Sunday, November 30, 2008
Chocolates, wine, fruit, cheeses, jams, tea, coffee beans - you probably already know these can make fine clutter-free gifts. And flowers are another time-honored gift in this category. So are things like nice soaps. Note: Even a consumable must be selected with care - not everyone wants more soaps, some people are trying to cut down on sweets, etc.
But if you'd like something a bit different in the way of consumables - ranging in price from about $5 to $2,995 - consider these.
1. Cinnamon licorice reindeer from Route 29. Update on Dec. 3, 2013: I'm no longer finding these available for purchase.
2. Grandma's Chicken Soup
You can get just the soup - or you can get one of many gift packages, like the Intermarriage Holiday Special: soup (with matzo balls, if you wish), golden coin gift box, and tree truffles box. Update on Dec. 2, 2012: I'm no longer finding the Intermarriage Holiday Special.
3. Gourmet Sea Salts
Home Chef Products sells 18 different salts; mine is a 3.5 ounce bottle. Update on Dec. 2, 2012: I'm no longer finding Home Chef products, but it's easy to find a wide range of salts now.
4. Lobster: Adopt a lobster trap
As the web site says: "Enjoy the rewards of having your own personal lobstermen and lobster trap catching lobsters just for you. Your partnership provides you with a minimum of 13 gourmet lobster dinners delivered anywhere in the country with free shipping! (Over 52 1.5-lb. lobsters, clams, mussels, desserts, and more.) As a partner, you will be assigned a private lobsterman that will fish your trap all season."
There are less expensive options: a seasonal membership (lobster dinner for four, provided four times/year), a share of the catch - and simple orders for lobsters. [via Springwise]
5. Olive oil: adopt an olive tree
This costs much less than adopting a lobster trap! Five of the seven groves you can choose from are organic. Here's how it works: "Once you've chosen and adopted a tree, the first thing you'll receive is an adoption certificate, to make you official, and your tree information booklet. Then over the course of the year you'll receive two more packages, one in the spring and one in the autumn, containing all the produce from your tree.
We say your tree but we actually collect your tree’s harvest with about 50 of its neighbours – to give us enough olives to press in one go. Think of it as being about the society rather than the individual." [via ecosalon]
6. Flavored toothpaste
I've been suggesting this for a while — ever since someone gave me a tube of iris toothpaste years ago.
You can also get flavored toothpaste from Breath Palette, which has many options (vanilla, bitter chocolate, white peach, pumpkin pudding, etc.) and also sells flavored mouthwash. Some of the flavors not shown on the Breath Palette web site seem to be available on other sites, such as Fred Flare. Update on Dec 2, 2010: Fred Flare no longer carries these toothpastes, but I'm seeing them at Japan Trend Shop and The Cure Shop.
Anther good source is Green People, which sells a fennel-flavored toothpaste.
7. Colored toilet paper
OK, this one is a bit odd - but some of you have friends who would like a quirky gift, right? Renova makes toilet paper in six colors; you can buy it from Charles & Marie. Update on Dec. 3, 2013: Charles and Marie no longer carries this product, but you can get it here.
If you know people who still write letters, some really special stationery might be appreciated. The options here overwhelming; the one above comes from Turtle Papers on Etsy.
9. For kids: craft supplies
One Sock at a Time provides an amazing list of all the toys her kids already have - making the point that they already have (more than) plenty. If you're going to get her children gifts, consumables are one of the things she suggests. "Like giant floor coloring books, craft kits, paint sets, markers and crayons, more face paints, poster board and construction paper. We go through those like crazy and have so much fun doing it. Non-craft consumable ideas: bubble bath or even bath paints."
Want more clutter-free gift ideas? You can find links to all articles in this gift-giving series here:
Christmas and Other Holidays: A Clutter-Free Gift Guide