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Holiday Guide

How to Hack Holiday Shopping

November 19, 2016

November has arrived and with that the drumbeat of the approaching holiday season. We all have the best of intentions, imagining handmade gifts and perfect picks for everyone on our lists… only to fall short some time around the third week of December. No, I’m not suggesting you give everyone gift cards and call it a day.  This is the perfect time to tell those you love how important they are to you. At the same time, in a busy life gift giving can be one of the most anxiety-inducing parts of the holidays. No more. Check out these tips to help you manage your list, spread joy and get back to enjoying the festivities with your friends and family.

Be First!

Why not start early? Help your loved ones reduce their own holiday craziness with a thoughtful gift they can enjoy during the season, not after. I love gourmet frozen appetizers and treats that they can have on hand for last minute guests or quiet evenings (Dean & Deluca Classic Hors d’Oeuvres. A Gorgeous magnolia wreath will draw compliments for weeks to come and is a luxury they may not splurge on for themselves. For a gift that works for any celebration, bright kitchen towels, oven mitts or a chic cutting board help them welcome in the new year with something fresh instead of tired.

Prepare for the Last Minute

A friend drops by with fresh cookies in hand or you’re running out the door to say hello to your boss’ family; these things just happen during the holidays. Don’t find yourself at a loss for a gift and sprinting through the grocery store for pistachios. Stock up on some easy gift picks that are universally liked where any extras won’t go to waste. Favorites are: Diptyque CandlesSundae Sauces and Sparkling wines like Champagne or Lambrusco.

Spread out the Giving

Remember, you’re not the only one who feels a tad overwhelmed at this time of year. Consider a gift that can be enjoyed every month, not just December. Subscription boxes have exploded lately and include so much more than flowers and wine. There are Craft and Adventure Kits for Kids of all Ages, Loot Crates for tough-to-buy for teens and Paleo Snacks for the fitness buff.

Give Kindness

Sometimes I find myself racking my brain for THE perfect gift for that impossibly stylish friend. Save that hunt for big birthdays and this time of year bank that time instead. A socially conscious gift shows you care and generously donates to those in need. It’s like giving twice. We especially like: Onehope WinesGlassybabyBombas Socks and Soko Jewelry.

Less Gear, More Passion

Are they always on the golf course? Obsessed with interior design and DIY? Excited to start planting bulbs in the garden? I love a gift that appeals to a favorite hobby, but think it’s best to stay away from gear which they typically have covered. Celebrate their passion with a gorgeous coffee table book such as: 500 World’s Best Golf HolesMr. Ken Fulk’s Magical World, or Seeing Flowers. Also think about a magazine subscription or a cool memento.



Megan Cohen

Megan’s background is in marketing, event planning and e-commerce at companies like AOLTimeWarner, Bluefly, Starr Restaurants and as the first employee at HelloShopper. She has three super active boys to keep her on her toes.