Making a list, checking it twice, actually buying what's on it, wrapping the items, waiting in line at the post office, party planning, shopping, cooking, baking, decorating...whatever happened to the joy of the season and enjoying time with friends & fam?
This year, enlist a fabulous gay elf to do your bidding! Stylist & fash personality Carson Kressley, the fashion stylist from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy has teamed up with off-price retailer T.J. Maxx to offer up tips, tricks & a treasure trove of budget-friendly gift ideas in the $25, $50 & $100 range.
"I am working with T.J. Maxx this holiday because as a loyal shopper, I know it is truly a one-stop shop-decorations for the home, gifts for everyone on your list and even a gift wrapping display with everything you could need to make your presents look fabulous while not breaking the bank or your holiday spirits!" comments Kressley. "We are trying to help make the tasks of the season so easy that you can get all your holiday 'must-dos' done in a fraction of the time, for a fraction of the cost....Do consider Do consider buying prepackaged gift sets. Items such as pajamas, lingerie sets, soaps and spa products, shirt and tie sets and watches are available boxed -- often with a festive ribbon and gift card attached. The look is holiday magic -- and what could be easier in terms of gift giving? Let's remember people-- you count too at the holidays. Isn't it important to actually celebrate the spirit of the season, rather than feel harried and exhausted? Even Mrs. Claus has a fleet of elves at the North Pole...we know you don't have that, so that's where we come in!"
Easy Entertaining Tips:
Chic Cocktails "Share your flair for modern mixology and treat your guests to marvelous martinis in equally extraordinary glassware at an 'oh so now' cocktail party," explains Carson. All you need is three things:
- signature cocktails
- great glassware
- elegant assortment of finger foods
Dishy Dinner Party To ace a formal dinner party, Kressley advises not being too matchy-matchy. "Don't be afraid to mix and match what you own with a few statement pieces which will truly make the table stand out. Set your to-die-for table with today's most beautiful serve ware, shimmering runners, crisp linens, and bold glassware." (Guests will marvel at your perfect holiday table, while you can savor the smug satisfaction of knowing how much it didn't cost.)
Cozy Time with the Fam For casual family get-togethers, try a gorge ceramic serving platter or steaming gourmet cocoa in oversized holiday mugs. "Think truly enchanted evening by hosting a tree-trimming party with each guest receiving a take-home ornament to be remembered for years to come." Another Carson tip: deck out your familial halls like a mini winter wonderland with sparkling ornaments, soft quilted mantle stockings, mini Christmas trees, snow globes, hanging icicles & stars. "Remember, whatever the party, the most important part is enjoying yourself and your guests. Plan ahead, create an ample menu that is easy to serve. Wear an outfit you love! Feel the holiday cheer - and your guests will as well."
Great Gift Ideas:
For Her "When buying for other ladies on your list, think of those simply luxuries you enjoy so much-a collection of relaxing bath salts or a cuddly cashmere cardigan," explains Carson. "Think luxe, but without the couture price tag, when shopping at your one-stop gift headquarters. Get people the much-wanted treats they would never get themselves!" Some of Carson's top suggestions include:
- decorative jewelry boxes
- 14K gold, sterling silver and gemstone jewelry, delicate freshwater pearls
- gourmet food gift sets: chocolate, cookies & cocoa
- designer fragrances
- luxurious cashmere sweaters, robes & slippers
- bath & body lotions, gels and salts
- picture frames with a photo of someone she loves
- cocktail rings, bracelets (in multiples), chunky necklaces & earrings
- designer bag
- lingerie, silk PJs, cozy flannels, snug slippers
Good Guy Gifts "From my many years of experience on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, trust me, I know what men want! It's the practical, yet fashionable, items that he just never gets around to purchasing for himself - he'll most certainly thank you for these favorites."
- shaving kits & manicure sets
- fine Italian leather wallets
- designer silk ties that truly stand out.
- stylish leather briefcase or laptop case
- designer watches
- cashmere cardigans, crew or v-neck sweaters in solids & patterns
- thirsty terrycloth bathrobes & slippers
- golf or ski accessories & clothing
Tips for Teens "Teens can prove to be the most difficult to buy for on your holiday list," says Carson, acknowledging that even your best intentions will often end up buried under the bed. "There are just so many choices, so here's a whole list of suggestions that you can't go wrong with":
- MP3 player accessories for the techno junkie such as a docking station
- knit wear for him & her
- trendy jewelry: bracelets or necklaces with charms, oversized rings
- team logo jackets, sweatshirts & hats
Toys for Tots "Don't even get me started on toys! It's still my favorite part of the store. Satisfy your inner child-and the little darlings in your life-with gifts that are fun, cuddly, exciting and simply perfect for children!"
- plush stuffed animals
- books to learn colors, numbers & letters
- remote control cars
- a rocking horse
- baby dolls
- science kits
- keepsake Christmas ornaments with favorite characters...a holiday tradition for years to come
- gift cards (always perfect!)
- lush fragrant candles
- gourmet hot cocoa or coffee sets
- bath & body sets
- Lesley Scott
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