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The Wrap: Holiday Gift Guide

November 28, 2019

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The Wrap: Holiday Gift Guide

Great last minute gift ideas Tradition is a hallmark of the holiday season. Religious services, family gatherings and trips to see Santa Claus are just a few of the many traditions people adhere to during the holiday season. Many holiday shoppers also adhere to the time-honored tradition of last-minute shopping. The perfect gift can sometimes prove elusive, especially as the sand in the holiday hour glass keeps dwindling. These lastminute gift ideas may be just what shoppers need to put smiles on the faces of their loved ones this holiday season. Books Books are often overlooked, especially now that so many readers use e-readers. But books can be an ideal gift and especially convenient for lastminute shoppers, who can even gift e-books. For example, Amazon, which has thousands of e-books in its online library, makes it easy for shoppers to gift e-books to Kindle users, who will simply receive an email on Christmas morning informing them that their books are ready to be downloaded to their devices. Experiences A 2017 survey by the global research firm NPD Group found that roughly 40 percent of holiday shoppers planned to give experiences as gifts last year. Experience gifts open up a host

of possibilities for last-minute growler from a local craft brewery shoppers stuck on what to give is sure to please people who love those loved ones who seemingly hoisting frosty pints. have it all. Streaming Services Food/Beverage Many people are cutting the cord Television channels such as The with their cable companies in Food Network have changed the favor of streaming services such way many people look at food. as Netflix and Hulu. Subscriptions When gifting the family foodie, to such services can make ideal last-minute shoppers may not and affordable holiday gifts. A sixneed to look further than the latest month or yearlong subscription hotspot restaurant or specialty likely won’t break shoppers’ grocery store for the perfect gift. budgets and will provide months Take them out for a night on the of entertainment to loved ones. town or give a gift card they can use at their convenience. The craft Last-minute holiday shopping is beer boom has created a host easier than ever, especially for of devoted and knowledgeable shoppers willing to think outside beer drinkers, so a gift card or the box.


Gift-wrapping tips and tricks Stacks of presents just waiting to be covered with paper and ribbon can overwhelm gift givers, prompting them to put off wrapping gifts until the last minute. Hesitant wrappers with a pile of gifts to wrap can use these tricks to make the process go smoothly. Find inspiration Instead of looking at wrapping as yet another chore, try to envision how the recipient will feel peeling open the paper and finding the gift inside. Wrapping can be the prelude to the gift itself, and intensify the anticipation. The wrapping paper or style also may draw on aspects of the gift itself. For example, a knit scarf can be placed in a crocheted stocking. Handle oddly-shaped items Wrapping rectangular boxes can be a snap, but what about something that’s round or full of angles? Think about placing oddly-shaped items inside another item to make the shape more uniform. Shoe boxes, coffee cans and even paper towel rolls can hold items. Then place the wrapping on these containers. Cover prices To enable easy exchanges or returns, do not cut off the price tags of gifts. Instead, place a festive sticker over the dollar amount, but leave the scan bar visible. This way the gift recipient See WRAPPING, Page 4


