December 13, 2012

Southern Holiday Gift Ideas

I've gathered some gift ideas to share with my friends at Knoxville's WTNZ Fox43 this morning and I'm thrilled to share them here too. I'm about fifty percent finished with my Christmas shopping and only beginning to feel the pressure as December is quickly passing by. Hopefully some of my ideas will inspire you as you are selecting that perfect holiday gift for each person on your holiday shopping list.

1. Shop Local -

I can't say it enough...local businesses are so important to our communities and I believe we've gotta support them this holiday shopping season (and all through the year). A college sorority sister of mine opened a great shop in Downtown Knoxville called "Nothing Too Fancy" that offers a wide selection of unique, one-of-a-kind items. From iPad cases made of recycled flannel shirts, to Dolly Parton t-shirts and items with our area code, this shop captures the spirit of Knoxville.

I can almost guarantee that wherever you live, there's a local merchant nearby who would appreciate your business. Won't you join me by shopping local and supporting the livelihoods of folks who are pursuing their passions to make amazing products available to the public?

2. Gift the Gift of Art -

I love giving and receiving handmade art and craft items as holiday gifts. I already mentioned my visit to Asheville's Big Crafty craft fair and there are probably craft events like this in your area as well. Another great holiday gift that I'm hoping to receive is this year's Dogwood Arts Limited Edition Print. Knoxville's Dogwood Arts Festival does a great job getting art out there in our community and each year they choose an artist's work to reproduce as a print. This year's artist is Andrew Saftel and the print, from an original work entitled Scenic Roadis just gorgeous. You can get one here for $100.

3. The Gift of Thrift -

Some people are funny about giving/getting second-hand items as gifts. I am most definitely not one of those people. I LOVE getting thrifted gifts. Who cares how much it cost if the person saw it and thought of you? You can get really creative with thrift store shopping and put together all sorts of gift sets/combinations that you know the folks on your list will love.

I found three nice mugs at my local Goodwill for $1 and made little gift sets with tins of tea and a holiday ornament tied around each one. This would make a great teacher gift. Then I bundled some vintage cookbooks together with twine and tied a whisk to the bundles with a bright ribbon. These are great for an aspiring (or amateur) chef. Finally, I found a vintage lidded candy dish at an estate sale recently. I cleaned it thoroughly and filled it with peppermint bark. An easy gift for a hostess or a dear friend.

4. Food for the Soul -

For my final gift idea, I put together a holiday basket of breakfast goodies...what can I say? Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I included local treats such as bagels made here in Knoxville, jam from Emily G's and coffee roasted right here in East Tennessee. A holiday tea towel makes it complete. You could include whatever items you (or the recipient) would prefer, but this is a really good way to give a gift you know will be appreciated. I mean, we all gotta eat, right?

I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season! If you have other gift ideas that you think would inspire us, please share in the comments!