Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Gift Ideas—Part I

“What do you want for Christmas?” I said loading the dishwasher with dinner plates.
“Nothing,” Mr. Wonderful said emptying his glass of red wine.
“Everybody wants something for Christmas.”
“Not me.”
“… Okay then… What are you getting me for Christmas?”

I’m not a greedy, give-me-tons-of-gifts kind of person. Most of the time. Actually I prefer giving gifts over receiving them. Most of the time. Finding great gifts for those hard-to-buy-for friends and family members is a challenge I relish. All of the time.

Now that we are in the thick of Chanukah, Christmas and Kwanzaa season and Mr. Wonderful doesn’t want anything, I’ve channeled my gift sense towards others, which means I’ve got plenty of gift ideas that I’m sharing with you. Of course coming from the New House Girl, they all follow a theme of DIY-Fixing-Up-A-Fixer-Upper-House-and-Garden. Here are six ideas to get you going. Enjoy!

1) Tool Set for Ladies. 

If she doesn’t have a Mr. Wonderful or the guy in her life has two thumbs, then help a girlfriend fix up her own house, apartment or office space with this starter Tool Set (with 135 pieces including hammer, wire cutters and screwdrivers, because every gal needs screwdrivers). Bonus? It comes in Pink! I said it was for the ladies. $40.

2) If she’s already got the tools, then show her how to use them on her next DIY project or just how to fix the toilet with this classic book:

3) Gift Card to Home Improvement Store. 

Gift cards are money that’s been dressed up. Cost? As much, or as little, as you wish to give.

4) Garden Gloves. 

Home improvement doesn’t stop at the front door but extends to the garden and the great outdoors. If someone you know has a green thumb or wants to hide a green thumb, garden gloves are always welcome. I like the canvas/leather combination ones or the pure suede ones. $6. Inspire them to beautify more than their hands by also gifting them a hand trowel. $10.

5) Designing California Native Gardens by Glenn Keator, Alrie Middlebrook, Phyllis M. Faber. 

This book introduces and highlights the best native California plants to use in the home garden. $29. It will open your mind and eyes to so many more options of plants that grow well naturally in California and with little water. If you don’t live in California, another terrific gift is The New Sunset Western Garden Book, which is the finest resource of what plants to grow where anywhere in Western North America. I have used the paperback version of this book so often there is more soil between its pages than in my garden. Available as a traditional paperback ($26) or as an eBook ($15). 

6) Sun Hat. 

If someone you love will be working out in the garden, guard them from the sun with the lid that Oprah and I both love. Sun hats from the San Diego Hat Company have wide brims, provide excellent sun protection (50 UPF) and often can be rolled up and packed in a luggage. After all, just because it’s bought to be worn in the garden doesn’t mean you can’t wear it to the Derby at Santa Anita with a glass of white wine! $25-$50.

These are just six ideas but there will be six more in the next blog post. Because there are 12 days of Christmas.

To Be Continued!

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