Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My favorite Gifts to Give....

  • Oprah Winfrey has her yearly Top Favorite Things. It's the holiday show that sparks a frenzy! What made Oprah's list this year? Tune in today, Tuesday, November 20! On the show she tells viewers her list of favorite gifts to give for the holiday season. It is always one of my favorite shows. Of course, she gives away free stuff. What I wouldn't do to be able to attend one of those shows. I thought I would do a blog on my favorite things to give. Many of mine are personal, because I want people to know how special they are to me. I would rather try and come up with something personal than just buying something at the mall. Sadly in doing my favorite things list, I will not be giving anything away but you will find sites of where you can find the things. A bonus- mine are very affordable-because unfortunately I do not have Oprah's money....
  • Personalized stationary is one of my favorite gifts to give http://www.vistaprint.com/ has everything from note cards, letter head, stamps and address labels. I am especially fond of the caricature cards where you can customize the look of a person to go onto the stationary-even family pets can be included.
  • Joyful Tidings carries stationary and things such as towels with wonderful biblical versus on them. Great for the women in your life. http://www.joyful-tidings.com/page/page/1908241.htm
  • Tony Oddo of Roca Confections is a certified chocolatier. He knows his chocolate. Roca Confections has a multitude of HANDMADE quality chocolates in a variety of flavors for the sweet tooth on your gift list. Roca now makes cakes too-perfect for holiday parties or to take along to a gracious party host. Tony takes his time in perfecting the best quality chocolate, having his cocoa shipped into the US from France. His candy is sinfully good. Be sure and purchase a bag as a gift for yourself. You'll be glad you did!!!Roca's web site is still under construction, but you can call them to arrange to have your chocolates even gift wrapped. Roca Confections 202 Bowling Lane Pelham, AL 35124 (205) 982.1414 http://www.rocaconfections.com/ Please tell Tony that Leigh sent you. Get directions
  • Mississippi State Cheese shop offers some great freshly made products. My pick the Edam Cheese ball. http://msucheese.com/ Have mercy this is some good cheese!
  • The Chalet Suzanne Country Inn and Restaurant is famous for its soups. It now sells Soups and Sauces that are are just as popular as ever! Ask for them at your local fine food store or call... (800-433-6011) or Click here to go to Chalet Suzanne Foods online store. I got this for my husband's grandparents last year and they loved it. http://www.chaletsuzanne.com/
  • When in doubt, you cannot go wrong with Candles. The ones from Heaven Tree Candle Company are divine. I have one and I just love it. Mine is like the red one (although mine is ivory) in the picture above (it has Santa pulling a sleigh). It has the most amazing fragrance and has lasted forever. http://www.heaventreecandles.com/index.html
  • Who doesn't love Jimmy Buffett? There is always a song lyric of his that many of us can relate to. Find many of his lyrics on all sorts of merchandise at http://www.margaritaville.com/
  • If the person that you are getting a gift for has an specific interest they would like to pursue or to become better at, how about lessons? Examples-tennis, golf, cooking, etc.
  • What about a gift certificate for a portrait session and proof book from my company, Photographic Memories. I did this for many families last year and it was a huge hit. http://www.photomemories.discoveringminds.com/
  • This is a good one.....Take all of those old college or sports t shirts out of your oldest child's drawer and have something personal made from them. Quilt Memories will create a forever keepsake that will warm both the heart and the coldest of nights. My son has 2 and loves his. http://www.quiltmemories.com/tshirts.html
  • Don't forget your furry friends. Order a rhinestone collar very inexpensively. What is even better-all money goes to animal charities. https://shop.theanimalrescuesite.com/store/item.do?siteId=310&itemId=29785&origin=123934&ctgSource=null
  • Shop antique stores or estate sales and create a one of a kind cake stand by affixing (with glue made for glass) a plate of any size to a glass (or any type) candle stick. Customize your creation to your friends taste. I did this one year and my friends loved it. Just be sure to make a card explaining care instructions (hand wash!!).
  • Gift certificates to the favorite coffee shop, bakery, restaurant or a bed and breakfast. Bed and Breakfast Online offers great information on a B&B of your choice/area, as well as pricing and will show pictures of rooms and even breakfast menu's. http://www.bbonline.com/
  • Find a local artist in your area or advertise at a local college-even high school to save $$. Have the artist draw a portrait of something sentimental (a home, a dog, a child, etc.) to you. I did this for my mom. I gave her a drawing of the home she grew up in. The year after that I used the same drawing and made a cover for a cookbook, the year after that I used the drawing and made note cards at Kinko's. This was priceless to her.
  • Customize a t-shirt, hat, sweatshirt (many itmes to choose from, even onesies-great for that newborn) with your fmailies name from Alumni Originals. The appearal will feature the name you choose + university. Great gift for the hard to please men in your life. The sweatshirts and long sleeved are sure to be a hit. http://www.aotees.com/
  • Last year I contacted a local carpenter and gave him a photographed of each home (One of my dad's childhood home, and one of my mother's) that my parents had grown up. I had photographed each side of the homes so it was a very true depiction for the carpenter to go by in building. The carpenter built a birdhouse model of the homes and I painted them accordingly. I even found a dollhouse front porch swing that I added to one of the houses for authenticity. You can do this based on a neighbor's home, family member, etc. It should run you anywhere from $25-$65 dollars. A friend of mine had a mailbox cover made of her home for her husband.
  • Tickets to a concert of a favorite artist.
  • Monogrammed golf/tennis towels for great for men. For women monogrammed purses, bath towels, tea towels, sheets, etc. I can recommend 2 fantastic local embroider, Alterations By George (Deedra George) in Helena, AL 35080 205.873.4255 as well as Lora Stevenson of Sew in Style http://www.sew-in-style.com/ in Gencoe Alabama. I do know from my own experience that Sew in Style will ship direct to you if you are not local. Her fabrics are gorgeous! If you use this suggestion and use these embroiders, please tell them Leigh referred you.
    Both ladies are very professional and prompt. Both of them also custom sews things such as purses and diaper bags, among other things.
  • Go to a local craft store and purchase clear or frosted ball Christmas ornaments. Hand paint on snowmen/women and snow children. Customize for a family you know by adding names and even favorite sporting themes or pets-anything goes. (See photo for example).
  • One of my favorites, that is now a tradition, is making a cookbook of favorite recipes for friends. I try and include fun stories or photos in it, for example my friend Flo gave me a great Mexican Chicken Recipe. I asked her for it that night. I included it in my cookbook last year with some fun memories from the evening. A cookbook makes for a nice keep sake.
  • Homemade goodies packaged in creative ways, such as cleaned paint cans with the recipe of the contents painted on the outside.
  • I wrote recently about taking the art class at Art Buzz, as well as SipsnStrokes. Either purchase a gift certificate so your recipient can create a signature piece, using their home colors. Or paint one for them-or both!
  • I came back and added this one, as I remembered doing this one year...I burned songs on disk for close friends (I knew their musical taste, for example for my friend Randy I burned an 80's one hit wonders CD). You can customize a label for the CD. This was also a gift that was well received.
    Please leave comments and tell me what your favorite thing to give is......


