One week remains to cross everyone off your gift list. Big-box retailers are always a convenient option -- but they’re a zoo this time of year and can feel generic. If you had more time (and knew where to go), maybe you’d prefer a special alternative?
That’s why we did the work for you. Here’s a list of classic default gifts with two options: 1) the traditional big brand offering and 2) an equally (or more) affordable selection from small designers and boutiques (most of which are available for purchase online -- so order soon for holiday delivery). The choice is yours... 1. Chocolates Godiva is ubiquitous at stores and retail counters OR you could give the gift of Hell’s Candy -- a boutique chocolatier based out of (where else?) Hell’s Kitchen in New York City (plus, get 50% off with Code FF12). Who doesn’t love a sinful treat?
2. Jewelry Jewelry from stores like Kay’s is a popular holiday gift, but can feel a little generic. Why not break the mold and give an edgier piece from the k/ller collection or one of Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s statement pieces from small designers?
3. Wrapping Paper People prefer wrapped gifts (find out why here), so you could grab a roll from Target OR make the wrapping as special as the gift and buy some beautiful local paper, like this lovely gift wrap from Eskayel.
5. Scarves We’re declaring the scarf the best default gift for all ages and shapes. You could buy one from J. Crew OR support Frolic Apparel, a small Etsy store that sells adorable circle scarves for under $15!
6. Coffee Ah, the Starbucks gift card. The ubiquitous go-to gift. But this year consider caffeinating your loved ones with a Giftly coffee card that gives them their daily fix at a small, local coffee shop.
7. Socks Did I say say scarves are the best default gift? That status is rivaled only by socks. Hue has some nice options OR visit Sock Hop and make their feet feel extra special with unusual offerings like knife socks, or perhaps something more delicate.
8. Kitchen Stuff No one ever has enough kitchen stuff, and Williams Sonoma can serve your needs OR visit Whisk to surprise them with some slate coasters from an upstate New York quarry or some Brooklyn Rehab salt and pepper shakers.
9. Iphone iPhone gadgets are perennial crowd-pleasers. You could give your friend who perpetually smashes his iPhone screen a basic case from Best Buy OR try one of Society6’s creative cases that will protect the phone in style.
10. Magazine subscription Everyone subscribes to something -- or should. Give Wired to the techie on your list, and every fashionista will enjoy W -- OR give them something unusual to read and talk about with a subscription to The Gentlewoman, a magazine featuring inspirational, international women and “offering a fresh and intelligent perspective on fashion that is focused on personal style – the way women actually look, think, and dress.”