December 7, 2016

Giving for the Holidays

My family has an interesting way of doing gifts at Christmas. We choose a letter, this year’s is D, and then we pick names. Everyone has to get something beginning with the chosen letter. Sometimes it’s pretty easy, like the year we had P, but D seems a bit harder. We also try and limit the amount you can spend, so you have to be creative in a number of ways.

I though I’d try and round up some fun suggestions under $50 you to consider. First of all, I love giving books as presents. I can usually find a book, new or old, that matches the recipient’s interests. This year, I love Julia Reed's South, her newest book. It’s funny with great recipes, and the photography is gorgeous.image

One thing that I like to do is give a gorgeous jar of small batch jam, preserves or mustard, along with a beautiful spoon or knife. It’s even better if you’ve made the jam yourself, but a high-quality, gourmet jar will do. Of course, I would have polished the spoon!image

Who doesn’t love a nice candle! There are plenty of great brands with the $50 range, and it’s all about what you’re looking for. Some of the classic brands like Diptyque and Jo Malone have small candles which aren’t too expensive, or you could go with Votivo, Nest, Thymes or even Williams-Sonoma candles. My perennial favourite is Thymes Frasier Fir. image

I love presents which I know the recipient would never give themselves, like some whimsey from Williams-Sonoma. One of the most fun ideas is a mini-blow torch! I’ve served crème brulee at dinner parties and then let everyone caramelize their own dessert. Who doesn’t love playing with fire at dinner?image

Ogden Nash once said, “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker” and there’s still truth to that. A box of great chocolates is always welcome. I like finding a great local chocolatier and then picking up a box. image

Or if you know what the recipient drinks, pick up a bottle. I guarantee that it will a welcome gift.

I’d love to hear your suggestions!


  1. You had me at "Jo Malone".... I love her Amber and Lavender scent! I just watched the most interesting (very long) interview with her on YouTube. Never knew so much about her before, but she's a really fascinating woman! Hope your holidays are just as wonderful as Jo Malone's stuff smells - and that's pretty darn awesome!

  2. last year a friend sponsored a guide dog puppy under my name and i get pics of training etc. i loved this gift

  3. Great roundup! We've been enjoying Charm City Chocolate on The Avenue in Hampden. Delicious. It's so nice to talk to the people who are making the candy and can answer questions.


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