How to Plan Your Holiday Shopping with Some Fabulous Gift Ideas

The Holidays are upon us! Whether you like it or not it’s time to start planning because there is just a little under two months to go before we ring in 2018! Living in NYC during this time of the year is magical. The city transforms into a wonderland filled with elaborate storefront windows, music and cheer. People seem to have an extra pep in their step and even the subway smells like apple cider and peppermint (sometimes). I personally love this time of year because of the food, shopping, family traditions and the countdown to the holidays. Every year my family goes to see the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall and every year I fight back tears when Santa comes out; it’s that magical childhood joy that brings out the tears! We also wait in line at Macy’s to see Santa (we will do this until my kids get married lol).


How to plan your Holiday Shopping with some fabulous gift ideas from Kristen Taekman
Photos by Sasha Moiger

Along with holiday traditions and joys, we all know this is also the season of giving. It is the time of year to make a list and check it twice (it really doesn’t matter who has been naughty or nice). With the proper preparation, gift giving will be very easy this year and you should have no problem tackling the long list. These are my tips and tricks to smooth holiday shopping.

First things first, get out a handy notebook and make a list. I section mine off by family members, friends, coworkers, teachers and so on and so forth. If you are more of a tech person, there are tons of apps to help you keep organized (Santa’s Bag is a great choice). If you plan to travel during Christmas break, make sure to ship out gifts way in advance. I definitely prefer a gift to arrive early vs. late (plus, no need to pay for expedited shipping). Gift guides can be daunting but I made it as simple as possible; this is the season of joy, no need to stress over gifting!

After sectioning off my list by “category”, I give each one a spending limit. I then go down the list and think about each person’s interests and base the gift on what I think they would like. If I have no clue…I think of something I would want but wouldn’t necessarily buy for myself. I had a blast looking for items this year! There are so many fun and innovative new things that you wont have any trouble with gifting. Below are some gift ideas based on my categories.


How to plan your Holiday Shopping with some fabulous gift ideas from Kristen Taekman
Photos by Sasha Moiger

First up, the “I see them all the time” group. This includes coworkers (close acquaintances), teachers (tutor/coach) and professionals (hair stylist, nail technician, dog walker). As cliché as it may sound, you can never go wrong with buying someone a candle. I found numerous candle sets made by Nest, Voluspa and Diptyque. If you know this person will not like candles, go for a coffee shop gift card. I know it’s a little boring but it works.

Next, the “best friend” group. This category is all about your close friends. If you gave your friend a candle last year and want to do something a bit more fun, give them a beauty advent countdown calendar! Charlotte Tilbury makes a cute “Naughty or Nice” calendar and so does NYX. New makeup everyday for 30 days? Such a fun idea! Some other ideas:

  • Forever flower are a fantastic gift. I gave my mom a bouquet of these flowers and they lasted over a year! They come in all shapes, sizes and price points. Venus et Fleur and The Million Roses are two great places to shop for forever flowers.
  • A cell phone charger is one of those super practical yet chic gifts that are great for just about anyone on your list! Both Anthropologie and Saks sell chargers I love!
  • Lastly, a Glamsquad or Drybar blowout is perfect for anyone. We all like to treat ourselves to a blowout, why not treat your friends?

The “my best friends has kids” group is sometimes a tough one to tackle. Fuji-film mini cameras are always a hit! This is a foolproof gift that keeps on giving. It’s a mini camera that prints polaroid’s immediately, how great is that? If you know the child very well, I would go with something a bit more personal like clothing from their favorite sports team or American Girl doll accessories.

“Family” – This one is always hard for me but the following items are always reliable!  For Mom I would opt for a bottle of her favorite perfume, chic new slippers or a cozy robe. A good facemask is also a great idea, especially if you know their favorite skincare line. For Dad, go with Amazon’s “Alexa”, a great set of earphones, a trendy briefcase or a set of handkerchiefs. Men’s gifting is all about revamping the old and updating what he already owns. If the men in your life are anything like the men in my life, you’re better off keeping it simple.

What to get your husband or wife? A chic pair of sunglasses, the latest technology you know they want or the ultimate gift, a Peleton bike! The gift of all gifts that the whole household can use!

Your kids? If you’re kids are anything like my kids, they will let you know! If you don’t know, go for the Apple Watch for older kids and a tablet for the younger ones.

I hope this gave you some ideas to help with your holiday gift guide! Happy holidays and happy shopping!

How to plan your Holiday Shopping with some fabulous gift ideas from Kristen Taekman
Photos by Sasha Moiger

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How to Plan Your Holiday Shopping with Some Fabulous Gift Ideas