6 expert gifting tips: How to give the BEST gifts this year

With Thanksgiving this week, the holiday season is officially in full swing. And while giving your friends and loved ones presents is hands-down one of the best parts of the season, it can be stressful too. That's why we're all about stocking up, and planning ahead. It helps diminish shopping stress - and save you tons of money!

We were able to chat with gifting expert Julie Kenney, who often turns to T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods for her holiday shopping, and got lots of great tips and tricks for how to gift like a pro.
  1. Be observant. Take note of your surroundings as you spend time with friends and family. "What style or color is their decor?" Julie asks. "Be mindful of others' taste so you can give them a gift that meshes with their current collection."
  2. Check social media! Does your best friend have a Pinterest board of her ideal apartment decorations? Hello! Shop directly from her board, or just use it for inspiration.
  3. Get thrifty. Get more out of your purchases by splitting them up! If products you love come in a set of three, "pair the pieces together and you could give a festive gift to three people while only really buying two items."
  4. Make it personal. One of our favorite tips from Julie: buy a beautiful blanket or bag for someone, and get it monogrammed. How great is that? Especially if you get a fabulous deal on the bag, take the gift one step further by personalizing it for your friend.
  5. Stock up. You're bound to need gifts for people other than your family - people you don't know THAT well. something for your hairstylist? Your neighbor who walked your dog for you that one time? Throughout the year, whenever you see something that would make a great gift, grab it! And stock up -- are 5 candles on sale? Grab them all!
  6. Take notes. Another one to do all year 'round: "Always keep an updated gift list in your notes section on your smartphone so you can stay within budget and not forget anyone!"
Like we said, Thursday is Thanksgiving, which means Black Friday is nigh! Get ready to find some deals and get your holiday shopping done early. Stress-free holiday season? Yes please!
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