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Gifts A to Z: IT’S ALWAYS THAT TIME OF THE YEAR

06 Jan
 ©2011 (text) 

 

Gifts. I know: you have gift fatigue from all that holiday shopping. Unfortunately, your sister will still have that birthday in January—not to mention the wife, hubby, the kids, and all those other people. The anniversary will still arrive on the same day this year and as sure as summer follows spring, you’ll get invited to a wedding; or to a housewarming; and on and on.

This is for you. Gift suggestions from A-Z (Altruistic to Foodies to Lovers to Nostalgic to Quintissential to Unusual to Zen). Forty dollars or less—many are under $25. Even with shipping costs, $40 gifts should stay under $50. Do check out the “Petite Gift” category (all under $15). Many places offer free shipping. Unless the retailer moves the page, the links on each item or the picture will take you directly to it. Price may change, but probably in the down direction. (If any of the pictures don’t show up, right click and select “Show Picture.”

In addition, once you’re on the retailers’ sites, you may find lots of related possibilities. If you have the planning gene, the discretionary cash and the storage space, now is the time to pick out and buy gifts for upcoming celebrations. Most of the listed retailers have brick and mortar stores also. Many of them also have free, or cheap, shipping direct to their stores. 

I will occasionally update/add to selections as I find more, so do come back or sign up for email alerts on home page.  Look for a hash mark (#) as new entries are added.  

Don’t forget to check for coupons and coupon codes before you buy!

  

  

ACCESSORIES

MUDDLING THROUGH

Have a bartender-in-training on your list? With this set, they can amaze their friends with properly muddled mint leaves. The Mojito 9-piece boxed set includes the recipe, a 20-ounce mixing glass, strainer, wooden muddler and six highball glasses. Also makes a superb hostess gift. Cheers!   $20 PierOne.com

STICKING IT

Pier One also has a great selection of fun jewelry, such as a purple gem brooch, generously studded with royal purple and CZ stones, which will add style and color to an outfit, a hat or an outer coat.  $10 PierOne.com              Also see the jewelry category.

ESPRESSO EXPRESS

An espresso lover will appreciate the stove top and speed capabilities of the Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker. It makes a cup in less than five minutes. Made in Italy. Easy to use and maintain.   $24 AMAZON.COM

FROTHING SIDEKICK

You can’t give them the Espresso Maker without the Aerolatte 5 Milk Frother, can you? This stainless steel, battery operated frother works with cold and hot drinks. In thirty seconds, or less.  $15 amazon.com

CLASSY TOPPERS

Protect their liquor with these pretty Mikasa Cheers Glass Bottle Stoppers. The four clear glass stoppers feature four different cuts on glass.     $19.99 $17.99 amazon.com Or check out the ruby-red ones here for $34.00 $20 amazon.com

CORKS OF STEEL

For the more classic-inclined? Consider the stainless steel wine stoppers, keeping it fresh with an airtight seal. This two piece set is much easier to insert and remove than corks. As a special touch, engrave each with one initial. $35 redenvelope.com

View ProductEIGHTIES REDEUX

The Deana and Ozzy Sequin Stretch Belt will add some pizzazz to many outfits. Features faux leather detail in a shiny, plaited design. Fastens with a snap closure. $28 $7 urbanoutfitters.com

HEAR THIS

The Hewlett Packard (HP) Notebook speakers deliver ultra-clear sound despite their light-weight, compact size. The plug and play, 3” speakers connect by USB. Works on PCs and Macs. $30 hp.com   Or check out the $20 set.  

  

ALTRUISTIC

USO SOLDIER CARE PACKAGE

 Help uplift a soldier. Sponsor a USO Care Package for our overseas troops in your loved one’s name. For every $25 given, the USO sends care packages worth $75. How can you beat that? Donations are tax deductible and the wonderful feeling is priceless! Donate on the USO site and they will take care of putting the packages together and DELIVERY. $25 (minimum) USO.org 

Blue Shibori Cotton Scarf - Fair Trade Winds

SCARF LOOMING

Rich bursts of color adorn these hand-dyed and loomed cotton yarn Fair Trade scarves. The scarves, and other One Mango Tree products, are made by Ugandan women affected by war and a cooperative of skilled weavers. Free shipping. $15-$40 worldofgood.com   

VINTAGE UMBRELLA

Take shelter under this generous Unique Vintage umbrella emblazoned with a sunny daisy. Five dollars from every umbrella sold goes to the National Breast Cancer Foundation for a limited time. $25; Unique-Vintage.com 

CHARITY GIFT CARD

Many people want to give, but can’t at this time, so this might be the perfect gift for the altruistic people in your life or if you simply want to give an especially meaningful gift: Give the Gift of Charity – a gift card with stored value redeemable as a donation to any of more than 1.2 million charities. You choose the amount; your recipient chooses the charity. 1.networkforgood.org/

ORGANIC POLO SHIRT

Social Fashion –This Free Trade polo shirt manufactured from organic cotton makes for social fashion. Company donates 25% of their profits to the farmer-owned trading companies and factory workers who make the clothing. $29 Worldofgood.ebay.com 

 

BEAUTY

LIPS, FACE AND EYES—OH MY!

Recipient loves to look like a cover girl? A gift certificate from Elf Makeup (eyeslipsface.com) gets her selections that won’t break the bank. Elf applied the dollar store concept to makeup. Most items $1-$3. You can also head over to your local Target store if you want to pick up some selections (limited) for yourself.  www.eyeslipsface.com

BEAUTY SALON

A beauty salon for $40? A micro loan gift gives independence to women in the poorest countries. They get a chance to start their own salon. From the site: “Loaning a woman the money to get business training and open her own salon gives her the power to earn income to support her family, as well as provide her neighbors with a place of community and support..Mercy Corps has helped tens of thousands of women fulfill their dreams of opening a busrose friendship boxiness — from tea stall owners and restaurateurs in Sudan to hairdressers and booksellers in Afghanistan.” MercyCorps.org 

BEAUTY IN A BOX

A storage place for their cherished keepsake. Sixteen hand-crafted roses peek out from the clear lid of the Yellow Rose Friendship Box. Give them a constant reminder of your special bond. Engraving available. $30 redenvelope.com 

ESSENTIAL BEAUTY

MOR infuses the Belladonna perfume with essential oils such as White Narcissus, Moroccan Rose and Vanilla. Several scents are available, with nourishing Macadamia, Almond and Vitamin E carrier oils blended into each fragrance. All come in convenient roll-on 9 ml (0.3 oz) bottles. $20 morcosmetics.com 

BEAUTIFUL SCIENCE

Approx $4 per 1 oz for cream products and soap might seem a little pricey. Former guests of hotels, such as the W Hotel, will treasure the world-renowned Bliss Spa Six-Pack Sinkside set ($30 Value). Bliss’ secret weapon?  They use science to create these luxurious masterpieces. In a reusable tote. $25 sephora.com         For a list of Bliss products $35 and under, click here: http://www.sephora.com/browse/brand_hierarchy.jhtml;jsessionid=WYUY2PCYLRLUACV0KQNQIGQ?brandId=Bliss&contentId=C21170

  

  

BOOKS

180 Essential Vocabulary Words for 5th Grade (Paperback) by Linda Ward Beech          “Contains independent learning packets that help students learn the most important words, in several disciplines, needed for success in schools.” A scholastic publication. $11 Target.com

There are coffee table books, then there’s The Palatable Plate: Cook Like an Artist [Hardcover] by Pari Danian             Art, food and spirituality come together in this 174 page tome, Pages of recipes accompany the beautifully photographed artfully arranged presentations. The Persian inspired dishes liberally use beneficial healthful spices and herbs. Finally, a coffee table book that is art and substance (and a cookbook!). $34.95 $27 Amazon.com 

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot                 An examination of the ethics of the medical community who, fifty years ago, took the cells of a cervical cancer tumor from a poor 30-year old mother of five, without anyone’s consent after she died. Skloot asks: who owns our bodies? Who’s entitled to be enriched from them? The miraculous medical innovations spawned a multi-billion dollar industry and became a foundation of modern science. Mrs. Lacks nor her family were informed of the harvesting. Nor did they receive money or acknowledgement. Author Skloot termed the discovery as one of the holy grails of biology, and created a fascinating and moving tale of the woman, her family and the miracle of HeLa cells. $15 amazon.com  or barnesandnoble.com

Farm to Fork by Emeril Lagasse.  The lovable chef puts his own New Orleanian spin on cooking and eating green. He has long encouraged using fresh, local ingredients and does so in his own restaurants. The 152 recipes suggest the use of locally grown, fresh and organic ingredients in season. Emeril even gives tips on canning.  $16 amazon.com 

