballet classes, Disney on Ice, pottery class, art or music lessons…there are so many ways to give someone a gift that doesn’t take up any space in their home or closet.
Experience gifts for adults we love: date night – babysitting and restaurant gift card, concert tickets, spa day (or mani/pedi), driving range or bowling alley gift card, a pack of fitness classes at a studio you know they love, movie gift certificate…there are so many options and I love that these gifts are such fun surprises when someone’s opening a box expecting a “thing.”
D R O P O F F
Being at the mall during the busy holiday shopping season can literally feel like a nightmare. I’ve converted to doing about 90% of my shopping online, because I just don’t have the time or energy to drive somewhere, look through racks and racks of items, try things on and then drive back home. I do sometimes pop into a brick-and-mortar store, and I’ll never give up my Target trips (Target is a refuge and mine is never too packed), but in general, online is the way to go, especially this time of year.
I was introduced to a service called Dropoff recently – they work with one of my favorite stores, Nordstrom (the Houston Galleria location), offering same-day delivery for items in-stock at your local store (they also work with other Houston stores like Nothing Bundt Cakes, Macarooz, and Joy Box Flowers). For $15, you can have your entire order delivered to your door, the same day you need it, by 8 p.m. (as long as you order by 4 p.m. local time).
The $15 fee pays for itself in that you don’t have to drive in traffic, waste gas, circle the parking garage to find a spot, deal with crowds, identify what you need in the store and then drive back home.
I used Dropoff recently to treat myself to these amazing Sam Edelman heels and this festive plaid top by Madewell (on sale!) Sam Edelman had the Hazel pumps in a gorgeous blush color this fall and they sold out SO fast I didn’t get a chance to buy a pair. So when I saw this striped pair, I ordered immediately. Guys, they are SO good.
How to use Dropoff: find items on Nordstrom.com that are in stock at your local store. At checkout, select the same-day delivery option — make sure it’s before 4 p.m. (you can also request this via phone orders placed with your store’s Personal Stylist department). You will get an email notifying you who your driver is and a window of time in which your purchase will be delivered. Visit the Dropoff website to see if the service is available to you!
Shop my Dropoff purchases:
A M A Z O N P R I M E & A M A Z O N W I S H L I S T
If you have kids and you don’t have Amazon Prime, I don’t know how you do it, so my hat is off to you. Free two-day shipping on most items means you can order all of the last-minute things you need and get them really quickly. Harper asked Santa for a “purple bike” (the first time she mentioned it) so, Amazon Prime for the win on that one!
If you’re having trouble gifting someone this holiday season, ask them for their Amazon wish list – you can even send Amazon wish lists to family members that ask what they should buy for the kids (especially helpful in avoiding duplicate toys and books).
I also love checking out the “best sellers” lists on Amazon for things like kids toys or books – the highest-rated items tend to have lots of in-depth reviews that are so helpful when selecting gifts. Basically, you cannot go wrong with Amazon for quick and easy holiday shopping.
I recently discovered that Amazon publishes a daily list of “interesting finds” and it’s my latest obsession. OMG. Guys…you need to check this as often as you can. Some of the stuff is awesome beyond belief and some makes me laugh, like this $13 mug with a panda in the middle. This sloth plush toy is also amazing. I guarantee you there is a gift for everyone on your list in the “interesting finds” section, and it will be at your door in two days.
G I F T G U I D E S
Most sites, especially for women’s clothing and accessories have gift guide sections. I feel like they’re ignored a lot of the time, but these curated collections of gift ideas can be super helpful. That way, you’re not having to comb through an entire site to find a great gift. Time saved = more time to spend eating iced gingerbread cookies…no? Just me?
Some of my favorite gift guides: J.Crew, Nordstrom women’s gift guide section, Nordstrom Home section, GAP women’s gift guide, Banana Republic gifts for her, Ulta top $25 beauty gifts, Nordstrom gifts for him, Amazon gifts under $25
You can also check out gift guides on your favorite blogs for ideas — bloggers do all of the work for you and comb through a ton of popular sites to find the best items (as well as ones they personally own and recommend). Gift guides take a long time to create, but they’re helpful tools if you feel overwhelmed and want a one-stop place to shop for gifts at varying price points.
M A K E I T A B O U T P R E S E N C E , N O T P R E S E N T S
Maybe this is a cheesy expression, but it’s so true. I’m an only child and my family lives in Canada, so we don’t have a ton of people to buy for, but I hear from friends a lot about how stressful and expensive it gets to buy for so many people (siblings and their kids, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc). Try to have a conversation before next year’s holiday season and see if you can all agree that presents will only be for the kids or to draw names so that everyone only has to buy for one other non-immediate family member.
You could also propose that instead of gifts you all pitch in to buy the supplies for a gingerbread house making party or some other holiday tradition that’s a fit for your family. Make the focus more about family togetherness than presents. Love the idea of a board game face-off too (though, I get really competitive with Monopoly, so make sure it’s not something that’s going to cause drama, lol).I hope your holiday shopping is quick and easy this year…cheers!
FTC disclaimer: This post and the corresponding giveaway are in partnership with Dropoff, a service I use and love!