Holiday Gift Guide: What I’m Giving Family and Friends – and Colleagues!
There are many great gift guides out there that have provided much inspiration for me. When Jenny from Stuff-I-Love asked if I’d join her in sharing what I’m giving to family, friends (and colleagues) this Christmas, I was delighted. Gift-giving is one of my favorite things. And it’s actually a key part of my job…but like everyone else, the spotlight of the season can make me freeze up! At my stage in life, the old adage “it’s the thought that counts” is truly relevant. Most of the people I’m giving gifts to can purchase everything they want, so it’s really a matter of getting the things they just might not get around to.
So here are a few of the things I’ve come up with for this year – and also visit Wear And Back Again for Ally’s great list of personal gifts. I hope these gifts can inspire you in your quest to find presents for meaningful folks in your life.
Sister and Sister-in-LawI’d love to give this cookbook, Small Plates and Sweet Treats, to each of my cooking-inclined friends, but for now I’m settling for my sister and sister-in-law. Both will love it for different reasons: my sister is considering trying gluten free (this book happens to be gluten free – but that’s not what it’s all about, which is why I like it) and my sister-in-law loves to try new styles of cooking. This book is very California in the style – all seasonal and perfectly guides you through what you want to be eating during that period. The Winter section includes favorites such as roasted cauliflower & leek soup with dandelion green & hazelnut pesto; swiss chard, pear & gruyere tart; crispy & creamy chicken, mushroom & potato bake; and pistacio & vanilla bean shortbread cookies that are baking in my oven as I write this!
The Boss’ Boss and Boss
These are two of the folks I can’t outspend, so thoughtfulness comes into full play here. My boss’ boss loves wine. For real wine lovers (again, I’m not going to compete in the spending department) I find that wine with a story works really well. My friend Ross of Ross Andrew Winery makes my favorite wine. I always stock up on a few bottles this time of year to have on hand for special people and occasions.
Meanwhile my boss loves chocolate (like all living beings should) and I’ve created a tradition of giving a hot chocolate set each year. Early on, I’d give a home-made version using this incredible recipe along with homemade marshmallows…but I don’t have the time to do that anymore, so the amazing folks at San Francisco’s Recchiuti Confections take care of this with an order of their Dark Hot Chocolate along with an order of Vanilla Bean Marshmallows. Yummmm!
My assistant makes my world go around, which is why I want to get her something to help keep her happy…and relaxed during those busy times! Some people prefer massages, others facials (I am one of the latter), so I like to get her a certificate to a good place in our area where she can choose her own form of relaxing.
My mother-in-law is always on the go, so when she gets downtime, she really appreciates it. What better thing to relax in than cashmere?! Just the name of this item says it all to me – Cashmere Cocoon Cardigan.
Husband and Brother-in-Law
A few years ago I visited the store The Art of Shaving on a whim while at the mall. I thought shaving was shaving – slap on some cream, zip along and rinse, perhaps applying aftershave. Oh what a craft they introduced me to! I learned about oil to protect the skin, the right way to face the blade, how wonderful a badger hair brush feels…I’ve since discovered the English brand Truefitt & Hill. This year I’ve sprung for their 1805 Shave Cream and the Ultimate Comfort Pre-Shave Oil. Can’t wait to see how handsome they look!