Lead With LUV: A Different Way to Create Real Success (It pays to put your people first) by Ken Blanchard and Colleen Barrett.        Herb Kelleher, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Southwest Airlines, chose Colleen Barrett, sans any Ivy League business degrees, because “she knows how to love people to success.” In the book, Southwest’s President Barrett, together with Blanchard, author of many successful business books including “The One Minute Manager”, espouses on the techniques that keep Southwest wildly successful and profitable in earnings and satisfied employees. The book explains, and demonstrates, how leading with love leads to outstanding business success for all involved. $12 barnesandnoble.com 

  

  

COOKS 

KEEPING TIME

Making dinner is often a multitasking affair. A stylish double timer lets the cook keep track of time for two dishes at once.  uncommongoods.com, $18  

 CACTUS OOZE – MMMM

Arizona Cactus Ranch Prickly Pear Products claims health benefits such as balancing blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Some purported to taste like apple butter. The site lists recipes that you could copy and laminate for the recipient. www.arizonacactusranch.com/recipes2.html Jam, 4oz, $10; fruit spread, 9 oz, $15. Arizonacactusranch.com 

 INSIDE THE BOX

The Bamboo Grow Box makes fresh, organic basil, oregano and parsley available right from the kitchen counter, in a beautiful, durable bamboo pot made from all-natural materials. $20 Worldofgreen.cPrepara Herb Savorom 

SAVOR SAVER

Never throw away wilted fresh herbs again. This simple, yet ingenious, product maintains—for up to three weeks—those hard to keep herbs. The compact container fits on the frig door. The roomy Prepara Herb-savor showcases your herbs with a clear cover. Works with asparagus, too! $30 macys.com   (or direct from prepara.com, where you’ll find lots of high-tech and simple chef tools) Also check out the Professional International Herb Keeper. It doesn’t have as sleek a design, but keeps herbs for three weeks and stores up to three bunches at once. $15 Amazon.com 

ORGANIC FARE

Foxfire offers an assortment of organic foods, wild salmon, and grass-fed meats. Get a 4 rib rack that serves 1-2 people for only $16.25. Or get two 4-packs and take something different as your Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza, New Years dinner offering! http://www.foxfirefarms.com/

NOT YOUR MOTHER’S SLAW

All-natural Mother In Law’s cabbage Kimchi puts one in the mind of cole slaw, but it’s more. Many hail this Korean delicacy as a fantastic addition to about any dish with its spicy, tangy, garlic flavor. Bonus: Kimchi reportedly provides probiotic, antimicrobial, antifungal properties. $20 for 2 16 oz jars, $28 3 16 oz Jars http://milkimchi.bigcartel.com/

BAMMING WITH GREENIES

In Farm to Fork, Emeril Lagasse, the lovable chef, puts his own New Orleanian spin on cooking and eating green. He has long encouraged using fresh, local ingredients and does so in his own restaurants. The 152 recipes suggests the use of locally grown, fresh and organic ingredients in season.  Emeril even provides tips on canning. $16 amazon.com 

SALT OF THE EARTH

Not your average salt. The Salts of the World collection contains sea salts from Italy, New Zealand and Indonesia; Himalayan salt from India; Bamboo salt from Korea; and Lava salt from Cyprus. Conveniently packed in a black plastic lidded case. Each salt individually packaged. $34 uncommongoods.com

  

  

DÉCOR

LINENS AND THINGS

Linen Hemstitch Napkin & Place Mat – hand cut and sewn of pure linen; but machine washable. Set of 6. $54.00 $25 PotteryBarn.com 

Hyde Chalkboard Organizer, Rustic Chestnut finishORGANIZER

Hyde Chalkboard Organizer – Help them organize with this rustic-looking, multifunctional message board. The top opens to storage underneath. $69.00 $27 PotteryBarn.com 

TEALIGHT FLUTES

These graceful holders, made with hand blown glass, make a perfect addition to the décor for the holidays, special occasions, or just because! The elongated stems look like champagne flutes. Monogramming available. $15 for small/ $17 for large Pottery Barn.com 

WIRE PARIS

The wire Antique Bronze Paris Wall Rack has an antique bronze finish. For an ex-pat or lover of the city, this could conjure up happy memories every time they hang their kitchen towels or utensils from the four hanging hooks. $13 surlatable.com 

DIET BY DESIGN

Although these sleek, artistic plates (e.g. black with floral scrolling) appear “formal,” they will use them every day. The four 10 ½”, square Slimware plates help them eat less in their goal to weigh less through portion control. Each plate has a portion outline for protein, vegetables and carbs/side dishes. $37 slimware.com

  

  

ELECTRONICS

THE CLICKER

Have a TV connoisseur on the list? They can program this universal remote to control up to eight items. Also, has a built-in bottle opener. $25 myclicker.com

TRAVEL CHARGING VALET

Great for the traveling professionals especially. The Portable Charging Valet charges three devices so they’re at the ready for every future Mark, Oprah and Bill. $40 SharperImage.com

iHOME Portable MP3 Player Speaker System, BlackPORTA-MUSIC

Sometimes they gotta groove and being connected to earphones/earbuds won’t work. With their iPod & MP3 players, they take the two high-fidelity speakers of the iHome Portable Stereo Speaker System anywhere. $18 walmart.com 

BREATHING ROOM

The table-top Honeywell Enviracare Platinum 16200 HEPA air purifier will freshen the air. Reduce dust, tobacco smoke, pollen, cat dander and mold spores and other airborne particles from any 8×10 room. What better gift than one that purifies one of our most precious resources? $40 BARNESANDNOBLE.COM

WATCHING YOU

Give the gift of live communication and shared experiences. The Microsoft LifeCam VX-5000 is small, and flexible enough to be fitted to sit unobtrusively on their computer or desk. $50 $27 amazon.com

  

  

FETISHES

Sanitize your thoughts! Think of this more of a hankering for a thing. 

EDWARD VS. JACOB

Avid fans will love this as a collectible. Whether they’re a Twi-Mom, a teenager enamored with either the wolf or the vampire, or a Bella wannabe, any fan of Stephanie Meyers’ Twilight series can appreciate the Twilight Jewelry Box. Made of Pewter, the square box features a movie image on the lift-off, filigree outlined lid.  $39 amazon.com

THEIR WAY

Authentic New York Cheesecake, which some believe to be the best in the world, express shipped fresh and direct to their door. $35 gourmetgiftbaskets.com

COWTOWN BBQ SAUCE AND SEASONING GIFT BOX

This sauce, made by a Kansas City BBQ “joint”, won “Best Sauce on the Planet” at the 2001 American Royal BBQ Contest. Includes Cowtown and Night of the Living Bar-B-Q sauces plus one bottle each of Cowtown “Squeal” Hog Rub, and Steak & Grill Seasoning. Several other gift sets available for under $40. They also have marinades and brines; rubs and seasonings; and single bottles of sauce. $25 thekansascitybbqstore.com

Bobby's Beef Ribs

Or head on over to Tennessee to try on their version: SAUCE/SEASONING COMBO. Memphis may have the blues, but apparently it’s not about their famous sauce: Rendezvous barbecue sauce and seasoning rub. One hot and mild of each. $28 hogsfly.com

And Texans always believe they have the best BBQ, so if you’re of that mind, try: FINGER LICKIN’ GOOD. Bobby’s Beef Ribs: 1 Rack of Beef Ribs. 3 – 3 1/2 lbs; feeding 2 – 3 people, they’re described as fall-off-the-bone and allegedly raved about by Chef Bobby Flay. $39 www.saltlickbbq.com

PICTURING EASY RIDER

Dennis Hopper: Photographs 1961-1967.    This oversized, 118-page coffee table book accompanied the Dennis Hopper Double Standard Los Angeles exhibition ending September 2010. It’s part of the 546-page original collection. $34.95 (Member price 31.46 Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles) mocastore.org

IMAGINE

Murdered 30 years ago, John Lennon would have been 70 this year. Yoko Ono’s personal videos form this illuminating documentary, Imagine: John Lennon (deluxe edition), on Lennon’s life in NY up to his murder. $19.98 $15 Target.com Or get the DVD of the special that aired on PBS: LENNONYC $24.95 $18

SWEET LOVE

The Assorted Pralinés, 16 piece, gift box will satisfy any praline fix. It’s filled with infused praline chocolates, including pistachio morsels, coconut, chocolate nibs, lime flavoring, orange, etc. Weighing in at .26 pounds. $38 lamaisonduchocolat.us

