I love Christmas, not just for the gorgeously adorned Christmas trees, cheery music and pretty twinkle lights, but for the scents of the season as well. Fragrances are as important to the ambiance of a holiday home as the décor. In fact, it's music and aromas people recall first when casting their memories back to childhood holidays. When I hear Elvis singing Blue Christmas, I immediately think of the way my mom's house smelled when she was baking apple pies for parties and get-togethers. Happy times.
When I'm shopping for family and close friends, I take great pride in choosing gifts very carefully to fit each and every one. I may spend weeks scanning stores, fliers and various sites online before finding the perfect thing for each person. To me, it's a ton of fun, and makes Christmas gift exchanges much more special.
Then there are the “others” on my list. People who fall under the “others” category are the folks who I don't know very well personally, but have to buy for nonetheless. You know the ones: teachers, bus drivers, the Secret Santa person at the office and, of course, the random neighbor hosting this year's Christmas party.
For the “others” I like to go with a simple theme: fall and winter scented candles. I tend to stay away from holiday decorations, because their use is limited to a couple weeks, or even days, after their received, and where's the fun in that? Seasonal candles, however, are appropriate for months to come.
Plus, there are so many different scents that you don't have to get carbon copy gifts for everyone unless you want to. For example, my son has multiple teachers and a speech specialist he sees at school. Instead of giving them all different items, I choose different scents. Then I let him put them in simple bags and mark each one with a name. Easy peasy.
Plus, fall and winter scented candles are much less gender specific than other seasons' fragrances. I would never give my sons' male bus driver a Sweet Pea scented candle, but I wouldn't think twice if it smelled like oven-fresh Pumpkin Pie.
Finally, at the very least, if the fragrance isn't a big hit with the recipient, candles are beautifully re-giftable. I know that's taboo to encourage, but it's true. It's sure to be a gift that somebody will love for sure. And what's the difference between getting someone a gift card he ultimately uses to buy holiday gifts and having him pass on a candle he won't enjoy. Money saved is always a gift, right?
When someone says, “I don't know what to get _____,” I always suggest buying seasonal candles. They're generally a good fit for anyone and the variety of fragrances available allows some wiggle room to give lots of folks similar items without wasting lots of time and money to change it up.