Shopping Tips on How to Survive the Holiday Madness from a Coral Gables Personal Shopper
By Kim Rodriguez
The holidays are upon us, so what does this mean to you? Family time, the kids at home, parties, vacations, decorations? Yes, and the inevitable shopping that’s on everyone’s minds.
The never-ending gift-giving list can be the most stressful part of our holiday traditions, but it must be done. Here’s an insider’s view for the CG Mag reader on just how to tackle your list and create a strategic plan so that you, too, can enjoy what the true spirit of the holidays should be. Which is to collapse and enjoy it.
This means go out and shop on your own, following your own will. It’s the best approach. Just shop till you drop and get it done. You might be tempted to bring a friend, but that just adds an anchor. I prefer to shop alone in order to just wrap it up, no pun intended.
If you are the weekend warrior type, then you have to start as early as the stores open. Almost all stores have extended hours and are open on Sundays during the season. But don’t fall for that. Call ahead if you know the exact stores you want to visit and confirm their opening hours.
We like shopping the downtown because it’s filled with quirky, individual stores and fewer chains. I suggest parking midway on the Mile using either the Aragon or Andalusia parking lots. You won’t waste time looking for parking on the street or worrying about adding money to the meter. Parking in the middle of the Mile also helps because you can drop off packages along the way.
I would start with the most important gifts on the list, but more importantly plan out where your stores are and hit them geographically. If you have children to shop for, definitely start here first. Kids usually have very specific lists and almost always want the most sought-after, trendy toy of the year. Get in there early for the overnight deliveries. Don’t risk his or her favorite being sold out until 2020.
Shopping can be tiring, so whether it’s a meal or just a cup of coffee, stay fueled and caffeinated. You can grab a cup of java on the east end of the Mile at Capital Café, and on the west side at Starbucks. Depending on what time you stop at Books & Books (a must for any downtown shopping) this is also a favorite place to have breakfast or lunch.
For the Men & Women
This comes down to particulars. Is he athletic? Then go to No Boundaries on Aragon. Is he metrosexual? Then cross the street to Small Tea for a copper container of rare blends. For anything skincare, there is Bluemercury on the Mile. For the women on your list there is My Best Friend’s Closet, Habit, and Trend Boutique, to name a few.
For Everyone Else
Okay, so who’s left on the list? Teachers, friends, office colleagues, service providers, hostess gifts? These gifts may require delving into boutiques, some place like Violeta’s (if your budget has no restraints) or Rose Cottage (if you want something small and quirky). Also, specialty boutiques usually have a version of pretty holiday wrapping, so make sure to ask if they offer it.
Always include a gift receipt. I’m sure the recipient will love your thoughtful gift, but this makes it easy for them to return or exchange for a different size, color, etc. Most return policies are generous during the holiday season, and this will ensure they have something they truly love.
One Last Tip
That isn’t really a hack, but just start early if you can. As in November. I promise you’ll have a much more enjoyable holiday season. Or you can always hire a personal shopper.
Kim Rodriguez is a personal shopper whose clients include many Coral Gables residents. Krpersonalstyle.com