You’ve waited until the last minute. The holidays are upon us. Stores are packed, and the idea of braving the mall is about as enticing as a visit to the dentist. Don’t worry, because we’ve got your gift list covered with top picks that will make everyone on your list happy you thought of them. If not, you can always check out sites online that specialize in custom made photo gifts (or caleçon visage personnalisé) if you’re looking for a last-minute gift.
For the Food and Wine Lover:
Fruit & Cheese Pairings They’ll Adore
Yeah, gift baskets are dorky. And usually not good. Especially the weird fake cheese that comes in them. Those…is not Harry & David. They have great fruit, and now they have great cheese, too. Why do we know this? Because we’ve been eating them for years.
Check out this totally awesome 6-month fruit and cheese pairing gift for less than $42/month:
- Royal Riviera Pears with Rogue Creamery Blue Cheese
- Cushman’s® HoneyBells and Aged White Cheddar Cheese
- Bosc Pears and New Moon Cheese
- Grapefruit and Rogue Creamery® TouVelle® Cheese
- Pineapple and SeaHive Cheese
- Strawberries, Devonshire Cream and Chocolate Dipping Sauce
Everyone loves chocolate. If not, they are zombies from another planet. Chocolate.com has something for every cacao aficionado, from truffles to bars, Marblehead Mints to single origin Ecuadorian bars with nibs – plan to share. A lot. Buy your dark chocolate fix here.
For the Wine Lover:
Giving the gift of a great bottle of wine doesn’t have to break the bank. Our favorite picks this year:
Halter Ranch Côtes de Paso 2011 ($32) is a Rhône-style red wine blend is sure to please just about any guest. Flavors of smoky violets and dark berries are present, and it pairs well with everything from aged parmesan and crusty French bread, to a duck breast with dried figs and cherries in a balsamic reduction. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a bottle at your local wine market, or get it online at HalterRanch.com.
2008 Laetitia Brut Coquard ($25) is a California 75/25 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, respectively, with flavors of lemon zest, macadamia nut and white flower. Lots of minerality and acid make it a super choice for pairing with food.
Berlucchi Franciacorta Brut ($34.99) will help you say cheers with its crisp and elegant straw-yellow sparkling wine. With apple and pear fragrances and a velvety texture, this wine displays lovely depth and a zesty acidity. A perfect match for all of your favorite holiday and celebration meals!
The Franciacorta Rosé ($34.99) is a perfectly pink rosé with elegant notes of wild berry-fruit, and subtle hints of yeast and crusty bread. Refined and elegant with great body, this sparkling wine is an outstanding treat to celebrate the season.
The Mom In Need of Some Pampering
If her work week is like ours (from career to kiddos, she’s on the run), she needs some feel good products this holiday to help her relax, get pampered, and rejuvenate. Our picks:
Founder Sara Kirsner draws inspiration from nature and also Japanese art and prints with her vintage kimono inspired robes. Doie Lounge only uses eco-friendly fabrics and materials (bamboo or modal jersey with 100% silk charmeuse for trim). The result is an extremely durable, touchably soft feel that you will want to put on the minute you’re out of bed or the shower. Doie Lounge robes are elegantly shirred in the back, with wide silk ties at the waist, and an inner tie that’s higher than most, keeping you ‘together’ in case of company, or children that need to be chased back to bed. Trust us when we tell you, these are a splurge every woman will love.
Colors range based upon season and availability. Purchase a Doie Lounge Luxury robe here.
For the rest of this year, you can buy a $100 Spa & Wellness e-Gift Card from Spa Week for only $79.99, or save 20% on all other denominations.
Spa Week’s Wellness Gift Cards are redeemable year-round at 8,000+ spas and wellness locations across the USA, and never expire. Although we’d recommend you don’t wait that long, you can buy as late as Christmas Eve, and print or e-mail them instantly to the recipient. After all of the stress from crazy relatives, traffic, cranky shoppers, cooking and more this holiday season, a hot stone massage is the one gift that everyone on your list needs. We really love Euro Day Spa in Winter Park, who’s currently offering 33% off a massage bought on SpaWeek.com. Add that with your Spa Week discount, and you’ve saved over 50%!
