So... Christmas was a blast. I think my favorite part about it is giving the gifts. I'm one of those people who puts a lot of thought into it and tries to make them as personal as possible, storing those little "nuggets" of information in my head when someone drops an unsuspecting hint.
Last time I went out to eat at Carrabba's Italian Grill, my father mentioned how much he loves the signature olive oil and bread dipping spices they give you before your meal. He even investigated what brand of olive oil the restaurant uses and said he couldn't find any grocery store that sells it...
This was well before Christmas, but I was determined to find out how I could obtain that olive oil as a gift for my fellow foodie of a father.
There is literally one online store that sells the special "La Rambla" brand olive oil they use. And boy, is it expensive. With shipping and everything, the total would have come to around $70 for a 5-liter bottle. Dad, I love you but that breaks the budget a little... Then, I tried something crazy — I actually went to a Carrabba's and found out they sell it there! Here, I was thinking I would have to bribe someone to sneak a bottle out of their private inventory and low and behold they actually sell it on a retail level in their restaurants.
I was able to find a recipe online for their bread dipping spices so I made it, bottled it up and even designed an official-looking label! To complete the package, I added in a gift card to Panera Bread, one of my Dad's favorite places to buy a loaf. Putting all the items together in a box just felt so right.
Since I made a little gift box for my father, I decided to take the same approach for my mother's gift. She loves to relax with a glass of merlot at the end of the day, so I decided to base the gift box around relaxation.
There is a great local vinyard/brewery/dog park that I frequent named The Vinyard at Hershey. I've done wine tastings there and take my dog to the dog park there almost every day, so I decided to support their business. Tasting their freshly bottled merlot, I knew my mother would love it! To accompany the wine, I found some adorable wine bottle stoppers/spouts.
Finally, I added a gift card to my mother's favorite spa for a 1-hour massage.
I'm sure no one is surprised to hear I gave a couple food and beverage related gifts this Christmas... As for the new year, I'm thinking I should make a resolution to write more, haha!
How were your holidays? Do you have any New Year's Resolutions?