Holiday Gift Ideas

Get creative with personal gift boxes and baskets and do some “out of the box” thinking. Here’s some ideas to spark your creativity:

– SPECIALTY STOCKING FOR GOURMETS AND SNACKERS: Scour the grocery store aisles for unique gourmet treats and spices. You have to go grocery shopping anyway, so take some extra time to cruise the “international aisle” and “new items aisles” for unique spices, sauces, candy, gourmet crackers and treats.

– SPECIALTY STOCKING FOR COFFEE LOVERS: For coffee lovers, add their favorite coffee (make sure you know if they use pods or bags). If they enjoy an extra kick for chilly days or evenings, add a bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream and/or Kahlua (perfect in coffee and hot chocolate) and/or gift card to their local coffee shop.

FESTIVE COCKTAIL SHAKER: For cocktail aficionados, fill a vintage cocktail shaker with an assortment of bitters, travel-size bottles of liquor with garnishes such as olives or pickled pearl onions, etc. Pinch off small bits of colorful garland and add to the shaker to give it an “instant” holiday flair.

– FOR TV/STREAMING BUFFS: With so many folks being at home more, TV watching and streaming has been ramping up. Give a gift subscription to TV Guide so folks see the daily programs, including streaming programs. There’s also news on upcoming programs, movies and other TV specials. Just check to be sure they don’t already subscribe.

– FOR FITNESS BUFFS: Not for everyone, but some of your friends (or you) might enjoy a pair of boxing gloves. For women, I really love my —Everlast Pro-Style Training Boxing gloves (in Pink). Lightweight and durable for punching a bag or just practicing in front of a mirror, it’s a great way to keep up strength, tone arms and hey, you never know when you need to deck someone (for self-defense, of course – wink wink!). Retail cost: approx. $35 (women’s gloves).

JIGSAW PUZZLES & BRAIN GAMES (such as Sudoku, crosswords, word searches, etc.): These are sure to help keep the brain sharp and are perfect for those staying at home and love a mental challenge.

WARM & COZY THROWS: Pick out a favorite design or theme (i.e., cats, dogs, books, nature, sports team, etc.). Who doesn’t want to nestle under a comfy, warm throw?

SNOW GLOBES: Kids and adults alike love snow globes. Look for globes that they can enjoy all ‘year round. A snow globe of someone’s favorite sports team, wildlife theme, snow scene, etc. Some even have music and movable parts when wound up. There are snow globes out there for just about everyone! An especially fun and cheery gift to keep on a “work from home” or office desk.

FOR DO-IT-YOURSELFERS: Check out local hardware stores such as Home Depot or Ace for specials on work gloves, drills and other tools that come in specifically for the holidays at lower prices, sometimes gift boxed.

– FOR A FAMILY OR FRIEND:  Especially for folks far away, you can find really unique and beautiful holiday advent calendars.  Some are truly stunning.  The advent calendar can be brought out every year as a family tradition and it will also remind them of the sender — YOU!  For an exceptional variety of advent calendars (and other gifts), check out the website for Bas Bleu — (books & gifts for avid readers).  Calendars and gifts can be shipped directly to recipient.  OTHER IDEA:  Tacky, but fun — matching family PJs.  You can even get PJs for the family pet!  Be sure to include a gift receipt in case they need to exchange them for another size.


Gift bags are great, but a lined holiday basket with a handle makes a terrific presentation (and they can re-use the basket). Line baskets with a festive dish towel or holiday hand towel:

– Create a s’mores gift basket so they can enjoy them at home (yes, they can make them in their kitchen or over a fire pit (if they have one). Find s’mores recipes online. Family fun for everyone!

– Put together a gourmet gift basket of assorted goodies. Not only do most people enjoy holiday cookies, candy and cakes – but consider adding loaves of gourmet artisan breads, smoked salmon, pearly pickled onions, peppers, gourmet stuffed olives. Jellies, jams and relishes can also add an extra “wow” factor.

Smoked fish basket: include several types of smoked salmon, and/or smoked whitefish or smoked trout. Add a tub of cream cheese, capers and crackers, artisan bread or bagels.


-If your mystery fan loves jigsaw puzzles, check out the challenging 1,000 piece puzzles such as Nancy Drew Book Covers Puzzle, Hardy Boys Book Covers Puzzle or the Classic Mystery Book Covers Jigsaw Puzzle. There’s also plenty of puzzles that have hidden images and some include mysteries that you can’t solve until the entire puzzle is completed. Check them out online at Amazon or other fine retailers.

– Put together a mystery basket. Include an assortment of books (see the BOOK/mystery section to see my recommendations). Add some old-school bookmarks, a unique magnifying glass (hey, who doesn’t need one – and it’s sooooo “Sherlock Holmes”) and maybe some of their favorite candy or bakery treats.

Want more ideas, check back in a few days for other holiday gift-giving ideas, including gifts for children and young adults.

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