Outsmarting the Holiday Rush! (part 1)

Have you noticed the date on the calendar? Unless you are dedicated to being  Scrooge from  A Christmas Carol,   you need  to start shopping. Unfortunately,  the malls are packed; parking slots are slim to none and  navigating the crowds for holiday sale bargains  can drive anyone crazy.

Shopping online can help you get past the  “mall madness”  and get  the shopping done.  You might not save any  money, but you will certainly  will save yourself frustration and gasoline  looking for that elusive parking slot.  Before you click that mouse, get water, pencil, paper, calculator and that most necessary piece of plastic–your credit card. Make notes of the sites you visit and the items and cost so you can find them again.


Depending on what you want to buy and who you are buying it for,  visiting  sites like Nordstrom.com (spend $100 + and get free ship with NORDSHIP1 code ), Macys.com, Saks.com ( free shipping upgrade code through 12/21 at 1 PM GIFTRUSHB ) Target.com,   OldNavy.com, Gap.com, LandsEnd.com  and Sears.com   can   knock off  most of your shopping list  at  one  online retailer. With a little bit of speedy shopping, you  can get  gifts shipped to your home for  the “personal touch” or you can have them shipped   to the recipient in time for the big day– for  a price. Check out the website’s shipping  policies before  completing  your purchase to save yourself some surprises. Particularly be careful about sale merchandise  and when it’s available. If there is that option to speak to a LIVE BODY over the phone or webchat, do so. It can save a lot of headaches. 

Gift cards aren’t exactly romantic, but they are easy to buy  and  can be sent directly to the recipient. There may be shipping fees when purchasing a gift card,  but it certainly beats the hassle of wrapping paper and ribbon.  Try any of the department stores, music stores (towerrecords.com and bookstores online like barnesandnoble.com and borders.com

If you are the gambling sort,  head over to  Smartbargains.com— the Loehmans online location– or Sierratraders.com  for a chance at scoring some bargain prices on fashions, accessories,  home furnishings, books, home entertainment  and even gifts for the pet.  It’s a bit of a search, but you can score major bargains.  Don’t forget Amazon for great gifts– often times at a bargain.. For the ultimate bargain hunter, ebay is the way to go. It’s crazy at this time of year but some sellers will ship directly to your recipient –for a price!  DeepDiscountDVD.com is a great place to find gifts for that TV or movie junkie you know at a bargain!! They don’t have everything but they have a lot so you can find something that’s sure to please

An innovative  gift that keeps on giving all year is  the  Entertainment Book.  This book  provides numerous discounts and 2 for 1 offers  to restaurants, theaters, hotels and more.–all local to the recipient for about  $25-45.00 depending on the book’s area. http://www.entertainment.com .

If  you are shopping for the  “Gen-X” crowd, check out Urban Outfitters  You can find affordable clothing and accessories for him or her  and maybe benefit from the mark-downs already in progress.  Unsure about sizes? Urban Outfitters sells home furnishings and accessories that  are fun and funky gifts. . www.urbanoutfitters.com   

Is the person on your list more upscale, perhaps a more "downtown doll’ than rock punk? Anthropologie.com  might be more her style.

For the "manly man", here’s a gift that’s sure to please–  HOME DEPOT!  The selection of gadgets and tools is amazing and now they even sell home fitness equipment. What more could a guy want?

Is the person on your list  is stuck in the sixties, seventies or eighties?    Check out  Trunk Ltd authorized vintage rocker tees  to find someone’s favorite band  emblazoned on the front.  There are also authorized tees with lolos from Warner Bros (DC, Looney Tunes,Hanna Barbera) Harley Davidson, and Paramount Pictures. They have the coolest assortment of tees and there is sure to be at least one to please even the most selective person–girl or guy! It’s a bit pricy,  but  this is a gift they won’t give away! http://www.trunkltd.com/shoppe.aspx

If there’s a woman on your list–and when isn’t there– you tred on dangerous ground. Select the wrong gift and you could be banned (or berated) for life!

