Giving the Perfect Gift

Pressure is four unfilled stockings hanging from my fireplace.


Plus the big gifts that I need to buy for my children and husband, and then my list of parents, friends, siblings, nieces and nephews—all whom need a thoughtful gift with that “wow” factor.

For everyone who has ever thought, “Well, maybe he’ll like it,” while knowing that it was desperation talking, and that the gift would be stuffed in a drawer and forgotten, we have two things for you. First, our upcoming Gift Guide (look for it our December magazine) is filled with ideas for everyone on your list. Next, we interviewed Lindsay Roberts, a Chicago gal and founder of for tips on finding the perfect gift.

Roberts started her website as a blog about a year and a half ago. “I was always interested in gifts,” she says. “And then when I started doing TV segments, the site really took off.” She searches magazines, gift boutiques and online sites, looking for trends and local artists to feature.

Be a Good Listener
People in your life will drop hints—some subtle, some a picture circled in red—don’t ignore. Or we should say, ignore at your own peril. When your dad mentions that he’s always wanted to try a craft bourbon, make a note. If your daughter’s friends are sporting feathers in their hair, chances are your daughter wants them, too.

Think “Experience”
Especially for people who seem to have all the things they need, an experience is much more memorable than another sweater. So maybe along with the bottle of bourbon, you and your siblings take your dad on a distillery tour.

“Wow” Factor
Sometimes the “wow” is that it’s a physically impressive gift, but Roberts also says you can create “wow” by packaging several gifts together. So instead of a gift certificate to a restaurant, with a jokey note about “one night you won’t have to cook,” give your wife a bottle of champagne (beautifully wrapped) and write a sweet note about your romantic date. Note to hubby: Make sure her calendar is clear and make the reservation. Put the date and time in the note, so she knows it’s going to happen!

Think Handmade

Etsy—along with local artists and craft shows—are a Mecca for gift givers looking for a personalized gift. But given the thousands of choices and the possibility for kitsch (or worse, see, how to choose? Roberts suggests signing up for Etsy’s emails, which feature curated lists of vendors and products. Tag favorites throughout the year, to make the December gift crunch a little easier.

Roberts’ final advice: “Don’t give something you would like, give something they would like.”