H O M E .      A B O U T .      C O N T A C T .      T U M B L R .      T H E   B O O K   J O U R N A L .      sailorjennie [at] gmail [dot] com

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Making a list, checking it twice... | How I'm tackling my holiday shopping

Finding the perfect gift for someone easily makes the list of my all time favourite moments in life. I believe that you could throw every single penny you have at a present but if it doesn't really mean anything or isn't something you know they'll absolutely adore, it won't ever be truly special. I usually have at least a vague idea of what I'm looking for, but this year it's been a little bit trickier and I'm not quite sure why. Perhaps I'm simply overthinking everything, but my initial wander around the shops left me feeling a little bit uninspired and apart from a bottle of my mam's favourite perfume I came away empty handed. Instead I turned to the internet, and it came through for me!

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Shop Independent.
Gift sets are great, in fact there have been many occasions where I've quickly run into Boots and picked up a beautiful Soap and Glory or Sanctuary Spa gift set as an emergency present for someone knowing that they'll like it and that everything inside will be used. However I buy for a few particular people quite frequently and I knew that I wanted to branch out a little bit this year. Independent retailers are a brilliant way to find unique items and show support for small businesses.

I've been into a couple of indie bookstores to top up my mam's book stash, and I'm going to pick up a couple more and perhaps some DVDs from Hive, which is a great website that provides all the convenience of shopping online but also allows you to support a local bookshop of your choice at the same time.

To avoid getting too specific and risking pairs of peeping eyes spoiling their surprises here are a few of my favourite websites to find unique and beautifully made pieces:

+ Rockett St George
Dianne Tanner 
Oh My Clumsy Heart 
+ Matt and Nat 
+ Quill London
+ Nomads Clothing

Also, Sophie from The Private Life of a Girl has put together a comprehensive guide to independent shopping in the UK, which has been very helpful and introduced me to a lot of different websites I haven't come across before.

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Getting by with a little help from the internet.
This year I've been especially grateful for the plethora of gift guide inspiration posts that I have been greeted with daily when looking through my bloglovin' feed. Sophie from Sophie's Makeup has put together some really lovely (and beautifully photographed!) gift guides this year that I have found very helpful. When I think about shopping online my mind immediately goes to the same handful of brands, but I must admit that it's been nice to browse some websites that I wouldn't usually, such as Anthropologie and West Elm.

Through gift guide posts I've also been introduced to websites like WozNow, Octer and Lyst, which collate items from a number of different retailers and let you bookmark things to look at again later/compare with other items or show you what's gone on sale. It's been so incredibly helpful to browse by category and see everything in one place without having to have a million and one tabs open at the same time because I haven't really known exactly what I was looking for. I've managed to find a great deal on something for Mark that I think he's really going to love and although Christmas isn't about the presents at all, I'm looking forward to wrapping it and putting it under the tree because I don't think he'll be expecting it at all.


Getting Personal.
There's still something about the novelty of having my name on something that hasn't quite worn off, that began with those personalised headbands that were incredibly popular when I was in Primary School, and I know I'm not the only one. I mentioned a few posts ago that after being given the chance to pick out some personalised Mr Men pieces that I was going to buy a few things as Christmas gifts and I'm so pleased with how they've turned out. I can't photograph them because I don't want the recipients to see them before Christmas morning but I think they're going to be a big hit and bring a lot of smiles!

Did you know which holiday gifts you were going to purchase ahead of time, or have you turned to the internet for a little bit of inspiration this year too?

xo

22 comments:

  1. I've been trying really hard to buy from small and independent businesses too, they usually have such amazing and unique things!

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    1. I'm forever amazed at the beautiful things people can make! <3

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  2. I think buying from smaller, independent businesses is the really the way to go. There's something generic about mass retailers. Etsy makes a lot of personalized items and you can usually find something more unique in small shops!

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    1. Etsy is great - I'm forever in awe of the incredibly beautiful things people can make!

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  3. I love buying gifts for people more than buying things for myself! Personalised items are such a good idea, we got two of my friends personalised things this year - monogrammed leather looks super fancy for something extra special! I also like buying books for people, it's fun trying to think about what I've read that a certain person might like.

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  4. I love going to holiday markets to find special gifts created by local creatives :D -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

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    1. Always so lovely discovering unique pieces!

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  5. We draw names and pretty much only buy a gift for one person. We prefer that over getting lots of small gifts for a ton of people. Makes shopping a whole lot easier.

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    1. That sounds like a wonderful way of doing things!

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  6. It's only recently that I found out about Hive - what an awesome idea! I will definitely order my books from them in the future :) I have bought all of my gifts now (thank goodness!) but I love all of your suggestions for places to look. There's also a cute online boutique called Moonko that I really like, it's based here in Sheffield. xxx

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    1. Such a brilliant initiative, isn't it! Ooh I'll make a note of that one and have a look! x

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  7. Personalised all the way! One year, I hand-made/decorated a corkboard with travel photos/ticket stubs and was so pleased with myself... that said, you can't beat high quality and well-made products and independent shops are definitely great for that. I have a necklace from oh my clumsy heart myself and I really like it :-) Anthropologie is great for soy candles which lasts for ages!

    I like buying/organising trips as gifts too – I think of that as an adventure but also something fun you can put effort in and show how much you care about the person! (Although this year I bought my mum a Nespresso machine because I knew she wanted it for ages so I went all out like a b0$$ haha)

    Cherie | sinonym

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    1. Ohh your hand decorated cork board sounds so wonderful! What a brilliant idea and such a lovely way of displaying mementos to look back on! I hope you mum loved her Nespresso machine - I'm sure she did! x

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  8. OmG nice stuff. I love funkopops and ofcourse UD such a nice brand.

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  9. Most of the gift guides I have been seeing, although beautiful, don't have many ideas that would suit the people in my life, but I always have a thorough browse online for gift ideas anyway. I like to get started a little earlier and try and pick up some things in the black friday sales. I also like to do it earlier because I don't want anything to not arrive in time and mail seems to be slower around Christmas because there's more of it than usual. I thought I had most of my Christmas shopping done but have just realised I've got a few more people to buy for, so now I have an unavoidable trip to the shops coming up that I'm not looking forward to!

    littlehenrylee.net

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    1. I hope that your last shopping trip went well. I'm going to follow your example and try to be a little more organised x

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  10. Thanks for the tip and links! Am currently full on
    Christmas shopping as well c; xx ice pandora

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  11. I normally ask my family what they want so I can get them something they'll definitely like and use, but I do enjoy surprising them too! I would definitely like to start branching out and buying from more independent brands, I'm off to have a look through your list! xx

    Toasty

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