Wonderfully scented soy candles poured by hand into natural bamboo as a container, Cocobogo aims to represent harmony and tranquility in the home-something even super savvy work-at-home-mom’s can use a little more of in their busy, hectic lives! All candles are scented with essential oils and phthalate free fragrances that neutralize stale air, while being gentle enough not to overpower. Our favorite: the Haiku, scented like fresh, grassy bamboo, lotus blossom, and jasmine, it’s a soft, refreshingly sexy blend that belongs next to a hot bath, and perhaps a glass of bubbly.
Beautiful earthenware tumblers from South African artist, Diana Ferreira, are a perfectly elegant, modern way to enjoy a cup of tea or latte. Each piece is slip-cast by hand in black clay, and the outside left unglazed, offering a unique tactile, visual contrast between the matte exterior and the light glossy white interior. Truly beautiful, and lightweight in the hand, these tumblers are a work of art meant to be used.
No spa day is complete without a manicure. Start with Crabtree & Evelyn’s Pomegranate, Argan, and Grapeseed Hand Wash, follow with their exclusive Hand Recovery Scrub, dry thoroughly, and then apply polish and top coat. Colors we like best (shown here):
- Black Tulip
For extra soft hands, try their Intensive Moisture Hand Therapy Treatment. Winter scents are only $22 for 3 here.
Like caffeine, ginseng can help reduce capillaries and increase blood circulation in the skin. What does that mean? You can look more awake, alive, and refreshed with a little dab of the right product. We tried Ginseng Genie from Lilikoi Living, a peptide priming serum that firms, boosts radiance and preps the skin for makeup (think holiday party, people!), all without silicones, parabens, or other nasty stuff that many cosmetics contain. Although we didn’t have a chance to test if for long term wrinkle reduction, this primer definitely enhances your natural glow, smoothes pores, and natural mica powder diffuses imperfections. It’s lightly fragranced with 100% pure, natural essential oils and extracts (cucumber, lavender, passionflower, and lemongrass). Another feel good point – Lilikoi Living gives a portion of proceeds to girls+sports in developing countries, and their labels are tree-free. Alternatively, you can purchase peptides in a more concentrated form if this primer form is not ideal. Sites like Peptides Queen offer a vast range of peptides for various purposes.
For That Word-Hard-Play-Hard Guy in Your Life
For those that play hard: Get Him Some Great Gaming Gifts
Let’s be honest, most guys play video games nowadays. Whether it’s FIFA, GTA, or Call of Duty, they love them! This is why it would be a great idea to look for new games or gaming equipment that will love. Have they been going on about a new video game they want? Well, that’s a perfect oppotunity for you to get it for them. Or have they been moaning about having to game on the sofa? You can look for a gaming chair to improve their gaming experience. If you’re clueless about the best place to go, don’t worry because www.bestgamingchair.com ranks the best chairs so you can get them the best one for them.
For those that work hard: Get a Manly Man Shave for New Years
So maybe getting to the barbershop is a bit tough these days. Bring it home (sans straight razor, unless you’re really brave!) with these gifts for him that are sure to get that baby face ready for cocktails and black tie affairs.
For the guy that would rather smell like the outdoors than a bottle of musk, this refreshing scent combines zesty lemon, orange flower and vetiver, with spices like coriander, nutmeg, woodsy juniper, cedar and sandalwood. He’ll smell like the islands instead of the perfume counter. This rich-lathering, dermatologist-approved Shave Soap from Crabtree & Evelyn updates a barber’s classic with vitamin E and tropical citrus fragrance. Comes with a refillable teakwood bowl, and makes for a nice presentation when combined with a traditional shave brush.
Pair the classic shave soap with this sleek, ebony-coloured introduction to an Edwin Jagger-quality shave. Authentic hand-graded badger hair prepares the beard by softening and lifting each whisker, allowing for a smoother finish. If he’s eco-concious, you could always get him a plastic-free shaving brush instead!
Tucked inside this lime-green patterned box are four West Indian Lime favourites for invigoratingly scented skin and a velvety smooth shave. Contains minis of shave cream, after shave balm, body wash, and cologne. Today only, Crabtree & Evelyn is offering free shipping plus 20% off $50 or more, just use code GIFT13 to get the deal. So stock up, and make sure to get a little something for yourself this year!