If you are anything like me you will wait until there are WAY less than 12 days until Christmas to start shopping for friends and family. But instead of hitting the mall on December 23 like a mad woman, buying anything that will somehow pass as thoughtful and pre-meditated, I thought why not get a head start for a change? My goal this year is to get the perfect present for everyone on my list and spend Christmas Eve relaxing with a glass of wine (or 3) rather than staying up until 2 a.m. frantically wrapping all of my last minute purchases like I usually do with a glass of wine (or 3).
Another thing that makes shopping so difficult for me, besides my tendency to procrastinate, is simply not knowing what to get for people. I needed some inspiration so, (always one to love a theme!) I turned to the classic holiday song ‘The 12 days of Christmas’ as my holiday shopping guide for 2014. Sure, most of the items are gifts I would want to receive, but hopefully my choices will at least help you find something for the wine loving, procrastinating friend or family member in your life or even be something to add to your own wish list. xoK
12 DRUMMERS DRUMMING
I love music. I would probably live most of my life with ear buds in if it was socially acceptable. And because I’m all about that bass, a good pair of headphones is imperative. The fact that there are super stylish options out there would make any gift recipient want to rock this musical accessory 24/7 and live their entire life marching to the beat of a different drummer.
11 PIPERS PIPING
I’m no Martha Stewart, but as my best friend’s 3 year old will tell you I have quite the reputation for enjoying a good ol’ fashion cookie decorating party. What’s not to love? Its arts & crafts where you can eat your art supplies! I say why use paint and paper when you can use frosting and cookie dough. If you make a mistake, just eat the evidence: WIN/WIN. The secret to perfectly decorating cookies, cupcakes or any dessert item for that matter is piping tips. They’re relatively inexpensive and will surely make any beginner baker feel like a Cake Boss in the kitchen.
***Helpful Hint**** Remember to refrigerate your icing or you will walk away for a second only to return to a less than charming mess as I learned at my holiday party’s cookie decorating station last year.
10 LORDS A LEAPING
Men are difficult to shop for. Luckily for anyone reading this post I have had to buy presents for a variety of exes throughout the years. Here are some of the gifts I’ve given to my boyfriend ghosts of Christmas past that will be sure to have your current lord of the manor leaping for joy.
R.I.P The CEO
2013-2013, parting gift: engraved cufflinks.
These are the same exact cufflinks I gave to the businessman I briefly dated. I chose these Alfred Dunhill mother of pearl beauties for him on a trip to NY. I love custom engraving but unfortunately there wasn’t much room in their simple design so I opted for a simple ‘XO’ on the back of each one. I couldn’t help but laugh to myself when the lady doing the engraving asked if I wanted my letters capitalized or not……..I told her that I trusted her with that executive creative decision. She could flip them around, reverse image and engrave them upside down for all i cared as those are the only two letters where it wouldn’t even make a difference. But it was nice of her to ask.
R.I.P. The Sports Fisherman
2009-2010, parting gift: fishing supplies
After much mental de-bait and subtly fishing for suggestions, I had no idea what to get for the outdoorsy, ocean lover that I once considered my dreamboat. Though he was more of a catch and release for me, I hope that he reel-y enjoyed master-baiting his rod for the other fish in the sea with all of the fishing accessories I got him at West Marine that year. I nearly bought the entire store out, hook line and sinker, so I’m sure he was able to lure and tackle himself a keeper for shore. My favorite part of the gift was when I used all of the green and red sparkly pseudo squids as the “bow” of the present, he informed me that those lures were actually useless for the fish in our area, not understanding the brilliance of my themed gift wrap. That probably should have been a sign.
R.I.P. The Hipster
2011-2011, Parting gift: cool-but-not-too-cool Sunglasses
I don’t care who you are, where you live, or what kind of underground indie music you listen to….you can never have too many pairs of sunglasses. Every man, woman and child should have a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers. They are timeless, classic and add that perfect amount of subtle badassery to anyone who wears them. Think about the Pope…now think about him wearing Black Ray-Bans…see? instagrammable insta-cool. No filter needed. The second pair is by Persol, an Italian eyewear brand that just says “I mean business, and business is good”. Persol sunglasses are it. Whatever girl is now dating my tattooed, arcade fire and skinny jean loving ex is a lucky girl but I hope she knows I did all the leg work, I dated him before he was cool. Does that make me a hipster?
R.I.P. The Yachtie
2012-2012, parting gift: Swims Shoes
I once dated a lucky sailor who was my first mate (on a boat, not in life). Though he ended up not being my soul mate, I hope his soles are at ease every time he slips into the gorgeous pair of Swims I gave him. Swims are basically the hotter, more stylish big brother of Crocs; they are everything Crocs are proud to be but with a tad more sophistication. Waterproof and machine washable these go anywhere loafers are marketed as ‘the modern galosh’ and have become increasingly popular in the past few years. Men love them for their rugged durability and women love them for their sleek style, they’re like the Brad Pitt of shoes.
If a guy can pull of the royal purple below, he just might be my sole mate (size 10 and up preferred)
9 LADIES DANCING
Shoes are usually one of two things: Fashion or Function. I learned this the hard way when I wore my first pair of Louboutins to a family wedding. They were fabulous throughout the (mostly sitting) ceremony but by the time appetizers were being passed at the reception, I was ready to amputate my own legs off with the nearest butter knife. Once the entrees rolled around I would have killed anyone in the wedding party for a pair of flats and eventually I ended up finding a hidden rest stop where I could briefly take the expensive torture devices off for a just a second. Hear me when I say: Red soles are less impressive sitting on a bench by yourself in miserable pain while very one else is living it up on the dance floor. That being said, I still love my fancy heels for special occasions (that don’t involve a lot of standing) yet I place even more value on footwear that are both comfortable and cute. Sex and the City is fiction, no one is meant to wear heels 24/7 but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice in the style department. Ultimate elegance to me is being comfortably stylish so here are some of my flat out favorite footwear finds that any girl can assuredly dance for days in.
“the ballet flat, reinvented”
Crafted from fine Italian leather for both beauty and comfort, Tieks ballet flats should take center stage in every girl’s shoe closet. While their signature teal bottoms are reminiscent of a certain other shoe brand’s marketing technique, Tieks offer more than meets the eye. Lightweight and lithe, they are the most ballerina of all the fancy footwork contenders. Each pair folds compactly and is easily stored in the built for travel bag it comes with making it the perfect thing to keep in your purse at all times….(especially when wearing stupidly overpriced uncomfortable shoes to a family wedding).
They’re so wrong they’re right.
All Black Converse
especially in leather….fresh to death
okay so the shoes in that last photo probably aren’t too comfortable but I love them and need them and promise not to complain that they hurt when I wear them……too much.