By Adam Drake
Between the holiday parties, the gift shopping, the crowds, the decorating, and the general cheer of the holiday season, it’s hard to get anything done in December. Balancing all that with work, fitness, and sleep becomes an absolute exercise in patience and hustle. However, there are a bunch of websites and services that’ll do some of the dirty work for you. Here are some of our favorites.
Rent the Runway
Dress shopping can be a lot of fun (check out Sweat Life founder Aly Teich’s party dress shopping guide here!), but it’s also incredibly time consuming. Luckily, Rent the Runway can put you in some amazing dresses that are perfect for festive gatherings without breaking the bank. Simply answer a few questions on their site, book an appointment at one of their showrooms (in Flatiron, SoHo, or Washington, DC), and their specialists will have some dresses picked out for you. In under an hour, you’ll have everything you need fitted, rented, and ready for your night out on the town.
Despite a slew of “questionable practices,” Uber has been a lifesaver for New Yorkers. Anyone who has tried to hail a cab on 8th Avenue as the bars let out can attest to the empty void of available taxis that exist during this time. With Uber, you can have a car waiting for you as you stumble out of your corporate holiday party. No more waiting in the cold while cabs with their lights off pass you by. With Uber’s expanded reach, you can even reach your friends’ holiday parties in such far flung locales as New Jersey, Westchester, and Connecticut. And if you have a car, using Uber is a much safer and more responsible way of getting home after drinking too much eggnog.
While getting ready for this year’s American Museum of Natural History gala, my wife remarked how she wouldn’t have enough time to do her hair and make-up. We were leaving directly from her office, and her work schedule didn’t afford her the time she needed to primp. Luckily, she found out about GlamSquad and they came to her, and helped her get ready. She was able to run her company, while getting styled in the comfort of her own office. It saved her precious time, and she was thrilled with the outcome. Definitely a must for those with busy schedules, who don’t have the time to get ready before big events.
Gift Wrapping Service
Each year, the presents I’ve wrapped end up looking like origami elephants that stepped on a land mine. I’ve never been good at it, so I actively seek out companies that’ll do the wrapping for me. I’ve gone to Kate’s Paperie in the past, and they do an excellent job at making each present look unique and splendid. I also recommend going to stores that bring in gift wrappers for charity. Usually, they’ll wrap your presents and ask that in return you donate to their charity. It’s the perfect win-win.
Order online. Trust me. No New Yorker would be caught dead shopping on Fifth Ave during the holidays, and SoHo is becoming just as crowded. I recommend checking out alternative stores online to find exceptional and unique gifts. Companies like Fab.com, Dot & Bo, Best Made Company, and Touch of Modern have never let me down when providing great gift ideas. They ship fast, and their products are guaranteed to gain a positive reaction from recipients.
Most of all, make sure you remember what the holiday season is all about! Keep that warm, fuzzy feeling, and don’t let yourself get bogged down in the details — especially when the internet can do the work for you.
Adam Drake is Creative Director for the Sweat Life, a former four-year varsity rower for the University of Miami, and currently rows for the Maritime Rowing Club. He is the co-founder of Kayak for a Cause, a charity event based in Connecticut. As a writer, Adam has developed television shows for Comedy Central, Bad Boy Worldwide, and Sky, written ad campaigns for clients such as Bacardi, Starbucks, Dove Men+Care, and HBO, and was a contributor to the pop culture site YesButNoButYes. In his spare time, he enjoys skiing, boating, and working on his tremendous collection of unfinished novels.