Lainey-Paney said...

For candles, my favorite are Tyler Candle Company candles.

My favorite scent is "Tyler". It used to be called something else, but they changed the name to be their signature scent. It is soooo yummy.

They are very fragrant, & so one candle will scent half of my house. I like that in a candle!

And, I LOVE getting personalized Christmas ornaments. Kids love that too. It makes them feel special, and in years to come, they will love putting THEIR ornaments on the tree...or at least, that's how I felt growing up!


Good list!

Leigh said...

Thanks Lainey-Peney for the candle suggestion.I am definatley going to get one of those. I think I have seen that brand at lpaces such as Hallmark store. I also think my friend Judy sells that line at her store, Sisters 2. I will check. I will get the Tyler scent. I need something to smell my home up with good scents.
Thanks for the tip!

Lora Stevenson said...


I am so honored to be on your gift list on your blog! I know Oprah has a favorite gift list but I'd rather be on YOUR favorites list! Thank you so much, you don't know how much I appreciate that. I can't thank you enough for the high recommendation. I am just so excited and can't wait to tell everyone! I am trying to update the website as I write this. I am off on Fridays now so I have more time to sew/embroider.

Sorry we didn't get to get together Thanksgiving. I saw your Mom on Sat. night at Melinda's Ala./Aub. party. Was good to see her again.

Thank you again, Leigh, you're the besttttttttttttttttt!

---Lora, sew-in-style