A Great Gift Stash
Ah, the awkward moment when a friend or loved one shows up with a Christmas gift and you're left offering... a hug. A well-stocked gift closet can ensure this doesn't happen to you. Happy Holidays!
A great gift closet lets you put
your fingers on an appropriate, thoughtful gift in a moment. But how do you get a great gift closet? It's actually easier than you think -- and surprisingly affordable, too.
Stock your suppliesStart by springing for things you're going to need on hand anyway, like wrapping paper, tape, gift bags, tissue paper, and other packaging items. Be realistic: I know I can't wrap gifts at all, so I only buy gift bags. My husband is a fantastic wrapper, so if I see a great deal on paper, I'll only get it if I know my husband has time to wrap gifts.
You can also use colors or themes to help sort your stash -- gifts wrapped in purple are for teen girls; gifts in orange are for adult couples, and so on. If you get patterned bags or paper, you can use solid color bows as your key.
What's inside?Of course, all the pretty packaging in the world is no good if you have no gifts to put inside. So what makes a great, generic gift? You want something special, and something different enough that the recipient doesn't have another 6 at home. For toddlers, have on hand a copy of My Mommy's Tote, by P. H. Hanson.
Older children will enjoy this Tin Can Robot kit or the ever popular Webkinz stuffed animals, many of which come in a convenient mini size with a mini-price to match.
For girls, rather than the drugstore makeup kits, pick up some sterling silver chains and pretty pendants to put on them. Try mall jewelry stands or online retailers -- you'll find a large selection for under $20. For the guys, try a wallet -- but go beyond the conventional with something like the Jimi Compact Sports Wallet.
If you really want to please any teens who show up unexpectedly bearing gifts, spring for a couple of $10 iTunes gift cards. Package them in attractive gift card boxes, and you'll see a rare sight: a smiling teenager.
Grown-up giftsWorried that a few of your own friends might show up with gifts in hand? Here are a few ideas that look like you out a lot of thought into choosing just the right gift.