Great Gifts for Good Neighbors

Share some neighborly love this holiday season. What's your good neighbor policy?

Share some neighborly love this holiday season. What’s your good neighbor policy?

Ho, ho, ho!

Oh, oh?

Have you considered your apartment neighbors this holiday season?

Whether it’s a token for the season or “welcome to the neighborhood” timing, a small gift given in friendship can create warm feelings between neighbors, especially at this time of the year.

Check out these ideas about gifting for your good neighbors!

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5 Green Alternatives to Wrapping Paper

Being green doesn't have to mean sacrificing fun -- gifts can still look festive and fun while remaining eco-friendly.

Being green doesn’t have to mean sacrificing fun — gifts can still look festive and fun while remaining eco-friendly.

Is there anything more satisfying than ripping the paper off a neatly wrapped present, uncovering a hidden treasure inside? Probably not – but have you seen your living room after a morning spent unwrapping what Santa brought you? It’s an environmentalist’s nightmare; all that trash is hardly eco-friendly. On the other hand, you have to wrap your gifts in something. So what’s a tree-hugging Santa to do?

Fortunately, there are ways to keep all the fun of Christmas morning while remaining environmentally responsible. Check out these alternatives to wrapping paper so you can keep your holiday season green – not Grinch green, but earth-friendly green.

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Don’t Buy That! 8 Worst Holiday Gifts You Should Avoid

worst Christmas gift ideasWhen it comes to gift giving, it’s the thought that counts, right?

Wrong.

We’ve been busy sharing with you a ton of gift ideas that will wow your loved ones. You can thank us later. But let’s not ignore that fact that some items should never be given as gifts. Ever.

Good gifts can truly cement a relationship while bad or thoughtless gifts can cause it to fizzle. Not only that, a bad gift will make you appear tactless, and the person on the receiving end won’t feel so great either. Bah humbug!

‘Tis the season to give, and you must keep in mind that giving unto others is actually a very strong form of communication. What message are you sending with the gifts you’ve picked out this year? Hopefully none of these are on your shopping list:

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Gift Ideas for the Recent Graduate

Your friend or family member graduated from college -- congratulations to them! Now, what to give them as a gift?

Your friend or family member graduated from college — congratulations to them! Now, what to give them as a gift?

Graduating from college is a huge accomplishment, so of course you want to honor the young scholar in your life. Just think of all the places their lives will take them!

There’s just one problem: You know that stereotype about broke college students? That’s not going to change for a while after graduation. They’ve got to find a job (which is sometimes much easier said than done), locate a place to live, and get started on being a grown-up. That’s tough to do when you’re starting from scratch.

But that’s where you come in! If you’ve got a friend or family member who’s graduating, we’ve got some gift ideas to help them embark on post-college life:

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12 Gifts for the Small Apartment Dweller They’ll Enjoy Year-Round

Wracking your brain to find the perfect gift that won't clutter a small apartment? Check out this list!

Wracking your brain to find the perfect gift that won’t clutter  up a small apartment? We’ve brewed up some fun ideas!

‘Tis the season!

Let’s say you want to share a seasonal gift or two with your friend, partner, family member, coworker… but that person lives in a, let’s say, space-challenged apartment.

There is no need to fret, dear, generous celebrant.

Check out a dozen options to spread good cheer to a few lucky folks in your life. Sometimes, less truly can be more!

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10 Inexpensive Housewarming Gifts for a Small-Apartment Friend

Think small when shopping for a housewarming gift for someone without much space to spare.

Think small when shopping for a housewarming gift for someone without much space to spare.

So your friends have landed themselves a great new apartment, and they’re throwing themselves a party.

Great! But now you have a dilemma: What to get them for a housewarming gift? Apartment dwellers already face storage challenges, and you don’t want to contribute to their clutter. What kind of gift is practical, enjoyable, and doesn’t take up a lot of space?

Fear not! We have 10 housewarming gift ideas that your friends will love. Even better, they’re easy on your wallet, too.

1. Potted plants do double duty.
Not only do they add nice decorative touches to a room; they also keep indoor air filtered and clean. Go for a small plant that can be kept on a windowsill and doesn’t require much maintenance, like an aloe plant or a cactus.

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Delight Your Friends with a Decorative Housewarming Gift

A bottle of wine makes a great housewarming gift, especially if you put a personalized label on it.

A bottle of wine makes a great housewarming gift, especially if you put a personalized label on it.

When a friend or relative moves into a new place, it can be hard to come up with a nice housewarming gift for them. Below are a few ideas for creative, decorative housewarming gifts to help your loved ones feel right at home in their new apartment.

Go green

Plants always make nice, thoughtful gifts and can add a bit of life and color to a new place. If the recipient doesn’t have a green thumb, opt for something relatively easy to take care of, or an indoor plant such as a fern, cactus or bonsai tree.

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Holiday Gifts for Fido

Keep your pup happy this holiday season with these gifts.

Keep your pup happy this holiday season with these gifts.

For dog owners, this festive season would not be complete without a cold nose or wagging tail amid the holiday hustle. Whether our dogs are begging for a bite of Christmas cookie or enduring a few embarrassing photos in a sparkly sweater, Fido and Fifi are part of the family and deserve some thoughtful holiday gifts.

