How to make it a stress-free experience.

Wrapped Gifts
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The pressure is on to give those loved ones in your life the perfect, most thoughtful gifts. But as you might know, that’s not the easiest task. There are people in your life who are hard to shop for; you might not have enough time to do the research or shopping; or you might have a limited budget. Sure, there are some people who are really good gift-givers and always manage to find gifts that were practically made for their friends and family (all 25 of them, actually), but the rest of us out here can struggle at times.

For some gifting dos and don’ts, we asked Etsy Trend Expert, Dayna Isom Johnson, to share her insights. Etsy is one of the best places to get gifts, with a wide variety of options and their Etsy Gift Registry (where people can create their own wishlists for a wedding, new babies, housewarmings, and the holidays), so of course, she’d have the best holiday gifting tips. See what she had to say below about staying on budget, wrapping gifts, and more.

Christmas Presents

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Set a Budget

One big mistake Dayna sees is people not setting an initial budget. “The first step to a successful holiday shopping season is setting a budget,” she says. “This helps shoppers find meaningful gifts without overspending.”

Don’t Feel Pressured to Buy Expensive Gifts

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We’re still dealing with inflation and high prices, so you shouldn’t feel guilty if your budget isn’t as big this year. “Just because a gift is expensive does not mean it is perfect for the giftee. You do not need to spend a lot to give an impactful, sentimental, or useful present,” Dayna says.

Start Early

Early bird gets the best gifts! “Starting earlier rather than later will give you enough time to find the perfect gift within your budget,” Dayna recommends. “But, if you do find yourself shopping last-minute, don’t fret; Etsy has a last-minute gifts page to save the day.”

Whitechapelpottery Ceramic Bud Vase

Courtesy of Whitechapelpottery/Etsy

Whitechapelpottery Ceramic Bud Vase, $26

Don’t Show Up Empty-Handed

Make sure you’re prepared for all those holiday events and parties—bring a token of appreciation for the host. And you don’t need to bring something big, a small gift will go a long way. “My rule of thumb is to opt for a gift that’s both beautiful and functional. Some options include hand-painted candles, festive coasters, or even a bouquet paired with a handmade vase they can use again and again.” She also recommends a bespoke ornament or a custom tea towel. Take a look out our editors’ picks for hostess gifts here.

Choose Something Practical

Practical doesn’t have to be boring. “They get used the most: There’s nothing better than a gift that’s both well-designed and useful. Consider a bespoke wine stopper or a handmade ceramic serving dish that can be enjoyed time and time again.”

Take Cues from Their Hobbies

Unsure of what to get someone? Dayna recommends thinking about their hobbies or interests. “Some options I love include a standout mug for the coffee aficionado, a DIY kit for the crafter, or custom-made jewelry for the fashionista,” Dayna adds.

ClaudiaComelade DIY Canvas Embroidery Kit

Courtesy of ClaudiaComelade/Etsy

ClaudiaComelade DIY Canvas Embroidery Kit, $32


“My favorite gifts are always customizable. There is no better feeling than finding that perfect present for a loved one that captures a shared memory, accomplishment, or even an inside joke. I also love gifts that inspire new traditions, like these personalized ornaments where you can share all of your hopes, wishes, and intentions for the year ahead.”

Have Your Friends and Family Make a List

“One of the reasons I am so excited about the launch of the Etsy Gift Registry is because it takes the guesswork out of gifting, especially for the hard-to-shop-for folks on your list,” Dayna explains. “This way, you can feel confident knowing the gift you select is exactly what they wished for this year.”

Botanical Cyanotype Gift Wrap

Kristin Guy

Don’t Forget the Gift Wrap

“There are so many low-lift, yet impactful ways to wrap your gifts that surprise and delight,” Dayna says. “I personally love wrapping gifts in tea towels. Not only does this minimize waste, but it’s also two gifts in one!”

She also recommends adding greenery, twine, bows, and even an ornament to elevate your gift wrap. “Another suggestion is to get the kids involved!” she adds. “Lay down a big sheet of butcher paper and crayons, and ask your kids to draw their favorite seasonal motifs‚ from Christmas trees to snowflakes and everything in between. And just like that, you have your own custom-made, standout wrapping paper that your giftee will absolutely love.”

Gift Card

Or you can let your gift choose! No shame in a gift card—it’s always appreciated. Dayna says gift cards, like one from Etsy, are especially helpful for those hard-to-buy-for people.

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