Christine Koh

Hello!

I'm Christine Koh, a music and brain neuroscientist turned multimedia creative. I'm the founder + editor of Boston Mamas, co-author of Minimalist Parenting, co-host of the Edit Your Life podcast, and creative director at Women Online. Drop me a line; I'd love to chat about how we can work together!

5 Last-Minute Holiday Shopping Tips

5 Last-Minute Holiday Shopping Tips

Well, we’re in the final holiday stretch friends! And if you -- like me -- have been a tad underwater work-wise, then you likely haven’t finished your holiday shopping. Which is totally fine, actually, because today I want to share some tips for last-minute holiday shopping inspired by a visit to BJ’s in Waltham a couple of weeks ago.

As I mentioned in my post on how to build an awesome appetizer board (with minimal dirty dishes), in the past, I have resisted the warehouse shopping scene, mostly because adding another stop to our shopping sequence seemed hard. But I have to admit, I’m definitely singing a new tune now. We’re hosting a holiday open house on Christmas eve day and I’m planning on going to BJ’s this week to stock up for it -- seriously, the prices and ability to execute snacks easily are huge! And I also realized it will be a good way for me to double down and take care of any last minute holiday needs. The second holiday challenge I participated in at BJ’s the other week was that we were given 5 personalities to shop for (the coffee lover, the tween, the beauty lover, the gamer, and the active dad) and I was surprised by how easy it was to find gifts for everyone! So here are my tips to keep sane and happy while you gift with love:

1. Make a list

I think part of what contributes to last-minute holiday gifting stress is not having a plan. Reality is, the stores will be busy and people go slightly nuts under stress. I think the key -- especially if you’re going to visit a big store like BJ’s -- is to go in with a very specific list of what you need to pick up (in my case, food items for my open house), and who you still need gifts for. Stay focused!

2. Shop off-peak

Obviously, off-peak shopping will help with your sanity. I’m going to arrange my work day to shop as soon as the store opens on Thursday so I can avoid the crowds.

3. Remember that clutter-free gifts are always awesome

I have always been a fan of clutter-free gifts such as coffee, chocolate, or lovely soaps or body products. And though I 100% love baking, one of the great things about gifting coffee and chocolates or other clutter-free but not immediately perishable items is that the recipient can enjoy them at their leisure when the holiday craziness is over. For example, YES to the giant bag of Starbucks French Roast beans I picked up for my resident coffee lover.

4. Step a little out of the box

One of the things that I really like to do when I’m thinking about gifts for people is to step a little out of the box, and it was really fun to be able to follow that trajectory for many of my BJ’s picks. For example:

  • For the tween: I have a tween so I’m seeing first hand how stressful and over-digital things can get! So I bought a beautiful orchid (this was totally inspired by Laurel -- on her last birthday that was one of her top wish list items) and a Serenity coloring set.
  • For the beauty lover: There were tons of beauty products at BJ’s but I decided to convey the importance of foundational skin care and picked Neutrogena facial wipes (I love these for removing makeup!) and their water boost cream to encourage good moisturizing practices.
  • For the gamer: Digital would be obvious so I instead picked up two cool games -- an old school air hockey table (my kids love air hockey!) and a marble run game (a STEM product!).  
food-gifts.jpg

5. Put on some happy tunes

I recommend putting on some happy tunes once you arrive to your shopping destination. The holiday season should be fun, not stressful, and music will help keep your spirits up if you do hit long lines.

I hope these tips are helpful! And if you’re not a BJ’s member you can score a free 3-month membership if you sign up by 12/31/2016!

Disclosure: This post reflects a creative partnership with BJ’s. All ideas for last-minute gifting are, of course, my own. All images are by the talented Eddie Berman.


Holiday Weekend Roundup + Weekly Blueprint

Holiday Weekend Roundup + Weekly Blueprint

Traveling With Kids: Okemo Mountain Resort

Traveling With Kids: Okemo Mountain Resort