Monthly Archives: December 2014

A Guide To Gourmet Food Gifts

Giving Gourmet Food Gifts

People of all ages love to receive gourmet food gifts. Especially appropriate for Christmas, gourmet foods are one of the few gifts that you can count on to please the recipient. Everyone who receives a gourmet food gift basket or package feels special. Here is a guide to the most popular types of gourmet food gifts and what type of gift recipient they are perfect for.gourmet food gifts


Cheese is a great gift for the true “foodie”, or anyone who also enjoys wine. Gourmet cheeses are available from all over the world, but the very best specialty cheeses tend to come from France, Italy, England, Spain, Ireland and, of course, the United States. Whether you get someone a true cheddar from England or a wedge of genuine Brie from France, you are getting someone a very special gift that will surely be savored.

Gourmet Cheesecakeholiday_cheesecake

Cakes are nice, cheese is nice, but put these two things together and you have cheesecake! Cheesecake is a wonderful and special gift that’s especially nice to bring along to a party or dinner as a hostess gift. Many types of cheesecake are available, from decadently rich chocolate truffle cheesecake to cheesecakes swirled with candies, cookies, fruit and even biscotti.

Baked Goodsdreamstime_christmas_cookies

Cookies, cakes, pastry, pies, coffee cakes, anything that is baked, people love! If you have someone on your gift giving list who loves cookies, then get them a cookie bouquet.

There are also luxurious specialty cakes available online to buy. Some of the most popular cakes online are coffee cakes. Coffee cakes are especially wonderful gifts to give to a couple or a large family. There’s nothing better than a breakfast of coffee and a wedge of coffee cake on Christmas morning.


Who does not love to receive chocolates as a gift? Just about everyone LOVES chocolate, and there is a wide array of chocolates available online. From truffles topped with edible gold leaf and gold dust to silky smooth fudge to boxes of chocolates that are filled with exotic creams, nuts and fillings. Nothing pleases quite like chocolate.


tea basketDrinks are a surprisingly popular gift idea. From fine wines to flavored coffee to organic teas to rarely produced sodas, drinks are a thoughtful gift. Give a fine wine to go with some good imported cheese or give someone a case of their favorite soda that they haven’t been able to get for 20 years. Teas are also a nice gift for anyone who enjoys a healthier lifestyle or who simply enjoys a nice calming drink. There are many teas available, including lovely gift boxed varieties, fine imported teas from Japan and China, as well as organic teas, herbal teas and many flavored varieties of tea.

Fruits & Nutsholiday-fruit_nuts

Fruit as a gift has been around a long time, from the old pioneer days when people could not afford expensive gifts, they picked the bounty from their own orchard and gave that instead. Fruit is a fantastic gift for older people, anyone who enjoys healthier treats, as well as folks who can’t get certain types of fruit in their area. In addition, dried fruits and nuts are a great traditional gift for just about anyone who enjoys healthy snacks. Nuts are super healthy and are also a nice gift for anyone who enjoys baking.

Whether you choose a decadent and luxurious gourmet food gift or a more healthful treat, a gourmet food gift is one that won’t fail to please.

The Art of Thoughtful Gift Giving
Debra’s Gifts


Christmas Gift Basket Ideas

Give A Christmas Gift Basket

When its time to celebrate the season, a little creativity can help
with gift giving. Imagine how nice it is to get a Christmas gift basket after a hectic schedule of preparing Christmas dinner or hosting a party.


Christmas baskets are the perfect way to celebrate the season. There is no better gift during the holidays than an assortment of the season’s best. A basket brings together a variety of treats and gifts in a beautiful presentation. Sending a Christmas gift basket during the holiday season is a great way to show you care.  It can be the ideal gift for someone who lives far away.

Many people simply need cheering up during the holidays. A Christmas basket can be just what they need to make them feel special. When you add some signature items and unique decorations, your gift will be even more memorable!

holidaytraditionsWhen I was invited to a recent holiday party, I didn’t know what to take along for the hostess. I decided to make a Christmas basket to do something a little different. I picked out some gourmet food items, a few holiday toys for the kids, and decorated it with Christmas ornaments. She loved it and was overjoyed by the personal attention I gave her gift.

On another occasion, my neighbors were pleasantly surprised when my family and I sent over some holiday gift baskets filled with home made treats. It added a personal touch to the season instead of just buying a box of chocolates. I have realized that making your own Christmas baskets can be especially helpful in sharing the spirit of the holidays. Baking up some treats with the family can become a tradition in itself!


Most Christmas baskets are made up of gourmet chocolates, Christmas tree ornaments, nuts, snacks, and other treats. Finding a few unique or imported items is a great way to dress up a basket. It’s easy to be creative with holiday decor to put together the presentation.

