Monday, November 22, 2010

These are a Few of My Favorite Things (from Red Tree!)

Saturday was the perfect day for a field trip. A sunny fall day .... not too warm, not too cold. And those first inklings of Christmas excitement were sprouting up inside me. So my mom, sister and I did what totally makes sense under those conditions .... We went out to lunch and went shopping!

Our venue of choice? The Avenue in Hampden, Hon! With unique, local shops and delish eateries lining the street, it's an ideal place to stroll around on a weekend afternoon. You'll find gifts you can't get anywhere else .... especially at Red Tree!

I can't say enough good things about this store. The displays are inspiring, the prices are reasonable, and their gifts and furniture are unique. When you stop in Red Tree, it's not just shopping, it's an EXPERIENCE.

Owners, longtime pals, and lovers(!) Carmen Brock and Ben Homola describe Red Tree as "a blend of urban grit and southern charm." Whatever you call it, they've created magic. Here are a few of our favorite things at Red Tree this holiday season that will make you the most creative gift-giver in the bunch! (And they're all under $35!!)

For Wee Ones

Start 'em out young! We love the idea of godparents gifting these sweet piggy banks ($26.50 each) as a special keepsake with a wise message: Save your pennies! What's great about them is they're not your typical piggy. Besides whales and elephants, we also spotted giraffe and crocodile banks. Plus, when you're 3 years old, it's still more fun to hear that coin plunk into your bank than to spend it!

These puzzles ($16 each) are reminiscent of uber-popular Melissa and Doug toys, but wayyyyy cuter and at a better price point. We love the trendy colors and designs that will attract little munchkins and help them to learn at the same time.

For the Obligatory Office Secret Santa Exchange

Let's be honest: This annual event is more pain in the arse than fun. The majority of the time you pick someone whose constant pencil tapping drives you nuts on a daily basis. So play it on the safe (and inexpensive) side, while being unique too. Put together an assortment of old-fashioned holiday candies (starting at $0.20 each) reminiscent of the good 'ol days. Pick from candy sticks to rootbeer drops to bon bons all dressed in festive and colorful wrappings.

For Bookworms

As an avid reader myself, I ooohed and ahhhed over these vintage-inspired re-prints of literary classics ($20 each) like Great Expectations and Wuthering Heights. While they may not be Nook-compatible, they're gorgeous! And I think every bookworm has a soft spot for beautifully bound, REAL books that they can proudly display as part of their collection. E-readers are marvelous, but they're just not the same!

For Stuffing Your Stockings

These old fashioned games ($5-8 each) will be a hit with the young and old and boys and girls alike. Do kids even know what Tiddlywinks are these days!? Let them in on the fun! Packaged in small, compact sizes perfect for stockings.  

Men are toughies when it comes to gift giving ... So it makes total sense to treat them to some Tough Guy Soap ($9.50)! They'll be feeling rugged, while you'll be loving the hints of pine in this masculine soap.

For the Hostess with the Mostest

Our idea of a fabulous hostess gift (if you want to be unique and not bring the oh-so-typical bottle of wine) is a little somethin' somethin' that is fun, inexpensive, and the host wouldn't normally buy for herself. Enter this adorable Rudolph candle ($8.95) and these deliciously scented pine cones ($5 per scoop)! If you've been to Red Tree before, you know just how amazingly inviting their shop smells ... and it's because of these guys! These treats are just the right amount of thank you and will add a touch of festivity right on the spot!

For a Jewelry Obsessed Teen

Okay, so I'm not a teen and I wouldn't call myself a jewelry addict, and I'm still coveting these reindeer jewelry holders ($32). Point taken. This chic gift could be for just about any special lady in your life. There's something about the all-white design that makes me want to load it with chains, and rings, and dangly earrings, oh my! Don't you???

For Top Chef Wannabes

Cooking: You either love it or hate it. When the holidays roll around, you're either the one baking away or the one providing the very necessary service of professional cookie muncher. These gifts are for the former of the two scenarios! Add a little humor to your top chef's kitchen with the missing limbs gingerbread men cookie cutters ($12), the Table Saw cake cutter ($7 each), the Batter Finger spatula ($8.95), and my personal favorite .... the Ninja Bread Men ($10.95)!

For When It's Cool to Play with Your Food

Alright, so there might not ever be a time when playing with your food is appropriate, but I couldn't resist sharing these gifts that not only make dinner-time fun but also inspire creativity. The Food Face Plates ($14.95) come with either a basic male or female face for you to complete. Make a noodle beehive! Or how about a french fry mustache? The Mealtime Masterpiece Kit ($16.95) features paper placemats "framed" in gilt gold that are just waiting for your children's artwork. Markers included!
That's all folks! But there's TONS more to choose from at Red Tree. Be sure to pay them a visit this holiday season and tell them Economoms sent you!


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