The holidays are quickly approaching and many of us will flock to stores to pick out the perfect gift for all those special people in our lives. I took a mini-trip around Savannah to check out the fabulous array of gift-giving possibilities in my area. My focus was inexpensive, clever gifts that could be given to neighbors, teachers or hostesses.
I started at Byrd Cookie Company, and owner Stephanie Lindley greeted me. Lindley is the great-granddaughter of founder Benjamin Tillman and has recently returned to the company. While cookies are a big focus at Byrd, Lindley has brought in new items and has a wide variety of gifts, including a big selection of Paula Deen’s fabulous products and books. When I asked her how it felt to be back at her family business as CEO she said, “The first day, after being away for 11 years, was like coming back to school: excited and nervous.”
My journey continued at Sweet Tea, a Savannah gift shop located in a neighborhood known as Sandfly. This store feels new and different each time that I visit. It’s cozy, yet it is filled with gorgeous items that anyone would love. I sat down with owner Lisa McCaslin, who has a clever knack for making anything look extraordinary. McCaslin believes that “presentation can make all the difference.” She manages to make a simple soap look spectacular with mere ribbon and cellophane!
Here are a few gift-giving ideas from two of Savannah’s most charming merchants:
McCaslin says a hostess gift is an opportunity to show your appreciation for being included at an event. She advises, “People are busier than ever, and a hostess gift is a wonderful way to say thank you for taking the energy, time and thought for including me at their party.”
I met with Byrd’s vice president, India King, to discuss the “perfect” hostess gift. King, the consummate hostess, recommends simple gifts that do not require the hostess to stop and “tend to the gift.” For example, King’s favorite hostess gift is a vintage tin, hand-packed with Byrd’s signature scotch oatmeal cookies.
Scotch Oatmeal Cookies in tin $19.95
A host or hostess would love the smart cocktail shaker from Byrd filled with a savory cocktail snack.
Savory Cocktail Shaker $14.95
Both King and McCaslin agree that a hostess gift does not have to be expensive: It just needs to be a thoughtful gesture on the part of the guest. Luckily, it is easy to turn a small, simple gift into a spectacular one. McCaslin showed me a fabulous miniature butter dish that she recommends for a hostess gift. She suggests filling it with a chocolate truffle, small soap or candle. Wrapped with cellophane and a pretty ribbon, it makes a lovely, inexpensive gift that is also practical. McCaslin advises, “Whatever the budget may be, the presentation will make your selection extra special.”
An array of inexpensive gifts from Sweet Tea, which are versatile, clever and fun.
It is always fun to prepare a little special something for neighbors. It does not need to be fancy or expensive. With our busy lives, King recommends purchasing raw, refrigerated cookie dough and keeping it on hand for a semi-homemade gift. It could become an easy baking project for your children. Whether packaging cookies in a cute bag with ribbon or on a silver tray with cellophane, you will have a personal gift to present from your family.
Try some of these sweet packaging ideas.
It is nice to help your children come up with something special for their teachers during the holidays because they learn early about showing appreciation for the important people and role models in their lives. At Sweet Tea I found the perfect old-fashioned Christmas ball that opens to hold a trinket. Place a sweet treat, a gift card, or just a special letter inside and brighten up any teacher’s day. This type of holiday ornament is only $5.
No matter your budget, with some smart shopping and clever presentation, you will be able to find wonderful gifts for all the people on your list.
Wishing you all the joy and happiness that Christmas brings!
As always, thank you for reading.
i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above?
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 10:37 am
Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 8:22 am
I WISH I COULD COOK.
COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER?
I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE.
YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE.
19 SPENCER WAY
KINGS PARK, NY 11754
HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!
TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 4:31 am
You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 11:05 pm
Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition.
Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm