Solving the Holiday Headache

In this holiday season, advertising slogans on television and radio pack on loads of pressure for the unsuspecting man looking to surprise the female in his life with just the perfect gift. Naperville men feel that pressure this time of year.

“It’s difficult because we want it to be just right, and it never is,” said Jack Eastman.

Bob Grover, another Naperville resident, thinks the male attitude of wanting to get things done quickly hurts rather than helps holiday shopping efforts in December.

“We’re hunters, not gatherers,” Grover said. “So it’s kind of a natural thing that you kind of want to go out and just get it done and move on, but if you don’t put any thought into it you’ll miss it more often than not.”

That’s where the merchants of downtown Naperville come in. Katie Wood, the executive director of the Downtown Naperville Alliance, says the plethora of stores downtown can help any man in a sticky situation this holiday season.

“The stores downtown know the look,” said Wood. “They know the look of a guy who’s coming down here that looks almost like a deer in the headlights. Like ‘Help me quick,’ the clock is running and I need to get a gift here quick. And they’re really dedicated to helping them.”

One of those helpful merchants is Baubles, which specializes in unique and affordable jewelry and jewelry holders Wood assured me wives, girlfriends and even mothers will love. She also imparted the wisdom that one skill is crucial during the time of trees and lights: listening.

“Women are probably throwing some cues a little bit right now,” said Wood. “So I would suggest listening up and following their lead. And surprise them, women love surprise.”

Another place you can find that surprise is at a shopping event catered to men, like the Morton Arboretum’s “Beer and Baubles night.” Arboretum store manager Jacque Fucilla said the store hoped to appeal to “all the senses,” providing shoppers appetizers and beer from Warrenville-based Two Brothers Brewing Company.

Gifts like jewelry, decorations and apparel were all available at the third annual event, along with free gift-wrapping and a helpful staff, making it a full service gift shop.

So if you find the right help this holiday season, with just a couple of trips your holiday shopping will be in the bag.

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