When  the fashionista on your list has you down, nothing brings smile to her face like a gift from Beautyhabit.com whether it’s a cool  candles or fragrance diffuser, bath and body products ( be by Becker. Eshaya  anyone?), an adorable  Lucy B hatbox  of cosmetics or a gift certificate, she will love you  for realizing that’s she’s truly a girly girl. www.beautyhabit.com   . Other girly girl spots include Bath&bodyworks.com  and Sephora.com

Women love their jewelry,  get inspired  by Inspired Silver’s jewelry featuring   beautiful  cubic zirconias set in silver  that are “inspired” by  much pricier  jewelry.   From classical designs to the very contemporary, the price tag on these  sparkling  pieces ranges from  $20-$300.00 . Featured is a great layered necklace in sterling with multi colored CZ’s.  I saw all this jewelry and it looks so much better in real life. There’s sparkle and flash and gorgeous pieces! Now you can afford to give her that gigantic ring she has been sighing over. Or  you can gift HIM with that cool ring you saw on a famous celeb who remains nameless! www.inspiredsilver.com

After5catalog.com has  an array of  items for those who “believe in the art of celebrating”.  Featuring wine, martini, tiki, and cigar motifs,  After5catalog.com has gifts for personal or home use for those people who have everything. www.after5catalog.com

Buying something for someone and you just aren’t sure what to get? Check out Chiasso.com for a fab assortment of indoor/outdoor items, furniture, bed/bath, rugs, decorative accessories, seasonal pieces (get them a great holiday decoration), kitchen and entertaining pieces (martinis anyone?)as well as fun gadgets and toys perfect for both the little and big kids (AKA adults). The selection is excellent and it’s not items that are easily found.  Other places to check out include Potterybarn.com, HoldEverything.com, WilliamsSonoma.com  for excellent home entertainment and use gifts. They have everything including some wicked good food items–specifically at Williams Sonoma!

The “tech” junkie is one of the hardest to buy for since typically he/she has everything. Head over to Staples.com  to run through their online gift section where you can  pick up a scanner, memory key, or digital camera upgrade that’s sure to light up their face like a flash. www.staples.com

For those who love fragrance–whether for themselves, the bath or just candles burning at home like   D.L & Company  Mandrake  fragranced candle, there is a tiny boutique online that sells only the most unique scents, bath products and candles. Luckyscent.com has an  generous selection of fragrances from pricy to very affordable for men and women. Their new bath & body products section has some lush products that even the most manly man will love to use.  Make sure you tell them I sent you. They are a nice bunch of people and for you LA crowd, head over to  Beverly Blvd between Crescent Heights and La Cienega for the  SCENT BAR,  the new brick and mortar location for luckyscent. It’s a way cool place to hang out. www.luckyscent.com 

Ok.. now some of these places will give you free shipping if you order no later than 12/19–so UPGRADE to faster service and it won’t cost you nearly as much than if you wait. You could easily get all your shopping done TOMORROW! So buckle down, dig out the plastic and the cup of java or bottle of water and just do it!

that’s the LA Story — part 1 of gift giving!



Author: Stevie Wilson

Digital and social media pioneer and visionary meets disruptive innovator with a passion for topics and conversations that reveal insight into the So. California lifestyle. LA-Story.com appeals to a global audience (from Asia to Africa; Middle East to Europe, No. America to Latin America) in variety of topics and sectors: style (beauty and fashion), health & fitness, entertainment (movies, TV, books, music and more) ; food, beverages & spirits; IT Security + tech , travel, special events (red carpet to green carpet) I am known for interviews ( podcasts , textual and video conversations) with notables, celebrities and companies about interesting products & brands; profiles about places that reflect the So. CA vision and special events (Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys & other events that illustrate celebrity , athletes and home-town "stars" lifestyle and initiatives.) that illuminate the insider's perspective of So. California's lifestyle . Learn what's hot in Los Angeles, NYC, MIami and stops closer to home that make this blog a must-read because the voice, attitude, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for consumers to earn what makes a brand, initiative or product unique - whether, food, fashion or finance (or any other topic "on the table") With 15+ Years online launching websites, online magazines, forums, products & brands, my voice, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for me to share what the online audience and consumers alike want to learn- how to shop, live and reflect the lifestyle they wish to emulate. Need to leverage digital and social media space? Reach out to me!

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