Wednesday, December 16

Ultimate gift Guide 2009

It’s that time of year again: snow, carols, crowds and serious decisions. Online or in-store shopping, blue or white bow with the gold wrapping paper, gift cards or actual presents, the spirit starts to wane.

Gifts which are unique will be remembered long after the tinsel is gone and the latest gotta-have-it is tossed to the side. The annual round-up of gifts discovered throughout this year, whether by design, referral or accident, is even tastier than last year. The quality, uniqueness and ease to buy are some of the factors which are looked at carefully before the items make it on this list.

Stocking stuffers can be the favorite gifts this year, if you get the perfect little something tucked between the popcorn balls and candy canes. Finding the trinket to please the recipient, without breaking the piggy bank can be easier than imagined, just by shopping in a non-traditional place. For example, rather than merging with the hundreds of others in the mall, stop in at a local winery for your vino-loving friends and family.

“For stockings and inexpensive small gifts,” described Meredith Easley, Easley Winery, Indianapolis, “you can’t go wrong with wine charms, a charm tree for display or wine bottle stoppers.” Other gift ideas for the wine lover are vacuum sealers, customized wine labels and the deluxe wine-making kit, complete with one free wine class.

For the wine drinker who thinks he has everything, try scooping up some tasty treats from the West Coast. Sacramento Cookie Factory has thin wafer cookies to accent red and white wines. Mocha-Chocolate, Raspberry-Almond and Lemon-Vanilla rearrange taste buds for a distinctive approach to wine. These saucer-size wafers also can be used to create unique desserts.

The chocoholic isn’t forgotten if you remember to order some of Trunnel’s Farm Market’s home-made fudge. Located just outside of Owensboro, the KY Bourbon Chocolate flavor ranks No. 1 on this year’s fudge choice.

Have a sweet lover in the family, who isn’t crazy about chocolate? Try out the hand-made gourmet marshmallows in more than 45 flavors, including Chai Spice and Lemonade, from local Indiana Artisan company 240 Sweet. These fluffy creations are delicious by themselves, making hot chocolate optional.

If traditional shopping isn’t possible, but ordinary gift cards seem too impersonal, purchase a more customized card or membership, without leaving home. Available by telephone or online, gift cards are available for a family membership to the local children’s museum, zoo or even the neighborhood YMCA. Most theater and concert venues will accommodate holiday buying needs whether a single performance or a season subscription is in the budget.

With the economy tightening the Christmas-giving budget this year, creative approaches can be the successful key to a gift which will be remembered long after the egg nog and snow have disappeared.

Guide to Ultimate Gifts

California Wine Wafers
Easley Winery
Trunnell’s Farm Market

This post was originally published under "Gotta Go" in the West Side Community News in Indianapolis, and the West Indianapolis Community News.

No comments: