10 Best Gifts for Yoga Lovers

When the next gift occasion arises, take advantage of yoga’s ever-increasing popularity for a fresh take on traditional gift giving. In addition to the millions of yoga devotees already practicing in the U.S., another eighty million people (34% of the population!)  will give yoga their first try this year. So, why not consider a yoga-themed gift?

Chances are high that one of your friends, family members, or co-workers are enjoying the benefits of the mat. Maybe you know someone with a committed daily practice, or have a friend that’s musing with an intention to start.

Of course, finding the perfect gift for yoga lovers can be challenging, but you already have a leg up – or a down-dog split – knowing their interest. So, you’re on the right track but still stumped on what you should get the yoga lover in your life?  You’ve got this. Take a deep, controlled breath and get inspired by our choices for the top ten best gifts for yoga lovers.

#1. Aromatherapy: Essential Oils and Room Diffusers
Essential oils are a simple, wonderful gift to enhance a yoga or meditation practice by helping yogis connect with an intention. Often essential oils can help capture the spirit of certain qualities. For instance, Lemon is associated with mental clarity and attention. Peppermint, a joyful exuberance and energy. Lavender, relaxation and peaceful communication. They can also make a room smell pretty!

Two or three different essential oils with an ultrasonic room diffuser are great gifts for yoga lovers. Just a few drops of an essential oil combined with water in it’s base can instantly create a soothing or stimulating atmosphere. Yogi’s choice.

I’m particularly fond of the exceptionally high-quality DoTerra brand of pure, cold-pressed essential oils, and for a tasteful, modern ultrasonic diffuser that would unobtrusively work with a decor, Muji’s is the best.

#2. Water Bottle
Gifting a water bottle for a yoga lover is a no-brainer, but it can be a struggle to find one that’s kind to the earth, has style for days, and is light enough for the gym bag. We picked this one for our line of yoga gifts because it satisfies all three of those requirements. Designed by LAB[O] in Montreal, CA, our water bottle is actually made of glass, but don’t worry, it’s protected by a zippered silicone sleeve. BPA and phthalates-free to boot. How refreshing!

Yoga Water Bottle

#3. Yoga Travel Mat
Gifting a yoga mat to a yoga lover can be tricky. With different types of mats suited for different yoga practices, where do you start?  A thicker mat is a great choice for a yogi who enjoys a more restorative practice. Look for a mat that will have a stickier grip for those who enjoy a higher energy vinyasa or bikram class to help them avoid slipping and sliding out of their poses.

So, you know they love yoga, but what if you aren’t sure which kind? Trust that most yogis already have a mat they like. What they probably don’t have and where you can help them the most is by giving them a Yoga Travel Mat.

Oftentimes, a vacation can wreak havoc with even the most dedicated yoga practitioner. Even standard-size mats can be awkward, heavy and prohibitive to carry. A travel mat can easily fold or roll into a carry-on bag or backpack to bring their practice with them wherever they go. My personal favorite is the Manduka eko superlite.

One of the most valuable lessons yoga students first learn is the importance of “just showing up”. It’s a lot easier when the mat can come with you!

#4. Headband
Stylish and sweaty doesn’t have to be an oxymoron if you work it right. A great, affordable gift for a yoga lover is a headband that can absorb the side effects of a vigorous yoga workout, while keeping their hair suitable for any before or after class errands. Ponytails and barrettes are great, but a headband can keep distractions like pesky flyaway hairs and perspiration out of their eyes so they can focus on the important stuff, like breath and alignment.

Choose a wide headband that can serve a dual purpose. A headband like this can be easily pulled down over the eyes for a blissed-out savasana.

#5. Organic Fruits and Snacks
The revered yoga master, B.K.S. Iyengar, who is credited with bringing the ancient practice of yoga to the West said “Healthy plants and trees yield abundant flowers and fruits. Similarly, from a healthy person, smiles and happiness shine forth like the rays of the sun.”

Making the right food choices plays an incredibly important role in any yoga student’s well-rounded practice. Nourishing the body with wholesome foods lays a foundation for nourishing the mind.

Organic Bounty

Help the yogi take their practice from the mat to the dining table with healthy snacks to nourish the body.

We believe one of the best gifts for yoga lovers is one that extends their practice from the mat to the dining table. Our Organic Bounty gift basket does just that. Filled with certified-organic fruits, both fresh and dried, and organic nuts, cheese, crackers and jam, it’s a universally appealing gift for yoga lovers of any age or gender, beginners or advanced.



 
#6. Homemade Yoga Mat Cleaner Sprays
How lovely to craft a yoga gift yourself and have it be a gift they actually need! Every yoga lover can benefit from a yoga mat cleaner and making one is not as hard as you’d think! Here is a super-simple 3-ingredient recipe (distilled water, witch hazel, and essential oils) you can make in minutes that will keep yoga lover’s mats fresh and clean for many vinyasa classes to come. Rather than one big bottle, this recipe makes a trio of 2 oz. spray bottles, each with a different scent, for easy, everyday travels back and forth to yoga class.
Simple Steps and Ingredients for a Homemade Yoga Mat Cleaner Spray:

– Fill each 2oz. spray bottle (found at any beauty supply store or Amazon) three-quarters of the way full with Distilled Water.