I’ve sent custom gift baskets to the neighborhood retirement homes and senior centers, since the residents there often don’t have family close by. Sending a basket of goodies during the holidays is the perfect way to cheer someone up.  This can be especially valuable to people who are lonely during the holiday season, or those who do not have family members to share it with.


However you choose to give during the holiday season, consider the many options with either a hand made or a custom Christmas gift basket from any one of a number of gift basket companies.

Your gift recipient will be very pleased and grateful.

The Art of Thoughtful Gift Giving!

Debra’s Gifts

Wedding Gift Etiquette

Most adults know how much to spend on birthday gifts or Mother’s Day and Father’s Day gifts. And, most of us have a feel for what is appropriate for baby gifts. But, when it comes to a wedding gift, how much to spend may not be so easy to determine. We don’t want to spend so little that we look cheap, but we don’t want to spend more than we can afford just to compete with other guests.

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Wedding Gift Etiquette

With wedding gifts, how much to spend seems to be a question of etiquette. Few of us feel totally comfortable with the wedding gift etiquette rules. In other areas of life, society has moved away from such rules. Etiquette books are having less of a need on our bookshelves.

Happily though, etiquette books, or at least those who read them, have a place on the Internet. By researching those sites, you can get a better idea of how much to spend on wedding gifts. You will want to remember these points.

Negative Approach

Do NOT try to spend according to what your meal will cost. It is a common myth that etiquette’s “rule of thumb” is to estimate how much your meal might cost and spend that much on a gift. The current price range for a meal for a formal wedding is thought to be between $65 and $150 per person. If two of you will be attending together, you would double that amount. This is NOT true according to etiquette. Furthermore, a recent survey shows that only 10 percent of brides agree with that idea. If followed, it would mean that a couple choosing a casual affair would receive less expensive gifts simply because the reception was casual.

Positive Approach

My approach is to let your affection for the bride and groom guide you, but you should stay within your budget and be financially responsible when you buy a wedding gift. The giving of wedding gifts is not a competition. Your gift should reflect who you are and your relationship to the bride and groom. If you cannot afford to give as much as you would like, remember that the gift can be given within the first year after the wedding. Sooner is better, of course. but with that much time you may be able to save enough to purchase the wedding gift you would truly like to give.

US National Average Cost of Wedding Gifts

In the U.S., the national averages spent on wedding gifts fall into 3 categories. Each category is determined by the relationship of the guests to the bridal couple.

1. If buying for a co-worker or a distant family member, guests tend to spend $50-$75 each on a wedding gift.

2. Those attending the wedding of a relative or friend are likely to spend $75-$100 each on a wedding gift.

3. When a close relative or close friend gets married, the wedding gift will probably cost $100-$150 or more per each guest.

Personal Decision

With wedding gifts, how much to spend really is a personal decision. Guests may give whatever wedding gifts they choose. You should never be guided by how much you think the bride’s family will spend on the meal. You should not be guided by what others might give.

Shop for a wedding gift according to what you think the bride and groom will like, not according to the price tag.

If they have registered at a local store, check the registry. If you see an item you want to buy and can afford, don’t be turned away because it is the least expensive item on the registry.

Send Wedding Gifts and End the Competition

Wedding gift etiquette says wedding gifts are to be sent to the bride’s home. They are not to be delivered in person, either to the home or to the wedding location. If wedding gifts are delivered to the wedding location, the bride and groom should wait and open them at home in private.

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Finally, whether a wedding gift costs $5 or $5,000, a well-mannered bride and groom will accept it graciously and appreciate the thoughtfulness.

The Art of Thoughtful Gift Giving!
Debra’s Gifts

Architectural Elements Color

Personalized Gifts – A New Trend in Gift Giving

Giving personalized gifts is a new trend in gift giving, because they solve a difficult dilemma for many gift shoppers.

For example, what do you get the person who has everything? Or, what can you buy the person who is just hard to buy for, is very picky or doesn’t have many interests?  Unfortunately, those are a few questions that plague millions of Christmas gift buyers every year and can make the holiday gift buying season very stressful.

Do you aimlessly wander the local malls and aisles of department stores in search of an inspirational moment that will lead to the perfect gift? What do you get for someone who has a lot of money, does not really need anything, rather eclectic or has expensive hobbies you cannot possibly afford to support? What about the person who you do not know all that well, but whose invitation has left you feeling obligated to come with a gift in hand?

Many a time in the past, you have probably given in to giving a gift card. And you have succumbed to the promise of ease in gift giving by simply purchasing a little piece of plastic that entitles its bearer to purchase anything they like for the gift card amount.  Sure, when your card was opened you felt a pang of guilt and a moment of shame at your open capitulation and admission that you could not think of anything that the recipient of your gift card would have enjoyed. Fortunately, there is a way out of this dilemma!

Personalized Gifts Have Distinct Advantage

Personalized gifts are a new trend in gift giving and there are so many options from which to choose.  With just a little effort you can find something for even the most difficult gift recipients on your gift list.

