Monday, November 29, 2010

The Fairy Godmother’s 2010 Holiday Gift Guide

Yes, boys and girls! She’s baaaack! The Fairy Godmother is now in her third year on Hot Flashbacks, Cool Insights. She’s here to bonk you with her magic wand and sprinkle you with fairy dust. As always, she’s got new gift ideas for spirited giving. I hope you find a match between some of Mom’s ideas and your gift list.

Spa-La-La- La-La – If you’ve got women on your list that love to soak in the lap of luxury, go to the health food store or your favorite boutique and buy some natural bath products. Plantlife is one of Mom’s favorite brands. These carefully chosen items should smell so good, it’s hard not to keep them for yourself! Pack them in a little basket, or in the case of the Plantlife products, soap and bath packets are square. They can be stacked, wrapped in clear vinyl wrap, tied with a bow and a tag that says Spa-La-La-La-La.

The Merry Martini Mixology Book.  Here’s one good-time gift for Sex & the City type girlfriends—or for any guy or gal who likes their holiday cheer unique and fun. Even if you aren’t an expert mixologist, no worries! The Martini Diva will guide you through all the necessary steps, making you laugh out loud while making your martinis—not to mention the laughter to follow while drinking them. Click the book cover to purchase. And don’t forget, you can mix it up a little on New Year’s Eve. Save the champagne for midnight, sandwiched in-between a few fancy ‘tinis on either side. Don’t forget to drink in moderation and schedule a designated driver or call a cab when living spirited in the distilled spirits way. This small volume will jingle the bells of your friends who like to party!

Avatar, Collector’s Edition – With its metaphysical and ecological themes, Avatar is a natural for your spirited friends. I plan to see it over and over again! It just came out in DVD in mid-November and is available on Amazon for under $20 regular and $25 in Blu-ray. And if you want another one of Joyce’s punny tags to go with this Godmom suggestion, try Feliz Na’vi-dad!

Winter Wellness Basket – Sniffles, flu, the blah’s. Anticipate winter and bringing comfort to those you love who have a tendency to get under the weather when the thermometer plummets and the rain or snow sets in. Fill it with some of these helpful, natural products: Occillococcinum to avert or reduce the symptoms of flu; and for colds and building immunity, big bottle of Vitamin C or other great C- products like Emergen-C (comes in yummy flavors) or Airborne. Echinacea tincture is another immune booster. You can include bath salts for aches and pains (Batherapy) or Dr. Singha’s Mustard Bath. It knocks bugs on their bum! Any health food store or Whole Foods can utterly inspire this gift basket with natural products from lip balm to cough syrup to comforting medicinal teas. Rescue Remedy, which now comes in drops, pastilles, or spray, can fight the blahs and emotional heaviness that sometimes sets in with winter. For pure comfort, add a teddy bear, fluffy slippers, and or a lightweight fleece blanket that offers warmth without weight for sitting in front of the fire. If you want to go all-out, add a paperback book packed with humor. Laughter is always the best medicine!

Nostalgic Music and Dining – If there’s someone 60ish or older on your list, “era” music CDs are a can’t-go-wrong favorite. The soundtrack from American Graffiti is a great choice for baby boomers. There are countless collections on Amazon for music from nearly any era—30’s, 40s, 50’s or styles such as Big Band or Do Wop. Check your local PBS affiliate, too. There are often pledge drives that feature collections from these groups that are dynamite. Amazon carries some wonderful nostalgic Christmas music. Alternatively, if you’ve got a local Mel’s or similar ‘50s-themed diner, a gift certificate can let them blast to the past in person.

Kindle – If you can afford a big gift for your closest loved ones who are also avid readers, they will never stop thanking you for an e-reader. Did you know that Amazon predicts by year’s end that e-books will outsell paperbacks? Check out the three Kindle versions now available. The two smaller ones are $139 and $189. Tim and I are foregoing other gifts to give each other Kindles for Christmas. Check out other e-readers, too. I prefer Kindle for its light weight and several other features, but each person’s needs are unique.  Here’s a link to start comparing e-book readers.

Dressing Up Gift Cards

With times tough on the financial front for many people, gift cards are often the way to go. Many of us can’t go to Starbuck’s much any more, and I’m telling you, at the price of groceries, I’d jump up and down if someone gave me a card to one of my favorite markets. Restaurants are always a winner, but the problem with gift cards is that they seem a little uncreative and blah compared to a present that was carefully chosen. Gift cards could stand to be punched up a little, so here are some ideas our Fairy Godmom shared with me:

“Jungle Bells” – The Amazon’s a jungle, and there’s surely as much “wild life” when it comes to diversity of gifts on the website of the same name. If your recipients are web savvy, an Amazon gift card is a great choice because of Amazon’s many departments. Consider adding in a small stuffed “jungle” character like a monkey. The card can be taped or propped in the animal’s arms with a tag that says “Jungle Bells.”

Travel by Restaurant – In lasts year’s Fairy Godmother post, I talked about creating a “travel” gift by packaging an Outback Restaurant gift card as a trip to Australia. This same concept can be applied to any cuisine—a trip to Italy, Mexico, Greece—you name it! You can also apply this idea to gift baskets. Pack a basket with olive oil, pasta, the canned ingredients to make sauce, and your favorite recipe. Add a $10 gift card to a grocery store for meat, sausage or other fresh ingredients needed. Tag it as a trip to Italy and don’t forget to add “Merry Christmas” in the appropriate language (Buon Natale!).

Winter Reads – There’s nothing like curling up with a good book in the cold weather by the fire. Create a warm and cozy environment for your favorite bookworm. Package the card with some nice winter tea (the Celestial Seasons holiday line is superb) or cocoa. Place in a small basket or box with a bookmark or other reading paraphernalia, such as a pair of inexpensive reading glasses (if you can sneak a peak at their prescription), or my favorite reading tool, a leather book weight. It helps keep pages with a mind of their own flat and open. If you’re computer creative, you can even make your own bookmark with something special to the recipient, like a photo of grandkids or a favorite quote.

Between this year’s and the previous year’s Fairy Godmother’s posts, linked below, I hope you have plenty of ideas to make your holiday gift giving a delight to both giver and receiver. Spin off these suggestions and make them your own … and remember that the thoughtfulness behind your gift will shine through and keep giving long after the gift opening ritual is just a memory.

Happy Shopping—and Happy Holidays!


Photo Credit:  Granny Fairy © Regissercom |

Past Godmother Gift Posts:  The Fairy Godmother (2008) and The Fairy Godmother Wands You (2009)

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