Special gifts for special recipients and where to find them

Doing some last minute shopping? Can’t find anything locally? Need some special things for some special recipients, not all of which are human? Then keep on reading for some sites I’ve found that can help you get that shopping done already!

Go south young shopper
If you want a regional U.S. gift (a nice touch if it is going overseas), then you might be interested in a site I tripped across. Called Southern Season, this grabbed my attention because they are located in North Carolina (we have some fond memories of North Carolina, especially the incredible Blue Ridge Mountains) and because they have some of the sweetest gift baskets I have ever seen including a 3 Jam Sampler of Carolina Cupboard Fruit preserves (in strawberry, blackberry, and peach).

But if you are tired of sweets (and, incredible as it is for anyone who knows me to believe, I have truly overdosed on sweets here), then, bearing in mind that North Carolina is famous for peanuts, take a peek at all the peanut gifts such as the tin of North Carolina roasted peanuts. It's unique and it won’t break the bank.

Goodies for the gourmet
Need a knock down, drag out, impressive gourmet gift? Here’s a perfect item from Gifts-to-Impress: The Bon Appetit gift hamper. Loaded with everything from Italian biscotti and a tortuga Caribbean rum cake to Spanish olives, chocolate truffles, and petit soleil bonbons au chocolat, not only is this hamper brimming with delights, but the hamper itself is a smart, reusable container. (If you are still struggling with an overflowing list, then look around because they have so many a ton of baskets to choose from.)

Of course, if you are going to impress them with gourmet goodies, then you might as well add some lovely table linens to put those goodies on. One especially nice option is the Porter runner and matching napkins from Unison. Consisting of fine lines of midnight blue printed on a soft ivory linen and organic cotton mix fabric, these would add a lovely touch to a dining table.

What’s up, pussycat?
If the person you are shopping for is not a person, but a cat, then I’ve got two sweet finds for you. The first is a Kitty gift set. Okay, it was the wonderful fish graphics on the bowl, the mat, and one of the catnip toys and the charming cartoon kittens on another of the toys and even the paw print paper and ribbon (now what pet owner would not find that sweet, I ask you?) that got me, but if it is going to be on the couch (the toys) and underfoot (the bowl and mat) it might as well be as sweet as these.

The second sweet find is the Sleepypod. This is a wonderfully unique item that is part travel case and part bed. It’s unusual shape (round) and rainbow of available colors (black, red, blue, chocolate, white, pink) make this far, far more attractive than the standard easy-to-clean / hideous-to-look-at plastic pet case. But, even better, this round (yes round) case with the over-the-should strap for carrying has mesh inserts for generous air circulation and a soft, warm, removable liner to make your cat (or small dog) nice and comfy.

Babycakes
I have never seen such sweet things for children as I have seen at Under the Nile. Unfortunately, every child I know is growing up! But, for the last, sweet, baby, I love this practical gift: A 2-pack swaddle blanket. I just adore these flannel blankets because, beyond the fact that they are 100% Organic Egyptian Cotton, they are also the softest baby blankets I have ever seen. Of course, while you are there, I have no doubt you will lose all self control around the toys including the terribly sweet fruit tote with its adorable banana, pear, grape, and watermelon, perfect for a budding vegetarian.

The best gift of all
And while you are in the giving spirit, give a little love in the form of a food gift to a child, family, or community in need, such as the gift of fruit trees to a family in El Salvador, Myanmar, or Zambia.

Happy holidays!