Monday, December 1, 2008

De-Stress Christmas Gift Shopping

My ideas about Christmas presents might be narrow compared to other people's, but I have finally decided to be true to myself and gift what I would like to receive. In doing that, I've made my life so much simpler, and I'm able to enjoy the holiday season with friends that I really care about rather than with department store clerks.

Now, don't be fooled. American Express still calls to warn that there has been unusually high activity on my card, just in different locations than prior years. LOL

Being that we are toe-deep into December, I figured I'd share some of my favorite tips on being a happy elf this year. (Hope this smile continues the whole month.)

First: If you buy a specific gift, make it one the person really wants. Don't bother with a gift for gift's sake. When I receive those types of gifts, I feel guilty because I know I'll never use it (AND I can't re-gift because it was a gift in the first place). Simple, but does it make sense? If the receiver is really into music, how about a specific cd? Or a card for downloads? How about a watch for the friend who goes through five of them in a year because she changes them with each outfit? Books? I love books and bookstores…Peculiar, eh? It isn't the amount you spend, but the thought you put into the gift.

Second: I always feel rushed and pressed for time. This year, an outdoor mall, with the feel of Main Street, USA, has opened near by. It has all the smaller shops the mall has and much less bustle. I like that. I drive right up to my favorite stores and stroll right in. In the mall, there are shops for my girlfriends (Bebe, White House Black Market, Sawovrski), for the men (clothes stores, plus hm…a Cigar Bar), and kids (Hollister, Love Culture, Zoomiex…), plus other stores with a greater variety. The best things about this 'mall' is that is has a couple of cafes and restaurants…these make me happyJ.

Third: I have no problem with cyber-shopping. I love it. They will even wrap and send the gifts out for me! I used to feel guilty doing this, but no more. It is so worth it. All the major department stores offer on-line shopping and most smaller (boutique-style) stores do as well. Obviously, I love –it is the department store of my heart—It has almost everything and usually, I have no problem meeting free shipping requirements.

*My personal absolute favorites include travel sites that sell discount tickets and hotel rooms. You know the big ones and you know your budget…plan accordingly.

Oh, I also make a point of hitting as many local signings and collecting books for my friends. Now, if you're reading this blog, there is a good chance that you enjoy a good story and so do your friends. A signed book is a great gift (and you typically get a night/day out and a strong cup of coffee/tea out of it).

If you can't make it out for a shopping trip, spend a few minutes reading over this blog and you'll find a few gifts for the romance reader--for sure.

Here are a few of my own books and 'tags' with types:
If you'd like to make one a signed gift, just shoot me an email, , and we'll see what we can work out.

The Greek Rule by Aleka Nakis
The rule is no romance with a Greek. But do you really think that Athena could really escape Alexandros once he's set his mind on her? Stranded on the romantic island of Santorini for a family wedding, Athena is locked in his arms and can't break free.
The Summer Deal by Aleka Nakis
International billionaires don’t lie to get a woman, but Demosthenis Lakis does just that to lure his assistant to Greece. In an effort to keep her safe, they give in to their passions for a few hot and sultry weeks. Making this summer deal, does Demo get to keep Sammy for a lifetime?
Eyes of the Dead by Aleka Nakis
Would you relinquish control and trust your life in a dead man’s hands to obtain the cure women in every corner of the world seek? The greatest fear is losing your heart to the man protecting you from the selva's dangers and yourself. Tiffany and Antonio need to walk out and live to bring justice to the sex and drug dealers terrorizing the region.

The truth is, I am in a Shopping Mecca, so I can usually find everything I want within a ten minute drive, but it is neat to order things and receive a package in the mail.

I posted some (and trust me, this is a very limited sample) individual sites I visit often, but I want to hear from you, too. Where do you like to shop? AND What do you like to receive in your stocking?


Maddie James said...

Great post, Aleka! And wonderful tips.

I'm one of those rare women who HATES the mall and HATES to shop...unless... I'm on a mission and with a purpose and I have plenty of money and the sales are good and there are no men around and my girlfriends are not hassling me to hurry and...

Okay, so I shop like a man. Get in. Get out. Get home.

I know. I'm an enigma.


Demi Alex said...

Get in. Get out.
Yes, much like a man. lol
Well, not all of them.:-)

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