TO PARIS W/LOVE

The wire Antique Bronze Paris Wall Rack has an antique bronze finish. For an ex-pat or lover of the city, this would be something they’d love to hang their kitchen towels or utensils on. $13 surlatable.com

LIQUID HEALTH

This Revolution Tea 5-pack sampler gives them all the teas that do a body good: Organic Green, White Pear, Tropical Green, White Pomegranate and Acai Green. Ten Sampler Packs in an order. Dr. Oz would approve. $29 revolutiontea.com

PICTURE MUSIC

“The main thing a musician would like to do is to give a picture to the listener of the many wonderful things he knows of and senses in the universe.” ~ John Coltrane.  Many considered Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme” LP as the best of Coltrane, and that’s saying a lot. He considered it his gift to a higher power. If they love Coltrane (and his fans love him) or like layered, innovative, deeply emotional, and spiritual music, then this is the LP for them. And if they’re less nostalgic, it’s available on CD on Amazon and similar. $18 urbanoutfitters.com

BRING THEM TOGETHER

The Beatles Abbey Road LP will be a hit with most Beatle fans—unless they already have it. Some see this LP, the last one the group recorded, as the seminal Beatle album. The ex-groupie will surely love the original artwork on the LP cover. $19 urbanoutfitters.com

THRILL THEM

Even if it wasn’t noted as the biggest selling album, any Michael Jackson fan will appreciate this 25th anniversary Thriller LP—especially as an LP. It includes remixes from other artists and a previously unreleased song. $24 urbanoutfitters.com

Most of these LPs are probably available as CDs, but if you want authenticity consider the USB turntable. It’s not $40, but you can find some starting at $70; and perhaps two or three of you could go in together and get them an LP or two and this: A USB turntable that transfers the music on vinyl LP’s directly to a CD or MP3. And if they have a whole collection of now useless vinyl, they’ll probably put you in their will for this gift. (Available at retailers such as Best Buy, Sears, Amazon, Target, Staples, Brookstone, etc.)

BOYS OF SUMMER

Baseball fanatics will appreciate the Chicago White Sox Coasters with Certified Authentic Field Dirt. Imagine the tales they could spin. The coasters have the team logo, a MLB hologram and the acclaimed dirt on all four. The coasters come with a cherry wood holder and a Certificate of Authenticity. Other MLB teams are represented as well. $40 steinersports.com

  


FOODIES

WIRELESS THERMOMETER

The easy to read backlit LCD screen makes the Taylor Commercial Wireless Remote Digital Food Thermometer a great tool for any cook. The probe stays in the food as it cooks. They’ll also love the remote readiness pager and the push button control panel. $24 Amazon.com

CINNAMON & CHOCOLATE BABKA

Greens and Ackermans Bakery crafts all-Kosher hand-crafted delectable and fancy cakes and pastries from the finest ingredients. All baked with the same integrity and love as when their Hungarian-born mother started the bakery in Brooklyn. The bakery uses a special enriched yeast to yield a classic marbled Babka coffee cake. 2 loavess $20 DEAN & DELUCA.COM

DEAN & DELUCA Truffle Salt

Dean & Deluca Truffle Salt

Truffles blended with sea salt produce an earthy, musty, intoxicating mixture. The salt will add a rich and earthy flavor to their prize dishes. Available in white and black. White 4 oz $26; Black $28  DEANDELUCA.COM

SALT OF THE EARTH

Not an around the way salt. The Salts of the World collection provides sea salts from Italy, New Zealand and Indonesia; Himalayan salt from India; Bamboo salt from Korea; and Lava salt from Cyprus. Each salt individually contained in round tins with clear lids. $34 uncommongoods.com (see earlier picture)

OLD FASHIONED TAFFY

If taffy brings back childhood memories, they’ll smile at this old-fashioned taffy. Created at Dolle’s Candyland, an institution on the Delaware boardwalk making the delightful confection for three generations. They also have hand-dipped chocolates $14.95, 2-pound box dolles-ibachs.com 

  

  

GADGETS

WHO’S ZOOMING WHO

Whether your recipient wants to watch a red bird or zoom in on a stranger in the neighbor’s yard, you can’t beat binoculars for $10. 4 available colors. www.jcp.com

 ELECTRIC CORKSCREW

Opening your wine has never been easier and this electric wine opener keeps the cork intact–traditional or synthetic. One charge lasts over an hour. $25 hammacher.com

MOTORIZED SAVINGS

The change saver will see the Mororized Electric Coin Sorter as a godsend. Pour the change into the electronic coin sorter, which channels coins–even dollar ones–directly into the correct wrappers. $35 Brookstone.com

STAND-UP CHICKEN

Goodbye to overpriced, grocery store rotisserie chickens. Turn their grille into a roaster.  Constructed of stainless steel, the Outset Chicken BBQ Roaster Grill Pan won’t rust or transfer particles to food. It also has four prongs for potatoes. Can also be used in the oven. $30 zappos.com  (Who knew Zappos has more than shoes?)

FLATTENING THE CARBS

If they’re into drying out their food for health and savings, the Ronco 5-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator will help them do it. Correctly, easily and quickly; and right on the countertop! The five trays give them flexibility. $40 $35  sears.com

UP IN SMOKE

If they like smoked meats, but not the usual associated mess, consider the Tom Douglas by Pinzon Metal Grill Box Smoker. Turns any gas or electric grill into wood smoker. Throw in a bag of hickory and/or mesquite wood chips (also available on Amazon) for about $8 each. $20 $16  amazon.com



HARD TO BUY FOR

World Souvenirs

Romantic City Coasters – set of four resin coasters provides beautiful scenes and potential memories of Rome, Paris, London and New York. Black metal display holder included. $25 giftsforprofessionals.com

IRISH LUCK

The Shamrock Bottle Stopper, adorned with an Irish shamrock on the head, makes a great gift for any wine lover, Irish at heart or not. It comes in a matching box. Monogramming available. $9.10 giftsforprofessionals.com

SAVOR SAVER

Never throw away wilted fresh herbs again. The simple, yet ingenious,  and roomy  Prepara Herb-savor maintains—for up to three weeks—those hard to keep herbs. Compact container fits on the frig door. Works with asparagus, too! $30 macys.com or jcp.com (or direct from prepara.com, where you’ll find lots of high-tech and simple chef tools.)

Also check out the Professional International Herb Keeper. It doesn’t have as sleek a design, but keeps herbs for three weeks and stores up to three bunches at once. $15 Amazon.com

THE PURPLE ONE

Purple pashmina anyone? So, it’s not from Prague. It’s still ultra soft, pretty, whether worn as protection against the cold or a versatile accessory. Oh, it comes in other colors, too! $9 Pier1.com Or go for a dressier, sparkly one for $25

World Traveler

Help them keep the record of their travels in style. The Antique Map Italian Leather Printed Passport Holder, handcrafted in Italy of soft leather, is individually hand-printed with a breautiful map design. $15 barnesandnoble.com Or, give them a simple, cognac-colored leather passport holder made from natural recycled leather. $15 barnesandnoble.com

I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM

For the ice cream lover, get the handcrafted Teak ice Cream scoop. As a bonus, it’s Fair Trade certified, made from sustainable wood, without chemicals. $15 tasknewyork.bigcartel.com

ROCK ON

If they like chilled liquor, but not the dilution, then the Whiskey Stones & Gift Set will serve them well. Keep the 9-piece, cube-shaped soapstone set, in the freezer until ready to use. The soapstone’s  composition keeps the liquid chilled for extended periods. They are odorless and tasteless. $20 Uncommongoods.com

SMOOTH BAKLAVA

Snowy Mountain gives the flavor of the Cowgirls Are Forever coffee a twist: the taste of Baklava, a Greek dessert. Give them the taste of honey, butter and nuts in their morning brew. $11 for 1 pound of beans    snowymountaincoffee.com

CORKS OF STEEL

Try the stainless steel wine stoppers to help your classic recipients keep their wine fresh with an airtight seal. Much easier to insert and remove than corks. Set of two that can be engraved with one initial. $35 redenvelope.com (See earlier picture)

  

 

HOST(ESS)/HOUSEWARMING GIFTS

MOONSHINE CAKE

POUPART'S Baked Brie

Kentucky is known for bourbon, couple that with an age-old recipe that includes three types of aged Kentucky bourbon and you have a cake with presence. No one else will present your host(ess) with the 50 ounce Kentucky Woods Bourbon Barrel Cake. Don’t worry about the booze, it cooks into non-alcoholic delish!  FYI, the next Kentucky Derby is May 7,2011, so you might want to get your order in by April to arrive in style (along with your stylish hat) at that Derby party. $27 atasteofkentucky.com

