last-minute sustainable gift ideas

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If you celebrate Christmas and are like me, this last week before the holiday is a bit of a scramble to finish up all the preparations, including finding the perfect gifts for my loved ones. I do some of my gift selections earlier, but I also wait to make my final purchases to make sure I’m really choosing the right thing for each person. Ok, some of it is procrastination, but since many of my choices are sustainable, I don’t have to worry about the hot new thing being sold out.

Choosing gifts that are sustainable is easier on the environment, and can be easier on the budget as well. I don’t subscribe to the idea that something must be new to be a gift nor that it must be something that can be unwrapped. There are so many ways to show your love for someone while showing love for the earth at the same time.

Below are some sustainable gift ideas for you to explore for the important people in your life.

homemade

baked goods

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Who doesn’t love something scrumptious?

crafty fun

Instead of fighting crowds at the mall, get your maker hat on to create something big or small! Some of my most precious gifts are things made by my family members. Ornaments for the tree, coasters, book marks, knitted and crocheted hats, decorative pillows – the options are endless!

new-to-you

Consignment shops have so many amazing items that make wonderful gifts. Elite Repeat Consignment and Boutique (women’s clothing and accessories and giftables), Fashion Avenue (designer women and men’s clothing, accessories and jewelry), and Nu Look Consignment (women and men’s clothing and accessories) are all independent consignment shops that carry very high quality pieces. Look for:

cashmere

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At a fraction of the cost of retail, you can wrap your loved one in coziness without breaking the bank.

high-end jewelry and accessories

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Find luxury brand jewelry, scarves, ties, and more – again at 1/3 retail pricing.

items with tags still on

I frequently find gorgeous clothing with the retail tags still on them – meaning they are brand new! A client recently purchased something with the tags on it as a Christmas gift for her partner during a personal shopping session at a consignment store.

gift card for a new-to-you shop

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Not sure exactly what your loved one will like? Consignment shops sell gift cards, just like retail shops!

experiences

Experiences are one of the most sustainable gifts ever – less stuff AND creating time for your loved one to take a break to do something fun!

spa services – massage, facial, manicure, etc.

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I’ve mentioned how much I love my hair stylist Bee at Urban Village SalonSpa in previous blog posts. This fall my mother-in-law gave me a gift card (sustainable birthday gift!) to enjoy some of the other services there. LOVED. IT. I chose a massage with Sarah and a session with esthetician Whitney. Both were simply amazing. I would happily receive a gift card to Urban Village at every gift-giving opportunity! HINT.

plans for a date night with a gift card to a favorite or new restaurant

Simply making time to do something together can be the greatest gift. And the Twin Cities have so many fabulous restaurants!

cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at a fancy hotel or bar

The craft cocktail scene has exploded in the past few years. Two of my favorites are The Commodore in St. Paul, a gorgeously restored Art Deco venue, and Marvel Bar under The Bachelor Farmer in Minneapolis, which feels like a speakeasy.

wacky fun

Mini-golf and arcade games accompanied by adult milkshakes? Axe-throwing? Yep. Check out Can Can Wonderland for fun for all ages and FlannelJax’s for your favorite lumberjack wannabe.

gift card to a movie theater with enough for two tickets and treats

Classic fun!

tickets to the theater

We have such great theater in the Twin Cities! Get tickets to a play at The Guthrie or a touring Broadway show at one of the Hennepin Theater Trust venues.

gift certificate to NDWC – pair it with a consignment shop gift card!

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I offer gift certificates for any service or dollar amount. Give the gift of living your life without your wardrobe bringing you down and feeling great about how you look. So. much. fun.

I hope you enjoy the holiday season with the people who are important to you. The gift of time to reflect and share gratitude is the greatest gift of all.

happy holidays!

fun for the holidays

The Holidays. We know they’re coming.

Halloween is over, chocolate peppermint is replacing pumpkin spice, and decorations are ubiquitous. Poor Thanksgiving is lumped in there, but just barely.

Frankly, it can be overwhelming – so many things to plan and do to celebrate with family and friends over the next six weeks. One of those things is to figure out what to wear at the abundance of family gatherings, holiday parties, and formal events that occur this time of year.

Consignment shops are a great resource for finding new-to-you accessories and statement pieces that can make beautiful, polished holiday outfits without breaking the bank. Adding a sparkly embellishment or festive plaid can transform an outfit. Or finding a gorgeous fancy dress at a fraction of its retail cost makes celebrating all the more fun.

dress-casual gatherings

Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah family and friend gatherings often call for comfortable-casual attire, but you want to look polished as well. Neutrals in soft knits are the trend this fall and winter – try an easy white-on-white or blend of neutrals for a put-together look. White denim or winter white dress pants with a fluid knit sweater and scarf are a perfect choice.

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Or go more traditional with plaid accents like a cozy blanket scarf or flannel shirt peeking out of a fitted crewneck sweater. A plaid statement coat pops with white-on-white, and blue gingham or plaid offers a fresh alternative to red or green.

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soirées

Mix it up a little at those holiday mixers by forgoing the little black dress and opting for a sparkly or shiny skirt in emerald, champagne, or bronze. A knee-length A-line or full cut skirt with a fitted dressy blouse or sweater and ankle-strap heels will stand apart. A vintage or statement coat over a simple solid dress will both keep you warm and let you shine. An embellished sweater paired with a wool pencil skirt and heels is a gorgeous classic look.

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dress parties

Jacquard, lace, and embroidered fabrics are beautiful monochromatic textures for fancy dress. Again, instead of stand-by black, choose navy, charcoal, white, or a metallic for a contemporary look. The shift, sheath, and fit-and-flare cuts are all lovely on-trend, yet classic styles. Add an ankle-strap or ankle-wrap heeled sandal, a clutch, and a sheer wrap for elegant style.

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accessories

Anything sparkly will instantly make an outfit feel dressier and festive for the holidays. Add a brooch, or even two or three paired together, to a fine-gauge fitted sweater or fasten one to a bobby pin for your hair. Choose a sequined scarf or oversized ring as accent pieces. Jeweled bracelets, earrings, and collar necklaces will dazzle any outfit.

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shopping consignment in Minneapolis and St. Paul

The Twin Cities have countless consignment stores for all of your holiday wardrobe needs. In Minneapolis, Nu Look has many lovely blouses, sweaters, and skirts. Fashion Avenue in Edina has gorgeous formal wear and designer/couture pieces.

St. Paul’s Elite Repeat has beautiful scarves and dresses, as does Second Debut in St. Louis Park, where you can also find a great selection of sparkly jewelry. Clothes Mentor (multiple locations) has lovely dresses as well.

I hope everyone has a relaxing, reflective Thanksgiving next week. And if you’re brave enough to join the crowds the day after, consider participating in Plaid Friday, a national effort to support local and independent shops on the biggest shopping day of the year. “Plaid is the new black!”

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