Hello Penny Darlings! Happy last few days before the weekend! (the CHRISTMAS weekend!)
So, I normally am one of those people that is done shopping in October and December is just a grab bag of getting small holiday themed items, gift wrapping paper, bows, etc.
However, this year, I slacked. Slaaaaaacked. Slack. Slack. Slacked.
And I truly understand the panic now, of wondering IF anything will arrive if I order it. And as an avid internet shopper – I was secretly (not so secretly) nail biting about what I should even order, or if it was worth it to order in advance, or what should I even do.
I did the thing.
I went to the mall around the holidays.
Our local mall, Capital City Mall, is named because we live…well in the capital city! And bonus: this mall has THREE plus sized shopping options, a White Barn, and….it HAD A SANTA. (here’s me & Santa!)
And I found all but ONE of my gifts at the mall. There was some fun deals, there’s even a mall VIP program where for every $250 you spend – they give you a $10 rebate (check those perks out here!), and I could munch on a soft pretzel while I looked at stuff.
And there are few things in life that ya girl loves more that munching on a pretzel while looking at some stuff.
But, as an ENFJ, I like to think of myself as an EXCELLENT gift giver. Like, supreme. One time a person I knew in academia (WE HAD JUST MET LIKE ONE WEEK PRIOR) after looking at my personality test said, “I bet you are an excellent gift giver.” AND I HAD NEVER CONSIDERED IT BUT I TOTALLY AM.
So, I went in with a few people in mind, and realized that there are probably non-ENFJ people who struggle with thinking of thoughtful gift ideas. So here’s some ideas to drop by the mall and grab some awesome last minute gifts!
But these are real gifts that I got for REAL people in my life. So, family & family-in-law – STOP READING HERE, please!
First, let me share some of my AWESOME gift giving tips:
- ) There is NO shame in shopping the clearance section. None.
- ) I don’t like to give tchotchkes. I like to think of something personal. (Like, one year, my brother really needed new headphones and he LOVES Superman – so I found Superman headphones.) Mix practical gifts with a personal touch.
- ) Keep a list of who you need to buy things for. It’s easy to forget someone if you didn’t write it down.
- ) Figure out a price range for each group. (Office Secret Santa, Fave Co-Worker, and boss gifts – under $25, Significant Other – under $100, etc.)
- ) There is NO shame in asking loved ones for things they might like as a gift. It won’t ruin the surprise but it can give you a great jumping off point.
- ) It’s nice to go during low volume times which is usually right when they open or shortly before they close!
- ) It is truly the thought that counts. Showing up with a gift in THE BAG YOU BOUGHT IT IN is not thoughtful (a real thing Preston did once, honey, I love you, but no.) There’s a wrapping station IN THE MALL. Stop by.
For The Music & Movie Lover
So for some (last minute) Christmas shopping – I knew I needed to buy for a HUUUUGE movie lover (my brother!) and my best friend who is a city dweller and a very big friend of public transportation.
So, I was on the search for two things when I went into FYE. FYE has changed a lot since I was younger – lots of merch – a lot less CD’s.
So my older brother is all about the latest tech stuff – so he wanted to upgrade his HP collection from DVD to Blu-Ray and I found a set of HP Blu Ray! And it was on sale and I signed up for a store card and saved 10% (totally worth the sign up!)
For the movie lover in your life – there’s TONS of movie merch, movie shirts, movie collectible sets, options to upgrade your DVD to Blu-Ray, and tons of $5 DVD bins! A movie tee, a few DVD’s, and a bag of popcorn is the perfect gift!
So we stopped by FYE and I managed to check TWO people off my list in just one store (and honestly, for a steal!)
My best friend/MoH lives in Chicago and utilizes the public transportation – but in turn, has a 45 minute – hour commute every day. She was definitely looking for some new headphones for her daily travels. There were SO many types and brands to choose from. I ended up with the rose gold – because I was positive she was going to love it!
*I also had a tough time putting aside my personal taste to buy these gorgeous rose gold headphones for my BFF & MoH. You KNOW ya girl wanted those pink cat headphones!*
And BOTH items that I took up to the register rung up lower than their ticket price for an in-store sale and I was super pumped when I ended up saving over $30 between the sale, the VIP program, and the markdowns!
For The Big Sports Fan
Anyone who knows Preston & I well know that we are absolutely hardcore theatre and arts people…who know a MINIMALISTIC CONVERSATIONAL amount about any given sport. I could name like five athletes tops but not what team they played for.
But, Preston’s dad, my Father-in-Law to be is a BIG Oakland Raiders fan and often has the game on when we go over for Sunday night dinners. So I thought I would check out Bleacher Bums (betcha’ can’t say that five times fast).
Right inside the door is the carpet of champs. The room is split into big chunks of Eagles, Steelers, Flyers, Phillies, Pirates, etc. (all of the PA teams) and that tickled me quite a bit.
But we browsed around and I finally found these cute throws (anyone could use a spare blanket!) and they didn’t have a Raiders one! But there was a staff member there who could, like, vibe out how little we knew what we were doing – and not only recommended a great product and find it with the Raider’s logo!
10/10 would recommend this store for any sports fanatics that I know. They literally have everything with every freakin’ team. They even had college teams!