CAJUN SWEETS

You, or the hostess, will have to cook this New Orleans Style Bread Pudding for an hour, but the site promises: it satisfies your sweet tooth with a taste of the old South. They also guarantee that it’s moist and delicious. $24 – 4 lb

POUPART’S Baked Brie w/ Praline in Puff Pastry – You might want to include Dr. Oz’s diet book with the Poupart’s Baked Brie in a Puffy Pastry with Praline sauce. The 40+ year-old, authentic French bakery makes them fresh daily. $18 – 13 oz. Both available from cajungrocer.com

 

NOT EXACTLY POSH NOSH, BUT ROYAL

If your host(ess) feels generous, they might open up the Harry’s Collection Tower of Goodies for sharing. But they might take out the handpicked Royal Riviera® Pears; or maybe the luscious apples; or the premium white Wisconsin cheddar; or the smoked sausage; or the chocolate Moose Munch® Snack; or the Bing cherry chocolates. Let’s be truthful, they’ll probably only share the crackers and give you deli cheese. Try get a taste of the Moose Munch and chocolate will never be the same. Or, just go get your own tower. $40 $30 harryanddavids.com

Catching Flies appetizer plates

Wine glass top appetizer plates makes noshing and drinking while standing much less clumsy. The 5” plates are made of Acacia wood, with stacked bottoms that fit over the entire top of the wine glass. As a bonus, Acacia wood is environmentally friendly. Its lustrous appearance seems to shimmer and change color in the light. At this price, you could get the host(ess) two sets for small gatherings. $17 (set of 4) catchingfireflies.com

COASTING IN COLOR

Vietnamese craftsman make these 3 ½ inch, Fair Trade Wind coasters from recycled magazines. From the site: Mai Handicrafts was started by two social workers concerned about improving the lives of street children and single mothers in Ho Chi Minh City and ethnic minorities in mountain villages. $14 ($4SH) – set of 4 worldofgood.ebay.com

CORKS OF STEEL

Your wine aficionados will appreciate the airtight seal of these stainless steel wine stoppers to help keep their wine fresh and free of oxidation. Much easier to insert and remove than corks. Set of two that can be engraved with one initial. $35 redenvelope.com  (see earlier picture)

Barnes and Noble Camel Winter Throw

ANTIDOTE: FRIGHTFUL WINTER

The Camel-colored winter throw will fit in with just about every décor. The luxurious 60” x 50” fleece will warm up even the most anemic. It comes folded and all wrapped up in a colorful ribbon and bow. Best of all—it’s machine washable! $20 $10   barnesandnoble.com

  

  

INCIDENTALS

CHOCOLATE BULL DOGS

Chocolates in the shape of your favorite dog breed. Meticulously sculpted treats, almost too realistic to eat—almost. Each breed set has 6 melt-in-your mouth chocolates. Cats don’t get any love.  $25 Wine Soap Gift Cratemanhattanfruitier.com

SUDSY WINE

Wine Soap Gift Crate – a mini wooden crate with four guest soaps handmade from natural ingredients and Napa Valley wineWine Bottle Box. “NAPA SOAP Company” carved into each bar.  No, you can’t suck on it in a pinch.  $19 vat19.com

RITZY WINE

Give the wine bottle box with metal accents, hinged lid, and decorative latch.  The stylish wooden box holds a 750 ml bottle of wine. Engrave a message or name on the brass plaque. At this price, you might even include a nice bottle of wine.  $19 personalcreations.com

GLOWING AND BLOWING

Life Gear Glow Stick with Whistle runs up to 200 hours to provide light when you need it or the emergency flasher. Also includes a loud whistle.  So reasonable, you can get one for yourself, family and friends.  $6 rei.com

GERM RESISTANT

Eco-minded cooks will love the antimicrobial Totally Bamboo Cutting Board set. It’s made of sustainable, durable bamboo in three perfect sizes. And, the cutting boards are light and dishwasher safe. $30  $20 surlatable.com

BLOOM IN BAG

Gardening without the stress and strain. Your recipient’s  Bag Purple Petunia Flower Garden Kit grows in certified, organic soil, producing 6-inch, lush, long blooming purple flowers. The mini petunias start in the leak-proof silver bag and can be transferred to a windowsill pot or other indoor spot that gets sun.  $17 $10 amazon.com 

  

  

JEWELRY

PRETTY INEXPENSIVE

JC Penney has beautiful earring and necklace sets for under $12, such as an antique inspired pairing with diamond-faceted hematite stones. If the lady needs some grounding in her life, hematite is a great stone. If a woman loves cocktail rings, Penney’s offers several under $9.

 Capiz & Filigree Earrings - Fair Trade From Philippines

World of Good Fair Trade Capiz & Filligree earrings

For the distinctive and/or socially conscious woman: capiz & filigree earrings featuring wire filigree scrolls across blue-dyed translucent capiz clam shell disks. Handcrafted earrings from Saffy Handicrafts in the Philippines – Social Action for Filipino Youth.  $16 (matching necklace is $20) worldofgood.ebay.com

THE EARS HAVE IT

3 faux stones (emerald, ruby) in burnished silver tone setting grace these 3″ fancy long earrings. Pierced.  $15 avon.com

Actual sterling silver classic gem drop, pierced earrings at half price. 1/2 ” colored topaz earrings with white topaz accents. 1/2″ L. Avon has many earrings under$40. They also have matching necklaces and earrings at good prices for costume jewelry.  $20 avon.com  

main pic
Unique Vintage’s Swarovski Drop earrings

Gold Topaz Swarovski Crystal Drop Earrings  – 70% off at $27.00  unique-vintage.com  Unique Vintage has several vintage jewelry pieces at $40 or less.                    

 

RINGING IN SUCCESS  

The  beautiful, golden hued citrine stone is known as the “success stone.” A round, genuine citrine graces the centerpiece of this sterling silver ring—surrounded by 12 diamonds. Overstock sells lots of rings at price points starting at $9.  $32 overstock.com

MANLY STEEL

Rugged and stylish. And for men, consider the distinctive beveled edge black carbon fiber comfort fit of the Tungsten fashion band. Tungsten carbide is reportedly 4 times harder than titanium. Bonus: ring never needs polishing and is virtually scratch-proof. They also offer other Tungsten carbide ring styles at equally amazing prices.  $199.99   $40 Amazon.com

Kenneth Cole REACTION Men’s Bracelet – Lon Chainy – Tight-weave chain link, silver finish bracelet. Kenneth Cole has a ton of bracelets, cuff links, etc. for men under $40 on Amazon.  $35.00 $30 Amazon.com

See Lovers section also

  

 

 

KIDS

SAVE THE CHILDREN

The Sharper Image® Digital Coin Counting Robot Bank helps kids appreciate the concept of saving. This talking, animated robot keeps track of every coin the kid saves on an easy to read display screen—and announces the totals.  $30  bedbathandbeyond.com

BUDDING ARTISTE

Art Start Youth Art Set—80 pieces in sleek nylon carrying case, which can be personalized.  $22 walmart.com

DROOLING SUPERHERO

Infant bodysuit creeper emblazoned with a famous Star Wars line: I’m Luke Skywalker, I’m Here To Rescue You. In sizes newborn to 18 months, five colors.  $20 $10 RiverstoneGoods.com

 SLIP SLIDING

Animal Paws Slippers provide cozy comfort with fleece lining and soft cotton-terry upper.  $19 llbean.com

GLOWING AND BLOWING

Life Gear Glow Stick with Whistle runs up to 200 hours and easily fits in backpack, purse or glove compartment. Ready, if the kid needs a light or a loud whistle to get attention. Unit includes emergency flasher. At this price you can get one for yourself and all the kids in the glee club!  $6  rei.com 

POSITIVE THINKING

In Unstoppable Me! 10 Ways to Soar Through Life, motivational speaker Dr. Wayne Dyer espouses “no-limit” thinking for kids. He teaches, in ten lessons, that if kids  learn to truly enjoy life, they become unstoppable as they work toward their dreams.  $11 amazon.com

 BABY CROONER

Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes introduces baby to kiddy versions of seven classical music pieces. Music appreciation and auditory development in one. This take-a-long tool keeps baby’s attention with animated color lights on the screen synced to the music. $22 target.com                                            

Product ImageHALF-PINT TKO’S

The Kids Authority Children Boxing set includes the punching bag, gloves and an adjustable stand. $33 amazon.com