The Wrap: Holiday Gift Guide

This year’s hot holiday gifts

November 28, 2019

WRAPPING... Continued from Page 3

can return the gift with ease if easier to cut and position. You risk tearing the paper or puncturing The holiday season is synonymous with many things, including necessary. it when working on carpeting or exchanging gifts with friends and loved ones. Get the scoop on the Keep supplies at the ready bedding. gear and gadgets that are bound to be on the top of wish lists this year. Devote a bin or bins to wrapping Color- or pattern-code gifts supplies and tools. Having Amazon Echo Show 5: This is the latest incarnation of the Echo scissors, paper, tape, ribbon, and It’s easy to visualize who gets Show at a more affordable price point than past incarnations. more in a designated spot will what gift when each recipient has The screen is a smart display and enables users to make video cut down on having to hunt and his or her own special wrapping calls, play games, watch videos, check the weather, and control peck when it comes time to wrap. paper. This is also a handy idea smart home devices. A new privacy feature allows users to turn Martha Stewart suggests getting when wrapping gifts from Santa, off the camera and microphone when the device isn’t in use. a rotary cutter to cut long straight as it will differentiate the Santa or decorative edges on wrapping gifts from the ones being given Battery pack case: There’s no need to waste time sitting by the paper. Rotary cutters may be by Mom and Dad. phone charger waiting for popular iPhones to revive their batteries easier to use than scissors, with a battery pack case. A charging case provides extra talk especially when paired with a With a few helpful pointers, time or video streaming and fits comfortably on various models. ruler. wrapping gifts can be easy. And for those who prefer to skip the VicTsing Wireless Shower Speaker: Whether a friend or loved Wrap on a firm surface wrapping themselves, many malls one is practicing for a night out at karaoke or enjoys getting and retailers offer complimentary Devote a table or counter to wrapping for a small donation to pumped up in the morning with upbeat tunes, a waterproof wrapping gifts. This will keep the charity. shower speaker is a hot gift. It can stream music or bluetooth paper taut and neat and make it over calls from a phone. Fitbit fitness tracker: A Fitbit product is certain to be a winner for fitness enthusiasts. The Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Wristband is an affordable option capable of tracking workouts. It also can sync with a phone and is water-resistant. Blink XT Home Security Camera: People with security on their minds, including those who want to keep tabs on their homes while they’re at work or on vacation, may cherish this security camera. The newest version is weatherproof and has cloud storage. Motion detection will set off an alert on a person’s phone or tablet in real time. Tile Trackers: Handy Tile gadgets connect to keys, bags and other belongings that frequently go missing. Simply connect to the app and the device will ring, identifying the location. The upgraded version covers 200 feet and has a louder volume. iRobot Braava Robot Mop: This powerful robot will mop and sweep tile and hardwood floors. Pair it with the traditional iRobot vacuum and an entire house can be cleaned without lifting a finger. These are just a handful of the items that will be coveted this holiday season.

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The Wrap: Holiday Gift Guide


Holiday gifts for

four-legged family members

A study by OnePoll conducted by Rover.com, the nation’s largest network of dog sitters and walkers, found that 95 percent of pet owners have bought holiday gifts for their pets. Gifts can range from everyday needs, like food and treats, to more lavish extravagances like spa treatments. Pet owners who plan to get their pets gifts this year may want to consider some of the emerging pet trends as they browse wares and services. The Balance, a business, career and industry information site, says pet industry trends point toward these segments seeing growth. Natural pet products Just as people are interested in protecting the health of the planet and their own personal health, so, too, are they extending this concern to companion animals. Natural pet products, which can include natural flea and tick remedies, holistic foods, organic items, and all-natural grooming products, can make great gifts. Specialty pet services The American Pet Products Association says the demand for high-end pet grooming and other services is substantial. In addition, personalized training, behavioral consulting, portrait photography, dog sitting, and

upscale spa treatments like pet Reiki and massage are booming. Mobile pet grooming Mobile pet grooming has become the norm in many areas. Mobile pet grooming can reduce the potential stress on animals, and tends to be very convenient for customers, particularly seniors and others who have mobility issues. Beyond these growing trends, pet owners have a bevy of other ideas from which to choose. Here are just a few different suggestions: •

tests to detect pets’ DNA and trace breed and ancestry,

interactive puzzles to keep pets engaged and banish boredom,

stylish storage baskets for pet toys,

hidden cat litter or dog crate items that camouflage commonly used pet items,

heated pet bed for cozy nights and mornings, and

signature vests, coats and sweaters to look good and remain comfortable.

Pet gifts are popular this time of year, ensuring all members of the family have a treat to open.


