More Holiday Gift Ideas

This is the perfect year to get creative with personal gift boxes and baskets and “out of the box” thinking.  Here’s some ideas to spark your creativity:

STUFF A STOCKING:

– 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.

–  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 small bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream and/or Kahlua (perfect in coffee and hot chocolate).  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 Couch Potatoes:  With so many folks being at home more, TV watching has been ramping up.  For TV fans, 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!).  Retail cost: approx. $30 (women’s gloves).

 

GIFT BASKETS FOR A FAMILY, FRIENDS, NEIGHBORS:

Gift bags are great, but a lined holiday basket with a handle makes a terrific presentation (and they can re-use the basket):

– 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 (non-sweet), 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.

FOR MYSTERY LOVERS:

-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 Jigsaws.  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 lover’s.  Include an assortment of books (see the BOOK/mystery section to see my recommendations).  Add some old-school bookmarkers, 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.

FOR NATURE LOVERS, OUTDOOR FOLKS, GARDENERS:

Warm outdoor clothes such as mittens, gloves, scarves, warm colorful socks and hats are perfect for friends that work outside or enjoy brisk walks or strolls even in winter.  Check out companies that specialize in outdoor clothing like Eddie Bauer, Duluth Trading, REI, Dick’s Sporting Goods or a big box retail store.

–  Stuff a stocking with several different types and styles of garden gloves, hand creams, lip balms (with sunblock), and seed packets.

– Put together a BOX of wildlife ornaments – foxes, raccoons, deer, squirrels, birds, etc.  For an extra special nature lover, present them with a small tabletop tree decorated with all wildlife ornaments (don’t forget the lights).

– Wrap an item such as warm gloves or socks with a gift certificate to one of the outdoor sporting goods store mentioned above and let them pick out what they’d like.

Birdhouses:  Give a birdhouse and they’ll be ready at the first hint of spring to mount it for their feathered friends.  Consider including a mounting pole.   Note:  My favorite birdhouses are by Home Bazaar (see their website) or find them on Amazon.

–  Birdfeeders along with a bag of birdseed will give the lucky recipient hours of fun watching assorted birds flocking to the feeder for their food fix.

Live Plants:  such as Amaryllis or Paper White plant in a festive container.  Consider a live rosemary plant.  Give it a boost by adding tiny red and gold ornaments, turning it into an instant tabletop tree.  Not only will it provide fresh rosemary all year ‘round, but it will make the house smell quite wonderful!

These are ideas to help get you started – there’s still time to put together that perfect gift for your perfect friend or family member.

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