Shopping. Contrary to most guys in their mid-twenties, I don’t mind it. I find it to be enjoyable, and somewhat empowering. That’s especially true now as a young professional, out on my own and past the money-crunching college days, buying things for loved ones with my hard-earned money. I will say, however, convenience is key, as I am not one to shop for hours on end. So, when it came time to start my holiday shopping this year, I knew North Hills was the place to go.

My family is large and quite scattered. With a married older brother who has two kids, a younger college-age sister, and separated parents who are both remarried, shopping can get tricky. Not to mention most rarely provide gift ideas. Fortunately, my sister did this year.

She’s become a big fan of Kendra Scott. Particularly, of a rose-gold pendant necklace that caught her eye a few months back. With a photo snapped that day when she wasn’t looking, I tracked it down. Fun fact: Because the brand prides itself on offering custom made products with no two items alike, you can personally pick and choose from their collections. Another: If you order online and don’t like the visual of the item sent, you can take it in store and select one that’s more appealing.

Next stop was Target, where I hoped to kill two birds with one stone. Some of my mother’s kitchen items have been in dire need of replacing, but like most moms, she’s not one to tell us what she wants. I had to sneak through her kitchen at Thanksgiving to find ideas. In addition to new matching glassware (it seems pieces of her old set has gone missing over the past few years), she needed a hand mixer (her current one was looking a bit prehistoric). I also scooped up a Lowe’s gift card for my brother and his wife who are doing renovations on their home, and a set of bar drink mats for my father who recently installed a cherry oak bar in his house (he’s stoked about it).

The Cowfish was next on the agenda. It’s one of my brother and his wife’s favorite places to eat. With two young children, they don’t get to go out often, so my hope was that this would encourage them to do just that. It’d also give me a chance to steal some time with my nephews.

Speaking of nephews, they’re by far the easiest to shop for on my list. Toys and clothes typically do the trick, so I headed over to Lamb’s Ear to see what I could find. With the youngest only a few months old, onesies are a safe bet (there was one with mini dinosaurs that was too cute to pass up). For my other nephew who’s in his prime toddler years, I found a khaki pants and patterned sweater set (let’s hope he ends up wearing them Christmas week while I’m around). For toys, I stopped in at Learning Express Toys and scooped up a book and an alphabet train floor set – what’s better than fun and education in one gift?

My step-dad was last on my list. Being the big sports fan he is, I strolled over to Omega Sports for apparel. We’re a house-divided, with all of us kids having gone to different schools, but one thing remains – his loyalty to the Tarheels. Against my will (I am a Kentucky Wildcat at heart), I picked up a T-shirt and hat that he can rep for the upcoming basketball season.

A perk of the shops being in close walking distance is that your car is too, further highlighting North Hills’ convenience factor. Instead of lugging around bags and boxes from store-to-store, I was able to make pit stops by my car easily. With a full trunk, and hours to spare, my shopping was complete.

Whether a mom of two, a college student tackling a busy shopping weekend with your mom, or a young professional like me with a plan in mind, North Hills is the place to go this holiday season. And if not for shopping, there’s plenty of restaurants to indulge at for both Christmas and New Year’s. We welcome all to stop by and celebrate the season with us!