Holiday Shopping Throwdown

December 9, 2015

Holiday shopping. Some people love it and some people hate it. When shopping for other people is part of your job, it’s likely that you fall into the love category. And just to be clear I do…LOVE to shop. But I also get totally sick of all the holiday consumerism, gift guides and that feeling of having way more than I need.

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Browsing the adorable card selection at Fleur. I always find the perfect girly gifts here!

On various other years, I’ve tried to combat the over gifting with challenges for myself like shopping totally fair-trade or making all my gifts by hand. Yes, I’m the crazy sibling suggesting (ahem, forcing) everyone try my idea. Another one of my favorite tactics for avoiding the holiday mall scene is shopping local.

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Rocking the neighborhood pride at Wolfbait & Bgirls. Awesome Chicago pride gift selections.

I live in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago, and in walking distance to some pretty rad stores. I also happen to live across the street from a beautiful photographer who documented a fun afternoon of shopping local with my best shopping partners. My little sisters. Sisters always tell you truth, am I right?! We visited Fleur, Shop 1021 and Wolfabit & B-girls on our outing. Don’t worry if you’re not local, many of these items can still be found online, but the idea is to explore your local shops too : )

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So instead of a gift guide, I’m throwing down a holiday shopping challenge (Bobby Flay style). Maybe one item on the list or more will appeal to you, maybe not. Either way it’s time to shake things up and get off Amazon Prime!


#1 – Buy three holiday gifts locally. Hostess gifts are an easy and personal gift to buy local. Try a bag of beans from your favorite coffee roasters, California sage smudge sticks (way better than air freshers), or for that free-spirited friend how about some Tarot cards? Would definitely help get the party started with those!


Smudge sticks and Tarot cards from Fleur. Juniper Ridge online is a great brand for natural incense products.

#2 – Give the gift of Gratitude. It’s proven that living with an attitude of gratitude, and not scarcity, helps us to be people happier people all year long. I love this boxed set, carried locally at Shop 1021. It contains 52 thank you cards and a journal with a daily prompt for giving thanks. Not only can you take note of all the goodness in your life, but you can remind one person each week of the year that you are thankful for them, how cool!

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#3 – Gift an Experience. Movie or play tickets, a little Airbnb getaway, a coffee date, a creative class – it doesn’t have to be an all expenses paid vacation to be a great gift. Giving your time and attention is way cooler than a sweater (well most affordable sweaters anyway).

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#4 – For every gift you receive, donate an item you already own. I think many of us mean to do something like this, but don’t always go the extra mile to make it happen. This is especially easy to do with clothing and children’s toys and books. Not only does it keep the house clutter free, but it’s a great lesson for little ones.

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#5 – Gift something for the kid in all of us. You’ve got to know who you’re buying for on this one, but for instance, little Claire’s favorite thing to do was COLOR. I secretly really want an adult coloring book. What would the 8-year-old self of the person you’re buying for be really into? Might be a fun experiment to find out!

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Alright, so there are five ideas that might inspire some extra holiday cheer this season. Special thanks to my sister’s Carly and Cait for hanging out with me and making an appearance on the blog!

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Happy Holiday season everyone! Would love to hear from you if try one of these gifting challenges!


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Meet Claire

Claire’s creative energy comes from her unique perspective on the world as both a trained interior designer and a passionate yoga teacher. Her affinity for kitchen design, timeless style and eclectic decorating are shared here, along with lots of interior design education and tips. Thanks for being here, please enjoy!

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