Monthly Archives: November 2014

Holiday Shopping for Men

Let’s talk about holiday shopping for men and how to make it easy and fun.

We all know how Holiday shopping can be crazy!  There are too many crowds, too many cars on snowy or rainy roads, too much shopping stress and little time with busy schedules.  So what does that do for holiday fun?

Remember when gift giving WAS fun? It can be again, with a little help with online shopping.  Online shopping is your ticket to easy shopping and FUN gift giving this year. Finding online coupons can make your shopping even more enjoyable, because you are saving money.   And, who doesn’t like to save money? Don’t forget to look for free shipping deals, too.  Many sites offer free shipping during the holiday shopping season. Just be aware of shipping and delivery schedules.  Remember, shopping early in the season will ensure your gift purchases arrive on time.

One of the big worries at holiday time is what to buy that special someone in your life. Many men and women alike, struggle over what to buy each other. Instead of aimlessly wandering through the shopping malls, take a fun stroll through the internet. This is such an easy and enjoyable why to shop. So why wouldn’t you want to shop leisurely from the comfort of your home for some great gift ideas?

Internet Shopping for Your Special Man

For your special man, try searching consumer electronics, gadget, sports or men’s gift websites. Following are a few great gift ideas that might be the right fit for your special man or at least give you some ideas to encourage your imagination and find a gift he would like and appreciate:

iPad or iPhone Accessories
Headphones & Earbuds
Stereos, Radios & Speakers
Remote Control Toys
Electric Tools
Grilling & BBQ
Home Bar Accessories
Personal Grooming
Physical Fitness Accessories
Personalized Signs
Sports Memorabilia
Sporting Equipment
Sports Clothing
Computer Accessories
Cameras & Photo Accessories
Home Theater System
Audio Books
CD Gift Sets
Video Gift Sets

So what are some good shopping websites you can browse? Here is a list of my top, personal favorites:

Best Buys
For Men Gifts
Hammacher & Schlemmer
LL Bean
Men’s Best Gifts
Sky Mall

So it’s important to keep three things in mind when shopping this holiday season:

1) Shop Early in the Season
2) Take advantage of internet shopping to find the best deals
3) And, most of all, have some fun and enjoy the holidays with your special someone.

Happy Shopping!

The Art of Thoughtful Gift Giving
Debra’s Gifts

Holiday Gifts for Women

Yes, I know, we women are mysterious creatures.  But one thing most of us have in common is we like receiving gifts.  Just remember, there is a caveat when it comes to giving gifts to women. We don’t want blenders, self-help books, or vacuums.  In simple terms, we like gifts that make us feel good.

If you want to make the ladies in your life happy, you need to follow a few simple rules.

No Joint Use Gifts

If you’re in a relationship, never buy “joint use” gifts unless previously agreed upon.  For example, buying your sweetheart a 60″ LED TV when you live together may send the message that the gift is really for you.

No Appliances

Do not, and I repeat, do not buy your significant other an appliance for Christmas. Believe me, if she wants a new blender, she will by one herself.

Buy the Right Size

If you buy a women on your list an article of clothing, which is generally inadvisable, make sure you know her size.  You don’t want to buy something too big or too small.  And if you buy her lingerie, give it to her in private.  You don’t want to explain to her nieces and nephews what a lace negligee is!

Know When to Avoid Lavish Gifts

When buying for colleagues, bosses, and acquaintances, don’t buy too lavish a gift.  Buying an expensive gift can send the wrong message or make the gift recipient uncomfortable because her gift to you was moderate in comparison.

Avoid Embarrassment

Think about how the recipient will interpret your gift choice.  For example, would your sister appreciate the sentiment behind your choice of anti-cellulite cream or a book on how to lose weight?  Or, do you want the girl you’ve gone on two dates with to read more into your relationship by giving her expensive diamond earrings?

In general, try to find out something about the recipient, so that you can purchase a thoughtful gift that she’ll love.

In the event that you’re completely clueless, pick something from this list and you’ll avoid the bad gift blacklist for another year.

