Gift Giving 101

By Kirstie Boone

Excitement fills the air as the holidays draw near. As the holiday season arrives, we anticipate fabulous parties, beautifully decorated homes, delicious food, the best of winter fashion and, of course, the joyous tradition of gift giving. Choosing the perfect gift can add stress to an already busy time of year as gift giving can be quite tricky and even frustrating at times. We are counting down our top 10 favorite gift ideas to give you inspiration for the gift giving season!

10. Picture this! A camera is the perfect gift for someone who truly values the little memories in their everyday life. In a world where iPhone cameras capture our every move, we often forget about the variety of high quality cameras to choose from. Cameras are perfect for capturing special memories especially during the holiday season. Polaroid cameras have recently seen an upgrade, and can be found in a variety of colors in a fun, new shape.

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9. Date it! For a mom, sister or coworker who is always on the go, now is the perfect time to give her a new planner or calendar for 2017. The new year is almost here, and she will be filling up a new calendar with dates and to-do lists in no time! Lilly Pulitzer planers are always a favorite (check out Pink Sorbet or Invitation Station for adorable planners in all shapes and sizes).

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Pink Sorbet

8. Personalize it! Men can often be difficult to buy for, but a genuine leather monogrammed wallet is the perfect gift for any man in your life. You can personalize it with a name, phrase or monogram if you’d like. Whether you are buying for your dad, brother or husband, this gift is one that will be put to good use for years to come. Check out Initially Yours Columbia Luggage on Lady Street for all of your monogrammed needs this holiday season!

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Etsy.com

7. Organize it! For the “techie” in your family or friend group, this charger roll-up will keep the chords for all of their gadgets organized. Perfect for storing chargers and headphones, this gift can also be personalized with a monogram. Its compact size allows for easy storage in a purse or glove compartment, and it’s a great way to keep all of your cords untangled and separated.

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6. Smell this! Who doesn’t love a delicious smelling candle? Pair the yummy fragrance of Rewined candles with the fact that they are handmade out of recycled wine bottles, and you have the perfect gift. Not to mention that the company began in Charleston, South Carolina. The names and fragrances of the candles are inspired by various wines and include scents such as Pinot Grigio, Champagne, Merlot, Cabernet and Pinot Noir. Rewined also makes soaps and glassware which make wonderful gifts! You can find Rewined candles and other Rewined products at local boutiques throughout the Midlands.

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5. Drink it! Tumblers make excellent gifts for anyone on your list whether you are purchasing the gift for a male or female. For this reason, they seem to be a favorite for Secret Santa gatherings and Chinese gift exchanges. Our favorite tumblers for this holiday season are Yeti tumblers and Corkcicle tumblers. Yeti tumblers are extremely durable, and Corkcicle tumblers keep beverages cold for nine plus hours and hot for three hours. Both tumblers come in various sizes and colors, and can be personalized by adding a vinyl or engraved monogram or name. Tumblers make a great gift for the hot chocolate lover or coffee addict, as well as someone who loves to keep ice cold water close by throughout the day. Check out your local hardware store for Yeti tumblers and local gift shops for Corkcicle tumblers!

Don’t Break it! Looking for the perfect gift for the wine lover or hostess in your life? Govino stemless wine glasses are made of shatterproof, recyclable material and are BPA and BPS free. Govino also makes champagne flutes, cocktails, beer glasses and decanters, all perfect gift options for a friend or family member who loves to entertain. These “unbreakable” wine glasses are great to have on hand during the holiday season, especially during busy holiday parties. They also come in handy in the spring and summer months when drinks will be sipped poolside.

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Serve it! The holiday season is the perfect time to give someone special a festive serving tray. A serving tray makes a wonderful gift for a friend or mother-in-law who loves to entertain. With New Year’s Eve just around the corner, this thoughtful gift is sure to be put to good use for the parties that are in store. We love this festive serving tray with a matching cheese board and coasters!

Note it! You can’t go wrong with stationary during the holiday season. Correspondence cards or notepads are the perfect gift for a sister who loves to write letters or a coworker that likes to take notes or doodle. A thank you note never goes out of style, and a beautiful set of thank you notes makes a wonderful Christmas gift. We love the classic style of Kate Spade’s correspondence cards and thank you notes! Many gift stores in the Midlands carry an assortment of Kate Spade stationary.

