What do they like? How much should I spend? What’s appropriate? Jewelry? A novelty item? A gift card? The giving season can often be the stressing season when it comes to spreading holiday cheer among friends, co-workers and loved ones. Never fear. We tapped local gift-giving experts to help wrap up your last-minute shopping with some holiday shopping tips.


WineRandi Garrett

Floral designer, owner, Naakiti Floral

Worst gift you ever received? A glass dish with candy inside.

Best gift? A $1,200 tip! It blew my mind!

Top gift-giving tip? It should have a meaning behind it. Find out what the person loves that makes it more valuable. Money is always nice, but I would remember the gift better if it had the thought process behind it.

Biggest gift-giving pet peeve? When people give because they feel they have to, not because they want to.

Your go-to gift this season? A trip to the spa is always nice, or a really good bottle of wine.


Sheila Keast

Owner, Sheila Keast Etiquette

Worst gift you ever received? Electronic scales linked to a Fitbit bracelet.

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Best gift? A donation of baskets of toys, food and toiletries to a homeless shelter in my name.

Top gift-giving tip? Think about what the person does, what they’re passionate about, what their hobbies are. Make sure it’s something they will enjoy and make use of.

Your biggest gift-giving pet peeve? Gift cards. If you know a person well enough and that they love to shop at a particular store, a gift card can be ok. But the whole point of receiving a gift is that it comes from the heart — not picked up at the grocery store and thrust into an envelope!

Your go-to gift this season? For the lady in your life, a beautiful keepsake jewelry box. For the gentleman, a fashionable Mont Blanc timepiece.

Jewelry Box

Jonathan Nichols

Owner, J. Glenn Home Decor

Worst gift you ever received? My partner gave me satellite radio for our anniversary. You do not give someone satellite radio as a gift, especially an anniversary. Jewelry — that is what you give for an anniversary.

Best gift? During a good friend’s 40th birthday, I did a ton of research and found 40 of her favorite things. Then I arranged to sneak into her house and set them up for her when she returned home from work.

Top gift-giving tip? Whenever I’m out shopping with friends or family, I always pay attention to what they’re gravitating towards. I also take a note of items in their home, such as a scented candle or style of decor. Then purchase things accordingly. With smart phones, you can take a photo or make a quick note without them even noticing.

CandleBiggest gift-giving pet peeve? Giving a gift card and nothing else. A gift card says to me, “I was standing in line at Starbucks and remembered I had not gotten you a birthday gift.”

Your go-to gift this season? Michael Aram Black Orchid Candle. It is beautifully packaged and the perfect scent for any household.


Renee Ursem

Professional organizer

Worst gift you ever received? A fertility idol (offended me on so many levels!)

Best gift? A chainsaw. I got tired of borrowing my dad’s to trim the branches of my pine trees, so I asked (and asked and asked) for a chainsaw. That Christmas, my new in-laws (with a dubious look on their faces) handed me my gift.

Smith CenterTop gift-giving tip? Ask what people want. If you don’t ask the person directly, ask a friend or family member, or look on their Facebook page to see what they like.

Biggest gift-giving pet peeve? People feeling the need or obligation to give gifts. Give gifts because you want to, not because you “have” to.

Your go-to gift this season? I’m a big fan of homemade goodies, especially something that’s your signature recipe. Mine is a wafer-thin sugar cookie. I also like to give the gift of an experience (dinner or a movie and dessert), where you can spend time together.

If you’ve enjoyed this read, wait until you get your hands on a bunch of these reads from contemporary voices mining the good stuff from Las Vegas — all laid out in a gorgeous design experience. Subscribe. It comes to your house. For real!

KNPR and NPR Thank-You Gifts including t-shirts hoodies and cap

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