Christmas is upon us. I know this because my friend Donna is on her annual pre-Christmas pilgrimage to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx today to buy all the delicacies necessary for her family’s Christmas Eve dinner. You can buy just about anything there. Lamb, goat, rabbit, fresh baked Olive or Prociutto Bread, imported Columbian Gorgonzola cheese to die for, handmade ravioli…see below
Being Italian/Catholic, Donna’s family does it up big, with the meal of the 7 Fishes and all. Sigh, now I need to go Google the significance of the 7 fishes…hang on…okay, looks like you can’t eat meat so you had to eat fish, and the reason for the 7 is not confirmed but it could relate to the 7 days of creation or possibly the number of Sacraments. Thank you, Wikipedia. Moving on…
Anyway, the trip to Arthur Avenue signals I have very little time to finish my gift shopping. Yes, that was a confession, I’m not done yet. Luckily I am down to just a few gift certificates and a quick trip to the liquor store and I will be done, but for those of you in a tighter bind, here are a few suggestions of some of my favorite gifts to give.
FOOD- Who doesn’t love a big basket packed full with tasty treats? And unlike the unattractive sweater that you have to wear or risk insulting the giver, food gifts can be easily eaten, donated, or re-gifted at one of the many holiday parties you’ll be attending. I personally like a theme. I’ve put together a ‘spicy’ basket with various fun hot sauces, chocolates I found online that contained hot pepper, and even beer made with chili peppers. Throw in an attractive bottle opener, perhaps a tree ornament or cute cocktail napkins or bowl and Viola! Fun, unique, done! With not much time left for shipping, you procrastinators will have to go to a local gourmet shop or beer importer and buy your basket purchases there.
BOOKS- I’m an author, of course I love books and bookstores are open late during this season and the larger chains even email you 30% off coupons if you sign up. Children on my list have gotten the Eloise books since I LOVE The Plaza Hotel in NY. My nieces have also received a fun book I found “Auntie Claus” about a child who finds out her aunt is Santa. For adults, cookbooks are fun. Amy’s Fork Me, Spoon Me Aphrodisiac cookbook is a great gift, wrapped up with a serving fork and spoon perhaps?
WINE – It’s no secret I buy wine by the name and the label. I’ve gifted wines by the name of Bitch, Fat Bastard, Il Bastardo, Menage e Trios, Old Fart, Seven Deadly Zins, Daddy’s Day Off, Mad Housewife, even Big House (with a sketch of a prison on the label for my lawyer friend)… you get the picture.
Use your imagination, connect it specifically to the person you’re giving it to and wrap it attractively, and even a last minute gift won’t look like it.
As I plot out my day and its errands, I wish you all a wonderful holiday.