THEY’RE OUT THERE

Whether your kid believes or not, the kid might love the Remote Control Flying Saucer. The ship flies up to 75 feet and hover like the movie versions, complete with UFO light effects. Comes with rechargeable base. $25 sharperimage.com

TODDLING POLARS 

The Arizona Toddler Boy Print Polar Fleece is light, but warm with deep pockets; made of washable polyester.  $15 $7 jcp.com

 PRETTY BABY GIRL Marmellata Newborn Girl's Dot Cardigan Dress

 How adorable will the baby (up to 9 months) look in this  faux-silk Marmellata Newborn Dot Cardigan Dress? She’ll look regal in its gathered full skirt and accent bow. Don’t worry, it’s washable. $35 $25 jcp.com  

 BIG GIRL SWINGBonnie Jean™ Dot Print Eylet Emma Dress

Big sis can arrive in style, too — with the Dot Print Eylet Emma Dress. This dress has a skirt meant to swing and sway, which she’ll love! And the crinoline underskirt will cement her big girl status.   $50  $30 jcp.com

  

LOVERS

LOVE AND COFFEE

This 16 oz. red, ceramic mug reminds them of your love as they drink their morning java. Personalize it with both of your names and one of three verses, such as “Love is patient, love is kind, love never ends” incorporated into a whimsical heart.  $22  personalizationmall.com

MASKED (WO)MAN

Give the Chris Notti Silk Eye mask because you know your sweety needs to get some sleep. Use it as a sensual blindfold for when they don’t. These beautiful silk masks come padded with 100% natural, unbleached cotton. $20 soabsolutelyfabulous.com

HAPPY BUDDHA

What’s better than a gift that both can partake in? The Cosmo Kama Sutra: 77 Mind-Blowing Sex Positions. The steamy illustrations, alone, in this tomb might get them in the mood. $15 barnesandnoble.com

Travel with a little romance - INTIMATE4PLAY card game for couples

INTIMATE4PLAY

TomKat Productions’ focus: “to inspire and enhance communication through our books and games.” With Intimate 4Play, a topically divided set of cards, couples gain a greater understanding of one another—body, mind and soul. The players choose the categories that fit their comfort, relationship or adventurous level. $15 tomkatproductions

MANUAL LINKS

For the car enthusiast or wistful wisher: the Six-Speed Sport CAR Manual Stick Shifter Cufflinks. The Rhodium-plated set comes with a carrying bag, in a gift box.  $29 amazon.com

 PROSPECTING

It’s not Tiffany, but she’ll still love this 18k gold over sterling silver Opal and Diamond accent bracelet. The multi-colored lab-created opals include three white and pink; and two blue and green, amidst one round diamond, creating a sparkling, attention-grabbing masterpiece.  $25 overstock.com

 HAPPYNESS DEUCE

The Chinese character for Double Happiness is said to ensure joy and togetherness. It graces these sterling silver cuff links. $50 $40 redenvelope.com

DESIGNER CHOCOLATE

Design your own chocolate bars with Belgium fair trade, organic Chocri Chocolate Bars. With 10 billion possible combinations of ingredients — many of them organic — you should be able to come up with a mix that fits the recipient. Buy 5, get 1 free.  Keep at the $40 limit and get one for yourself!  And as a bonus, each sale benefits the DIV Kinder organization, which supports children from the Ivory Coast. $8 and up createmychocolate.com 

KEY FROM YOUR HEART

You’ve never had a love like this, right? So, give them shelf pillows—book ends like no others. Use the fabric Key To My Heart Shelf Pillows as bookends or a shelf display. The key image and wording are printed with permanent ink. The rice filling provides bulk and weight. $22 etsy.com

 

  

MEN’S CLOTHING

DRESS HIM UP/DRESS HIM DOWN

If you need something for men folk, Penney’s offers a selection of dress shirts for $25 and under; fleece hoodies for $22. All washable. $22-25 jcp.com

Sears has US Polo Assn Men’s long sleeve V-neck sweaters (windowpane and plain) for $20-22; several Covington sweaters (i.e. mock turtleneck) for $10; and fleece pullovers for $20. All washable. $10-22 Sears.com

LL Bean’s Men’s Signature Cord Chinos, woven from premium 100% pima super soft cotton in natural fit. Machine Washable! Several other chino styles available under $30. $25 llbean.com

Or try the Wrinkle Free Casual, Classic Fit Chino Pants over at Eddie Bauer’s and (usually) get a free gift with purchase. Voila, another present! And if you need two pairs, you pay even less: $5 off. In cotton, wrinkle-resistant and washable 6 colors. $40 EddieBauer.com

  

  

NOSTALGIC

REALLY LONG PLAY

Do they remember long play (LP”s) records? If so, these retro record coasters might take them back every time they have a drink. Manufactured out of labels cut from actual LP’s, and sealed so that moisture doesn’t seem through, these coasters come in a package of six. The company also offers LP bowls and clocks for $30 and under.  $18 uncommongoods.com

PICTURE MUSIC

“The main thing a musician would like to do is to give a picture to the listener of the many wonderful things he knows of and senses in the universe.” ~ John Coltrane.  Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme” LP might be the best of Coltrane, and that’s saying a lot. He considered it his gift to a higher power. If they love Coltrane (and his fans love him) or like layered, innovative, deeply emotional, and spiritual music, then this is the LP for them. And if they’re less nostalgic, it’s available on CD on Amazon. $18 urbanoutfitters.com

STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER

Give them 50 minutes of memories. The Beatles Abbey Road LP will be a hit with most Beatle fans—unless they already have it. Some see this LP, the last one the group recorded, as the seminal Beatle album. The ex-groupie will surely love the original artwork on the LP cover.  $19 urbanoutfitters.com (see earlier picture)

THRILLING MEMORIES

Even if it hadn’t been noted at the biggest selling album, any Michael Jackson fan will appreciate this 25th anniversary Thriller LP—especially as an LP. It includes remixes from other artists and a previously unreleased song. $24 urbanoutfitters.com

Although, all of these LP’s are probably available as CDs, that is not hardly nostalgic. So, you ask, what are they supposed to play these ancient, vinyl musical discs on? Well, it’s not $40, but you can find the USB turntable starting at $70. Perhaps two or three of you could go in together and get them an LP or two and this turntable. The USB connection allows transfer of music from vinyl LP’s directly onto a CD or MP3. And if they have a whole collection of now useless vinyl, they’ll probably put you in their will for this gift. (Available at retailers such as Best Buy, Sears, Amazon, Target, Staples, Brookstone, etc.)

DARTH’S SON SPEAKS

Your Star Wars fan will love this long sleeve t-shirt proclaiming: I’m Luke Skywalker, I’m Here To Rescue You. In sizes small to XXL and five colors. $30 $20 – $23 RiverstoneGoods.com

SWEET NOSTALGIA

Their dentist might not approve, but childhood memories will flood back with the Nostalgic Candy Gift Basket: Bazooka Bubblegum, Blo Pops, Gobstoppers, Mike & Ikes, Nerds, jawbreakers, Pez and Pixy Stix. $30 gourmetgifts.com

KEEP ON TRUCKING

Product Image Snow Cone MakerTry on a trucker’s hat with “Love” intertwined within the peace symbol. The Peace and Love mesh hats come in 11 colors. $21 zazzle.com (less if you buy in bulk)

COOL SUMMERTIME FUN

Do they remember the precursor to slushies? A snow cone maker that can sit on their counter could be a winner. The unit, styled after the old school carnival types, shaves and readies the ice cubes for the colored flavors. $40 target.com

  

  

OUTDOORS

  

BREEZY BLOCKER

Do they love the outdoors? The water-repellent, wind resistant Original Windfoil® Jacket from Eddie Bauer will be a welcome addition. It comes in lightweight, breathable nylon—easy for packing—and six colors for both men and women. $40 EDDIEBAUER.COM or try the RipPac™ Jacket

SOLAR FLARES

If they’re into camping and hiking, why not make sure they have something to spot all the critters in the dark? The Sol Jus Solar Charger/Flashlight can be charged with the solar panels. The panels fold open to draw in sunlight and provides 15-35 hours of light. Its USB connector gives a charge all USB enabled electronic devises.  $35 llbean.com  

PICNICING LUXURY

Just because they’re eating outside, doesn’t mean they can’t do it in style. Give them this set of stainless steel wine glasses. Snap in bases make these easy to pack. $13 rei.com  

WOOLY NIGHTS

Given the blast the Northeast has been getting, wool underwear isn’t just for winter camping and hiking. Whether she likes camping or simply keeping the thermostat low, LL Bean’s double layer, cotton, wool, nylon blend pants will keep her toasty. The soft lining ensures no itching. The matching crew neck top does the same without adding bulk. $25/each LLBean.com (men’s and additional women’s selections also available)  