Top Gifts Suggestions for Her:

Designer Handbag

You can never go wrong with a designer handbag or wallet.  Most major department stores have a variety of designer bags to choose from.  Rely on the sales staff to help you make the perfect choice.

Theater or Show Tickets

Whether it is for a concert, a play or other type of performance, buy her a pair of tickets.  Make it clear that these tickets are for her and a friend and are for a performance that she has a particular interest in. You wouldn’t want to her to think that these tickets are really for you!


When buying cosmetics, stay away from items like foundation, powder, and blush.  These things are extremely individual and women like to pick the beauty staples out themselves.  Eye shadow, lip gloss and nail polish palettes that include a wide variety of colors make wonderful gifts for women.  There is always a color she will like.

Pretty Makeup Bags

Most women like make up products and pretty makeup bags to keep their make up in.  There is a wide variety of styles to choose from and are easy to find in most drug, fashion boutiques or department stores.

Jewelry Storage

If the lady on your list already has a solid collection of jewelry, get her a stylish way to organize her jewelry.  For the woman on-the-go, give her the gift of tangle-free jewelry.  A jewelry roll lets her travel in style.  These are easy to find on-line.


Many women love receiving jewelry.  Just use good judgment when selecting jewelry items to be sure the cost of the jewelry is appropriate for the woman you are buying for. A watch always makes a great gift.  To some women, a watch is more than a useful item rather it is used for fashion.  And today bangle bracelet watches are quite popular, fashionable and inexpensive.

Music Boxes

Music boxes make a very nice gift for women of all ages from teens to grandmothers.  They are available in a variety of themes, colors, finishes, inlays, sizes and songs.  And music boxes range in price  so you will be able to find something appropriate.

Personalized Gifts

Personalized gifts are much appreciated and there are so many selections to choose from.  Picture frames, wall art, mugs, key chains, book marks and jewelry are just a few suggestions.  Visit an online website that specializes in personalized gifts and your choices are almost endless.

Scented Candles

Many women love candles, and it is an appropriate gift for virtually every women on your list.  Yankee Candles offers a wide variety to candles and candle holder gifts to choose from.

Reed Diffusers

The hottest trend in home fragrance is reed diffusers, and the women on your list will appreciate your foresight.  You can find these online or in most department stores.  Pier One Imports always has a nice selection of reed diffusers.

Bath Gift Sets

Show her you know a thing or two about luxury.  Bath & Body Works has a tremendous selection of bath gift sets with many aromas to choose from. The store staff will be happy to help you make the appropriate selection.  Drug and department stores also carry a good selection of bath gift sets.  Include a super soft over-sized towel, too.  It’s such a wonderful feeling emerging from the shower and enveloping yourself in a luxurious, oversized bath towel.  Surprisingly, many women don’t buy these for themselves.  So step up to the plate and dazzle her.


Show her you care about her feelings with a journal or luxury notebook for jotting notes or even shopping lists.  This makes a perfect gift for sisters, nieces, co-workers and acquaintances. Book stores usually have a good variety of journals and luxury journals.

Scarves or Shawls

Whether it is a luxurious cashmere scarf or shawl, they make great gifts and are well received by most women of all ages.  Infinity scarves are especially popular today.  You can easily find these items in department stores, women’s apparel shops and online.  Choose from a variety of colors, fabrics, and sizes, so she can wrap up in style and luxury any time she chooses.

Comfy Throw

Picture her curled up on the couch with a good book, hot chocolate and a soft blanket on a cold winter night.  If she’s your girlfriend or wife, maybe she’ll even share.

Tea, Coffee or Hot Chocolate Lovers

Does the woman on your list love tea, coffee, or hot chocolate?  If so, then she’ll love a gift set or gift basket of her favorite hot beverage. You can get a little creative and package a variety of teas in a pretty tea pot some tea cookies.  Or you can find gift baskets online or at a coffee shop store like Starbucks.