Personalized gifts have a very distinct and unique advantage.  They combine the mundane with the extravagant.

For example, a towel is so ordinary, yet a towel with the recipient’s monogram or perhaps even name embroidered on it is a rare gift. Sure, not everyone will enjoy receiving a towel for his or her birthday, but let’s think about it a little further.  What about baby gifts! Did you know that a towel, blanket, and bib make for an okay gift, but have the child’s name embroidered on these same items, and now you have an automatic keepsake!

Golf balls are another good example. For the avid golfer in your family or circle of friends, a box of the best golf balls is still just a box of golf balls. But with his or her name or initials, and perhaps an anniversary date or retirement date engraved on them, suddenly this humble gift becomes one of thoughtful contemplation and a well wish all of their own!

The possibilities of personalized gifts truly are endless, and many a gift giver has already recognized the potential of this avenue. It is no wonder that these gifts are becoming so popular whether it be for holiday gifts, birthday gifts or any other gift giving occasion.

Happy Shopping!

The Art of Thoughtful Gift Giving
Debra’s Gifts

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Gift Ideas for Seniors

Coming up with great gift ideas for seniors really isn’t as hard as you may think. However, buying gifts for our older friends and relatives may get frustrating because we tend to think that by now older folks have everything they need and want. And while it’s true that they probably don’t need any more socks or handkerchiefs, coming up with senior gift ideas really is easy, if you’re willing to put some thought into the process.

Consider the Recipient

Just like any other gifts you purchase, thinking about the recipient really is key to coming up with senior gift ideas that are unique and will be appreciated. So start by considering the person’s age and gender. Right there, you’ve narrowed your choices considerably.

Next, consider how the individual likes to spend his or her time. Is she always tinkering around in the garden? Is he always up at the crack of dawn playing golf? Is the person always on the go, or does the person spend a lot of time at home, or does life consist of a little bit of both? Are suitable gift ideas coming to mind yet? If not, then take some time to consider more about the person’s lifestyle.

For example, if that person’s always on the go, does he or she travel, volunteer, dance, spend time with family, walk, bike, or all of the above? If the person spends a lot of time at home, what does he or she do to keep busy while there? Bake, watch television, read, figure out puzzles, play computer games? If you have to take notes, then go right ahead. Do whatever it takes to get your mind thinking about suitable gift ideas.

Use the Internet


Once you’ve answered a few of these questions, the perfect gift might immediately pop into your mind. If so, then all you’ve got left to do is get the gift, wrap it and deliver it. But, if you’re still having trouble coming up with gift ideas, consider turning to the Internet for help. Start by searching terms like “gift ideas for seniors, senior gift ideas, elderly gift ideas, gift ideas for the elderly, gifts for seniors, etc”.

Your search will come back with more results than you can possibly research. So pick a few websites and research those in greater detail. It will take a little time, but you will definitely find some suitable and great gift ideas for seniors on your gift list.

Happy Shopping!

The Art of Thoughtful Gift Giving
Debra’s Gifts

Online Holiday Shopping

Holiday shopping for family members and friends you will not be seeing this holiday season can pose a significant frustration for some shoppers. Here’s my solution. Why not bring a little elegance right to the door of those dear to you with online shopping? Online holiday shopping can be a rewarding experience.


Avoid Frustration with Online Holiday Shopping

Heavy traffic, car door dings, over crowded malls and the cold weather elements are just a few of the things you can easily avoid this holiday season. Also, you don’t have to roam the parking lot looking for a parking space, stand in long lines, and find the time to actually set out shopping or deal with grumpy people who don’t want to be shopping either. With online shopping there is no need to find a good parking spot, the traffic is generally friendly and when it comes to checking out, you’re always first in line. And most importantly, you don’t have to wrap the gift and get it to the post office or mailing service by a certain date.

Wouldn’t it be nice to avoid all the shopping headaches by shopping online? With just a few clicks of the mouse, you can easily shop for the perfect gift and have it sent directly to the recipient whether they live close by or all the way across the country. So, online shopping is my favorite method of shopping whenever possible.

There are so many online gift stores to choose from other than the big name sites and stores we are all familiar with. You can search the internet for websites that specialize in what you may be looking for. Or search the many gift websites to find that perfect gift. So many websites and so many choices! I’m sure you can find something for everyone on your gift shopping list.

An online specialty gift store provides many truly unique gift ideas. The admiration you have for the recipients of your gifts is far beyond ordinary, which is why you should never settle for less than the best.

As urban sprawl continues, online shopping becomes an even more important time saver. And for those who live in rural areas, online shopping has benefits because of its ability to bring world class and elegance to any address.

When you need a gift or many gifts try online shopping first, and you may find exactly what you’ve been looking for.

Happy Shopping!

The Art of Thoughtful Gift Giving
Debra’s Gifts