Creative presents for the holidays.
By Judi Gallagher
Hold the fruit cakes—please!! With the holidays fast approaching and the economy pinching our pockets, being creative is actually much more fun than battling a parking space at a shopping mall or worrying if the gift card you bought your nephews will be invalid next month.
If you are fortunate enough to afford wonderful foods and a sit-down dinner with family and friends, why not drop off a check to the All Faith’s Food Bank? If you are like me and really into the specialty foods, giving 25% of what you spend on all those goodies will probably feed a family of 4-6 during the holiday.
Make a specialty--mine is sour cream coffee cake. I loathe baking, having burnt out even before I had my dessert company in Boston years ago, but my neighbors and closest friends have come to count on the Christmas Eve delivery. My friend Val makes the best hot fudge sauce, and hiding it from my husband is half the fun.
The Asolo Repertory has a creative matinee series with lunch at 12:30 pm on the mezzanine catered by Word of Mouth and a 2 p.m. matinee. Think of how many children would love the opportunity to have a chicken salad wrap and cookies before attending the theater.
Heffer.com is an incredible site where you can purchase flocks of chickens, cows and other farm animals that provide, milk, eggs and meals for a family in need. This literally can change their lives.
My friend Jules Price introduced me to sendout cards. I made my own recipe cards and included little gift cards for friends far away so we could feel like we were having coffee and a delicious treat together (if I can do this on the computer, anyone can).
Bring friends and neighbors to the Ritz-Carlton to see their incredible gingerbread village. Valet parking is free, and the gift shop has adorable nutcrackers with decorated boxes of chocolate truffles that makes a perfect gift for hard-to-buy-for people on your list and you might just want to go into Ca’ d Zan for a chocolate martini –‘tis the season, after all.