Toys and apparel are traditionally at the top of holiday wish lists. But there’s a big slice of the retail pie beyond retro 1980s Power Rangers and rain gear in high-tech fabrics.
This year, there’s a strong trend toward experiential gifts, as well as treats to be enjoyed at home.
“I have gotten into food gifts these past few years, mostly because my friends have everything,” says Pam Katzenstein of Wilmington. “So I send fancy candles or Mrs. Prindibles apples or something that is a splurge that they wouldn’t normally buy. And those (shatterproof) Govino glasses? My wine pals are getting those this year.”
As for her wish list, she would like to receive “cooking gadgets or experience kinds of things, like tickets to movies or a fundraiser or an event.”
Karen Miller of Trolley Square is shopping at craft shows for one-of-a-kind handmade gifts for friends and relatives. So what does she want to receive?
“I am loving consumables,” she says. At the top of her list: gourmet jams.
Here are a few domestic delights on the home front this year:
- Martha Stewart, longtime arbiter of taste, is now toasting a new enterprise, Martha Stewart Wine Co. The online wine shop features a curated collection of wines, all taste tested by Stewart, plus monthly wine club options and special occasion gift memberships. Among the options are the $86.95 Thanksgiving pack, which includes three reds, two whites and a rose, and holiday sparklers, a selection of six bubblies from France, Italy and Spain, for $92.75. And if you don’t like what you’re sipping, Stewart will replace it for free.
- Wine aficionados love wine gadgets. Aervana is a push-button, battery-operated wine tap and aerator in one. Uncork a bottle of red wine— inexpensive young, tannic red wines benefit the most—place Aervana on top of the bottle and push a button for instantly aerated wine dispensed from a stainless-steal spout directly into the glass. It is differentiated from other aerators in that it leaves the sediment in the bottom of the bottle during aeration. Based in suburban Philly, Aervana is available to consumers as well as wine pros. MSRP: $99.98, batteries included.
- Standing in front of the sink doing dishes or manning the range doesn’t sound like a glamorous task. You can add bling to domestic chores, as well as relieve your aching back and legs with anti-fatigue WellnessMats, which combine ergonomics and design with monogrammed mats. The Signature includes two posh designs available in eight colors and two sizes, plus an initial in metallic gold or silver. Priced from $149.95 - $279.95.
- The Kuma chef’s knife is on the cutting edge this year with foodies. It’s razor-sharp for precision cutting. No worries about squashing tomatoes. Kuma’s 8-inch all-purpose knife is suitable for chopping veggies, slicing meats, mincing herbs and other tasks. It’s lightweight with a sleek Japanese-inspired design. It’s also easy to sharpen. Kuma is available for around $25, plus an extra $10 and change for a sharpening rod.