Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Fresh Ideas

As promised, it begins.

First, I thought I'd share some ideas for your Christmas tree. Most of you already have your trees set-up in front of the window--adorned with lights and ornaments. So, today's suggestions/ideas are for those of you overcome by events or otherwise delayed in decorating for the holidays.

First, let's address the lights. It doesn't matter if you're a clear lights purist or a colored lights advocate--please, please make sure you have enough lights on your tree. The basic rule of thumb I try to adhere to is a minimum of 100 lights per foot of tree. A four foot tree deserves at least 400 lights, a seven foot tree gets 700 lights, and so on. Be sure to follow the basic rules of safety listed on your lights--for instance, mine suggest only three strings hooked end-to-end. You might start by winding an extension cord up the trunk of the tree. I love this new cord I found--it's green with three outlet extensions and an on-off switch. It provides three location to hook-up the light strings. There are several different methods of placing the lights on the tree. Darren and I have finally decided the best method is to start at the tip of the trunk and wrapping each branch as we work our way down the tree. It takes longer, but oh-so worth it!

Second, the garland. Again, so many different approaches, but--in my opinion--necessary part of the process. What can you use for garland? Well, you have the traditional, now "retro" tinsel garland. There are beaded garlands, homemade garlands of popcorn and/or cranberries and ribbon garlands. Another idea is to use garlands usually used for decorating around a door or on the mantel. What an impact a garland of magnolia leaves on a traditional tree will make! I've used garlands of gilded grape leaves and I've used a grapevine garland. The iced, long-needle pine garlands I have at the shop would make a great garland! (You might see that on a tree at the shop next year.)

Okay, as I said, it's probably too late to apply any of those ideas this year, but maybe you can file them away for next year. But here are some gift ideas to help you out this year!

Today's ideas are dedicated to the stocking stuffer, office friends, bunko group friends category of around $10. Here we go:

If you need a special card, why not give some local art, too? We have a large selection of cards from several local artist for $5 or less!

Boll Weevil Soaps make a great stocking stuffer. At $7 per bar, this all natural goat milk soap is great for dry winter skin and smells great, too! Check-out our special selection of holiday scents, like "Christmas Cabin."

Same is true of our french milled soaps from La Lavande--the oldest soap mill in France. These wonderful all natural soaps come in three sizes--$7 or less. You could also put-together a little gift bag of our heart shaped soaps--a favorite for little hands!

The perfect hostess gift: our embroidered guest hand towels.

We have a selection of the most popular initials in stock or you can special order the initial you need.

Eventually, we'll have some winter weather! When we do, wouldn't your office buddy love to warm-up some hot chocolate in the break room microwave? Easy enough if you've given them this cute mug and some hot chocolate from Gourmet du Village--together, still under $10.

Know anyone who has a lot to remember? They'd likely love one of the Website journals--a place to write down your favorite websites along with the log in and password information. Or you can offer your favorite "winer" a journal for notes about their favorite wines. Got a bird watcher in your family? We've got a journal for him, too! All for about $5.

Another great stocking stuffer is this package of berry flavored lip glosses with light tints in various shades. You could even break-up the package and drop a ball into a gift bag of other goodies.

Another great drop-in gift is a travel tin candle from Paddywax--small in size, but huge in scent! With about 16 hours of burn time, these little guys pack a wallop of a pleasant fragrance. New this year: Almond Cocoa and Tangerine Clove--yum!

Speaking of "yum" I come to one of my favorite items we offer. This super emollient lip gloss from Archipelago Botanicals come in Mango White Sugar and Brown Sugar Vanilla. It's rich in good stuff for you lips and looks great, too!

Then there's my huge selection of Sonoma Dishware from TAG--not a piece of it over $10! (Well, other than the serving pieces.) But the dinner and salad plates, cereal and soup bowls and mugs--all under $10! Oh, and I should mention it's all 20% off for a limited time.

So, I hope that helps. Believe it or not, but there are many more gift items under $10. Not the least of which would be any of our ornaments--the perfect choice for your office ornament exchange. Come in and let us help you make your selections.
Contest instructions coming tomorrow!
Thanks for your indulgence~

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