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Your Stress-Free Holiday Starts Here

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Genius Gift Ideas

Shop smarter. This year, instead of spending hours and hours agonizing over the perfect present for every single person on your list, buy one clever, creative item in multiples that you can give to everyone from your niece to your colleague in the next cubicle, advise Joe Lupo and Jesse Garza, founders of Visual Therapy, a personal style and shopping service based in New York City. Stock up on a few extras in case you need a last-minute present for your child's babysitter or the neighbor down the street. These items also make great hostess gifts.

Stumped about what to get -- and don't want to resort to a bottle of wine or a candle yet again? Here's Lupo and Garza's holiday gift-buying cheat sheet.

  • iTunes gift cards
  • Movie passes
  • Starbucks cards
  • Fine olive oils: Says Lupo, "They're the new fruit preserve."
  • Anthousa Home Ambiance Perfume: "For the holidays, there's an Edelweiss Red Holly perfume that's perfect," says Lupo. Prices start at $36;
  • Gift bags from NYCSnax: Features unique and authentic snacks and treats from classic New York City neighborhoods like Chinatown, Little Italy, and Little India. "An alternative to the more traditional barrel of popcorn," says Lupo. $39.99;

Get loads more gift ideas from


Tip: 33 percent of Americans wait until December 23 or later to wrap their holiday gifts. To keep your last-minute stress levels from soaring, start a week earlier this year.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, December 2006.


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maasshelga wrote:

On Christmas Eve our family looks forward to get together at our house. Our three granddaughters come earlier and visit with each other while they finish decorating the indoor Christmas tree, are having fun carrying all our gifts from where they were stored to the tree. Then they help sett the tables with the holiday china, which gives me time to finish the last minute touches to the cooking before the rest of the family arrives. This way we work together and are having fun, too.

12/6/2009 07:18:57 PM Report Abuse
veggiedogs wrote:

Gifts turn into a simple craft for occupying kids too. Have them decorate butcher paper with markers or stickers. They love to give gifts featuring 'their' giftwrap designs.

12/6/2009 12:50:24 PM Report Abuse
bigrugger wrote:

my family always enjoyed wrapping gifts in the comic section from the newspaper (especially Sunday's which came in color)

12/6/2009 10:50:09 AM Report Abuse
beth7cam wrote:

Good ideas

10/24/2009 09:07:36 AM Report Abuse

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