Last-minute gift ideas
Not all of us are meant to go Christmas shopping in July. Whether it's a busy personal schedule, a flair for extreme procrastination or a perfectionist streak, many of us inadvertently settle into the habit of buying gifts at the last minute.
We've reached the point where it's too close to the Dec. 25 deadline to shop online. Fast delivery can only be so fast; we don't know what to get anyone, because we don't know what's left on store shelves.
Sometimes a miracle can be found in the hysterical hunt through whatever's left on the night before Christmas, but realistically, many of those items are leftovers for a reason. Here are some ideas that ensure a good surprise for the giftee, and that good feeling for the giver.
Unexpected snow storm on Dec. 24 not withstanding.
FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
From Interior Accents a fish bowl-shaped lamp, $795, is perfect for the sophisticate.
The one gift-that-fits-all
Edibles are appreciated by most everyone. This time of year, it's not uncommon to see people carrying little black bags around town. This means only one thing: Someone's made a stop at Honolulu Chocolate Co.
Co-owner Michael Cummins said the black-bag domino effect begins yearly with one co-worker stopping off at the Ward Centre store for treats for the office, and then other co-workers returning the favor in kind.
In most everyone's basket: Chocolate-covered Oreos, $7.95, and truffles in fancy boxes, $15.60 and up. "What's nice is you don't have to wrap up anymore gifts," Cummins said. Chocolate bars from Belgium, Italy and France are also popular, and for diabetics, sugar-free sweets..
For the sophisticate
Interior Accents in the Gentry Pacific Design Center offers an array of traditional and contemporary furnishings with a pan-Pacific flair. Two suggestions: painted metal dolls, $75 to $100, or a fish bowl-shaped lamp, $795, both from the Philippines. Though you may not have spent hours shopping, it will look as though you have. "The trend is toward sophisticated pieces," said Interior Accents' Rondi Jones. "People have good taste."
Gift of humanity
Make a monetary contribution to Honolulu Habitat for Humanity in honor of a friend, and a personalized card will be sent recognizing both of you for contributing to the gift of a new home for a family in need. The gift is also tax-deductible for the donor. Donations in the form of tools are also accepted. The organization is in need of small hand tools such as hammers and drills, and also table saws, said Executive Director Ann Marie Beck. "Recognizing someone you love with a donation to Habitat for Humanity is always worthwhile, but the recognition also provides someone (else) with an opportunity they might not have had." Or simply make a personal pledge to volunteer with a friend in the new year. Call 538-7070 or visit www.honoluluhabitat.org
Gifts for the entertainer
For the host or hostess, a specially chosen drink. A hit these holidays is the sparkling sake Hou Hou Shu, said Beau Kennedy, general manager of Formaggio in Market City Shopping Center. For those unsure of the host or hostess' drink of choice, gift cards are available at the wine bar. Or, pre-made martini mixes such as Pomegranate and Appletini are stocked at Crate and Barrel or Pier 1 Imports. Red-tinged martini glasses, also at Pier 1, add to the holiday spirit; $5 each.
For the girl on the go
Cute clutches from MisFortune go with that little black dress. Or for the girl who needs a break and wants to stay at home: Surrender-me-now scented candles with tranquil names such as Peace and Spirit, $26, from the same boutique. "From one woman to another, you can't go wrong with candles, clutches and jewelry," said MisFortune's Wai Kaahanui.
The gift of knowledge
How-to books for the home are a reliable gift for the new homeowner, or for those who just appreciate a good coffee-table book. Choose from such titles as "Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook," $45, and "The Not So Big House: A Blueprint for the Way We Really Live," by Sarah Susanka, $22.95. Or stick closer to home with Kaui Philpotts' "Party Hawaii," $27.95, a guide to chic island entertaining.
Gadget gifts for the kitchen
Some Web sites are still promising "ship-by Christmas" deliveries. Go to Perpetualkid.com for the ever-popular Fred line of cutesy, mischievous kitchen gadgets. This is a defiantly sassy line for people proud to be childish: For better or worse, Fred is the line that brought the world Jesus Christ-stamped toast and is now offering the "Ex-Voodoo Kitchen Knife Set" $69.99, which updates the kitchen knives block set. Or for a more "tasteful" gift, visit hometownfavorites.com to pick up a favorite candy or food for someone who might be feeling a bit nostalgic about their roots at this time of year. The Web site divides goodies by both region and era.