But fear not, I tell myself, there's a magical place where you can go at your leisure -- in PJs with hot chocolate in hand and messy hair and no makeup. And that place is called the Internet. Yes! This holiday season Internet shopping will be my saving grace when it comes to saving my grace with the masses. Plus, it affords me the opportunity to find some unique gifts that I wouldn't otherwise find in your standard box-store-mall-shop-department-retailer.
So, this holiday season I'll be taking my gift-shopping cues from the digital world, and hopefully finding most of what I can on online stores that focus on the unique, the quirky, and the affordable. And with any luck, I'll be able to make my shopping experience a little more entertaining rather than annoying, and discover some hidden gems that family and friends will be happy with come Christmas Day.
Here's a sampling of some online shops and sites that might possibly win you the title of "coolest gift giver" and make you someone's "favorite."
Etsy: The number one place on the web to find all-things handmade and vintage -- everything from soaps to chocolates to custom built furniture to haute couture clothing.
I have several go-to stores on here that I often buy gifts from for the holidays. InkSpot Workshop have the cutest calendars -- I've purchased their desktop version for the last three years -- or has it been four?
I also like Oh Dier -- a wood-craftsman from St. Paul, MN -- who makes clever cutouts of various words & sayings. I purchased this Think cutout last spring.
There's also a jewelry shop called PianoBenchDesigns, which creates unique wire jewelry. I believe I bought my first Etsy store purchase from them -- a "Love" necklace that I like to wear when I want to exude a little love to the world.
There are so many other great shops on Etsy that you could probably spend all day perusing the site -- a much better place to spend than in traffic or in a crowded mall.
Besides Etsy, there are some other cool online shops that are worth checking out for their unique offerings. For the quirky fashionista in the family, there is ModCloth with its retro-inspired looks and rotating collection of vintage finds.
Or, for that too-cool-for-J.Crew lad or laddie who wants a little European flair, there is Scotch & Soda and Zara.
Then there are all sorts of other online stores that provide a mix of goodies and gifts that could please any and all types of recipients. One King's Lane is a great place to find great limited-time & limited-edition deals and treasures for those design-loving friends and family members.
There is also UnCommonGoods, a shop that carries an assortment of creative and novelty gifts for those uncommon-types.
And, MollaSpace -- another creative, design-inspired online retailer that offers distinctive gifts for the hip and discerning.
So, these are just a few of the many shops hanging out in the digital world that might be worth checking out when you'd rather keep to your cozy computer chair than deal with the crazy holiday shoppers. And when all is said and one, you might just manage to get all your Christmas shopping done with a few clicks of the mouse and a nice screen-glow tan.