Web Extra: Extra Grit-ty Gifts

More practical and light-hearted ideas for your favorite people.

playaway

Playaway® digital audiobook

courtesy Playaway

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If you've been through our gift guide (read the original article here) and still haven't found the perfect gift, do not despair. A few additional items that made our Grit list follow.

The Case of the Disappearing Dark Chocolate Lavender Torte

I thought I was ready for drop-in holiday company with a freezer full of gourmet treats from Daybreak Lavender Farm’s Taste of Provence Gift Basket. But the lavender tea cakes and dark chocolate lavender truffles are disappearing at an alarming rate. The supply seems to grow smaller every time my husband passes through the kitchen, so our company better hurry. The gift basket is perfect for the holidays as the tasty recipes freeze brilliantly. The Taste of Provence Gift Basket includes organic chamomile and lavender flower tea, lavender infused honey and organic cooking lavender, plus a lavender cooking guide. ($59.95)
Where to Buy: Daybreak Lavender Farm, www.DaybreakLavenderFarm.com
Phone: 330-389-0970

For The Birds

Contech Electronics Inc.’s SquirrelStop® ($49) keeps squirrels out of the bird feeder, and is fun to watch. When a squirrel climbs on the feeder, the increased weight spins the feeder for 20 seconds and causes the squirrel to jump off. Squirrels learn to leave your feeder alone, and birds dine undisturbed. Visit Contech for other fun, harmless and environmentally friendly pest control products for indoors and out. The Web site includes a store locator.
Where to Buy: Contech Electronics Inc., www.ScatMat.com
Phone: 800-767-8658 (toll-free) or 250-652-0755

Listen and Learn

The Playaway® digital audiobook ($29.99 and up) is half the size of a deck of cards, weighs only 2 ounces and includes earbuds. All a listener has to do is press play. Choose new bestsellers, children’s favorites, or catch up on classic literature. It’s a perfect stocking stuffer for all ages, or a great gift for anyone who travels, commutes, is homebound or wants to keep young travelers occupied. Check out the RePlay Rewards program for recycling your audio books.
Where to Buy: Playaway®, http://Store.PlayawayDigital.com and at major retail locations, including Barnes & Noble, Borders, Hudson Books and Brookstone
Phone: 877-893-0808 (toll-free) or 440-893-0808

Ring in the Season

This boxed set of four napkin rings celebrates the four essential culinary herbs: parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. The rings feature a gold-and-copper finish over pewter. Artist Michael Michaud captures the texture and detail of herb leaves with an old technique known as lost wax casting – the leaves themselves are used to make the molds. As delicate and beautiful as jewelry, these elegant napkin rings ($45) will dress up any table and make a great hostess gift.
Michaud’s heirloom-quality table art is available from Bay Flora, a company committed to offering the finest botanical products (including plants) and improving life on the planet. When you make a purchase at Bay Flora, they will donate up to 15 percent of the purchase price to the non-profit organization of your choice.
Where to Buy: Bay Flora Botanica for Fundraising, www.BayFlora.com
1563 Solano Ave., No. 428, Berkeley, CA 94707 Fax: 888-549-2969

Cleaning Power in Your Hand

This little hand vacuum will change the way you think about dirt. The DirtTamer Ultima ($69.99) boasts 14.4 volts of suction power and made short work of anything I tracked into the mud room. It works wet or dry, and includes a 3-stage HEPA filtration system. Sporting a dirt finding headlight and three cleaning attachments, it comes with a wall mountable charging base.
Where to Buy: FilterStream Advanced Cleaning Products, www.FilterStream.com or at retailers throughout North America
Phone: 866-625-3218 (toll-free)

Soy Toys

When looking for something for the children on your list, be sure to check out these Earth-friendly plush animals. SOYSILK Pals ($25-$40) are silky, beg to be hugged soft and made from SOYSILK brand fiber, a byproduct of the tofu manufacturing process. Currently, TofuBear offers four Pals -- TOFU Bear, SOYnia Bunny and SOYphia and LanceSOYlot Goat (pictured).
Where to Buy: TofuBear, www.TofuBear.com
Phone: 480-894-1818

Not Your Everyday Danish

Start a new tradition with a Racine Danish Kringle. Introduced by Danish immigrant bakers in the late 1880s, this pastry packs a great holiday-party punch. Made daily, pastry dough is filled with nuts, fruit or gourmet filling (try raspberry cheesecake, Heath or key lime), shaped into the distinctive Kringle oval, baked and then covered in icing.
Where to Buy: Racine Danish Kringles at www.Kringle.com
Phone: 1-800-432-6474