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Style by Aimée: My Favorite Things

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Make it a holiday to remember with these creative gift ideas.

MyfavoritethingsShoppingWhile I am no Oprah, I do have a knack for gift-giving. I love shopping for people; that’s how I pay the bills, but, even more, I love choosing the perfect something for those near and dear to my heart. Picking gifts for sisters, best friends and little children does not present a challenge for most. Typically your best friend shares similar interests as you; therefore, you’re both likely to be lusting over the same items. Conversely, when it pertains to your boss, grandparents, in-laws and guys in your life, gift-giving requires a little more forethought and creativity.
Here are some strategies that will assist in selecting a fail proof gift.

Take Note
Play on the interests and hobbies of the recipient. If your boss takes a yearly ski trip, you can purchase a lift ticket good for the season in the area he most enjoys (liftopia.com). Does your aunt love Pilates? Grab some head-bands and socks for stocking stuffers. Even better, purchase a few classes at Nola Pilates, 140 W. Harrison Ave., (504) 483-8880, or at Pure Barre, 3923 Magazine St., (504) 342-2208.

Service Industry
While tangible items are nice, services can sometimes be even better. Most everyone dreads taking down decorations. Services offered by The Occasional Wife (theoccasionalwife.com), (504) 302-9893 include removing and packing all ornaments and lights. Or, purchase a gift card from One Cleaners, (504) 455-5705, and Greg Guarino and his team will clean drapes, carpets and upholstery—or simply save your recipient a trip by picking up and delivering the dry cleaning. Are they having a big party? Hire a cleaning service to come before and after the event.

Guilty Pleasures
Reflect on something the recipient would love to have or do, if only there was more time or money. Perhaps they are addicted to trash TV and pop culture but would never admit it? Send them a subscription to Us Weekly. Do they enjoy having their hair washed and styled? Visit Buff Beauty Bar, 720 Carondelet St., (504) 522-2833, or Dry Bar Bleu, 701 Metairie Road, Metairie, (504) 309-5999. Are they busy working mothers and would kill for a respite, alone? Maybe the answer is a facial or a salt scrub with spray-tan package at Le Visage, 8110 Hampson St., New Orleans, (504) 265-8018.

Time is Precious
If you’re searching for the perfect gift for a relative or loved one, give them the gift of time. In-laws and older relatives adore a phone call (the kind where one dials the number and actually speaks) or a visit. A few moments out of your hectic schedule to chat or have lunch is more valuable than any perfectly wrapped package. If you have children, let your elders squeeze some cheeks and tell the same stories you have heard over and over to the next generation. Small moments like these make huge memories.

Walk in Their Shoes
Assess a week in the gift recipient’s life. What are their chores or errands they make? A gift card for one of their daily jaunts to the coffee shop, grocery or wine store is thoughtful. Stop by any PJ’s Coffee locations, Langenstein’s grocery stores or Pearl Wine Co., 3700 Orleans Ave., (504) 483-6314.

Tie One On
As the days draw closer to Dec. 25, and inspiration is thrown out the window with the obnoxious knot of Christmas lights; pick up a ridiculously fattening-yet-delicious Egg Nog daiquiri. Go ahead and wrap that boring candle or re-gifted set of New Orleans Saints-themed wine glasses. If the gift is just awful, a beautifully wrapped package can mask your faults. Pick up divine paper, ribbons and gift tags from Scriptura, 3301 Veterans Blvd., (504) 219-1113, conveniently located near the daiquiri stop, and package those parcels with an extra shot of rum. The gift will look spectacular under the Christmas tree, but make sure you leave the party before they open it.

Happy shopping and even happier holidays! Thanks for a stylish year!