“Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” ― Mary Oliver
Gift giving is on my mind big time now, since all of the stores and malls have their decorations up, holiday music playing, and “top 10 gift ideas” abound. Since I love shopping, I should be a great gift giver. Sadly, it is not so. I procrastinate too long, looking for the “perfect” thing, and rarely find it. I then go out in a hurry to find something and usually end up buying what I would like, not necessarily what suits the other person, or spending more money hoping that will compensate for my lack of creativity. So, here are some thought starters for a variety of gifts. Hoping it will stimulate your (and my) thinking about gifts for my loved ones as well. Surely, there will be a Part II to this post, since it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but here are some thoughts to get you started.
Graphic Image leather accessories – If your recipient is old school, this company makes great agendas in a range of colors, calendar formats, and sizes. If they’re into new media, then they have cases for most of the popular gadgets: iPhone, iPad, laptop, and eReader (like Kindle). The best part is they can be personalized with stamped and gilded letters for their initials, full name, or whatever other clever words you’d like to share. www.graphicimage.com
Personalized Notecards – The type of gift that is just personal enough but not too presumptive for someone with whom you aren’t close friends (e.g., teachers, hostess gift, secret santa exchange, etc.). Who wouldn’t want a lovely box of notecards or a personalized notepad? It’s the type of little indulgence that many wouldn’t buy for themselves but would welcome as a gift! Great places to find affordable, personalized stationary gifts include www.etsy.com, www.dauphinepress.com, and www.redstamp.com.
Luxurious Lip Balms – practical and yet indulgent, because these go beyond the usual Chapstick or Burt’s Bees (which I do love too). A few of these wrapped in festive tissue and tied with a grosgrain ribbon or slipped into a little leather or velvet pouch would be the greatest! Try Kiehl’s holiday gift set of four yummy flavors (click image at right). Or try C.O. Bigelow lip balms, tints, and shines, available at the Bath & Body stores or online. If the gal on your list is a naturalist, try fresh Sugar lip treatment, its paraben, sulfate, phthalate, and petrochemical free. I love the citrus scent and the fact that is has SPF 15, plus comes in clear or two sheer tinted options.
Blik Graphics gift certificate – These wall decals are sophisticated, removable (and some are even reusable) and so great for nursery, playroom, office, bedroom decor. My sister has used it in her house for the kids rooms with great results. I am longing to try it out, but haven’t because we have stucco walls. http://www.whatisblik.com/shop/explore
Glassybaby votives – luxurious handblown glass votives in every color imaginable. They’re an entrancing mix of translucent and opaque and have rich, deep color. They can be used as votives, glasses, mini vases, or to contain desktop clutter. They’re dishwasher safe and super sturdy. www.glassybaby.com
Chocolates – see my Oct. post on my recommendations for truly special and gift-able chocolates. https://foundnotlost.wordpress.com/2010/10/23/for-the-chocolate-connoisseur/
Cheese – for the foodie in your life — most love cheese, and there are a variety of cheese collections or fine cheese of the month clubs such as those from Artisanal cheese shop based out of NYC that are different, practical, and indulgent! http://www.artisanalcheese.com/products.asp?dept=1015
Dean & Deluca is a foodie mecca and they’ve got a site that’s easy to shop by price point, occasion, or theme. The spice racks have long been popular gifts because of their elegant design and function. http://www.deandeluca.com/gifts.aspx
Coro Glasses – from the MoMA store, a set of four dishwasher-safe glasses with varying shades of blue in each and the color deepest at the glass bottom. www.momastore.org
Tech Related Splurges – Since everyone’s predicting the tablets (e.g., iPad) to be the holiday’s big gift, there’s no shortage of spendy cases from the big fashion houses. Check out the ones from Louis Vuitton (sold out online, still in some stores), Burberry http://us.burberry.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4385718&cp=2119969.2068773&parentPage=family, or Salvatore Ferragamo or Smythson (my favorites) below. Call store: 212-759-3822. for
The Xbox 360 Kinect is also slated to be a hot item this season, it’s similar to the Wii idea, you move to engage the game, but this is a full body sensor which means no controller. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Microsoft+-+Kinect+for+Xbox+360/1036858.p?id=1218212157998
Jewelry- Usually a favorite, there are several designers I like right now. Ippolita (esp this silver hammered dome ring for $225) or the bangles that really launched the brand, starting around $250, ranging up to $1,000+ for the gold with more stones. I’m also a fan of Alexis Bittar’s deco collection, like the bangle below for $265, or the wide version for $545.
Look for Part II soon, in the meantime, do you have any gifts you’ve given that have been a hit?