Bath/Body Care Gift Kits – not just the ones at Bath and Body Works but the plain ol’ Oil of Olay, Dove, and Axe (yes, if there is a teen boy in your life, he will appreciate this stuff). National brand products are often bundled in gift kits even though the packages don’t scream “holiday.” When you see your regular brand in a marked-down gift kit, consider whether it is a better value than purchased separately, which is usually the case. The sizes are often large and there is a little something extra, such as a bath pouf (Dove) or a lip balm (Nivea) included. Once home, break up the kit and store the items as usual. You’ll forget they were ever holiday related. Find these at CVS, Rite Aid, etc.
Candy – Here’s a little secret, kids: the red and green Hershey’s Kisses taste just like the silver ones. In other words, unless it’s peppermint or shaped like a snowman, it’s all the same stuff under the wrapper. It is crazy that the same pound of candy costs less on December 26th than it did on December 24th. If you like to bake, consider grabbing some candy for cookie and cake recipes that incorporate candy as an ingredient or garnish (crumbled Butterfinger as a topping on peanut butter pie, for example). Find these at Target and other major retailers. Don’t forget Godiva at Macy’s or Barnes & Noble.
White candles – Tapers, pillars, votives, tealights, it doesn’t matter. You can use white candles all year around to illuminate anything for any occasion. Set them all together to go in your fireplace. Place a short pillar in an open pickle jar for an outdoor patio candle this summer. Set tea lights in baby food jars and run them down a table or across a mantle when the power goes out. The point is, you can always use white candles.Find them at Target, Christmas Tree Stores or Ol Time Pottery.
Anything red – Red is the most versatile color for entertaining and gift giving. Snatch up red ribbon, solid red wrapping paper, red napkins, any red paper goods. You can use red for every holiday except Easter and Halloween. Find these in the weeks to come at JoAnn Fabrics, Michael’s and Bed, Bath & Beyond.( See previous post on the versatility of red products year-round.)
Make up gift sets – Those cute sets of nail polish, glosses and eye shadows are better deals now and you don’t have to feel so bad about the colors you won’t use. Split these sets and you’ll have nail polish or glosses for the babysitter, teen daughter, or girlfriend as little happy gifts in the coming months. Find at: Ulta, Kohl’s, Walgreens.