Lara Shriftman with son Lucas and their dog, Lulu Flynn.
“I oddly always start thinking about Christmas in August because I always get inspired to give people things from the summer,” shares KDHamptons contributing editor Lara Shriftman. “Every year, I keep a list of the people I gave gifts to, so that I can go back and update that list, like add or delete people, and so that I remember what I gave them. I’m very particular about gifts. I like to personalize each person’s gift. There’s always a card, it’s always wrapped well, and I always get it well before Christmas. My son, Lucas, is also very particular about giving gifts to people for Christmas and he also always writes the cards. We send out a holiday card every year. Our friend Miriam Santos takes our picture and it’s always printed by Steve Pastor of Alpine Printing. We always add a custom Zazzle Stamp that’s a picture of a fun memory from the year. I really get inspired by gifts. ”
Lara adds, “A gift doesn’t have to be expensive, it just has to be thoughtful. I also like to find things that are a little out of the box. Sometimes there’s a main gift and then there’s something that’s added on. I recently put together an event for Bal Harbour Shops to celebrate their 50th year anniversary. We curated a luxury experience and the ultimate gift bag [some of which are pictured, below], so I started to think about what new finds people would like to get and what some of my best fall finds were. Here is my official Holiday Gift Guide for 2015 − a list of what I’ve found that inspires me and inspires others.”
Artisan State: I absolutely love to give things that have to do with pictures and this year I’m obsessed with Artisan State Layflat Hard Cover Albums [starting at $24].
Big Bag Theory is my new favorite item. It is my new gift for thank you’s for teachers, birthdays, etc. It’s light and easy. It’s a square with a leather bottom and it unzips and opens into a bag. I love it because I can shove it in my purse and use it for groceries, or to go to the drug store or take clothes to the dry cleaner. I even bring it to the beach. I use it for absolutely everything. These bags expand and contract to work around your lifestyle. Made with vegan leather and nylon, they’re are built to last and come in a variety of beautiful colors and patterns. Price: $34
GENEU: I went to GENEU when I was in London. My friend Nick Rhodes started it. You go in and they take a DNA test of your skin to determine what you need. They’ll tell you to check back in only 30 minutes. They analyze the free radicals and collagen in your skin and make you a serum that you use twice a day based on what your skin needs. It’s changed my skin after 30 days. Price: Around 600 euro. Book an online appointment HERE
Oribe Hair Care: My dear friend and most talented hair guru, Oribe, recently showed me how to use this product, Royal Blow Out, on your hair before blow-drying your hair. He used it on my curly hair even when it was dry and it instantly made my hair soft and shiny and it took out all the frizz. It smells incredible and is a way to maintain a blow dry. It also repairs split ends. It’s like a sprayable Argon oil, keeping your hair shiny and strong. It is now the only product I use on my hair. Price: $64.00. Free shipping if you buy it HERE.
SpaCells: A friend of mine in LA and I always share secrets on our new facial products. She sent this to me and I love using it in addition to my Clarisonic and my Foreo. SpaCells is a facial sponge that not only cleans and removes make-up, but exfoliates and massages your skin. The massaging stimulates lymph and blood flow to decrease puffiness, eliminate toxins and promote cellular regeneration. My face always feels super clean, soft and smooth afterwards. It comes with two textures, one cleanses and exfoliates while the other is used for massaging the skin. Available on Amazon HERE. Price: $12.00
The Phat Buddha collection of yoga wear offers men and women a wardrobe meant for more than just the studio. Phat Buddha’s cool, cosmopolitan approach to yoga wear, from the seamless construction of silhouettes to the fashion minded attention to color, detail and fit, achieves an undeniably high-fashion edge. Prices vary.
Lillian Vernon Customized Pencils: Everyone always comments on my customized pencils that I get from Lillian Vernon. That’s definitely something that’s going to be given this year. Price: $9.99-11.99.
The ThingCharger is the best because I don’t have to worry about cords getting tangled together in my purse anymore. It’s a box you plug into the wall. It has two outlets like a regular outlet does but the top of the box has a charger. It works for all devices – iPhones, iPads, Samsung phones, Androids, Nooks, etc. It’s compact and so much easier to handle than having cords lying around!
The Zuta Printer is literally a printer that fits into your pocket. The first mini robotic printer is wireless and portable. You lay the paper flat on a surface, put the Zuta Printer on top and hit print. The Zuta Printer moves across the paper and prints directly onto the page. It can print on all sizes of paper and connects directly to smartphones and computers. It works for about an hour and is rechargeable via micro USB. It’s what you’ve needed those times you’ve been out of the house and realized you forgot to print your tickets. Now you can print those tickets from your phone no matter where you are using The Zuta Printer. Price: $199
Pikaplant is perfect for a home, office, restaurant or hotel. It mimics nature in order to water your plants for you. Pikaplant has 3 main products. Pikaplant One is a vertical garden with its own irrigation system. It mimics the natural wet-dry cycle of ground water, letting your plants determine how much water they need. Tableau is an automatic house plant watering tray. It waters your plants with the same ebb-and-flow technology. The Pikaplant Jar is a plant sealed inside a humid biotope that continuously recycles the water and air inside. These products are so convenient, especially if you love plants but are busy and forget to water them. Price: 180.00 Euro
Scentlinq: There’s nothing like walking into a room that smells great. Scentlinq is attached to your air conditioner to make your entire home, restaurant, office, etc. smell amazing. They have so many different scents to choose from so you’ll never get tired of the same scent. Price varies.
Wisewear Calder Bracelets: These bracelets are from a new line of “smart jewelry,” the Socialite Collection, from the tech startup WiseWear. Each piece is made from brass and then plated in either 18-karat gold or rhodium. My favorite is the Calder bracelet. It’s so elegant. But these bracelets are so much more than stylish. Each bracelet receives notifications from your cellphone for incoming calls, texts, emails, and calendar reminders. They have customizable vibrations for each alert. They track your steps, calories burned, distance and sleep. They even have a one-tap distress signal. If you feel like you’re in an unsafe area or situation, just tap the bracelet once and it sends your location and a sound/video recording (through the mobile app) to a list of emergency contacts you add when you first get it. Amazing. Price: $299.95
Dylan’s Candy Bar houses over 7,000 confections making it have the largest, unparalleled selection of candies and candy-related gifts from around the world. It’s like a museum of candy, and for my friends with a sweet tooth, I put together a basket of candies I know they will love or send a gift card. Price varies.
More about Lara Shriftman: Luxury, fashion and lifestyle expert Lara Shriftman co-founded Harrison & Shriftman in 1995. The agency specializes in public relations, marketing and events for high-profile luxury brands. In addition to serving as a correspondent for Extra with her own segment, Party Confidential, Lara has authored four books on entertaining: Fete Accompli , Fete Accompli Workbook, Party Confidential and Party Confidential: New Etiquette for Fabulous Entertaining. www.partyconfidential.net, Luluflynn.com, and www.hs-pr.com
Lara Shriftman, Lucas Bacardi Shriftman, and Juan Bacardi