Gal Pal Gift Ideas for the Holidays

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Ready or not, the holidays are upon us, so here is my annual gal pal gift guide full of gift ideas based on the different personalities that reside on your list. So if you have an aunt who is hard to shop for or a sister who is a spirited sports mom, read on because I may have found the perfect present for the personality that you are shopping for. And most of my gift ideas are under $25. To see what each item looks like, watch the segment.

The On the Go Gal
For the gal who travels a lot, Urbayn sells a stylish and practical fold bag for $20. It looks like a cute purse that can be thrown in a suitcase, but on arrival simply unsnap the front and it becomes a trendy around town big bag. When it is take-off time again, simply fold up, snap up and pack. I love this idea. Urbayn is located in Chandler in the Casa Palomo shopping center at 7131 W. Ray Rd. just east of the I10 freeway.

The Spirited Sports Mom
Most sports moms like to show their spirit for their child's team. For something truly unique, consider a stadium cushion designed with a photo of their child's athletic portrait or team logo. Just visit www.discountphotogifts.com, upload the picture and order a comfortable cushion that the spirited sports mom will be proud to sit on. The stadium cushion sells for $19.95.

Spirited and stylish tees are also a sports mom favorite so check out www.cafepress.com to find a logo for just about every activity you can think of. The site even includes chess club, fencing and rugby. On the home page, enter sports mom into the search window and numerous designs can be selected for clothing, mugs and more. Prices range from $12 for customized caps to $26 for fashion tees. 

A new local designer has also caught my attention. Called Sparkle & Spice, two local hockey moms have come out with a quality t-shirt and hat line for hockey moms. They also plan to add dad gear, child sizes, cheerleading, soccer and football to their line. Check out www.sparkleandspice.net for chic styles on very comfortable and form flattering shirts. I bought several hockey mom tops and I love how soft the material feels, especially when I am in a hurry to get to and look good at my boy's game. Trendy t-shirts sell for $25 and the fashion forward caps go for $39.50.

The Glowing Grandma
Every year I recommend www.photogifts.com for grandparent gifts. What doting grandmother doesn't love a photo of their offspring's pride and joy? When you order your child's school photo, order the CD because you can then upload the image to Discount Photogifts. The site can put the picture on just about anything you can imagine from a cutting board to boxer shorts to a blanket. The photo cutting board of my kids that we gave to their great grandmother two years ago is still the present she talks about the most!  I paid $19.95 for a tempered 11.8" x 7.87" x 5/32" cutting board and the site sells a larger one for $24.95. 

For The Little Lady On Your List
If you have a little lady on your list like a niece or gal pal's daughter, my all time favorite gift given to my little girl is one you have to know about.Let's Play School is sold at Lakeshore Learning Stores and contains everything a child needs to play teacher. As a mom I love that this activity encourages study time disguised as play! 

My daughter loves it because the kit not only came with a chalk board and chalk, but with report cards, tests, a bell and my kid's favorite item - a hall/bathroom pass. I give this toy my 100% mom approval, however I could only find it on the store's website at www.lakeshorelearning.com. The kit sells for $49.95, but it does come with over 70 pieces and this is the only toy that my daughter has never grown tired of! Plus the educational learning that is practiced in this pretend classroom toy is a big bonus, especially since kids forget a large portion of what they learned in the school year over summer break.

The Serving Up The Spirits Sister
For the entertaining type, I couldn't resist this fun item. For the practical party giving gal, this set of drink recipes called the Cocktail Deck is perfect. With 50 cocktail concoctions, your party pal will always be ready to complement her celebration with the selective spirits that come in this handy deck of card recipes. I found it at Urbayn for only $14.00. I also saw a comical wine stopper adorned with the phrase, "Mommy's Sippy Cup" that also sells at Urbayn for 15.00. 

The Annual Hard To Shop For Female
We all have one, that person on our list that is either hard to please or has everything. Two ideas here, either make a contribution in her name to her favorite charity or purchase her present from a company that gives back. One organization that sells items that benefits Dress for Success is the Lia Sofia line of jewelry. Dress for Success is a group that promotes independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support, and career development tools.

And they also have a gift that you can give again and again to the same person each year. The slider necklace called a Deb collar sells for $46 and most of the slider charms sell for under $40 with some starting at $22. Each year you can buy a new charm that gives the girl on your list a new necklace for each holiday. Or show her the catalog and ask her to pick which new slider would charm her wardrobe and you may have solved your annual hard to shop for female dilemma!  Lia Sofia also offers a buy two items and get the third most expensive jewel for half the price. Check out the website at www.liasophia.com/julieellis.

Here's hoping that I gave you an idea or two for the lovely ladies on your list. Happy shopping, happy budgeting, but most importantly Happy Holidays!