Say It with Chocolate

Sure, you can always buy her Godiva, but why not fill her stocking with more exotic chocolates?  The Grand Collection from Chocolate Celeste features heavenly flavors like amaretto, key lime, chili pepper, coconut, Dulce de leche, golden cinnamon, red raspberry, champagne, Chai, milk chocolate parfait, need I say more?


Perfume is a tricky gift.  Unless you know the women really well, I suggest a different gift.  However, if she’s asked for perfume or you know she’s open to trying new things then by all means go for it.

Gifts for Her Pets

If the women on your list has a pooch, chances are the little fur ball is like a child to her.  Giving her a gift for the dog will show how sensitive and thoughtful you are.

Gift Certificate to a Spa

This is one gift certificate that’s far from impersonal.  Go to Google, type in “day spas” along with your city name, and most of the time you can order a gift certificate online.

Gift Certificate to Department Stores

When you’re buying for women you don’t know well, like a second cousin or your 14 year old niece who lives in Idaho, a gift certificate to a large department store is great because she can shop for whatever she wants.  Women and girls like clothes and since they are so hard to buy for someone else, a gift certificate covers your bases.  It also gives her something to look forward to after all of the other presents are opened.

Hope this article gives you some good ideas for shopping for all those women in your life. I also invite you to visit my gift websites listed below, where you can find many of the items I suggested above or just give you some more ideas!

Happy Shopping!

The Art of Thoughtful Gift Giving
Debra’s Gifts

Pine Oak Farm Gifts

I am so pleased to announce that I just launched my Pine Oak Farm gift website.



pine oak farm

Pine Oak Farm

Pine Oak Farm is an on-line boutique site that offers a variety of home decor accessories, kitchen basics, entertaining essentials, and gourmet specialty foods.  Great gift ideas to choose from!

The products offered are items that fit a modern home decor while
bringing true farmhouse country to your home.


As a small, veteran owned business, Pine Oak Farm has a strong belief in supporting veterans who have served our country. Our service men and women who sacrifice so much deserve our support!

In an effort to do our part in supporting our veterans, Pine Oak Farm will donate $1 from every online order of $25 or more to the Wounded Warrior Project, the Fisher House for military families, or other select veterans support organizations!

In addition, we will also donate a portion of the proceeds of product sales within our veterans product category.

Hope SignUSA Sign

Advantages of Shopping Early for Holiday Gifts

Shopping early for holiday gifts certainly has its advantages. Timing is very important when you are shopping for holiday gifts.  And, if you are like a lot of people, you wait until the last minute to do your holiday shopping, even though you know this is probably the worst approach.

Shopping at the last minute may pose a number of shopping headaches.  Firstly, all of the other last minute shoppers are going to be doing the same thing as you, so the stores are going to be more crowded. Secondly, although most stores may be having holiday sales, the prices are not as low as they may have been had you done your holiday shopping a couple of months in advance. Finally, last minute holiday shoppers will also find that the most popular items have already been sold out.  Shoppers may have to visit a number of stores to find a specific item, only to find the price highly inflated.  So, if you have a pretty good idea about what you want to purchase ahead of time, it’s advisable that you go out and start shopping as early as possible.  And do take advantage of internet shopping to save yourself a lot of time.

When you do your holiday shopping early, you will not only find that the prices are generally less expensive, but you are almost guaranteed to find the items you’re looking for in stock. When you shop for holiday gifts as the holiday approaches, the products seem to fly off the shelves, and it can be very difficult to find exactly what you’re looking for. You are then forced to either settle for an alternate holiday gift, or you have to shop at another store altogether.  And, you’re still not guaranteed that the item will be in stock there either. If you want good deals and the guarantee that the merchandise you want is in stock, then start your holiday shopping at least two, preferably three months in advance.

If you have to shop at the last minute, in the case that someone new just came into your life or you forgot to include someone on your gift list, then you may be forced to fight the crowds.  You may end up being disappointed in finding that the items you’re looking for are no longer in stock. However, online shopping is also an option you may want to consider. You can peruse various online stores and have your order shipped to you in one or two days. But, be prepared because it is going to cost a lot more for rush shipping, but at least you know your holiday gift will get there in time.

