Holiday shopping tips from the pros
Shawn Gibson, co-owner of Teatro Verde:
1 Personalize your gifts. Monogram note cards, candles, and towels are always great, but think outside the box and go for a fave patterned scarf made into a pillow or a loved fashion house look turned into a decorative piece for the home.
2 Use cash. If you lose track of spending when shopping with a credit card, withdraw a specific amount of money and only pay with cash as you go along. This will stop you from going over budget and from being burdened with an unhappy financial statement after the holiday season.
Tamara Robbins-Griffith, IKEA Public Relations Specialist
3 If you're shopping for seasonal decorations, shop early. There is usually a limited supply, so try to hit the stores in early to mid-November for best selection of wrap and holiday decor.
4 Recharge your batteries by takng the time to rest and have a bite to eat. At IKEA, you can have a sit-down meal with the family in the restaurant, or a quick hot dog or snack from the Swedish food market.
Caroline Jodoin, co-owner of Buk & Nola
5 Buy the gifts you're sure of early in the season. That way you’ll spread out your expenses and feel less overwhelmed for all the last minute gifts and preparation.
Jen Storey, owner of Dwell
6 Hire a designer to do the decorating for you if you're hosting a big holiday party. It frees up time for Christmas shopping, and friends and family will be impressed by the way your home looks for the holidays.
7 Designate the month of November to complete your gift list. Get all of your gift shopping done before the malls get crazy, including host gifts and teacher gifts. Pick up a few extra to have on hand.
Adrian Elliott, co-owner of Elliott & Ward
8 Go with your first instinct. If a gift makes you smile while you're thinking of its recipient, then it's probably the right gift!
9 Think outside the box. Socks are great anytime of year, but a gift like a secondhand antique bud vase shows originality. It's also that type of gift that the recipient might not think of buying for themselves.
Dianne Acheson, owner of Acheson's
10 Shop smaller, independent stores. Take advantage of their in-store demonstrations -- often, the owner is available to offer tricks of the trade for entertaining and gift giving.