Thursday, December 10, 2009

Traditional Christmas Gifts With a Twist

The holiday season is all about traditions, and gift choices are no exception. Whether it's the floral arrangement, the bottle of bubbly, or the much-maligned fruitcake, there are gift ideas that we all fall back on every year. This year, why not turn tradition on its ear by choosing traditional gifts with a twist?

In Vino Veritas
If you'd usually bring a bottle of wine for a hostess gift, why not consider a different kind of "vinotherapy"? This Custom Vinotherapy Mask from The Grapeseed Company contains detoxifying clay and moisturizing coconut and honey, along with red wine extract and its "age-fighting" resveratrol. Choose your own botanical extract or essential oil to customize your mask for face or body. Mask-to-go box includes instructions and application brush in takeout box.

When you Care Enough
Even in this electronic age, many of us still enjoy sending (and receiving) holiday greeting cards in the old-fashioned way, with sentiments of the season, holiday stamps, and cute family photos. Dippylulu's holiday cards provide the "updated perspective on every special occasion" that this year's twist on tradition dictates. Inspired by the design of the "Keep Calm and Carry On" British propaganda from the late 30s, the reassuring demeanor of these cards appeals to me. Perhaps others have not insulted family and left in a huff (don't ask), but who couldn't use a gentle reminder to "control rage over cheap gifts"? Visit Dippylulu's Etsy shop for lots of gift and card ideas.

Sweetness and Light
Most people consider a candle a perfect gift at the holidays. With a gentle light and a seasonal fragrance, a candle can help to set the holiday mood. If you're looking to set a different kind of mood--or you want a multipurpose gift--how about about choosing a candle that's also a massage lotion? The Scandle is a body candle that burns at a low temperature, and contains soy wax and skin-friendly oils and butters that create a warm massage oil. Packaged in reusable ceramic canister, with refills available, the Scandle is also an eco-friendly gift choice. Available in a variety of fragrances, gift sets, and even travel candles.

Think Chocolate
Delectable bonbons, rich hot cocoa, milk and white and dark...we
would never suggest forgoing a gift of chocolate! But there are so many ways to indulge, why would you limit yourself? Instead of truffles, give Bella Lucce's Peruvian Chocolate Moisturizing Syrup. Imagine soaking in a tub with moisturizing oils, chocolate extract, cocoa absolute, and honey. Sounds like cocoa bliss! Bella Lucce has a whole line of chocolate spa goodness with products like Chocolate Silk Bath Bubbles and Peruvian Chocolate Body Wash. Create a paradise for the chocolate lover in your life!

To Fruitcake, or Not To Fruitcake
As tempting as it may be to send another fruitcake (and risk the wrath and ridicule of friends and family), why not consider another fruity option? Lip balm in flavors like Sugar Plum, Cranberry Orange, Pomegranate, and Red Currant contain holiday fruit taste without the strange textures and bitter candy peel experience. Natural ingredients like sweet almond oil, avocado oil, shea butter, and beeswax leave lips soft and moisturized. Available in tins, jars, and tubes, or wrapped as favors, GCDSpa's lip balms are just the right size for little office gifts or stocking stuffers.

Milk and Cookies
Every year we bake holiday cookies for neighbors, and the neighbors bake holiday cookies for us. And of course, we leave a plate of them for the guy in the red suit. I wonder how many of us would rather get some of Cactus and Ivy's new Body Souffle? Instead of milk and cookies, we could all be indulging in Butter Cream or Almond Biscotti fragrance souffles, with whipped shea butter and peach kernel oil. Bonus: Cactus and Ivy's Body Souffles are 100% Vegan, and they hydrate and soothe skin much better than milk and cookies. Santa would be delighted.

Do you have any ideas for twists on the traditional holiday gifts? Please share your gift ideas below!

Follow all of these businesses on Twitter at:
grapeseedco, Dippylulu, ScandleCandle, BellaLucce, GCDSpa, and cactusandivy.

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