If the reasons mentioned so far aren’t enough to convince you to do your holiday shopping early, then maybe you’ll be more inclined to shop early for health reasons. If you do your holiday shopping early, it will be a lot less stressful on you.

Two of the top stressors in our life are time and money. By doing your shopping early, you can reduce these stresses because you’ll probably spend a lot less money than you would if you wait until the last minute. Also, you’ll save time because you won’t have to wait in long lines at the checkout, or run from store to store searching for a specific item that is sold out. You’ll also have the peace of mind in knowing that you can gradually shop throughout the year rather than doing it all at once.  This certainly is much easier on your budget and you are less likely to run up your credit cards on holiday gift purchases.

Unfortunately, most of us are procrastinators by nature. Try shopping early one year, and find out what it’s like to have all your shopping done well in advance of the holidays. You’ll be amazed at the difference and how much more enjoyable you will find the holidays!

Happy Shopping!

The Art of Thoughtful Gift Giving
Debra’s Gifts

I invite you to visit my website to see our great selection of themed gift baskets, cookie and floral bouquets, candles and personalized gifts.

Gift Buying Tips

We all love to give and receive gifts, whether it’s at Christmas time or for a birthday, or even a special anniversary or event.  Some may need a little help with their gift buying, so here are my top five gift buying tips. I hope this helps you find the right gift for that special person, and maybe help you save a little money, too.


Red Ribbon Heart with Overlays

My Top 5 Gift Buying Tips

Plan Ahead

Keep a list of upcoming birthdays and special occasions.  Plan the whole year in advance.  Enter these dates into your calendar, either a hard copy or electronic version.  I like to use my cell phone calendar.  You can set up a reminder so you get an alert of the upcoming birthday or event in which you need to purchase a gift. Planning ahead will give you time to search for the perfect gift and you may even catch a good sale.  If you are buying online, be sure to allow enough time for shipping.  Typical shipping guidelines are to allow 2-5 business days, depending on the company and their shipping location.

Stick to Your Budget

Remember, the cost of your gift is not what is important, rather the thought that you put into choosing that perfect gift.  By shopping early, you will have time to compare prices to get the best price possible.

 Read Reviews

You can easily read reviews of gifts you are considering buying at places like,,,, etc. Comments from people that know about the product will certainly help you make up your mind about purchasing it or not purchasing it.

Compare Prices

Price comparison for gifts is easy if you’re switching between sites like, and,, etc. The lowest gift price is out there. All you have to do is find it.

Give from your Heart

Consider what the gift recipients likes and dislikes.  What does the person talk about frequently? Where do they like to shop? What is their favorite color? What is there favorite sport or sports team? What kind of music do they listen to? Do they like to read? What are their hobbies? If you are stumped, ask those that know the recipient well for their thoughts.  Just remember, the best gifts are those that you took the time and effort to choose, paid attention to what the recipient likes, and selected a gift tailored to them.

Here is an example of the most memorable Christmas with my husband.  Well in advance of Christmas, we mutually agreed to limit our gifts to each other to five small presents.  We usually go all out on each other, but to curb our spending we came up with that plan. My husband said to himself “what comes in fives”?  He gave it some thought and came up with the five human senses…sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch.  Each one of his gift selections represented each one of the five senses.  For sight he chose a book from my favorite author, for hearing a CD from my favorite musician, for smell my favorite perfume, for taste a box of my favorite dark chocolates, and for touch a beautiful outfit.  I loved the gifts, but the thought he put into his selections was so heartwarming and sincere. I will always treasure that Christmas memory!

Here is another example of a very thoughtful gift.  Another Christmas my daughter gathered all my photos of herself and my son during their childhood years.  She painstakingly put them into chronological order and assembled them into several beautiful albums.  That took a lot of thought and effort on my daughters part, which I sincerely appreciated so very much.  I will treasure those albums forever!

Happy Shopping!

The Art of Thoughtful Gift Giving
Debra’s Gifts

I invite you to visit my website to see our great selection of themed gift baskets, cookie and floral bouquets, candles and personalized gifts.