Tuesday morning I had the pleasure of speaking with Amy Sewell of Shopwithstyle.net on how to find the perfect stocking stuffers for kids, teens and adults! With over a decade of experience in the lifestyle industry, Ms. Sewell is a trusted source who is featured regularly on NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, CW, CNN, Bravo and Oxygen networks.
Amy Sewell – Shopwithstyle.net
Candace Rose: What are some great stocking stuffers for kids?
Amy Sewell: Well, I think video games are really awesome stocking stuffers for kids of all ages, actually. Starting off with the new Toy Story 3, the video game. Now I absolutely love this game, anyone who is a fan of Buzz and Woody will certainly love this game and this is a game that you can find on all the major platforms for gaming but the playstation 3 version lets you become the Evil Emperor Zurg. You can play as any of your favorite characters and what I love about this game is that you can really get in and customize the game and create your own Toy Story. It's just really fun, again, it's for kids of all ages!
Toy Story 3 The Video Game (Playstation 3 Version) – Amazon.com
For who kids who love Star Wars, "Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II is a new video game that really lets people get in and become part of that Star Wars Universe. It features over the top force powers and really lets them get in and kind of do their own damage. So, it's really great, interactive for kids of all ages, you can also find this on all the major game platforms including the Xbox 360 and the Platform Playstation 3.
CR: Teens can be really hard to shop for, do you have any tips on finding the perfect stocking stuffer for them?
AS: Just really think about their interests and if you really can't think about the specific gift at least you know where they shop and the type of things that they like, get them gift cards. I think those are awesome gifts, also any type of gadget, teenagers love gadgets, kids do as well, and basically anything that has a battery in it. 91% of people this year say that they're going to give a gift that requires batteries and that can be toys, that can be gadgets, pretty much anything across the board. One thing you want to remember if you do give gadgets or toys like that, make sure that you get the right batteries that you need. Rayovac this year has a guide on their website which tells you exactly what you need for the hottest toys of the season, so that's a great list that you can take with you. Print it out, take it with you to the stores and make sure you stock up on things. Another thing, we're talking about gadgets, a lot of peoplw will be getting eReaders this year, like iPads. And one gift that I love is actually FREE! If someone has an iPad, a Mac or a PC, you can actually set them up with a free account on a site called TheCopia.Com. What this site does is this combines eReading with social media which is really perfect for teenagers and for anyone who loves to read. What you do is you download the books and you can connect with other people who enjoy reading the same authors and the same books, so it's a really great way to interact with people and really just build that community around the interests and the authors that you like.
CR: Any stocking stuffer ideas for adults?
AS: Well, of course a lot of people are doing gadgets which is always a very popular thin. Well, one thing that I think is kind of an out of the box thing for a gift would be an all inclusive vacation. Who wouldn't like to get a vacation, particularly after the holidays are over? People are very stressed out, there's a lot going on and it's nice to just have a little downtime to look forward to and you can actually give a vacation to an upscale hotel in the Riviera Maya in Mexico for only $147 per person, per night. Now this includes everything, this is gourmet meals, you have activities for kids, it even includes all of your drinks. I think this would be a really great gift for the entire family. The Iberostar Paraiso Beach (Paradise Beach) would be really perfect for that and it gives everyone something to look forward to long after the holidays are over. They say that the anticipation of a vacation is just as important as the trip itself, this would really give someone something really lovely to look forward to into 2011.
Iberostar Hotels & Resorts – Iberostar
CR: And how would a family find out about a deal like that:
AS: Well, if you go to Iberostar's website which is Iberostar.com, you can find out information about the properties. This particular one, the Iberostar Paraiso is great, they do have a lot of programs for the kids, they have huge pools, there are these giant interconnecting pools and just a lot of really great activities. All-inclusive vacations are nice because you know in advance how much you're going to be paying. You're not having to constantly reach for your wallet, this way it makes it a lot easier to budget for a vacation like that, if you know exactly what it's going to cost in advance.
CR: Do you have any tips on finding last minute gifts?
AS: Well, really thinkg about the interests of the people that you're shopping for, again you may not know exactly the product that they would want, but gifts cards are always great. What I like to do with gift cards is really present them in an interesting mnner, really great gift box or gift bag, you know, wrap it up in something. Manybe have another gift that you want to wrap that up in and it's just a really nice way to let them know that you've put a lot of thought into it. You know a lot of people think gift cards may not be all that personal but I think that could be one of the most personal gifts that you give, if you've really thought about where they shop and what their interests are, and take the time to present it in a really thoughtful way.
Make my gift card to Nordstrom please (in the largest amount possible 😉 ) – Nordstrom
CR: Where are your favorite places to shop this holiday season?
AS: I love to shop online, that's really where I do most of my shopping. I love buying books and video games for people. I have two nephews that if something has Buzz Lightyear on it or Spiderman on it, it's a great gift. I end up doing a lot of that as well and I also have a drawer, the battery drawer for all the gadgets and things that we have because you don't want to be caught short. You don't want to be having to run out at the last minute to buy those when you have kids waiting to use their new toys on Christmas morning.
CR: Where can we go for more information?
AS: You can take a look at my website, which is shopwithstyle.net
Many thanks to Ms. Amy Sewell for sharing her great stocking stuffer tips for kids from 1 – 92! If there's one tip to take from this interview it's to be prepared and stock up on those batteries. You don't want unhappy kids (or adults) on Christmas morning when they can't play or try out their new gifts from Santa!