It's the most wonderful time of the year! You know, the days when moms everywhere wake up at 3:00 a.m. in a cold sweat, thinking about everything we have to get done between now and December 24. Between work, the kids' school activities, Mike's high school basketball games, Avery's basketball games and practices, both girls' piano lessons, tumbling, Girl Scouts, etc., etc. etc. (pause while I check my blood pressure), I am beginning to realize I am simply not going to make it to a real life store. The last opportunity I had to really dig into a shopping marathon was Black Friday, but I simply cannot deal with the hoards of non-expert shoppers who refuse to acknowledge proper shopping etiquette!
Side note: Proper shopping etiquette can be boiled down to everyone else getting the freak out of my way so I can get my shop on.
After getting past the numbing depression brought on by the thought of a complete absence of mall hopping, I have come to accept that I am going to have to do my gift buying online this year. Fortunately, I am a professional. I have crafted a no-fail list of the best shopping websites over the years. Now, because I feel compelled to give during the Christmas season, I am sharing this cherished list with you, my pals. (However, if I attempt to purchase an item from these sites following this post and find it is sold out, I will hack into said site to find out if any of you were the offending purchaser. I will then stalk you until you hand over the desired item. You have been warned.)
1. The Vintage Pearl - I have mentioned this site before, because it is wonderful. Beautiful, personalized, heartfelt jewelry at great prices. Being based in Tulsa and owned by an amazing lady earns the site many bonus points, but it would have made the list anyway.
2. Shari's Berries - Chocolate-covered strawberries the size of my fist. This site is particularly handy for gifting to out-of-towners because you can have them delivered to their door. I have used this site several times and have never been disappointed.
I have already ordered for a few people this year. It could be you. You should probably buy a gift for me, just in case.
3. Red Envelope - Personalized items for just about anyone, including cookware, barware, household items, clothes, baby items and more. I got these personalized beer glasses for my brother-in-law (don't tell him.)
Mike wants to keep them so I think that's a good sign.
4. Etsy - If you want one-of-a-kind items, check out this site, where crafty folks go to hock their wares. I have bought baby clothes, hand-made costumes and party invitations. As a matter of fact, I got a little something for myself last week. Check out this little bauble:
It's actually much more lovely in person and it's handmade by some lady in Texas.
5. Zappos - Not a new idea, but it's probably the site I visit most for shoes and clothes. It has the best searchability of any site of its kind and best of all, after a couple of purchases, they award you VIP status which means FREE OVERNIGHT SHIPPING! This could be a lifesaver a couple of days before Christmas. Returns are free too, which is completely necessary for clothes and shoes.
That should be enough to get you going. I know I'm forgetting some great ones. If you have other suggestions, please help a girl out and post them in the comments.
Until next time, shop friendly!