Read it! Give the gift that’s a perfect fit for everyone on your list, a subscription to the city magazine for the capital of South Carolina, Columbia Metropolitan Magazine. We may be a little biased, but a subscription is a gift that will keep giving throughout the year. Click here to subscribe to CMM and receive free perks such as gift cards to restaurants and Pure Barre classes, tickets to ballets and a free Columbia Metropolitan t-shirt!

columbia-metropolitan-magazine

 

 

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A Thoughtful Touch

By Kirstie Boone

With the holiday season quickly approaching and the atmosphere becoming more festive by the minute, it’s time to begin planning for your fabulous holiday parties. Between the cooking, cleaning, planning and decorating, it’s easy to overlook the small details involved in party planning. Decisions such as which color tablecloth to use, how many seats to plan for each table and what the menu should be often overshadow smaller, more personal aspects of party planning. However, the small decisions are just as important as the big details. Little things such as creative, personalized place cards can easily take your party from ordinary to amazing, and we’ve gathered our favorite place card ideas for holiday inspiration!

Add a pine cone to your place setting to display your place cards. Wrap wire in a circular shape then attach the wire to the top of the pine cone to hold the place card. For a creative twist, paint the pine cones a festive color like gold or red.

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Visit blog.simplelittledetails.com for more information.

These gorgeous pumpkins are the perfect place setting for Thanksgiving dinner! Use twine or ribbon to tie the place card to the stem of a pumpkin. Bonus points if you use a fall-themed shape for your place card.

Your guests won’t “be-leaf” their eyes when they see this stunning place setting. Start by gathering large leaves or buying decorative leaves from your local craft store. Use gold spray paint to coat the leaves. Let dry, then write each guest’s name on the leaf and place at each setting.

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Visit mylifeandkids.com for more information. 

Use a small, potted succulent for each place setting. Attach each guest’s name to a short skewer to stick in the soil of the succulent. This place card holder doubles as a unique party favor that guests will be able to take home with them!

Ruffled - photo by http://shewanders.com/ - http://ruffledblog.com/malibu-calamigos-ranch-wedding/
Visit ruffledblog.com for more information.

For a more rustic place setting, use a cross cut of a branch or tree for your place setting. Use a marker to write your guests’ names on the wood. If you don’t have access to tools to cut up a branch, these cross cuts can usually be found at craft stores.

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Visit tarateaspoon.com for more information.

Use rosemary or pine sprigs to add a natural, simple touch to your table. These place settings not only look gorgeous, but also smell amazing! One option is to place the sprigs through the card, or wrap the springs into a wreath shape to place on top of a napkin or dish.

 

Jingle bells! Use bells to hold your place cards. This simple yet creative place card holder is sure to spread good cheer (and maybe a few jingles) around the dinner table.

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Visit jacolynmurphy.com for more information. 

Remembering the small details during the busy holiday season will make any party complete. With these adorable place settings, guests are sure to remember your holiday party as being the best of the season. Happy Holidays from all of us at Columbia Metropolitan!

Holiday Hosting Tips

Tips for preparing your home for guests this holiday season

By Kirstie Boone

Holidays are right around the corner!  With Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s quickly approaching, it’s time to start cleaning up and getting ready for guests who will be visiting during the holiday season! We’ve compiled some tips on how to prepare your home for welcoming holiday guests.

As visitors arrive, their shoes often track in dirt from outside.  Placing mats and rugs at all entry ways makes for an easy clean up and prevents the dirt from sneaking further into your home. If you have pets in your home, a helpful tip is to place a blanket or throw over their favorite spots to prevent their fur from shedding onto the furniture.  Throws or blankets can be easily washed and can also be put away when guests come to visit.

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One of the first steps to getting a guest room ready for the holiday season is making sure the bed is comfortable and clean.  Clean sheets and a perfectly made up bed is a great way to get started when cleaning any bedroom! Both firm and soft pillows should be available so guests have options when it comes to firmness. Make sure end tables have necessities such as magazines and books, your Wi-Fi password and an extra phone charger in case your guests forgot theirs. Be sure there are lamps in the guest room, so guests can read or relax without having to keep the overhead light on.

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Providing ample storage space for guests who are coming to visit for a long time is key in making them feel at home.  Often, the guest closet in our home becomes a sort of hide away for items such as spring and summer clothes, gift wrapping materials or extra sheets and blankets. Before the holiday season arrives, clean out the guest closet so that it can be used as, well, a guest closet! Be sure to hang sturdy hangers in the closet for guests to store their clothes.

Start preparing for holiday guests with these helpful tips and tricks.  Your home will be ready to welcome guests for the holiday season in no time!

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