“It’s Bmac’s favorite things!!!”
Screaming and jumping ensues.
Okay, back to reality. Ever since I was a little boy, I love, love loved watching Oprah’s Favorite Things. I can even remember where I was most years – lying on the edge of my Momma’s bed with eyes full of excitement. And then last year was her last time to do the show, and I bawled like a little baby when it was over. Sure, she did a favorite things-esque magazine this year, but let’s be honest – it kinda sucked.
So, as an homage to Oprah, I’d like to present Bmac’s Favorite Things:
1. Any Apple Product
I don’t think it’s any secret that I adore Apple. But I’m not just a kool-aid drinker or a follower, I truly believe in these products. I’ve seen them make magic in people’s lives. From my two year-old niece bopping along to her pink iPod Shuffle to my near-sixty year-old mother’s iPad obsession. I’ve never given an Apple product that didn’t generate a smile a mile wide.
I think the key is to put thought into choosing the right product for the person. And part of the gift should be helping the person have a great experience with their new iDevice. Make a list of your favorite apps. Load your favorite songs. Spend an hour (with a smile on your face) explaining repeatedly to your mother how to use Facebook on her new iPad.
2. The Big Apple
Clever little segue there, eh? But I do seriously heart New York. I even blogged about it. If you or your special boo have never been, then you just have to go. As a teenager from the sticks of Louisiana, it was life-changing. And it helped shape who I am today.
I can’t think of a better gift than the experience of this amazing city. If you need help planning your trip, gimme a shout.
3. A Pretty Notebook
For a self-professed tech junkie, I’m still pretty old school when it comes to writing. I make paper to-do lists. I always keep an idea notebook where I can draw, scribble, and jot down every crazy-ass thought that wanders into my mind. And when I have to write something – anything – I still do it by hand first before typing it. There’s just something about a beautiful notebook that sparks my creativity like nothing else.
(If you’re in Columbus, I recommend checking out On Paper)
4. A Beautiful Scarf
I’m not sure why a simple piece of fabric can make you feel so special, but it does. And it’s an insanely versatile gift for just about anybody! But please don’t go buy one at the Gap or J. Crew. Don’t get me wrong, I love those stores, but when you give a scarf, it should be unique!
So, go to a local boutique or even have someone make a special scarf. I have a new hand-woven kelly green one that’s just waiting for a frigid day.
5. Personal Recipes
If you’re known for your cooking or baking, then share your famous recipes! Print them on some beautiful paper, and be sure to add all your notes that make it, well, yours.
6. Spices & Seasonings
You know what would go great with those recipes? Your favorite spices and seasonings! But don’t go to the grocery store and get the jarred kind – go to a local spice store or shop online for the good stuff. Here are some ideas:
- Peppercorns – Make your own blend of peppercorns! The ratio I prefer is: 50% black, 25% green, 15% white, and 10% pink.
- Salts – There are all kinds of beautiful and delicious salts out there, so just pick out a few of your favs.
- Vietnamese Cinnamon – This is the most delicious cinnamon I’ve ever had, and I won’t use anything else.
- Nutmegs – Be sure to give whole nutmegs and not that grated shiz. You won’t believe the difference!
- Vanilla extract/beans – I prefer Madagascar. I think it works best in everything!
7. Anything homemade
Think of something you are good at, and give it to your friends! Homemade goodies are my one of my absolute favorite gifts to give and receive, and I bet your loved ones will feel the same way. Maybe you’re great at sewing or crafting – the sky’s the limit!
I love making food and drinks. How about some infused vodkas or oils? Or maybe homemade vanilla extract? I’ve done them all, and they make wonderful gifts! Oh, and they’re super easy for those of you who aren’t too handy in the cocina. They just take a little time and a pretty container!
I love “experience” gifts. “Experience” gifts are when you fully map-out an experience for another person. Maybe it’s a trip, a picnic, a shopping date, a day of crafting, a bar crawl, a movie night, or a romantic dinner. Whatever you choose, remember, it’s all about the experience. So, make it special, and put thought into all the little details.
One of my favorite things to do is get a massage. Now, before you get all weird and uncomfortable, hear me out. There’s a myriad of health benefits from a massage – from stress relief to managing anxiety and depression – and it just feels good!
If you’ve never been a massage person, then you definitely owe it to yourself to try one. Oh, and they make fantastic gifts. (If you happen to be in Columbus, I highly recommend Urban Village Massage.)
My life revolves around music. It’s in my soul, and I’d rather die than live a life without a melody. I truly believe that music can fix anything. So, this year, give the gift of music.
Here are some ideas:
- Buy tickets to a theatre show or a concert. Even concerts at a local college or university are fun and inexpensive.
- Make an iTunes playlist and then gift it to someone special. Think of this as the mix tape of the times.
- If you play an instrument, put on a mini concert for somebody you love!
- No matter their age, buy someone an instrument. From the drums to an upright piano, playing an instrument can relieve stress and actually make you smarter!
So, there you have it. I’d love to hear what you think about my favorite things list! I hope this sparks a little creativity with your gift giving this season.