Holiday Gift Giving Tips

Having made a career of shopping for A-list celebrities, L.A.-based gifting expert Cynde Cassel knows how to please even the most discerning of clients. This holiday season, WINNERS, HomeSense and Marshalls have partnered with Cassel to help shoppers find star-worthy gifts and ease the stress of holiday shopping. Cassel reveals her top tips for hauling in star-worthy holiday items without spending like a celebrity.

  1. The Social Media Advantage

“Social media allows shoppers to dig deeper into a recipient’s interests,” notes Cassel. Checking out Facebook pages, Instagram accounts or Pinterest boards can not only help shoppers find out what gifts their recipient may be coveting, it can also help to narrow in on gifts that are reflective of the recipients’

character and personal style. “Social media can tell shoppers what a recipient is into right now. For instance, if someone has recently posted photos of their redecorated home, picking up a décor item in the same colour scheme shows you’ve truly put thought into their gift. From salt and pepper shakers to

larger items like artwork, WINNERS, HomeSense and Marshalls carry a wide range of home décor items to fit anyone’s taste,” says Cassel.

Gifts for Her

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  1. Over Prepare

“There’s no such thing as being over prepared for the holidays”, notes Cassel who recommends keeping an ongoing list of people to buy for throughout the year. Having the list on a smartphone or using an app like EverNote, makes adding to it easy and allows shoppers to jot down gift ideas on the spot. “It’s

important to reference your list while shopping as distractions can easily take over. Don’t rely on your ability to remember everyone, instead be methodical and use your list to ease stress and stay organized,” notes Cassel. Cassel also recommends storing a collection of small gifts for last-minute party invitations

Gift Ideas for Him

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or gift exchanges. “This way, you won’t have to run out at the last minute during an already busy time of year”. Because WINNERS, HomeSense and Marshalls receive new product every day during the holidays, there’s constantly new gift ideas hitting the shelves. “With such a diverse range of product in comparison

to department and specialty stores, you can save time by crossing off everyone on your list in one go” notes Cassel.

  1. Stay Focused

“It’s easy to get blinded by gifts that only appeal to you,” notes Cassel. When shopping, keeping the recipient top of mind is the best way to guarantee shopping success. “Use gift wrapping as an opportunity to showcase your personality. What’s inside the box speaks to recipient and what’s on the outside of the box is the gift givers domain,” says Cassel. Choosing items like a wine tote with flair adds a creative touch to a generic host or hostess gift. “When tying your bow, think about adding a small ornament that the recipient might appreciate to enhance a package that much more,” notes Cassel. 

Gifts for the Hostess

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  1. Talking Trends

Monograms and iconography are a hot trend this season, allowing shoppers to pick out personalized gifts tailored specifically for the recipient. “Monogrammed mugs, cushions and artwork are a great way to make a fun gift even more special,” notes Cassel. Other trending items include classic board games like a

Domino set from HomeSense, special edition Monopoly game from Marshalls, and vintage Scrabble from WINNERS. Gifting vintage-inspired games and toys makes people feel nostalgic and brings families together.