heading to the mall just days before the big day terrifies me utterly. i hate crowds, (most) other people, and the idea of fighting over that last tin of bath salts is just more than i can handle.
that said, it’s almost always a necessary evil. i’ll sit up suddenly in bed, right around 3 am, and realize i completely forgot a gift for my mother-in-law, or my aunt sally, or…my hubs. and i’m left with no choice.
for those in the same boat, hopefully this list of mall-attainable finds will help you streamline your search and go a step up from the typical, standard-issue mall gift.
if you’re in need of a wife/girlfriend/person who sleeps in your bed gift, i know bags are a frightening prospect for men, but trust me, this one’s pretty foolproof. i was downright shocked to walk into a coach boutique recently and fall head over heels, but the brooke hobo managed to entirely sweep me off my feet with its light, soft leather and perfect slouch. it retails for $458, which is actually pretty reasonable in the land of handbags. and, while i’d never presume to choose a bag for a woman i hardly know, the brooke is as close to universal as it gets. simple, sophisticated, beautiful and ready for years and years of use. if you’re stumped on size and color, go for the larger size in red – she can always exchange, but she’ll love that you got something more interesting than black.
for that neighbor/coworker you completely forgot, i happen to adore these mentha lip cordials from c.o. bigelow (available at your neighborhood bath & body works). the scents are dee-vine, even for someone like me who typically hates scented lip products, because the scent fades quickly and turns into their standard-issue tingly mint, slightly glossy lip balm i’ve always loved. i’m partial to the buttered rum and spiced cider, but if she’s into more dessert-type scents, definitely go for the hot chocolate and eggnog. $7.50 each, and get one free if you buy two. i’d keep the freebie. i’m selfless that way.
and for your friend – the really hip one – i want you to venture somewhere unusual. a kid’s store called ‘the children’s place’ happens to be stocking the cutest little watch this christmas. it’s only $14, and definitely sized to fit an adult. love the orange face, and even love the camouflage (because it’s grey, not green) – i think this would look fantastic with a blazer/jeans look to add some interest. i would suggest you find a way to repackage it…the box is a little lacking. try mixing it with a $5 stack of gold bangles from forever 21, and wrap the whole thing as a set – that would be pretty chic.
(incidentally, this would also make an awesome gift for the kid in your life, obviously…how cute would your five-year-old nephew be in this watch?)
i thought these jeweled slippers were the cutest thing when i spotted them in a mall window a while back. they photograph horribly, but in person, they’re just right – maybe the most stylish slipper i’ve found. especially now that they’re 50% off, making them $12 at the loft. sold out online, but my local shop had plenty in stock….i’ll be heading there today to score a pair! if you can’t find them, this version makes an excellent backup choice, and either way, she’ll be looking incredibly chic on christmas morning.
stay tuned tomorrow for the ultimate last-minute idea: a guide to my favorite books for gifting this year.