Evenings are getting longer, lights are twinkling, families are gathering, wrapping is being cut and folded and ribbons tied… the holiday season is just around the corner.
The holidays can be a stressful time as we madly rush to get the perfect gifts for the people close to us. In this post, I'm going to give you some tips on how to beat the stress and give some wonderful gifts this year!
The very first tip I have for you is to start early! It's easy to push holiday shopping to the last minute but ultimately that usually leads to a more stressful experience and a less successful outcome (i.e. average gifts). A great time to start looking for gifts is in the Fall!
Keeping an eye out for potential gifts early gives you time to find more meaningful gifts, as opposed to easy, less personal ones. Not only can you find more meaningful gifts, but you can also take advantage of deals and discounts as they arise. Because you're starting early, you can wait for something to go on sale for example. Starting early is also great simply because you avoid the insane crowds mobbing stores in December.
The next tip is to buy gifts from small businesses. Small businesses have unique products so that you can be fairly sure the recipient won't already own what you are gifting them. Not only that, but small businesses usually also sell products with an interesting back story- like a passionate Founder, or a positive environmental impact for example. These stories take your gift to the next level and make them memorable and meaningful.
Buying from small businesses is a great move because it also has a positive impact on communities. Shopping small is a great way to support local crafts and encourage diverse product offerings in your neighborhood, city, or county. Plus, chances are that if the vendor is local, even if you don't personally know them, you probably have a friend or a friend of a friend that knows them. Shopping at small businesses strengthens communities and brings us closer together.
Here are a handful of small businesses that would be great to check out for holiday gifts:
Culk- Apparel that "commemorates local landmarks kinda." Culk is a quirky, small-team brand based in San Francisco that makes hoodies, shirts, socks, and beanies with SF and Seattle inspired designs.
Angela Deane- Angela Deane is an artist that paints ghosts over vintage photographs and sells prints of her work. These are fun, playful options for art-lovers.
Laguna Jewelry- Laguna Jewelry handmakes beautiful earrings, rings, and necklaces in a style reminiscent of the Santa Cruz beach where they are all made. Each piece is crafted so that no two items look the same. Laguna Jewelry is a great place to look for a one of a kind gift for a significant other, sister, or mother.
OHME- OHME is another fabulous place to look for gift jewelry but with a very different style- this is jewelry for the modern feminist. Fun and bold, their necklaces and earrings are definitely a unique find!
Tea By C- Tea By C has carefully curated gift sets for the holidays, perfect to check a few people off your list. The sets feature tasty and unique teas, teaware, and artsy prints. This year, we partnered with a local artist to design prints to go with our 3 signature teas: Blue People Oolong, Rose Buds, and Dragonwell. Keep an eye out for their release, these will be gift sets your loved ones won't forget!