Every single fall I make the same vow: I will have the holidays mapped out, planned for, and my shopping done by the time I am picking out a Thanksgiving turkey. Since I am usually running around town the day before Thanksgiving in search of the last organic, free-range, had-such-a-happy-life-they-gave-it-a-name turkey, you can guess what usually always happens. If you said wrapping a mountain of gifts on the floor of my closet while drinking a glass of wine on December 23 you are a winner!


This of course dovetails into my second annual vow, which is to take the money and go to Hawaii where we all enjoy each other’s presence instead of presents.Have you ever tried this? If not, here’s a pro-tip: don’t. Because as much as you fight it, you’ll cave the moment your child wonders why there are no gifts under the Christmas tree, succumb to the usual holiday madness, overspend out of guilt, and develop an eye twitch in Maui any time someone orders a $15 grilled cheese, poolside.


Because we are committed to organizing all of you here at PlanHero, our ultimate holiday gift guide 2017 will help take the sting out of wondering how you’re going to pull it all off, yet again. So close your browser on that Pinterest page, (and put that hot glue gun away; no one will notice if you use last year’s wreath, we promise) and get ready to knock out some holiday shopping. No eye twitches!


For Your Daughter

I bought these last year for our daughters, both of whom are in college. It was a hit (and bonus, their roommates loved it, too). But word to the wise, these sell out fast. This is also a great gift for a niece, babysitter, or yourself. I like to think it’s irresponsible to send a fabulous gift I haven’t tried. Because I am a giver, and the holidays are all about generosity. Without further ado, I give you the world’s best advent calendar. Sephora has several, but I am in love with this new offering from L’Occitane. 24 days of L’Occitane’s most luxurious offerings practically guarantee she’ll be glam all season long.



For the Philanthropist 


Do you have someone in your life who would rather be in a soup kitchen on Christmas Eve? A friend with more than a few t-shirts from their Habitat for Humanity build? Or that one person who derives the most joy out of giving back to others? The indomitable Ali McGraw (who appears to have only gotten better with age) has collaborated with Ibu, a collection of designs thoughtfully sourced from 71 female-centric artisan groups from 34 countries. Their selection of handmade items, ranging from tapestries to jewelry is sublime.


Or, you can give a life-changing gift to a family in need with Heifer International,  They will create a custom card for the person or group who has inspired your donation, whether it be clean water for a village, sheep for a family, or help launching a small business for a woman living in poverty.



For Your Kid’s Teacher

The Education Market Association estimates the average American school teacher spends over $500 a year of her own money for supplies, with one out of ten spending $1,000 or more. Let the teachers in your life know you appreciate their sacrifices with something special. I love gifts from the heart, and homemade ones are especially dear to me. So if your child is moved to creating something wonderful, by all means encourage it. Just make sure to add a little extra something-something to honor the person who spends so much time educating your little one.


Gift cards are easily tucked into a hand-written card, and my unofficial polling over the years reveals that Target and Amazon are some of the most popular choices. Of course, if you can’t decide, you can always make it a prepaid Visa, Mastercard, or American Express gift card. Bonus? If you’re scrambling last minute, most of these merchants offer e-cards for on-the-spot giving.


For more inspiration, the sassy team over at SheKnows, has a detailed list of gifts teachers actually want, and I’m dying to make the adorable gift card bouquet.




For Dad


My husband likes to look sharp for work and he just looooves to shop. Haha! See, I can keep my sense of humor, even with the holidays barreling down on us. Okay, he really does like dressing well, but he will wear a dress shirt to near-tatters rather than step foot into a department store. Enter the good people at Trunk Club, a Nordstrom company with all the benefits of Nordies, without having to actually walk into one.


Seriously, it’s so easy even the most shopping averse will be pleased (I tried it myself, because you know, research). A few simple questions about fit, style, and budget and you’re on your way. You can chat with a stylist in real time, either on the phone or in their messenger app. When your trunk is ready, they send a digital preview and within days you have a personalized trunk filled with clothes on your doorstep.


Dad bonus? Free shipping. Double dad bonus? There are no fees, save for a refundable $25 styling fee that is waived with a Nordstrom account or applied toward your purchase. Returns or exchanges are simple, so no more tattered dress shirts for