If you’re like me, you’re in a mad rush to buy gifts now for people.  I offered a few ideas here and here.  While I’d love to buy everyone the flat screen TV (and myself included), I can’t.  So I usually bake. 

And apparently, I’m not alone. 

According to this AP story, sale of food items as gifts increased 50% from 2004-2006.   I agree that food gifts are great — and as the story says, it always fits!

Finally, since it seems to always cause confusion and panic, here is a guide on what and who you should tip this holiday season.

I’ve already offered a few gift ideas and a few more here.   But who doesn’t want a few more? 

  • Culinary Institute of America offers a “Chef for a Day” experience at their two campuses — St. Helena and Hyde Park.  If you go to St. Helena, then you could go to Taylor’s Refresher
  • It seems tea is uber popular again and what better than to give the tea lover in your life something unique.  Adagio offers a wide variety — including chocolate teas!  Their sampler teas are in these cute little metal canisters and would be a great little stocking stuffer for someone.
  • Breadman TR2200C — I own it and love it.  It does take up a bit of counterspace, but bakes a great loaf. 
  • Make a donation in honor of someone.  For those people you know who have it all, instead of giving them something that they may or may not like/use or may not use, why not make a donation to a worthwhile cause?
  • Penzy’s Spices — These are no ordinary spices.  They are, quite possibly, the best spices.  They also offer gift boxes.
  • Remember when?  If you know someone who loved 70s candy or a grocery store item that’s hard to find, try this place out.  They offer themed gift baskets too.
  • Make cookies and wrap them up in cute packaging.  Or for the friend who doesn’t bake — assemble the dry cookie mix (minus eggs, milk, vanilla, etc), put in a cute jar with the rest of the baking instructions.