Tuesday, 20 December 2011

How to deal with last minute Christmas preparations

Yottoy Yeti plush and book (available at Saks)

Christmas preparations generally revolve around three main things: gifts, parties, and holiday traveling. Here are my first set of tips about how to tackle them in style even if you are starting from scratch today.

Gifts for your children
You may not like it, but a Christmas card nicely wrapped under the tree will simply not do, at least for your children. They surely have written a mile-long list to Santa Claus, and if you have not yet gotten to it, chances are half of the stuff they asked him is sold out by now.
The strategy I adopted with my son (because yes, I was exactly in this position when I went to get his presents three days ago) was to ask him what things he wanted the most, and concentrate on those.
A second strategy I would have also adopted if online shopping was more accessible to me (as it is in North America) would have been to surprise him with a couple of things he had not asked for. For instance, the book+stuffed toy set above and this awesome backpack would have made the top of my list. Remember that for online rush shopping tomorrow is the cutoff date!

Maxpax backpack (available at Neiman Marcus)

Gifts for your husband
I hate buying gifts for my husband because I find it difficult to be creative. He is the "doing" type, so I meant to get him and my son a set of parents&child skating lessons, but he will be travelling quite a bit in the spring so I had to put this idea aside. It may work for you though! Is there any activity that your husband has always wanted to do, alone or with your children? It can also be a mutual gift: for instance, a few years ago, my husband and I gifted each other with a gym family membership. The advantage is that, even if you do not have any more time to make the necessary arrangements, a nicely wrapped gift card will do for him in this case.
If you prefer to go for more standard presents such as clothing I strongly encourage you to shop online at this point (check out Mr Porter to make an impression), and tick the gift-wrapping box. Remember, once again, that for online rush shopping tomorrow is the cutoff date!

Gifts for everyone else
For female as well as male relatives, one can never go wrong with a perfume, maybe in a nice set if your budget allows it. Hats, scarves and mittens are another classic gift that is always appreciated. For techies, an iPhone or iPad cover are great choices.
An important tip: if you are visiting family and you choose to shop online, have the gifts delivered directly to your destination address to simplify packing.

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