I didn't give myself the nickname of "best gift giver," but I have been called it. I'll admit, it is true that I have a knack of finding the "perfect" items for people. Some call it luck, but that's not what it is. Not at all.

First of all, I feel like if you're buying a gift for someone this holiday season and you're struggling, it might mean you shouldn't be getting that person someone.

Wait, let me explain.

The reason I'm considered so "good" at this, I believe is because I've paid great attention to the people I'm buying something for. So, if you're struggling in the idea department, you may not know that person well enough to be buying them a gift just yet.

I'll teach you a simple trick and maybe, just maybe it'll make this shopping season a little easier for you.

I choose who I'm buying gifts for and I write their names down. It's important to narrow the list to the most important people in your life to keep your spending down as well as not buying just to buy. (Though, it is the giving season so don't let this deter you from surprising someone just for a smile. May I suggest a coffee mug? Everyone loves a warm drink this time of the year.)

Next, by those names write down the things you know about that person. It can be character traits, favorite things, inside jokes, maybe something you know they've mentioned they wanted or needed, anything that comes to mind really.

After you've done this, go through it once more to be thorough.

The best thing you can do before jumping right into the shopping world is to think where you may find things pertaining to what you wrote down. Ex: maybe you know your father loves a certain band but, you realize that said band won't have anything in a store locally that you can walk in - head to the internet.  Maybe your best friend has said multiple times that they really want a shirt that they've seen in FYE but they just don't want to spend $25 on it - get to FYE.

Knowing these things in advance truly helps your shopping adventure during the busiest mall time of the year.

Also, when using the internet for your shopping needs you still may be unsure where to go. Something I've found that's been super helpful is to go to Google, search whatever I'm looking for and hit "shopping." Ex: Maybe you want something with a quote on it but you're not sure what...google!

I also have found that giving experiences to a person, rather than an item can be something unexpected but completely welcomed. Ex: A concert or broadway show is coming through the Capital Region and you grab a pair of tickets for the two of you to go and enjoy. Not only is it a fun show but you get to create some more memories together. Maybe the next gift turns into a scrapbook of your fun night out!

I hope these tid bits help you this holiday. Even if it's just a little because the shopping can be stressful and ain't nobody got time for that!

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