Last year, as one of our first blogs we shared, we gave tips on what to gift your friends and loved ones for the holiday season. That blog received great feedback, so we decided to update it for the year 2020! While this year has been unconventional, one of the few constants has been our love for one another. Here are just a few ways you can express this love to your family and community. Remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned that shopping early is a good idea this year because of expected shipping delays and reduced retailer inventories due to COVID? Now it’s time for us to talk about what you are going to get your favorite people. Some people I know are the best gift givers, and others feel stressed and see it as a huge hassle. Don’t let the anxiety of your shopping list stop you from enjoying the magic of the season. Piper and Dune has curated some tips to help you prepare and has provided you with recommendations for common recipients :)
First: Make a list of gift recipients
This includes those people you need or want to buy a gift for. Don’t forget your Hairdresser, Doorman, Teachers, Nurses, Caregivers, your UPS driver, Aunts, Uncles, Bosses, Your Employees, Secret Santa, Grab Bags, your immediate family, and anyone else you want to recognize- shout out to essential workers this year. Typically, I buy 2 to 3 extra hostess-style gifts for any parties or special events you might attend or worse, you forget!
Second: Organize the list by age group because they have different needs and desires depending upon where they are in life:
- Babies & Toddlers
- Young Adults
- Older Seniors
- Other - This is generic grouping for grab bags, hostess gifts, secret santa’s - recipients you may not know well or at all.
Next: Come up with a “theme” gift idea that you can apply to each of the groups, see some of the ideas below to get you thinking about a theme for your crew. Gifts can be totally different and personalized within the theme. For example, “American Pride theme” - Patrick prefers baseball hats so I’ll get him an American Flag hat with a Flag Golf Putter Headcover, Sarah likes apparel, so she will get a Kiel James Patrick “Old Glory Sweater”, Matt keeps misplacing his keys (LOL!), so he’ll get a Smather’s and Branson Key Fob with a Flag on it and Grandma Colleen will get a new American Flag for her house. The point is that these themes help you to narrow the scope of what you are looking to buy for each person on your list. In this case I was looking for things that are All American, so that I can zero in on specific items right away. Alternatively you can just buy everyone the same Patriotic item.
Here’s some other themes to get your creativity flowing:
- Fashion Forward - is there a trend that a lot of people on your list could enjoy? Athleisure, plush socks, ¼ zip sweatshirts are bound to be crowd pleasers. We hear jewel tones, and simple jewelry, fun hair accessories are popular ways to mix up the monotonous 2020 wardrobe.
- Girls Night In - As it gets colder many of us will turn to our close circle for game or wine nights in. Think: charcuterie, spa night with a face mask or other kit by Patchology, and some of the cutest puzzles by Kiel James Patrick, that are guaranteed to make their nights complete.
- Work From Home - How about burning a new festive smelling candle or diffuser to mix up your routine? Some cozy socks… or dress up in a flash by throwing on a casual topper, poncho, pullover or scarf over a T-shirt and be ready to go for a zoom call. Small changes can do wonders for the 9 to 5 blues.
- Favorite New England Destination - pick a place that your family loves. For example, my family loves Narragansett and Block Island. Buy them things like anchors, prints, T-shirts, rocks glasses and flasks from Rhode Island - anything that reminds you of your favorite place, where the gifts become memories.
- Get Out And Explore - A travel enthusiasts dream - Yankee magazine book, a blanket or throw for a picnic- Kiel James Patrick makes the ever-popular tartan blanket that is sure to please, Que water bottles for exploring, museums, historical locales, ski lift tickets, see the ice sculptures, ice fishing, hockey, beautiful scenic points - day tripping supplies, maps and more.
- Take Care of Yourself - Spa supplies - we have lots of fabulous kits by Planet Botanicals, Oyster Lady, Patchology and more…or, Healthy Eating - a vegan cookbook, meal kits, a game that encourages mental or physical activity.
- Relax - All natural hand, cuticle and lip balms, body lotions, all natural sponges and exfoliating scrubs, hair care products, bath salts, massage products, hand and foot care, toasty socks or slippers and throws
- Sustainable Living/Encourage Environmentally Friendly Living - Gardening, Vegetarian cookbooks, Coconut Bowls, Chopsticks, Natural items like real wood cutting boards, wooden flatware, dishtowels, ZWraps coated in Bee’s wax (alternative to plastic wrap), all natural soaps
- Seafood Lovers Unite - Oyster Shuckers, Fish Platters, Seafood Cookbooks, things with Fish and Lobsters on them, Clambake tools or kits, things that have anchors on them
- Get Cozy This Winter - Give Sweaters, Pullovers, Wraps, Scarves, Hats, Gloves, Blankets, Throws
- American Pride - Give gifts that are red, white and blue, things with flags, express your American Pride!
- Not A Creative Bone In My Body - Everyone gets a small gift card to their favorite place plus a wallet, crossbody bag or purse (Piper and Dune even has them for toddlers and kids!) - Guess what? That’s creative!
- Key to My Heart - Key chains for everyone… We have a great collection of keychains from Inspirational messages, Smathers and Branson embroidered, leather fobs at Piper and Dune or a change purse or wallet with a key ring on it… think about your audience and how you can keep it simple for yourself while still personalizing the gift.
- Sports - Target a favorite sports team or for their favorite Sport. For example, my son Patrick loves fishing, Sarah likes skiing, Paul loves the Yankees and Darrell loves the Giants, Uncle Kevin loves the Patriots, Mandy is a Tennis player and Robin is a marathon runner, this makes your shopping trip so much easier. You can even narrow it down further and say everyone gets a sports hat or key fob according to the ideas generated above.
Regardless of how you decide to build your list, I hope you smile often throughout the season.
Happy Holidays + Good Riddance to 2020!
Piper and Dune … Explore What Excites You!
P.S. If you are in the Southbury, CT area please stop by our pop-up shop which is now open!