MINTY FRESH MORNINGS

If they’re not really the certified rugged outdoor-type, they’ll appreciate the REI Ultimate Shower Kit. It’s big, with enough compartments to fit just about every toiletry they might need. Kit includes a mirror with alternate positioning. Made of puncture, tear and scuff resistant nylon.  $30 rei.com      

FLEXIBLE WARMTH

If she needs the flexibility of free fingers, but doesn’t want to freeze, give her the Cooperative Jacquard Convertible Gloves. Made of pretty, soft knit material, these fingerless gloves, similar to the ones used by Nepal mountain guides, have a fold-over mitten covering that can be pushed off when she needs dexterity. And, they have faux fur lining for extra style. $24 urbanoutfitters.com

   

  

PETITE GIFTS  

STYLING OIL

Many more people use olive oil lately, and who wouldn’t love to have a lovely glass cruet to display? The Chef’s Planet 5 oz cruet has a long, curved spout for easy pouring.  It also makes small portions easily accessible for cooking. $13 Target.com http://tinyurl.com/24enytz or $11 Amazon.com (Amazon also has an 8 oz version for $12)

SALTING THE HOPS

This Trio offers pumpkin, chili lime and cinnamon seasonings to rim the beer of your choice or go with their suggestions for each. $8 crateandbarrel.com

 88 BOTTLES

NFL Bottle Opener Key Rings – they have keys, they’re a fan and they have many bottles to open. $4 mens-gifts.com 

DESIGNER CHOCOLATE

Design your own chocolate bars with fair trade, organic Chocri Chocolate Bars. Given the 10 billion possible combinations of ingredients — many of them organic — you’ll find a mix that fits the recipient. And as a bonus, each sale benefits the DIV Kinder organization, which supports children from the Ivory Coast. $8 and up createmychocolate.com    http://www.createmychocolate.com/div-kinder/ 

GRATE AND SMALL

At this sale price, you could get them one for each vegetable. These graters, with catcher handles, are slightly akin to Pediegg, only larger with interchangeable blades. The best part? You can grate and then store until ready to use or if there’s extra. $6 surlatable.com 

  

   

QUINTESSENTIAL 

ACCESSORIZED NUMISMATICS

For the collector–the Barber Quarter Necklace with Crystal Accents features a genuine Barber Quarter (minted between 1892 and 1915) encircled in a gold bezel with four crystal accents on a 24” gold-tone rope chain. Authenticity certificate included. $30 sportsmanguide.com   

SECRET GARDENER

Whether a weekender or the consummate, they will appreciate the Gardener’s Seat. With its 21 pockets and generous interior, it will keep their tools neatly organized and handy; and best of all it will save their knees since they get to sit and whack the weeds or plant the poppy. And if the task requires standing, the bag detaches and has two carry handles. $28 uncommongoods.com  

MENU ACCESSORIES

You’ve seen them at the dimly lit restaurants, so help a baby boomer out. Foster Grant LightSpecs’ magnified lenses help them see the fine print and two powerful LED lights on the frames brighten up the situation. Since it’s hands free, the specs are good for other tasks as well. You can find them at CVS, Walgreens and Barnes & Noble. $25 www.fostergrant.com (see picture under Seniors)

SHAKEN, NOT…

The stainless steel Oggi Dial-A-Drink Cocktail Shaker will make them look like an expert. The fifteen dial-up recipes include cosmopolitans, kamikazes, daiquiris, and pina coladas. $40 $25 amazon.com

  

  

RELAXING 

WHAT A RELIEF

Let them relax and breathe in the all-natural, therapeutic aroma (i.e. lavender) of the Spa-Therapy Stress Relief Kit. Once they immerse themselves in the aromatherapy bath salt, herbal and exfoliating soap, and massage oil, you’ll be a hero. $17 amazon.com

AFTERNOON DELIGHTS 

After a hectic day, or just because, they can breathe and enjoy Crabtree & Evelyn’s afternoon tea set. Includes butter orange biscuits, strawberry preserve, and a Kenyan/Sri Lankan tea blend. $22 crabtree-evelyn.com

PEACEFUL NOISE

Joan Borysenko’s Inner Peace for Busy People: Music To Relax and Renew offers a collection of specially selected transformational music to help listeners de-stress. She and co-creator, Don Campbell, note: “Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart and the many others on this album have given us a magical pathway to open air, placid lakes and memories of the Great Spirit that shifts, heals, and lifts…” $14 hayhouse.com Product Image HoMedics Illuminated Rock Garden

ROCK OF AGES

Relieve their stress with the Homedics Illuminated Rock Garden relaxation fountain. Whether while working, or actively relaxing, the rushing water over polished river rocks soothes even the most frayed  edges. Special lighting illuminates the tabletop fountain. $20 target.com  

FOOTLOOSE

Whether they stand all day or wear corn-inducing footwear, they will appreciate the Therapist Select® Shiatsu Foot Massager, which features two rotating heads for an invigorating foot massage foot, with optional heat. Toe-touch controls make the experience even better. $40 homedics.com 

CLEOPATRA’S SECRET

Just the thought of a honey infused bath could cause relaxation. Laura Mercier’s Honey Bath, a foaming honey moisture bath, has all natural, moisturizing ingredients and rich, lingering fragrance. Honey Bath comes in three rich fragrances and includes a wooden honey dipper. $40 lauramercier.com  

 

  

  

SENIORS

ANTIDOTE: FRIGHTFUL WINTER

The Camel-colored winter throw will fit in with just about every décor, and the luxurious 60” x 50” fleece will warm up even the most anemic. It comes folded and all wrapped up in a colorful ribbon and a lovely bow. Best of all—it’s machine washable! $19.95 $9.97 barnesandnoble.com (see earlier picture of same)

SOUP KITCHEN

Most seniors will appreciate the Create-Your-Own Soup Sampler. Choose a 4 mix, easy to make assortment, and based on international, artisan-style recipes. The soups will be great for the next few months of chilling weather. And, if your senior is like my Grandma, they’ll still love them in the warm weather.  $24 harryanddavid.com  

Bamboo grow box - Organic Basil

Bamboo Grow Box - Organic Basil

INSIDE THE BOX

Give your seniors fresh organic oregano, basil and parsley right from their kitchen counters. With the Bamboo Grow Box, they grow these beneficially healthful herbs in a beautiful, durable bamboo pot made from all-natural materials. $20 Worldofgreen.com

SECRET GARDENER

If gardening is part of retirement, your senior might appreciate the Gardener’s Seat. With its 21 pockets and generous interior, it will keep their tools neatly organized and handy. Best of all it will save their knees since they get to sit and whack the weeds or plant the poppy. And if the task requires standing, the bag detaches and has two carry handles. $28 uncommongoods.com (see earlier picture of same) 

BRAGGING RIGHTS

Grandparents often love to brag about their grandchildren. Return the favor with the “Our Hearts Belong To…” coffee mug. The mug can also list the grandchildren’s names. $13 personalcreations.com

LOVE THOSE FOSTER GRANTS!

 These Foster Grant LightSpecs solve two problems at the same time: magnified lenses for near-vision tasks and powerful LED lights when you need to see things in a brighter light. The LED lights are integrated into the frame, keeping your hands free. You can find them at CVS, Walgreens and Barnes & Noble. www.fostergrant.com

MUSTARD SEEDSOur Mustard Collection

If they love mustard, they’ll love these three delicious varieties: Blue Cheese Herb Mustard, Horseradish Mustard, Wasabi Mustard, and Roasted Garlic Mustard. Heck, if they love flavor on their sandwiches, they’ll love these! And Dr. Oz will approve. $20 stonewallkitchen.com  

BLAST FROM THE PAST

Give your parents the Grandparent Journal. They may be reluctant to talk to you about their past, but maybe they’ll write it down and leave it to you in the will. What a gift for your children! $28 uncommongoods.com   

  

  

SPIRITUAL

  

GOLDEN MEDITATION

Of course that plastic rosary will serve the purpose, but wouldn’t they love this 24”, 14K Gold Filled Rosary Necklace w/Cross Pendant? Price: $70  $37 amazon.com Or, try the Gold Plated black crystal beads Double Cap Rosary necklace crucifix. $15 amazon.com    Mens Cross Ring Ichthys Christian Fish Sterling Silver , 10

