My best advice: Start early! (Ok, too late for this year, I know, but there’s always next year!)

I start looking for things to get my family and good friends in the summer. If you take a trip somewhere different like Italy, or a quaint little town an hour away, get something unique, even if you go there in July. We went to Venice (Italy) in September, and among all the expensive, fancy stores, they had a hole in the wall purse store. All the purses were made of leather in Florence, they had no-brand name on them, but they were great, and the price was right: around $30 each. I bought 5 as gifts for Christmas.

Gifts with Meaning: I love gifts that say something AND have meaning. Don’t throw out all those pesky catalogs you get through the year. Keep a few, those that look interesting, and when you have a break, get a cup of coffee and sit down in your favorite chair with a handful of them. Start browsing and you will likely find a few great ideas. My favorite this year was a catalog from Natural Life ( I found these little ceramic flower vases (for one bud) that had a message: one said “Be Happy” in a sea of flowers, and the other “You Make the World a Better Place.” I bought 12 of them for just $10 each. They weren’t expensive, but they meant something, and I hope they make the persons receiving them feel special.

Guys: If you are a typical guy… you are probably waiting until Christmas Eve to do all your shopping. I’m sure the reason must be because that’s when you find the best deals right?  (Nah!), but no worries, we all know why, but I digress, what matters is that you fellas do care and do want to get that special person in your life something special… but you tend to procrastinate. I believe mostly because you really don’t know what to get!  

So here are some ideas:

  1. See above “Gifts with Meaning.”

  2. Who doesn’t love smart gadgets? Here’s a list from “”

  1. As a member of the “female” persuasion, my favorite gift from the man in my life is always a delicate piece of jewelry. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just simple and elegant. Preferably something made of gold or silver, and it doesn’t have to be diamonds, there are lots of great pieces of jewelry today made with other less expensive stones and even cubic zirconia that will make her happy.

  2. I saw a great idea online: a flower bouquet subscription from your local flower shop (monthly flowers delivered).

  3. When you run out of time and ideas, when all else fails, I don’t know any woman who would not appreciate a gift certificate to a spa. The more items you include, the better, i.e. a massage, a facial, and a pedicure, presto!

Need a gift list template to keep track of your gifts and budget? Here’s a link to a website called “Christmas Organized Home” that is easy to print and/or save: