10.25.2011

The Stockings Were Hung :: Gift Ideas

Two months from today we're going to be celebrating Christmas. As we're now looking at 8 weeks (give or take a few days) until C-Day, I'm planning out one post a week on Christmas related things, including:
  • Gift Ideas
  • Holiday Films
  • Stockings and Other Traditions
  • Favorite Recipes
  • Decking the Halls
  • Festive Music
  • Must-Read Christmas Books
  • and Non-Traditional Gifts
I hope you'll come back each week to check them out and share your own ideas in the comments. So hit "play" on your Holiday Favorite play list and let's get started, shall we?

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Whether you're the kind of person who starts shopping for next year at the after-Christmas sales, or you're the wild-eyed last minute shopper who is pushing a cart around Target at 9:57 on Christmas Eve wondering why you put it off so long, here are three gift ideas to help get things rolling:

1. First of all, you usually can't go wrong with food (as long as you know specifics about any allergies that your friend/family member might have). I know that people often give plates of cookies or loaves of bread to their co-workers and neighbors, but I'm talking about giving over-the-top food gifts to people that you would normally spend more money on (like family or close friends). EXAMPLE: This past week-end I was cruising around a local art show and stumbled upon a chocolatier who has a website and beyond-yummy chocolate offerings. Because they are local, I don't even have to pay for shipping as I can pick it up for the cost of gas (but they do ship, so check out their website). I'm already thinking about edible gifts for brothers and nephews who are super hard to buy for, but would love it if they unwrapped one of these amazing gourmet Chocolate-Covered Caramel Granny Smith Apples or a Chocolate Dipped Christmas Krispy!


2. A Basket of Warmth is another fun idea. Here's how it goes...get a basket (use a 50% off coupon from Michael's for an even better deal) and fill it with things that will help keep your intended recipient(s) warm all winter long: scarf, gloves/mittens, hat, blanket, travel mug, packets of hot chocolate/cider/tea, a pair of fluffy socks or some Wicked Good Slippers if you really want to splurge! I found what you see below at three of my favorite stores: Target (scarf, gloves, blanket, and socks), Kohls (travel mug), and LL Bean (hat, cocoa, and slippers), but you could easily put together a similar basket using items you can find at your local DollarTree! If you wrap each item individually, then all you really need is "one" gift - you could even do this as a family gift (i.e. four travel mugs, socks, and various hot drink mixes). The possibilities are endless!

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3. "Paris is always a good idea..." - Okay, so you can't afford to send a relative or friend to Paris for a week, but you can bring a bit of Paris to them. Start your gift with DVDs of both the classic Sabrina film and the newer (and better) 1995 version starring Harrison Ford and Julia Ormond. From there you can add a miniature Eiffel Tower (just like "Linus" requests in Sabrina), throw in a lavender sachet to tuck into their unmentionables drawer, a copy of My Life in France by Julia Child (and if you're feeling really generous, Mastering the Art of French Cooking: 2 Volume Set), and some really good brie and a baguette. I'm pretty sure this gift will garner a "Merci beaucoup!" from the recipient!

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There are, of course, variations on each of these gifts. and you can play around with the ideas and just have fun with them. I've always been a sucker for themed gifts and would be tickled to receive any of the above, but as much as I love to get thoughtful presents, I have even more fun giving a gift that I think someone will love. I hope these ideas will get your wheels turning and help you get a head start on Christmas 2011!

Do you have a memorable Christmas gift giving or getting experience? One that really stands out to you? What kind of gifts to you enjoy receiving? Do you like giving lots of smaller presents, or one really big one? Do you prefer homemade or store bought? I'd love to hear some of your ideas, so share away (and if you've written a blog post about a similar topic, please feel free to share it in the comments)!

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And you know, another super cute gift idea is a Basket of Tea Goodies, much like the one pictured below. Better still? Even if you don't drink tea, you could enter to WIN this basket by leaving a comment on >>>THIS POST<<< or "Liking" Busy Nothings Facebook page and leaving a SECOND COMMENT on the blog. Then you'd have a cute gift, already put together, for FREE! You just need to make sure you comment before Wednesday night (10/26), because that's when the giveaway ends. Okay? Good. See you there!

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