Gifts That Keep on GivingNovember 14, 2018
The holiday season is about the joy of giving. This could mean offering the generosity of your time, providing much-needed funds for your favorite charity, or giving a most-thoughtful gift that has the recipient thinking fondly of you every time they see it. Your gift list is long and varied, and it never seems that one has enough time to get everything done before the big day – even though we know it is coming the same time every year. To help ease the pain and frustration of what to get for those on your list who you really want to make in impression, here is a quick list of recommendations for a present that will keep on giving.
Owning and using a wine decanter can enhance your life and drinking pleasures like no other beverage accessory on Earth. Here is just a sample of the numerous opportunities that this one multi-purpose gadget can offer you that will make an amazing difference in more than just your everyday drinking habits. Need a pitcher for that delicious Nantucket water for your holiday dinner table? Not only are most decanters effortless to pour for adult diners, they are also a gorgeous addition to any style of table décor. Beautiful flowers from Moors End Farm deserve a holding vessel just as complimentary, so leave the boring vase behind and channel your inner floral designer using your decanter instead. For those that have a sweet tooth and want your candy available, but not too handy, a decanter makes a unique and unusual candy dispenser. Depending on the size of the mouth opening on your decanter, it can be used to store and pour goodies as small as melt in your mouth Cranberry Creations. Unfortunately, not recommended for your favorite island fudge, however, keep reading for more on that.
For more practical uses, decanters can be used for any type of wine. The traditional use of a decanter is typically to remove the wine from sediment that has collected on the side of a wine bottle or allow the wine to aerate, breathe, and open up after being stuck in the bottle for a while (think: I Dream of Jeannie here). If you have a large crowd and choose to offer wine from a large format (including boxed wine), it is much easier to serve around the table in a decanter versus running to and from the fridge or bar every time you need a refill or trying to pour from an extra heavy bottle. Decanting white wine is fun as well, especially when it is into a Spanish porron. If you have never seen one in action, it is part decanter, part watering can in which everyone can drink from the same vessel as you pour the wine into your mouth without your lips ever touching the spout. Decanters are simple to clean, easy to pour and ready for action on a moment’s notice. Great news is that since they are a bit fragile, you can effortlessly purchase one locally, along with a wine recommended from an experienced sommelier at your favorite neighborhood bottle shop.
Another thoughtful gift to accompany the idea of entertaining at home, because that is what Nantucketers do quite frequently in the wintertime, is a multi-purpose slate board. The most common use of a such an item is for the presentation of a glorious cheese spread, featuring Wasik’s cheese, Creminelli finocchio salami, Jansal Valley roasted almonds and an assortment of yummy crackers (don’t forget about gluten-free options).
This functional gift is not just for cheese anymore, my friends! It can also be used to serve a beautiful layered green salad topped with grilled sirloin. What a memorable way to feature tray passed hors d’oeuvres, serve homemade slices of flatbread, or mini bites of dessert, including Aunt Leah’s fudge. You can write on the slate with a soapstone (no chalk residue and cleans quickly with mild soap and water) to identify the food items, or perhaps use the slate to welcome your family and friends visiting for the holidays just as you would a regular chalkboard. Using a slate as the base for your bar service is an excellent idea, as it will absorb any condensation or drips from wine bottles, making less of a wet mess on a table and hopefully reducing any potential stains. Make sure to dry the slate thoroughly after use and rub mineral oil into it every once in a while to hide any scratches and keep it seasoned.
While it is the thought that counts with gift giving, you also want to know your gift is well received and useful to the recipient. How lovely is it when you are out with your friend at Surfside Beach and you see they are gladly still enjoying the amazing present you gave them during Christmas Stroll years ago! Another functional, long-lasting gift is a sturdy, reusable tote bag. Totes can be used to carry your books to the Atheneum, your gym clothes including shoes to and from the Westmoor Club, fresh produce from Annye’s Whole Foods, for overflow items when coming back from Hyannis on the Hy-line ferry – the list is endless and so are the opportunities. Not just any bag will do, however, to be the ultimate masterpiece. The Pocket Tote made by Hudson Sutler is the perfect combination of size, organization and insanely durable materials to meet the utmost standards of the best in its class.
Made from water-resistant 18-ounce canvas with a reinforced nylon bottom on the outside and a “wipe clean” interior liner, this tote comes in handy for your next outdoor excursion or road trip overflow. It has two exterior pockets on both sides of the bag that are easily accessible, a must have when traveling on a plane and don’t want to take out the entire bag from under the seat in front of you to grab a pen for the crossword puzzle or your headphones for in-flight entertainment. You can choose to zip the top of the bag closed with their rugged, secure, signature rustproof zipper (Did you read that, Nantucket? Great for when you live on an island near the ocean!), or leave it wide open to fit more items in there. This heavy-duty tote can handle the weight! The comfortable cotton handles are long enough to casually toss over your shoulder and simple enough to fold over for effortless storage. An additional zippered interior pocket aids in helping to keep things simply organized while you are on the go. Available in Biscayne Blue (think of the clear blue waters near Miami where many snowbirds go in the winter) or ‘Sconset Red (the classic color you know so well), this Pocket Tote is the one bag you will want to buy for yourself as well as for your best friend.
Whatever and however you decide to gift this year, may it be from the heart and filled with cheer. Remember to support your community, shop locally for your gift giving and holiday needs, and be sure to offer a little something to those who may not be as fortunate as you this holiday season.