Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Here are my All Time Favorite Gifts, good for most ages and sizes and tastes:

Melt in Your Mouth Croissants If you know your breads, you know

that there are true, light, flaky, buttery croissants like they make in Paris, and there is everything else. These are of the former. For just $39.99 you can sent these to someone you want to invite you over for one, lol. They arrive frozen and you can pull out one or two the night before so they can thaw and rise, then pop in the oven for warm, golden perfection in the mouth. There are assorted flavors and even mini-croissants, great for parties and tea time with frie
nds. A few years after I'd sent these as gifts, Oprah added it to her first series of O Lists!

CLICK HERE or go to

An Old Fashioned Sled -- beautifully built, the real McCoy, for kids or the kid in you! My husband loved it! This sled can be bought through a variety of catalogues for about $149 but I go right to the maker. Right now it's on sale for under $100 (only $7 to ship!). There are many models, and you will yearn for them all. You can get the family/person's name wood burned in as well for a little extra. High quality, glossy wood, with durable, smooth plastic runners underneath make them work great. Make memories with this gift! VISIT Mountain Boy Sleds.

Fresh Cut Christmas Tree Candle --THE ABSOLUTE BEST, truest, just cut pine tree scent has finally been captured, and I know because I've searched for years. Leave it to THYMES to come up with it in their Frasier Fir line. They go fast, but make a perfect hostess gift, or are great for you to burn if you don't believe in a fresh tree,

or yours has lost it's pungent, just cut scent. 6 oz candles run about $25 but their spray air freshener is $18 (and you don't need much)! Votives are $12, and there are soaps, even potpourri (I can't speak for the scent or how much it lasts, as I've never tried that).
Go to the TYHMES Website. You may find slightly lower prices if you Google Thymes Fasier Fir and buy elsewhere.

PS: For someone who is sensitive to fragrances, they often are find with citrus or Eucaltptus scents. Thymes makes an amazing line of products --shampoo, bubble bath, body lotion, as well as candles and such. I love the Eucalyptus line -- light, clean, spiritual (and good for cold season).

If your friend can't stand a scent, go for true soy candles or beeswax candles which have the lightest honey scent and use wicks that burn clean (meaning no smoke or ashy scent).

Extraordinary Cutting Boards - Amazing quality for the price. Almost everyone can use them -- if not literally, then by hanging on the wall as art. Because they are wood and utilitarian they appeal to the most basic of tastes and yet they are crafted with such beauty, that the hoitiest of your toitiest will oooh and aah. TIP: Stock up - This is also a great wedding gift!

So smooth (you have to touch them to believe it), with rounded edges, these come in birds eye maple (to die for). S.P. will wrap these in tissue and their boxes with ribbon and include a little flier about the artist who makes them and their care. These will look great if they're kept pristine or beaten up by a carving knife. They are changing their style board now but you can still get the one pictured for $90 - or you may like the other style, in the $65-100 range.  I have several and guests rave over them. From Simon Pearce.

A Whole Smoked Turkey:
YUM! Every year my father sent each of us a spiral cut ham and a smoked turkey around the holidays. At a time when so much entertaining goes on, and so much family comes home, these come in so handy for ANYONE on your list (but a vegetarian/vegan). You can pull them out on a night you don't want to cook, take them to a potluck, dipslay them on your own party table and have sandwiches for the kids and visiting relatives for days.

I especially recommend the 10-12 lb. hickory smoked turkey for just $55.80 (right now get 10% off for ordering online). Scroll down the list to find it about mid way. Prices on this site for products are as low as $22. Do it soon as they get busy this time of year!

Go Green -- literally
You can buy a tree --or many trees-- for a dollar each in a person's name, and even choose the region of the country or the world that you'd like them to be planted (At times they offer places
you can plant them where they are trying to come back from a natural disaster). Your friends will receive a nice announcement about it too.
And you will get a charitable tax deduction, the planet will get oxygen producing air filters, the animals will get shade, a food source and shelter, and the soil will get nutrients and be secured by their roots. Pretty good for a dollar! Just press where it says is this a gift for someone. And you can play around on the site's menus before choosing what you want to do.

The Luxury Pen Mont Blanc is the Rolls Royce of pens and if you have a writer on your list,

or someone with first class tastes, this is an item that shows you know your stuff. The classic is the picture shown at right (called the Meisterstuck). Their pens come in many designs, price ranges and sizes and styles usually come as a ballpoint, rollerball, pencil lead or fountain pen (choose from 8 different nibs from fine point to wide). There should be a store in your town (often I see them at the airport!) but if not, you can find them online.

The BEST Popcorn Popper -- The original Whirley. I know, everyone microwaves now, but this is healthier, as quick and much more fun. Put a little olive oil in the pan with some popcorn (I use Orville Redenbachers, sold under the microwave kind at any grocery store). Close the lid. When you hear the first pop, hold the top (with oven mitt), and turn the crank. In about a minute, every single kernel will have popped and nothing burns! The smell is heavenly and the taste can't be beat. Have the bowl ready in case you pop too much! The barn door lid makes it easy to dump. Great for grown ups, college kids or getting the kids involved! Pick it up for only $19.99  at Bed Bath and Beyond.

 TIP: Don't forget to use those 20% off coupons that are in every magazine and Sunday paper for the store!

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