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The Wrap: Holiday Gift Guide

Eco-friendly gift options

According to Stanford University, Americans generate 25 percent more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve than during the rest of the year. While no one wants to take anything away from the spirit of holiday season, everyone can take steps to make the holidays more eco-friendly. In fact, there are various eco-friendly gifts that can make great presents and benefit the environment at the same time. Purchase experiential gifts When making holiday shopping lists, think of gifts that offer experiences rather than material goods. Gifts that involve experiences, such as going to a sporting event or attending a play or musical, decrease reliance on wrapping paper. Such gifts also reduce clutter in the recipient’s house and conserve the resources otherwise used to manufacture alternative items that would have been purchased. Experiential gifts that also tap into environmental pursuits, such as touring with an animal rescue group, or accommodations at a carbon-neutral hotel can be an added bonus. Opt for locally made gifts Select gifts made by local artisans or companies that operate domestically. This cuts down on the carbon emissions from having to ship products from long distances or even overseas. Give climate-friendly stocking stuffers


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November 28, 2019 Companies like Cool Effect offer gifts for those looking to offset carbon emissions through clever funding. People can buy and offer gifts that correlate to packages like Costa Rican wind power or the “poo package,” which funds biogas digesters for family farms in India that capture methane emissions from cattle dung. Get crafty Gifts from the kitchen or ones made by the giver can be crafted from sustainable materials. They also show how you care by taking the time to customize a gift for the recipient. Avoid gag or useless gifts Select gifts only with utility in mind. Skip purchases that are made only to beef-up the look of presents under the tree or to make it appear that gifting was more generous. Items that a person cannot or will not use will ultimately be relegated to the trash, which is wasteful. Wrap in reusable materials Fancy wrapping paper certainly looks nice, but choose other materials that can be reused. Look for decorative tins, boxes, fancy gift bags, and other items that can be reused for years to come. Sustainability is possible during a season of excess when gift givers shop and wrap gifts with the environment in mind.

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The Wrap: Holiday Gift Guide


Live theater can be a memorable gift experience that you think fits the recipient. Many new musicals are based on pop culture and can entertain just about anyone. For example, “The Cher Show,” “Jersey Boys,” “Beautiful,” and “Rock of Ages” have tapped into popular music as the crux of the storyline and can appeal to anyone who grew up listening to certain performers.

The experience of live theater is unlike any other. Watching actors perform live on stage can be a wonder to behold, and many people even vividly recall the first play or musical they attended. According to a survey conducted by Nielsen Scarborough in spring of 2016, more than 47 million Americans had attended a live theatre event within the past month. No matter if one is a lover of the arts or simply enjoys a night out on the town, live theater can make for the perfect holiday gift. Here’s how to make the gift of live theater happen this season. •

Enroll in a discount ticket program. Explore the possibilities of discounted tickets through employers, schools or professional organizations. Groups offer perks like enrollment in entertainment plans that are affiliated with theaters across the country. Participation in these clubs can offset the cost of tickets.

Look close to home. While London’s West End and Broadway in New York City are the most renowned places for live theater, you don’t have to stray far from home to find quality performances. Many shows go on tours and visit various big cities. If you live close to a college campus or regional theater company, you can probably find great, budget-friendly performances nearby.

Make it a road trip. If your mantra is “go big or go home,” then you can purchase tickets for a show having a run on Broadway. Just be sure to include the travel arrangements and accommodations into the gift to make it worry-free for the recipient. Many Broadway tickets get discounted postChristmas as a way to boost tourism during winter months. Consider this as a cost-saving measure.

Throw in a bonus. Ensure lasting memories of live theater by including an original cast recording soundtrack, script, book on which the show was based, posters, or another memento of the show.

Tap into a person’s interests. Theater shows run the gamut from serious dramas to lighthearted musicals. Find a show

Live theater is a holiday gift that keeps on giving long after the curtain has come down.

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Profile for Press-Republican

2019 The Wrap - Holiday Gift Guide  

A special supplement to the Press-Republican.

2019 The Wrap - Holiday Gift Guide  

A special supplement to the Press-Republican.


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