Getting Through Gift Giving: A Holiday Survival Guide

Thanksgiving is over, and Black Friday marked the official start to the holiday gifting season. Soon we will have to stop stressing about finals and start stressing about shopping. It might all seem very overwhelming, but, no matter what the celebration is for, gifting is kind of the same for everybody. It is absolutely an artform and a science, sometimes with many details to consider. Gifting can be scary, but remember at the end of the day — it’s truly the thought that counts. You do not have to find them the perfect gift, the whole point of gifting is to show an extension of your appreciation. If you’re really stuck, here are some tips that should help you this holiday season.

Shop locally. This is a no brainer. If you’re trying to limit your Amazon foot print, take a look at the shops around New Paltz. We live in a town that is home to so many amazing shops that are perfect for finding little trinkets and treasures. Sometimes the best gifts are little tchotchkes that you would never find buying for yourself. The Antique Barn and Cocoon are two of my favorite places to get lost in. Cocoon has a bunch of unique kitchen items, home decor and chic accessories that are trendy enough for college kids while simultaneously being the perfect campy gag gift amongst an older crowd. If you’re shopping for a fellow New Paltz student or Hudson Valley person, buying something from a Hudson Valley brand allows the receiver to have a more personal connection to the gift even if it wasn’t something that was on their list. Some other honorable mentions are: Crust and Magic, Gunks Gaming Guild and The Awareness Shop.

If you have absolutely zero idea what to get someone, a gift card is perfect because it allows the person to choose exactly what they want. It may not seem like the most personal gift, but you can individualize it by getting the person a gift card to their favorite store or restaurant. A really helpful website and app you can download is Givingli, which allows you to purchase gifts and store credit for someone and create adorable personalized ecards. The amazing thing about Givingli is that it allows the person who received the gift the opportunity to switch it out with something of equal value. If you don’t want to get a generic Visa gift card or know where the person shops, a gas gift card is perfect for anyone with a car. With gas prices being extremely ghastly, it’s a great way to say thank you to the friends who always offer a lift.

If you find that you need to buy a lot of gifts for people, a tip to minimize the guessing of what to get everyone is to just get everyone the same thing! You can use the recommendations from above, or you can just keep it simple. Gifting is not about how much money you spend — ­a simple card or home made art piece is a great way to say, “I love you.”

This holiday season, my biggest holiday gift giving tip: don’t stress about finding the perfect present. Plan ahead so you can make your budget and not scramble at the last minute. Gifting is all about showing your appreciation and love, so keep it genuine. If you feel as though the gift might be a little boring, make the wrapping extravagant. 50% of the gift is opening it — make the unboxing theatrical.

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