FISHER OF MEN

Someone who likes to exhibit their faith will love the Men’s Sterling Silver Christian Fish Cross Ring. The Christian fish appear on both sides of the ring, with a cross in the center. $28 Amazon marketplace   

Med Round Mango Organic ChimesMEDITATING TO THE CHIMES

Not only do the Mango Organic Chimes, medium round and uncut capiz shells, soothe with sound, they also sparkle in the light. $22.00 Worldofgreen.com 

  

  

  

SUSTAINABLE

GOODWILL DECANTING

This cooperative uses glass from recycled bottles to produce the Fair Trade Winds Hand blown Recycled Glass Flow Decanter. Wine connoisseurs will value the benefits of its graceful, hand blown shape.  $40 worldofgood.ebay.com

SWEET ECO KARMA

Good Karmal Classic Gift Box – these melt-in-your-mouth caramels come in unique flavors like Chocolate Sea Salt, Pomegranate, Espresso, and Chipotle. Give all vanilla or assorted flavors in a keepsake box hand-woven from a renewable Pandan tree leaf. Each piece is wrapped with a “fortune.” All packaged in recycled cardboard. Every purchase directly supports environmental charities. $10 goodkarmal.com 

WICKER WONDERS

Consider fair wind trade wicker baskets from developing countries.  Reshape many of these unique baskets by wetting them with water and then “massaging the basket” back into shape. All 100% Recycled and bio-degradable. $40-$50 at Macy’s; fair trades sites $17-$80 http://www.globalexchangestore.org/ 

COMPOST INTERIORS

It resembles a white fire hydrant, but still provides an attractive one gallon container on the kitchen counter to hold food scrapes for their garden or compost pile. Complete with an odor filter and Ceramic Compost Pail $40 $20 surlatable.com   A stainless steel version also available for $30

PRETTY AND SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS

For the distinctive and/or socially conscious woman: capiz & filigree earrings featuring wire filigree scrolls across blue-dyed translucent capiz clam shell disks. Handcrafted earrings from Saffy Handicrafts in the Philippines – Social Action for Filipino Youth. Saffy Handicrafts was founded to create alternative sources of livelihood for impoverished women and youth in Manila. $16 (matching necklace is $20) worldofgood.ebay.com  (see earlier picture of same)

  

TEENS

EDWARD VS. JACOB

You will have to know if they’re in the wolf or vampire camp, or just a Bella wannabe, but any female fan of Stephanie Meyers’ Twilight series can appreciate the Twilight Jewelry Box. Made of Pewter, the square box features an image from one of the movies on the lift-off, filigree outlined lid. Sure to be a collectible item for the avid fan. $39 amazon.com  

SMART COVERS

Whether it’s the iPod or iPhone, the teenager in your life likely has one. Apples Inkjet Printable Skins protect their devices from the environment and them. $30 amazon.com  

HEAD BANGING

Teens seem to love the Skullcandy Hesh Headphones for the loud bass and the cool factor. Parents will love that they don’t have to hear the…err, music. Amazon has several Skullcandy selections at same price point and ear buds for even less ($11). $32 amazon.com  

SAMPLING LUXURY

For your teen who understands the power of pamper, the La Source gift box will be a favorite. It’s filled with luxurious samples to nourish body and soul. $15 CRABTREE-EVELYN.COM  

BABY BUTT-LIKE

They want to shave whether you think they need it or not. Might as well get them a good one. The Norelco 3-head electric razor is cordless, rechargeable with an ergonomic design. And it comes with a cover, cleaning brush and adapter they’ll probably never use.  $40 target.com

DOOR FITNESS

Your teen can buff up, trim down or get heart healthy with the Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar. The steel bar easily attaches to a door frame without tools or screws. $30 target.com     

Personal Popcorn Popper

PERSONAL POPPER

Teens like to have things to call their own. With the  Catamount Personal Popcorn Popper they won’t even realize it’s healthy. Buy your own inexpensive bags of popcorn, be innovative with seasonings, place in microwave (no oil necessary!); and have up to 12 cups of customized, tasty and healthy in under three minutes.    Plus, you can also serve it in the same glass container.  $17  stonewallkitchen.com http://www.stonewallkitchen.com/shop/seasonalitems/5003/578632.html  

MORE GOD THAN GOTH

The Black Stainless Steel Gridded Cross ring features two crosses, connecting by a silver strand, on both sides of the quarter-inch band. The black-plated stainless steel is stylish and edgy enough for almost any teen. They can also amuse their friends with the ring’s puzzle component.  $10 overstock.com

COOL COILS

Your teen will probably find these pearlescent spiral bracelets cool since they coil and conform to the arm. Multiple bracelets in one set, in pearl or bronze. $12  $3-$6 Pier One.com  14k Tri-color Gold Textured 'Semanario' Bangle (Set of 7)

POSHER BRACELETS

Just FYI overstock.com has tons of bracelets (gold/silver to gold/silver overlay), priced $15 to $40 and higher, like the 14k Tri-color Gold Textured ‘Semanario’ Bangle that supplies a bracelet for each day of the week (yellow gold, white rhodium, rose gold), frosted texture. $36.49 overstock.com

BEAUTY IN A BOX

Sixteen hand-crafted roses peek out from the clear lid of the Yellow Rose Friendship Box. A constant reminder of your special bond and a storage place for their cherished keepsakes. Engraving available. $30 redenvelope.com  (see earlier picture of same)

  

TECHNOLOGY

POLAR LOVE

Get them a Sol Jus Solar Charger/Flashlight that helps the environment. They can also use it to charge USB devices. Fold open the solar panels to soak up the sunlight for 15-35 hours of light, depending on usage. $35 llbean.com   (see earlier picture of same)

I SPY

If they dream of being a PI, the tiny, automatic Minox MX Subminiature camera provides the power and functionality of a full-sized model without compromise. Weighing in at less than two ounces, the camera includes a flash and other accessories—and it’s on sale while they last! $399.99 $20   amazon.com

WARMING UP

Coffee and tea drinkers like it hot. They’ll welcome adding a mug warmer to their desks. Brookstone promises that this mug/coffee cup warmer keeps hot beverages warm or hot, your choice, until the end. Works with 3 ½” diameter cups and mugs. $25 brookstone.com  

COVER ME

If they have a Garmin, why not cover them with the Garmin Leather GPS Case? It flips open for easy access in getting there. $ 29 $19 shoponlinebuyonline’ngo.com

WAKING TO WAVES

Water’s not only good for us, but can wake us on time, too. Set daily and hourly alarms with the Water Alarm Clock. Simple tap water, rather than toxic batteries or environmentally harmful electricity, runs this clock for at least eight months. Since it has an easy read digital face, it could be a great gift for seniors, too. And, don’t worry about having to reset the clock when changing the water. An internal memory chips retains the time. $35.00 uncommongoods.com   

  

  

UNIQUE/UNUSUAL 

SURVIVOR

They might not need advice on surviving the desert or winning a battle with an anaconda, but The Adventurer’s Handbook: From Surviving an Anaconda Attack to Finding Your Way Out of a Desert will provide plenty of suggestions of getting out of these or other dicey situations. This little book contains hair-raising and interesting tales from famous adventurers who survived the seemingly impossible. By the way, per the book, when you cross the desert wear lots of layers since fabric absorbs the sweat and keeps you cool. $10.00 on Amazon.com (also available for Kindle)  

Dog Owner’s Travel Survival Gear

If you know someone who loves their dogs as much as Oprah does, they’ll want their best friend to travel in style. Consider the nylon Dog Owner’s Travel Survival Gear, a bag with a main compartment large enough to hold plenty of goodies for the trip; including two side pockets for even more, and front and back zipper storage. Bonus: Embroider Fido’s name on it. $15 personalcreations.com

RATTLING AROUND

New parents will appreciate this Silver-plated Rattle in Rosewood Box. It rests on satin inside a rosewood-finished box. $25 gourmetgiftbaskets.com 

FISHER OF MEN

The Men’s Sterling Silver Christian Fish Cross Ring is an attractive and unusual gift for someone who likes to exhibit their faith. The Christian fish symbol appears on both sides of the ring, with a cross in the center. $28 Amazon marketplace (see earlier picture of same)  

CORKS OF STEEL

Your wine aficionados will appreciate the airtight seal of these stainless steel stoppers to help keep their wine fresh and free of oxidation. Much easier to insert and remove than corks. Set of two, with one engraved initial each. $34.95 red envelope. com (see earlier picture of same) 

ECO-BLING

Tumbleweed Bead Co and Liza Shtromberg create exquisite jewelry from recycled precious metals and conflict-free stones. No blood diamonds here, no exploited people, no environmental destruction. Simply lots of beautiful gemstones in one of a kind creations, such as the commanding amethyst and gold ring. They carry equally beautiful earrings, necklaces and bracelets. The Shromberg designs are a little pricier, but absolutely unique; but if you’re in the market for fine jewelry, certainly less than your mall jewelers. $36 TumblewoodBeadCo.com                                             If you, or your recipient, are Eco-minded check out the outfit behind the discount: http://www.ecostiletto.com/ – a free newsletter on all things eco. (Bargain hunters: they give away “Eco-swag” all of the time—sometimes even shoes!)

