I don’t know why, but I really enjoy giving gifts. I think it’s because it allows me to get some retail therapy without suffering the guilt I would have if I shop for myself. I especially love the challenge of finding a great gift, the one that will make the recipient feel really special when they receive it. This is hard to accomplish if you’re bringing the same thing everyone else gives them (e.g. the token bottle of wine as a hostess gift).
Consequently, I’ve spent a fair amount of time sifting through various stores (both in person and online) looking for gifts for my friends, my kids’ teachers, my family, and the occasional stranger. While there are thousands of stores where you can find gifts, I have a few favorites. Here they are (along with the reason they made the list).
- World Market – you will be hard pressed to find another store that offers unique gifts in the variety and at the prices you will find here. They carry everything from gourmet food to furniture. If you can’t find something special for your special someone here, you aren’t looking.
- Pier One – though this store has a much smaller selection than World Market, they are more prevalent. Their everyday prices aren’t as much as a bargain, but they usually have several good deals and their items are definitely unique and attractive.
- Marshall’s/Home Goods/Ross – these discount stores have unbeatable prices on lots of different products. They are my go-to stores for hostess gifts, and the occasional kid birthday presents.
- Etsy.com – for truly unique gifts, this online store for handmade sellers is top notch. Many items can be personalized and the variety of items offered is immense.
- Spoonsisters.com – this online store is chock full of fun and clever gifts for everyone from your newborn niece to grandpa. They have a great selection of gifts for the nearly impossible to shop for demographic (teenagers) too!
- ThinkGeek.com – great for the nerds in your life and also for kids and technology fascinated men (and women, though we seem to be a rare breed).
- Fatbraintoys.com – THE website for children’s gifts. You can search by specific age (not a range) and gender to find the perfect gift.
- Uncommongoods.com – if you can’t figure it out from the name, this online store is all about unique. Some items can be pricey, but if you have the budget and really want your gift to stand out from the crowd, this is your store.