When I was a kid, people always had a fruitcake or two in the cupboard to give as unplanned gifts. Sadly no one likes fruitcake. There were only two people in my family who ate it and with all the other wonderful baked goods, why would you eat fruitcake?
When I worked, a bottle of wine was the fruitcake substitute. You brought bottles in and everyone exchanged a bottle of wine. It’s a great way to try something you wouldn’t normally buy, like wine that tastes like cheesecake or whipped cream. Since I’m not a big wine drinker and the beloved husband rarely drinks it, we either serve it to unsuspecting guests or gift it.
I saw a Saturday night skit with a candle as the gift that was passed around. I can remember buying some extra holiday candles (scents like gingerbread, pine, butter cookies, Christmas cat farts, etc.) to have on hand. This year I lit up my last extra gingerbread candle and I’ve had a craving for gingerbread since Thanksgiving.
Candy is also a fruitcake substitute. It’s easy peasy and who doesn’t like it? Anyone who is diabetic or watching their weight or doesn’t have a sweet tooth. Yes, some people do not eat sweets by choice. The beloved husband is one of them. The best he will do is ice cream or the occasional dessert that is served at a dinner. Every Halloween I throw out the candy from the previous year’s Halloween. I like chocolate in my coffee but not in little pillows stuffed with mystery filling or wrapped in paper. (Yes, I was one of those kids who poked holes underneath to find out what the filling was.)
So what is a perfect gift? I don’t know. I’ve gotten over the “I have to give someone a gift because they gave me one or showed up unannounced” attitude. Perhaps you, my gentle readers, have some advice.