29 November, 2006

Reader Requests: Holiday Gift Giving

I know. Twice in one day, right? Well pick yourself up from off the floor because if you read this morning you know I promised a second post today. Holiday gift giving is so difficult, and that is especially true when there are people you both need and want to buy for, but that you maybe don't know all that well. For instance, your children's teachers, your assistant (or your husband's assistant), the babysitter, the dogsitter, etc... So in light of these more challenging gifts to buy, a reader named Sarah B. emailed me with a great question.....

I loved the post you did about gift ideas (monogrammed book marks etc) but need some (more!) advice; I am looking for presents for people in my husband's office, his secretary, receptionist, doormen etc- any ideas? I don't know them well enough to know their monograms but would love to give them thoughtful Christmas presents as they do a great job all year long! I am looking for something along the same lines for the women in the office at his children's school... Are you planning a gift giving post soon- I am sure I will love all your ideas!

Well Sarah, now that the Fall holiday's are all out of the way, I'm ready to get shopping and buying those gifts. However, in terms of doing a gift giving post, while I do plan on continuing with my "Things I Love Today" posts of great finds (that will be more holiday and gift focused), I unfortunately am not planning a big gift giving post. Instead, all the "Things I Love" are and will be categorized under the Good Things category in the side bar. You will see me popping in with great gift ideas from time to time in the coming weeks though that will just be a post unto themselves so just stay tuned.

Okay. Now, your request is actually pretty difficult. A few generic but good ideas are always gift certificates, although to be honest, unless someone specifically requests a gift certificate from a specific store, I really don't give those because it's too impersonal to me. But that's just me. If you remember back to the reaader request about teachers gifts, we had quite a few teachers comment that they really love receiving the gift certificates so I would recommend taking their opinion to heart. But if you don't really know a lot of these people who you need to buy gifts for, such as the doorman, then a gift certificate is a good way to go. You can go the standard route of Starbucks or Target, or you can head over to Spa Finder and do a gift certificate from them or you can also do a nice gift certificate from Restaurant.com, Omaha Steaks (we've received several gift packages and every type of steak they offer and it's always been great quality, we've found), or even gift certificates to the movies. If you do the movie gift card, then you can package them up really cute with some candy and popcorn etc. in clear cellophane bags with loads of pretty ribbon at the top with the gift card tucked inside. Cute, right?! But another great gift is from Nostalgic Candy. At NC you'll find hundreds of retro candy (think wax lips, candy buttons, and bubble gim cigars just to name a few) and great gift packages that will reall take it's recipient for a stroll down memory lane. Also, I don't know if you have an establishment such as Super Suppers where you live, but that would be a GREAT gift card for teachers or secretary. I would really go look into that (that is such fun for a girls night out too, BTW!) but also look into other similar-type companies such as Dream Dinners or The Dinner A'Fare in case Super Suppers isn't available where you live.

If you want to give an actual gift, which, as you know, is my preference, then there are some great online shops that I really reccomend looking into. My latest favorite little online shop is Give Simple. I am actually dying for them to re-order these bags they sold out of but really look around there and I know something will appeal to you. A few more sites to look at : The Silken Thread which I've mentioned before and highly reccomend, In This Very Room, Hand Picked silver, Spoon Sisters, Layla Grace, Morgan & Company, Wrapables, Horchow, and the always reliable Red Envelope. I have also been a fan of Exposures Online for many many years, and they too, offer great creative and unique gift suggestions. Swoozies, an Atlanta based stationery and gift store, also has a few nice selections online (not very comprehensive though), such as these Double bottle Bags that you can have monogrammed and then put 2 nice bottles of wine in (perhaps a red and a white) for your recipient.

I hope a one or two of these sites or suggestions will appeal to you. Like I said, it's so difficult to pinpoint specific ideas when it's for people you don't really know all that well! Always remember that nice personalized stationery coupled together with a really beautiful and unique pen is a gift you can never go wrong with for a male or female as well. I also like the idea of doing custom Design-Her Gals recipe cards for your (female) recipient and giving those in conjunction with a great and fun cookbook. It really tells your recipient you were thinking about them. Good luck and let me know how it goes, and also if you have any more questions.


emma's pulse said...

Thank you so much for always sharing your fantastic sources...I always learn about new things when I read your posts! Hope you're feeling better today!

suburban prep said...

Such a wonderful array of sources.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I love your idea about giving a gift card for the meal prep places....I live in Sacramento and I give all my friends Dinner MyWay gift cards for Christmas!

TheBeautyBrains said...

Thanks, your list was very helpful. Any other beauty care ideas besides the Spafinder suggestion?

Thanks again and keep up the great blog!