Even though I KNOW that I am not a sports person – it was nice to be able to actually browse. So, if you have any fanatics – THIS is the store. They have EVERYTHING in every team. Water bottles, towels, clothes, sweatshirts, bobbleheads – the whole thing.
This is the perfect place for your Father-in-Law to be!
For The Cocktail Connoisseur
So, my dad, is IMPOSSIBLE to shop for. He always says, “I have everything I could ever need – save your money.” BUT SORRY DAD, YOU RAISED A CHILD THAT LOVES THE SPIRIT OF GIVING. So, most years I settle on getting my dad a nice bottle of tequila.
He loves to sip chilled (expensive) tequila. And after TONS of research – Cazadores is the highest ranked to be almost an exact dupe of Patron! So I usually get him a bottle of Cazadores (silver)!
Well, Capital City Mall JUST (like in the last two months) had a liquor store open up. (If you’re not from PA – we have to go to special stores for wine and liquor, different stores for beer, and you can’t buy any of it in the grocery store/gas stations).
So, CCM just had a Fine Wine & Good Spirits shop open up – and it is considered a ‘premium location’ so it has a SUPER wide selection. So I went in and found a GIGANTIC bottle of Cazadores. I had never seen more than the one size, so I said, ‘THE BIG ONE IT IS!’.
But this store was humongous. It was stocked with all different sizes, hard to find products, and mini-size products.
MOST of this aisle was different types of Tequila. HUNDREDS of Tequilas.
(I’m more of a whiskey gal myself.)
But then I found this HUUUUGE bottle. LOOK AT IT! IT’S HUGE!
And ya girl was pumped.
And since Preston and I tend to give gifts as a couple, we also snagged him a bag of limes from the grocery store so he could make a ‘damn good’ margarita. (That’s what my dad calls his own secret recipe. Spoiler alert – it’s JUST tequila, triple sec, and a lime).
I was also jazzed about how fantastic the lighting was in this store!
So for anyone in the 21+ friends or family in your life – it’s nice to grab a few of the pint or mini-bottles to give a ‘bar basket’. A ‘bar basket’ is just a cute little gift basket full of a few mini or pint bottles, a shot glass, some whiskey stones, or other bar accessories.
Or, this is also a great stop for those on your list you want to treat! No boss or co-worker was ever mad about a bottle of wine, some nice Bailey’s, or their fave drink of choice! Or for the traveler in your life, a few of those airplane bottles is the perfect gift for all this season’s traveling!
For The Fashionista
So, as a curvy girl, I lovelovelove having the option of GOING to a store to try things on, because honestly, that hardly ever happens. I shop almost exclusively online. Capital City Mall has THREE plus sized stores that I got to try things on in – but Torrid is my all time fave.
Little known fact, Torrid is actually a sister company to Hot Topic, so they get a lot of licensed merch (Disney, super heroes, Hello Kitty, etc.) so they constantly have cute character stuff!
But my mother-in-law to be is a HUGE Disney fan! Allll the Disney! So I went in (TBH to browse for some new leggings for myself, which I also did get) but I saw this scarf and it was perfect! She’s a big scarf wearer, it’s black and white so it will match everything, and it’s all the Mickeys! It was perfect!
So unless you KNOW someone’s size, buying them clothes can be super tricky. But a nice scarf, hat, pair of gloves, or other winter accessory is a GREAT way to show the fashionista in your life
For The Nearly Impossible to Shop For
You’ll always have someone who will NOT let you get them a gift. They say they hate gifts and the commercialism of Christmas and that they don’t need anything.
Well, in my life, that’s my brother’s girlfriend. She’s not a gift person. Which is totes fine. Tough for me as a Leslie-Knope-esque gift giver, but fine. But I hate the idea of sitting around the tree and passing a gift to everyone BUT her.
So I grabbed a gift that NO ONE can be mad about – a gift card. I know she shops at Bath & Body Works for hand soaps, body wash, and some other things – so she’ll definitely use it – but it’s not anything too big or too flashy!
I sometimes have a hard time getting gift cards for people because it didn’t feel personal enough – but this year – I actually thought about what store she might like, and what stores I’ve seen her shop at, and it made me feel a little better to feel that I was being thoughtful in the gift!
I hope this post gave you some amazing gift-inspo for the last minute shopping in your life that you need to grab gifts for! I stopped by Capital City Mall and did 95% of my holiday shopping in one afternoon! If I can do it – so can you! It’s not too late!
Since this is my last post before actual Christmas, please have a happy and safe and festive holiday. Be thankful & be kind. Travel safely!
Happy Holidays from Preston & me over here at the Penny Darling!
*This post is sponsored by Capital City Mall and some featured photos are owned by Preit, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own!*
SO HERE’S THE “END OF BLOG” SPIEL!
I will be taking a day off on Monday for Christmas and not posting! I assume everyone will be traveling or with their families or not interested! And I’d like to take a break to be with my family as well! But I have tons of fun stuff planned for the next few weeks – so I’ll see you next Wednesday!
I definitely want to do more His & Her fashion. Do you guys like seeing Preston more?
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Love all you wonderful ladies (and gents!) out there!