I'll continue to work on this list as I think of more ideas, but these are a few to get you started:
For the Gardener
- Rain chains. These are a pretty alternative to those plain-looking aluminum rain gutter spouts. Learn more at http://www.rainchain.com/. You also can purchase rain chains from http://www.windandweather.com/
- Sign them up for a class through the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods program. Click here for a list of upcoming events. This list doesn't go into 2008 yet, but you can call (863) 519-8677 for more information.
- Compost bin. Every gardener needs good soil. Help them create their own with a compost bin. There are numerous types out there, but I use the Earth Machine. You can learn more about the Earth Machine and composting in general here.
- Purse hooks. I first saw these when a friend of mine pulled hers out at the mall while we were sitting down to eat lunch. These decorative little hooks attach to a surface and keep your purse from touching the ground. Engenious! I bought mine at Firefly in Lakeside Village in Lakeland, but I understand that Babes Shoes and Apparel also carries them, as well as Bed, Bath and Beyond. BB&B has the best deal with a 2-pack for under $10, but the purse hooks at Firefly are much prettier, in my opinion.
- Massage and/or facial gift certificates. I recently had my first facial at Purity Skin & Body Care on S. Florida Avenue. I recommend booking with Katrina for the anti-aging facial. You can read a local review of the spa here.
- Hair and makeup gift certificates. My new favorite salon is Michael Rose Hair Designs in the Scottsdale Plaza on S. Florida Avenue in Lakeland, but I also love Revelations, which is just south on the Polk Parkway on S. Florida. Neither has Web sites that I could find, which is a bit annoying.
- Gift cards to local coffee houses. I prefer Black & Brew . For anyone who loves coffee, tea, desserts and great food in a place with wonderful ambience, this is the place to go. And Chuck Welch's young daughter ALWAYS recommends the chocolate cake. Judging by the chocolate ring that's around her mouth each time she eats it, I'd say her opinion is worth listening to. But there's also Mitchell's, another locally owned coffee shop I also enjoy, and if you're not very creative or don't live locally, Starbuck's doesn't disappoint.
- Publix gift cards. Let's face it. Everyone needs groceries. So get a gift card to a grocery store where shopping is a pleasure, not from a place that claims to be getting better all the time, for crying out loud. And don't even mention Wal-Mart to me. Please.
- Gas gift cards. Just as everyone needs groceries, nearly everyone has a bottomless pit to fill in their gas tank. This is the type of gift the recipient truly will thank you for, in light of the recent gas prices.