How I’m Outsourcing Christmas this Year

I don’t know about you, but the mall and general holiday shopping has recently really lost it’s appeal. I don’t know if it’s the uptick in “holiday” emails and ads I’m already seeing prior to Thanksgiving, but it’s really had me thinking about how I can still give THE BEST gifts, but also improve the whole shopping experience for myself at this busy state of my life.

Here are the 5 ways I’m “trimming” back on time, while still trimming the tree in all it’s glory this year:

(1) Etsy | Etsy is an online marketplace for creators and master crafters. This is the perfect place to purchase personalized gifts or handmade jewelry and accessories. Some of my favorite shops are Firedaughter Clothing and FitHappy. You can find ANYTHING monogrammed on Etsy. I completed almost half of my 2015 shopping on Etsy this year. Great items and I love supporting the small businesses selling on the site.

(2) Greetabl | Who doesn’t love receiving packages? It puts a smile on my face even when it’s the 5 impulse buys being delivered that I knowingly ordered myself. Greetabl is an online one-stop-shop for creatively-curated gifts that are personalized, packaged and sent in just a few clicks, and they’re pretty darn affordable. Send your very own box of holiday cheer.

(3) The Gift of an Experience | Have an adventurer in your life? Skip the material things and give them the gift of an event or learning. Ever dabbled? dabble.co is a place to search for unique classes like cooking or makeup application. Groupon has a “things to do” category full of events and classes that special person in your life may enjoy.

(4) Small Business Saturday – November 28, 2015 | I’ve got to hand it to AMEX, “shopping small” is just genius. Is there a local business you can purchase your sister’s new statement necklace from, or grab restaurant gift card from? I’m in St. Louis, MO and some of my favorites to patronize are Big River Running and Onesto. Yes, this is leaving home, but not nearly as large of a production as the mall on Black Friday.

(5) Implement a “no gift” policy | In the past, I’ve exchanged gifts with close coworkers. I think most of us can admit that finding the perfect gift for a coworker can be a real head scratcher, and is often a last minute task. This year, we’ve decided that in lieu of gifts, we’ll be doing a lunch to celebrate the holidays. I think this is even better than a gift because it gets us “out of the cubes” for a bit to reminisce on the past year and enjoy non-cafe food.

What are other unique gift ideas or sites I should be on the lookout for great holiday deals this year?

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