This week we begin a regular column by design doyenne Carol Charny, whose eponymous store in Larchmont was a popular source of gifts and ideas for nearly a decade.
You want to give something unique, memorable and creative that lets The Special Ones feel where your heart is. It shows them "I know you", "I thought of you, I care about you".
The presentation is every bit as important as the gift itself. The most humble of offerings can be elevated to superior status merely by the time and effort spent making the presentation part of the gift.
In these earth sustainable times does it make sense to wrap, un-wrap, crumple and throw? Make the thematic presentation actually part of the gift. Satisfy the thrifty and practical, the nature loving environmentalist as well as those that appreciate the festive whimsy of the gift giving season. And so, some inspiration follows:
For the GARDENER IN YOUR LIFE:
Choose a container like a large size terracotta flower pot, or a window box or a watering can. Fill the container- gift box substitute with useful items such as bulbs ready for forcing or Spring planting, flower seeds, gardening tools, fertilizer, a protective sun hat, a gardening book etc. etc. Consider including a gift certificate to a garden center there are many, many other garden temptations too numerous to list here. You might even donate yourself as a personal "digging" facilitator to infuse the gift with life.
For the MUSIC PERSON WHO SWAYS, TAPS AND DANCES THROUGH LIFE:
Consider the following luxuries: Choose an iPod, XM Radio, Bose speakers and/or head phones, symphony, opera or Broadway tickets. (We do live in New York where all these things are available here, remember?) Make the gifts even more special by wrapping them in discontinued sheet music or old Playbills.
For the COOK WHO TASTES LIFE FULLY:
Decorate a Trader Joe’s Shopping bag or select a large colander and fill it with things cooking related, i.e. wooden spoons, a recipe for homemade pasta sauce or a special regional cookbook, a timer, spices or a pepper grinder, olive oil, infused vinegar, fresh pasta, a bottle of Chianti and candles. ‘Gift’ a home cooked dinner or a cooking class.
For the PAL WHO LIVES TO READ:
The Kindle or the Nook is “heaven on a screen” for those who take pleasure from a great story. To bridge the gap between the actual to the virtual book, wrap your Kindle in a colorful book jacket from an unwanted book and add a gift certificate to purchase their personal favorite read.
Try these creative solutions that save the earth while amplifying the gift: Use real ribbon on your gift so it can be reused: For the world TRAVELER wrap in a map
for the SPORTS ENTHUSIAST wrap in a Yankees hat or the sports section of The Times, for the GOURMAND wrap in a vintage menu or a favorite recipe, for the FASHIONISTA wrap in pages from an old Vogue magazine…you get the idea! Now set your brain to “create’’ and step on the gas!