Shopping Guide: Gifting 101

With the holidays on their way, its never too early to get some shopping done ahead of time. I love giving creative and practical gifts that I know people will use so I simultaneously struggle with too many creative ideas and not enough people to share them with.

Checking my lists (& I'm checking them twice)! (Photo credit.)
Checking my lists (& I’m checking them twice)! (Photo credit.)

Keep reading for my gift ideas & shop them right from the blog!

Get inspired.
Get inspired.

If you’re like me, you like gifts to have a special meaning for both the giver and the recipient. Sometimes this can make things complicated when your shopping needs are very specific. Below are some of my favorite gift ideas for everyone on your list:

For a Dad

It seems to me that a lot of Dad’s don’t really know or care to splurge on themselves. When shopping for Dad, think of things that make him happy whether it’s his favorite music, something to make his office a little cozier or an iPhone accessory that makes all the crazy technology in front of him a little easier to use.

I recommend: The Temptations Boxed Set, Owen & Fred ‘ Hey Handsome’ Travel Kit, & the Dubost Oyster Knife Set

For a Mom

In general, Moms are only slightly better at indulging than Dads. I stick to the same philosophy when shopping for my Mom that I do when I look for presents for Dad: Fun but practical & perhaps something she wouldn’t pick up for herself. Expensive tea, pajamas that make her feel like it’s Mother’s Day every day and fancy creams & lotions are all great choices.

I recommend: World Market® Organic Chocolate Maté Tea, Eberjey Gisele PJ SetDonna Karan Cashmere Mist Body Creme

This makes for a cute printable too!
This makes for a cute printable too! (Photo credit.)

For a sister

I have found that many sister relationships are dependent on borrowing to some degree (whether consensual or not). To improve upon this relationship, I suggest empowering the borrower (or borowee, is that a thing?) with the opportunity to afford all that makes their closet, beauty regimen and Instagram covetable.

I recommend: JC Penney Gift Certificate, butter LONDON Backstage Basics Catwalk Ready KitMarc by Marc Jacobs Logo Bracelet

For a brother

Guys are notoriously hard to shop for and whether or not they’re related to you makes no difference. I like to make shopping and gift giving easy by going for the gold and finding sister-approved items from unstained sports apparel and classic pieces they can (and will) actually wear to family gatherings. Oh, and a little subtle aftershave never killed anyone either…

I recommend: Majestic Men’s Short-Sleeve Dustin Pedroia T-Shirt, Polo Ralph Lauren Chambray Workshirt, Birchbox MEN

For a best friend

I am the luckiest girl because I have the greatest friends and they all have very unique and equally fabulous senses of style. Coffee table books they can display in their gorgeous apartments, jewelry that is simple but enhances their own tastes and excuses to pamper themselves are all safe bets as far as my friends are concerned.

I recommend: The 100 by Nina Garcia, Little States necklaceEssie® Spa Pedicure So Sole Good Exfoliating Foot Scrub

Holidays at your office don't need to be as terrifying as holidays at The Office.
Holidays at your office don’t need to be as terrifying as holidays at The Office. (Photo credit.)

For a coworker

Let’s face it, you see your co-workers more often than you see your family in most cases. By extension, this makes them part of your professional family and if you’re in the kind of situation where gift-giving is appropriate, let them know you care by sharing a present that will keep on giving the whole year through.

I recommend: Jo Malone London Red Roses Body & Hand Lotion, Kate Spade New York Colorful Pen SetBlueAvocado by Lauren Conrad Nautical Lunch Case

For a grandparent

Shopping for grandparents is perhaps some of the best shopping you can do. Gifts are inspired by memories, fun things you have done together and mementos you know will put a smile on their face.

I recommend: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Dark Chocolate Covered Candied Orange PeelsMen’s Original Retro Brand Wisconsin Badgers College Vintage T-Shirt

For a bride-to-be

I’m at the age where it seems like everyone I know is getting married. Because of that, it’s super important for me to give gifts that have meaning and are functional for the new couple.

I recommend: Beachport Pinstripe Boudoir Sham and InsertSet of 2 Colorfield Catchalls, ASOS Bow Veil Hair Clip

Good things come in small packages. (Photo credit.)
Good things come in small packages. (Photo credit.)

For a mom-to-be

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes…yup, you guessed it, I have friends who are single, engaged and having babies! The holidays are an especially fun time of year to shop for cozy baby things like blankets, booties and other tiny little adorable things.

I recommend: Trumpette Maryjane Jitterbug Jenny Socks Assortment, Lucy & Leo Short Sleeve Bodysuit, Loralin Design Knit Sweater, Hat & Booties Set

For a grad

A group largely forgotten by holiday gifting are the grads or soon-to-be grads. Soon, the full-time academic in your life will be facing interviews, networking events and over-caffeinated days at the office. Help prepare them for the real world by giving them something they can really use.

I recommend: Kate Spade New York ‘Call Me’ Business Card HolderAccessories Engravable Stainless Steel Thermal Coffee Mug, Kate Spade New York Women’s Gramercy Mini Gold-Tone Bracelet Watch

Ready to meet your new personal stylist?
Ready to meet your new personal stylist? (Photo credit.)

And if all else fails, give the gift of!

For more on what I’ve been doing, what I’m reading & some gift-spiration, follow me on Pinterest, Polyvore & Snapchat!

xo, Vanessa

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.


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Vanessa M. Gatlin

-Blogger, dancer, fashionista -Self proclaimed "political junkie" with a strong interest in international affairs -2011 graduate of Emmanuel College in Boston

7 thoughts on “Shopping Guide: Gifting 101”

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