Shopping for Holiday Gift Baskets – think outside the box

9 12 2007



I have become bored with the standard issue holiday gift baskets – basket with cheese, crackers, spreads, pickled asparagus (or similar), paper shredding of some sort, cellophane wrapping, large bow. You get the gist.


When I was asked me to look after sourcing and creating gift baskets for a client, I thought I’d look for an alternative way.


Have a theme: stay cozy this winter, lighten up (with candles), sharing (for offices), charitable


Have a budget: I always set the maximum and then over project my costs so that there is a little left over for the pocket book


Wrapping: Think about what people could actually use – be creative.  Fabric, a tea towel, a pillow case, laundry bag, a canvas bag

The Basket: Forget it! Plates, trays, bowls, a reusable box that has been decorated, vases, mugs, tea pots, planters

Items of value: Look towards greener promotional products (everyone has too many pens and key chains).


·         FairWare Promotional Products ( I found some great hand held, no battery flashlights that could be logoed (turnaround approximately 7 business days)


·         Ten Thousand Villages ( where you can purchase fair traded gifts – home décor items, baskets, bowls, fabrics, books, hot chocolates, teas, coffees.


o   They are also great for charitable holiday gift giving. Livestock, educational packages, clean water. They also give a great holiday card with an ornament attached with every donation


·         Think Local – there are great, locally owned shops everywhere you go. I sourced most of my items through them and was given great savings because I was ordering larger numbers. All it takes is a phone call to learn what they can offer you


·         Greeting Card – Use your greeting card as a gift tag and a gift in itself. Or, forget the greeting card all together.


o   Ask me about the Ultimate Gift Card that will surely increase the smiles on everyone this year.


 Happy Holiday Shopping


Honey and the Money (Formerly Madisen) – A band worth checking out

30 11 2007

Honey and the Money

Last night I was lucky enough to attend Honey and the Money’s CD release party at the Media Club on Cambie, in Vancouver. Their lyrics are filled with emotion and their music catches your attention. This is a band that gives you shivers up your spine and at times will bring a tear to your eye.  

I urge everyone to check out their website and listen to the teasers from their new album, The Elephant in the Room. You’ll be hooked just like I was the first time I heard them.  Enjoy your listening – and maybe buy a couple of CD’s for Christmas stocking stuffers.  You can do it right from their website.

Reusuable Canvas Bags Make for GREAT holiday wrapping

24 11 2007

It’s Black Friday in America. That just means  one month until Christmas to me, here in Vancouver.

I was reading an article in GRANVILLE Sustainable City Living Magazine by Emily Murgatroyd   The topic:  Minimizing waste during the holiday season.  

Right away I thought of a great company that is based here in Vancouver that could help. They are always at the Portobello West market (last Sunday of every month) – 


The company is called Bring Your Own Bag (BYOB) and they sell re-usable cloth bags in larger sizes, perfect!  Wouldn’t you love to get a gift bag that’s reusable, trendy and helps the environment?


Aveda also sells reusable bags which are great for smaller parcels (just make sure you say “No” to the plastic bag they may offer you when you leave the store.)


Unconventional Corporate Gifts

22 11 2007

Gift cards from Starbucks and chain restaurants have been used and overused. And why not, it’s easy, it’s convenient and recipients know exactly what to expect with them. And, because of this, recipients have probably already received something similar.

I found an interesting website the other night –  You can purchase Global Giving gift cards for any denomination (minimum $10) and the recipient chooses what partner charity the money is donated to. It can be done through email where the gift giver can design the gift certificate.  And according to CSRwire they have biodegradable gift cards (I couldn’t find information on this at the website).

If you are a retailer, there is an option to sell them at your place of business. I believe the company is American, so there may be some restrictions for us in Canada, but I am still going to get into contact with them.