Christmas shopping for some people is torture, for others it is pure bliss. As for me, I love to shop with my mother and my sisters. We like to get up early, get our beverage of choice at one of the many great coffee houses in Milwaukee or Chicago, then shop a little, maybe get a tasty treat at one of our favorite bakeries, shop some more, then go for lunch, shop some more and then drive home the long way looking at the Christmas lights. Believe it or not, even though it seems as if we do a lot of stopping to eat and drink we do manage to get some shopping done.
Unfortunately, I do not always get to shop with them, as I live on the East Coast and they are in the Mid-west. When that happens I like to shop online, I love to browse Amazon, Barnes and Noble, J.Crew, Williams Sonoma, Dean and Deluca, Boden, and many more places. In the last year I discovered some great online shopping, at such places as the Gilt Group, One Kings Lane, Rue La La, Joss & Main and I am sure there are many more.
These online stores are great because they offer high end merchandise at a discount, you can buy jewelry, stationary, candles, cashmere, furniture, designer clothing, interior designers curated collections and many more things. I personally have purchased from all of these sites listed below.
Rue La La; last year I gave many gifts from Fauchon, which I brought back from Paris, imagine my surprise when I received an email from Rue La La saying they were having a sale on Fauchon chocolates, teas, and condiments. I will be honest here, I did buy many things at the Fauchon sale, it was less expensive than Paris!
One Kings Lane is one of my favorites, I love getting alerts from them, in the past I have purchased letter press stationary, books, cashmere blankets, kitchen items and too many other things to write about.
And last, but not least the Gilt Groupe, yes, I have purchased from here, for gifts, for birthdays and the holidays. They all have excellent customer service and great deals.
ALSO, buyer be ware, sometimes if the items are vintage you can find them elsewhere for less. Also, sometimes the items for sale are last seasons designs, that really doe not matter to me as I do not live where apparently that matters.
Make sure that if you buy something you do your homework, check the cost of shipping, and if you can return it (sometimes you cannot) if you do not like it.
WARNING: These sites are addicting, you also have to join at no cost to you, in order to purchase items. When you join you can invite people to join also and then if they buy you get a credit to your account, usually $10.00-25.00.
Also, remember if you are making delicious handmade gifts, and crafts, there are many tutorials out there. I posted on a few of them HERE. In addition, Anita at Castles, Crowns and Cottages posted a beautiful list of hand crafted gifts from various artists, both on Etsy and elsewhere as well as, antiques and unique finds from other shop owners. And Jeanne from Collage of Life has begun a series of gift ideas of her own, as well as, from other bloggers.
If you are out on Black Friday I hope you are having fun and getting everything that you went for. I am home sitting by my fireplace, reading and drinking cocoa. Lucky for me I am finished shopping and wrapping and shipping the gifts to their respective recipients. The only thing I have left is my baking! I cannot wait.