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Tis the Season for Last-Minute Shopping

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My arms, draped in oversized shopping bags, were getting heavy, and I could feel the blisters forming on my feet. With a pumpkin spice latté in my left hand — the source of my last ounce of energy — I frantically climbed my way to the top of the crowded escalator. I reached into the side pocket of my purse to retrieve my crumpled holiday shopping list; to my horror, it was gone.

Swerving past a group of teenagers huddled outside the Macy’s entrance, I claimed the last available bench. Throwing down my bags, I began tearing through my purse. Panic set in as I realized that my list — which I had been writing and rewriting since Thanksgiving, carefully planning each gift for my friends and family — was gone. Sweat began to creep up the back of my neck, and my heart sank as I came to terms with the fact that the mall would be closing in 45 minutes and I was positive there were still three items on my list that hadn’t been crossed off. What were they, and who were they for? And how could I come up with anything at all in such a short amount of time? I tried visualizing the list and almost started to see something when a blaring noise shot into my left ear.

It was my alarm clock. I opened my eyes and took a deep breath. Sitting up, I looked over at my dresser and spotted the list, folded neatly, exactly where I left it. This had been my third shopping-related nightmare in the past two weeks.

I guess you could say that I like to shop slightly more than the average person. But as a 22-year-old female, I believe I am well within my rights to be hitting the stores on any (and all) free afternoons (and weekends).

Now that you’re familiar with one of my most beloved hobbies, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Liz and I am the assistant editor at Hudson Valley Magazine. I am quite interested in fashion and consider my wardrobe to be fairly trendy. And it’s true; I do find myself more often than not browsing the clothing racks and flipping through the pages of fashion magazines. But hailing from Rockland County, in the southernmost region of the Valley, I have not yet had the pleasure of perusing many of the fabulous boutiques north of Woodbury Commons; instead, most of my retail expeditions have been into the city or New Jersey. So from now on, I will take it upon myself to provide you with the latest news in fashion and style, from sales to store openings to new trends and much more, in and around the Valley. Hopefully I can offer some useful suggestions as I go about my weekly (and sometimes daily) shopping jaunts.

Now, back to that list…

If (like me) the stress of holiday shopping has gotten to you, and if (unlike me) that dream I had was your reality — relax. I’ve got a handful of great gift ideas to get you through those last-minute shopping trips and save you in a pinch.

I love the cinnamon red and charcoal mix on this men’s scarf. Not only does it look good, but half the profits from the Gap’s (PRODUCT) Red pieces (including this one) go directly to the Global Fund to help fight AIDS. $30

GAP
1-800-427-7895
www.gap.com

These six-by-eight-inch ceramic wall tiles are hand-crafted by Canadian-born artist Sid Dickens. His designs — which I found at Archipelago at Home — are inspired by architectural masterpieces from all over the world.

Archipelago at Home
119 Main St., Cold Spring
845-265-3992
www.archipelagoathome.com

The pretty, unique shape of these Gorjana Lotus gold earrings (also available in sterling silver) from Flaunt Boutique will easily dress up a simple sweater. And at two inches, they’ll frame your face perfectly — and won’t weigh down your ears. $85

Flaunt Boutique
351 Delaware Ave., Delmar
518-439-6868
www.flauntboutique.com

I don’t know any guy who doesn’t love to eat and watch football, and with the season in full swing, what better way to combine the two than with this three-piece chip bowl set? Available in 17 team logos for $35 each at JC Penney.

JC Penney
1-800-322-1189
www.jcpenney.com

Got a friend who’s completely stressed out by his or her job? Bring out their inner Zen with these relaxing meditation CDs. From $16.95 at Synchronicity.

Synchronicity
1 Broad St., Pawling
845-855-1172
www.synchronicityny.com

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