Healthy treats for dogs
Although we may try to watch our waistline at the holidays, it’s also important to make sure we’re not handing out too many treats to our four-legged friends. To keep your dog from adding empty calories, try to offer only treats made from 100 percent natural ingredients. Three Dog Bakery makes dog biscuits from peanut butter, apples and oats that are both tasty and nutritious for your pet. Visit www.threedog.com for locations or to shop online.

Canine-friendly cleansers
If you’re planning to host family and friends during the holidays, a bath might be in order for your pup. Why not use a new organic shampoo to keep his coat cuddle-ready? Both Kiehl’s and many pet specialty stores carry organic dog shampoo and conditioner, or you may want to ask for a referral from your vet. Using a gentle cleanser can help prevent your dog’s skin from getting too dry in winter weather.

Join the neighborhood light display
Show off your dog’s holiday spirit on your next evening walk with a new LED leash and collar. Not only will these illuminated accessories keep him safe and visible to cars, they can also be a festive fashion statement in red or white. Make Clark Griswold proud!

Not a creature was stirring…
Winter is also the perfect time to bring home a cozy new pet bed for your dog. Choose a soft fleece or cotton fiber lining that will breathe while your pet snoozes after a hard day of opening presents. When the festivities are over, and the wrapping paper and gift boxes have been sufficiently pounced upon, Fido will be happy to sink his paws into a plush new bed.

The holidays are an exciting time of year for both people and dogs. Remember that animals can be sensitive and may need some quiet time away from new guests, noise and additional stimulation. Allowing for sufficient down time will also give them the chance to dream about their new toys and gifts. Happy Howlidays!

Photo credit: iStockphoto/cmannphoto

Holiday Wishes Come True: The Ultimate Gift Guide for Her

“Wow” her this Christmas with gifts she’ll love, including a sparkly phone case, dazzling jewelry and pretty bags.

The rumor is that women are hard to shop for, but as long as the gift is sparkly, vintage, stylish, pleasantly fragranced or practical, the lady in your life is bound to love it. Easy, right? Don’t worry; we’ve selected a number of gifts in a variety of price ranges to help you decide what to get the lady in your life, whether she’s a friend, girlfriend, sister, mother or spouse. No matter the budget, the perfect gift is available in your price range.

Under $15
Let her sparkle and shine this holiday season with all that glitters, particularly with the Glitter Notebook ($12.50), available in three colors, or the Glitter Case for iPhone 4 ($14.99 for pink), both from J. Crew.

Give a gal with a sweet tooth the gift of sugar with Fiona’s Candy ($12.95) from Williams-Sonoma. These 14-ounce vintage-style glass jars hold attractive, delicious candy in eight flavors, such as Champagne Bubbles, Gummy Flowers and Root Beer Drops.

It’s possible to give high-end cosmetics – when they come in cute miniatures. The Stila “Harvest” lip glaze trio at Nordstrom contains three flattering shades – one bestseller and two new, exclusive shades – for the bargain price of $12.

Under $30
The Voluspa “Maison Blanc – Pink Citron” two-wick candle ($16) at Nordstrom both looks and smells delicious. Any girl would love the vintage pink and gold container and the pleasant citrusy smell, and since the candle is 11 ounces, she can use it for a long time.

The sturdy, laminated cotton-canvas Printed Makeup Pouch ($20 and $25, depending on the color) from J. Crew is the perfect gift for the girl who craves style and organization. Sold in a black and white bow print and a red and pink striped print, this makeup pouch is also leak-proof.

For the gift that makes her say, “Wait, what is this?” and then “Cool, thanks!” check out the Charmed Hair Ties ($24) from Anthropologie. Sold in a set of three and in your choice of three coordinating colors per set, these jeweled hair ties are the perfect elegant accessory, and she’s sure to not already have them.

Under $50
The perfect wear-with-anything accessory, the Crystal Starlet Earrings ($35) from J.Crew will remind her of Old Hollywood. Whether she wears gold or silver, these earrings are designed to flatter with their dress-up or dress-down capability.

For the stylish hippie-chic chick in your life, purchase the Envirosax Market Bag ($39.95) from Red Envelope. This set of five attractive polyester, reusable bags solves the paper versus plastic dilemma, and each bag holds as much as two plastic grocery bags and up to 44 pounds. Plus, they’re machine-washable and waterproof.

Soft, feminine and universally appealing, the Philosophy Amazing Grace Layering Gift Set ($49.50) at Sephora is a great gift for any woman, especially one who frequently travels. The soap-and-water-scented set contains a combination shampoo, bath and shower gel, 2 oz. perfume and body butter.

Photo Credit: iStockphoto/sjlocke

Apartment Guide’s Holiday Gift Guide for Him

gift guide for him

Whether you’re shopping for your friend, boyfriend, husband, brother or dad, you know that he isn’t the easiest person on your list to shop for. It probably seems like he already has everything he could ever possibly want.

But every guy deserves something special under the tree. Give it a little thought, and consider what he really needs or what he does for hobbies. If you’re still unsure, read on for Apartment Guide’s suggested gifts for him.

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