BUFFALO COWBOY

This cast brass buffalo nickel belt buckle is engraved with both sides of the buffalo nickel: a Native American chief visage and a buffalo. The buckle include dates and words found on the actual nickel. Decorative scrolls separate, and surround, the two halves. Each handcrafted buckle has a dark antique patina.  $20 sheplers.com 

  

  

VICES

NO TAILGATING ALLOWED

They won’t want to take these NFL team logo emblazoned glassware to the parking lot festivities, but will proudly pull them out for game days at home. In addition, you can monogram each deep etched glass piece with the recipient’s name. Choose a set from serving bowls, pitchers, old fashions, pilsner glasses, or beer mugs. $19 to $49 at PotteryBarn.com

CAFFEINE DESSERT

If they love coffee and chocolate, Frosty’s Favorite coffee from Snowy Mountain works for them. Other flavors and varieties available. $11 (1 lb) snowmountaincoffee.com  

SECRET GARDEN

Whether a weekender or the consummate, they will appreciate the Gardener’s Seat. With its 21 pockets and generous interior, it will keep their tools neatly organized and handy; and best of all it will save their knees since they get to sit and whack the weeds or plant the poppy. And if the task requires standing, the bag detaches and has two carry handles. $28 uncommongoods.com   (see earlier picture)

SINGING A SONG

Birdwatchers can entice gaggles of songbirds to partake of the bountiful wildflowers produced by the Songbird Habitat Scatter Garden. The garden, which covers 100+ square feet, will reward and delight your birder with droves of colorful birds. It comes packaged in recycled paper. $12 greennationgardens.com

  

WORK

OFFICE PLAY

Whether they use the Desktop Mini Ping-pong Game to de-stress or generate ideas, this tool gives them a new reason to clear their desktop. $ 12.00 flight001.com   

BROCADE BUSINESS

Help professionals network in style with this pretty brocade print case, available in several colors. Keep your cards safe and carry them in one of our stylish Brocade Card Holders. $10 Pier1.com

Lead With LUV: A Different Way to Create Real Success (It pays to put your people first) – Ken Blanchard and Colleen Barrett. Herb Kelleher, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Southwest Airlines, says he chose Colleen Barrett, sans any Ivy League business degrees, because “she knows how to love people to success.” In the book, Southwest’s President Barrett, together with Blanchard, author of many successful business books including “The One Minute Manager”, espouses on the techniques that keep Southwest wildly successful and profitable in earnings and satisfied employees. The book explains, and demonstrates, how leading with love leads to outstanding business success for all involved. $12 barnesandnoble.com 

WARMING UP

Coffee and tea drinkers hate it cold, and will welcome adding a mug warmer to their desks. Brookstone promises that this mug/coffee cup warmer keeps hot beverages warm or hot, your choice, until the end. Works with 3 ½” diameter cups and mugs. $25 brookstone.com  

TEST TUBE FLOWERS

Five 7” tall curved glass beakers in a distressed wood rack look beautiful with one flower, or more, in each vase or only in a selective few. They can have fun with the Laboratory Flower Vases and add some beauty and atmosphere to the cube. $24 urbanoutfitters.com 

  

  

Xtraordinary

Know someone who loves Napa or wishes they could indulge? Grant them a taste with these samplers. Offered by Napa Valley Vintners, a non-profit association that promotes the area, orders sometimes include free shipping and discounts with specified codes.

A Taste Adventure … Napa Valley Reds delivers six (6) 50 ml wine bottles of Napa Valley classic reds: cabernets, zinfandel, merlot and a red blend. $30 tastingroom.com                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           A Taste Adventure … Wine for Lovers – With this sampler, they’ll get six 50 ml romantic wines, two each of a rose, malbec and viognier. Includes a wine tasting menu.  $28  tastingroom.com       

  

NOUVEAU COOKS

For the person who would devour the Food Network and/or would love to whip up creations to awe their friends, consider cooking classes for LaSur Table. They offer classes in such disciplines as knife skills, artisan breads, noodles, pastries and desserts, and kitchen essentials, in several states. OK, so these cost more than $40, but two people could go in together and maintain the $40 and under, AND your recipient will have an unforgettable gift that keeps on giving. Surlatable.com

                                                             WILD ROSES

Neroli Rose natural skin care products “contain the finest ingredients that are organic, wild-crafted or ethically produced.” Their Go Green Holiday Gift Bag Luxury include two Shea butter (grapefruit and peppermint) creams and exfoliating soap (lavender)—all champions against dry skin and scented with therapeutic essential oils. $35 nerolirose.com

BEARING FRUIT

Give them a living gift in the Bonsai – Flowering Natal Plum, complete with an attractive rectangular, brown ceramic pot. The 6-8” plant blooms with fragrant, star-shaped white flowers and later bears dark red edible plum-shaped fruit. This fragrant beauty can be kept indoors. $40 EcoExpress Gifts   

  

YUMMY  

DESIGNER CHOC OLATE

Design your own chocolate bars with fair trade, organic Chocri Chocolate Bars. With 10 billion possible combinations of ingredients — many of them organic — you should be able to come up with a mix that fits the recipient. And as a bonus, each sale benefits the DIV Kinder organization, which supports children from the Ivory Coast. $8 and up createmychocolate.com  http://www.createmychocolate.com/div-kinder/ 

CELIAC CONFECTIONS

Harry and David’s offer three choices: a cookie assortment, a cookie and brownie assortment, but the brownie assortment could make the calorie counter indulge. Worried about calories? Tell them that the generous slices in the Harry and David Gluten-Free Brownie Assortment allow for cutting in half. Be warned: the irresistible flavor of Harry and David’s brownies make that difficult. They could even share them with others who aren’t gluten sensitive. And, no, you don’t get to try one out to check before you hand them over.  $25 harryanddavid.com  

AIR COFFEE

If someone likes dark roasted coffee, Pangaea Air Roasted Sumatra’s earthy and bold, yet smooth, flavor might delight them. It’s an Indonesian coffee. Think how well it will go with those Harry and David brownies. 12 oz $11 worldofgood.ebay.com 

MOONSHINE CAKE

Kentucky is known for bourbon, couple that with an age-old recipe that includes three types of aged Kentucky bourbon and you have a cake with presence. The recipient might not want to share the 50 ounce Kentucky Woods Bourbon Barrel Cake once they taste it. And,  don’t worry the booze, it cooks out; but the intense flavor remains. $27 atasteofkentucky.com  (see earlier picture of same)

CHEESY CLASSICS

This cheesecake sampler has sixteen slices of uncommon flavors for your cheesecake lover to try: Cookies & Cream, Peanut Butter Cup, Lemon Biscotti and Caramel Apple slices. Baked fresh and expressed to their door. $37.99 gourmetgiftbaskets.com  

 

  

ZEN

BALANCE IN A BAG

They can find balance, get centered, meditate, reflect, ward off evil or conjure abundance wherever they go with the Bag of Zen. They can carry around the organza bag discretely. It contains five gold-plated pewter items: an Om Coin, a Buddha, a gourd, a goldfish and a Buddha coin. A card details the use of each one. $15 uncommongoods.com 

PEACE TONES

What better way to start their day than with the Zenergy Desk Chime? Tapping the chimes with the mallet produces a beautiful tone that will reverberate throughout their day with mindful, focused energy. Also useful in their relaxation, mediation and healing work. $29 chopa.com  

ROCK OF AGES

Fountains never fail to relax. The Rock Garden Relaxation Fountain should help them create a peaceful frame of mind. The fountain includes special effects lighting and genuine rocks. $25  $20 amazon.com    

  

  

  

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© 2011 (text)
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3 Comments

Posted by on January 6, 2011 in Consumer, Economic, Tips, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 responses to “Gifts A to Z: IT’S ALWAYS THAT TIME OF THE YEAR

  1. kyle

    January 16, 2011 at 8:54 am

    sign me up

     
    • communjunkie

      January 20, 2011 at 4:59 pm

      I think you have to sign yourself up, as I’m signed in as owner when I’m on. will try.

       

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