– Shake three drops of either tea tree, eucalyptus, or peppermint essential oil (all known for their antibacterial and antifungal properties) into each spray bottle.

– Fill the bottles the rest of the way up to the top with witch hazel, close tight and give them a gentle shake. Give them a quick spray. Do they have enough scent? Go ahead and add another drop until it’s to your liking.

– Last step, the fun part. Find some adhesive labels and get creative with a signature design and brand for each bottle.

#7. Yoga Bolster
Every yoga enthusiast has a mat at home for their practice, but most yogis only take advantage of a bolster when they are at a yoga studio. One of our top gifts for yoga lovers is a bolster for home use.  A bolster is an important tool or prop used in a wide range of restorative yoga poses that can have the added bonus of being used as a meditation cushion.

Meditation and yoga are so closely intertwined that people who practice one are really also practicing the other in one form or another. Both practices explore the mind/body connection and having the proper tools within reach makes achieving a daily dedication to one’s practice so much more attainable. When choosing the perfect bolster as a gift for yoga lovers, choose a rectangular bolster with exceptional firmness and support with an upholstery-grade fabric covering. This bolster is my favorite.

#8. Yoga Blocks
In addition to bolsters, another yoga prop most people only access at their local studio is yoga blocks. These are an integral part of any yoga practice, no matter what experience level. Lightweight cork or recycled-foam yoga blocks are a great gift for yoga lovers who appreciate the tools that get them closer to good alignment, balance and stretch!

Yogis and non-yogis alike would all benefit from a Supported Fish Pose for a few minutes a day. This pose, supported by yoga blocks, expands the chest and throat, which is a great counteraction to the inevitable afternoon slump.

#9. Yoga Gift Baskets
Our absolute favorite gift for yoga lovers has to be our collection of Yoga Baskets. A woven bamboo basket combines organic fresh apples, organic maple glazed mixed nuts, and organic banana and mango slices, and, of course, essential yoga accessories. In addition to a thick, cotton strap for reaching those deeper stretches, and a silky eye pillow for a restful savasana, we’ve added our unique and so very chic water bottle designed by LAB[O] in Montreal, CA to the healthy mix. So good!

Yoga Gift Basket

#10. Gift Certificate to their favorite Yoga Studio or Retreat
When you are thinking about a gift for a yoga lover, perhaps the most appreciated gift you can give them is a gift certificate to a local yoga studio of their choice.

While a lot of practicing yogis are already enrolled in a monthly membership to a yoga studio or gym that has yoga classes, most yoga studios have special workshops or events that are not included in a rolling membership and are outside of this monthly payment. That’s where a gift certificate can really come in handy.

I have a monthly membership to a yoga studio in Brooklyn that covers unlimited classes, but my mother just treated me to a gift certificate at the same studio which I used for a four-part tai chi workshop. Thanks Mom!

Whatever gifts you end up choosing for the yoga lover in your life, know that picking a gift that is closely connected to a practice that brings health and happiness to their life will make you feel great too!

The Best Gift Ideas for Organic Lovers

Thankfully, as the demand for organic products has increased, so have the number of options for organic gift ideas! Not only have new companies sprung up that sell only organic, many well-established companies have devoted space to a line of organic products.

It’s easier than ever to find great gifts for organic lovers. Whether you are looking for the best organic food gifts, or other gift ideas, you will be able to find a wide selection to choose from. The important factor is to match the preferences of your gift recipient. Here are some of our favorite gift ideas for organic lovers!

Organic Fruit
An organic fruit basket is, not surprisingly, one of our top gifts for organic food lovers. It looks beautiful and tastes good! And your gift recipient will appreciate the extra care you took to send an organic fruit basket. Organic fruit is more expensive than conventionally grown fruit, but when it’s better for the environment, healthier to eat, and tastes better too, it’s worth it!

Organic Chocolate
Organic food lovers don’t have to say “no” to chocolates! There is a myriad of organic chocolate makers in the market now. Just look at the chocolate displays in your local natural food store and you will be overwhelmed by all of the choices.

Organic Chocolate Bar

This luscious organic chocolate bar is 72% cacao and a very healthy choice!

A lovely organic food gift idea is to collect an assortment of organic chocolate bars: milk chocolate; dark chocolate with a range of percentages of cacao (i.e. 35% to 85% which, by the way, tells you the relative amount of cacao to sugar – the higher the cacao content, the healthier it is to eat); chocolates that are single source; chocolates that have unusual ingredients added such as lavender, chili pepper, ginger, and nuts and berries for example.

It’s fun to try new chocolates, because you never know when you might just find the next best thing! We love the organic chocolate bars made by Caco Prieto in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The cool designs on the wrappers make the bars look particularly gifty.

Organic Coffee & Tea
For the coffee and tea lover, think about giving a gift of organic coffees or teas.

Bellocq Organic Tea

Bellocq’s packaging is reminiscent of that used by an old-time apothecary.

Similar to the situation with organic chocolates, there are so many choices nowadays. There are companies that sell only organic coffee and tea, and others that sell both conventionally grown and organically grown products. At specialty tea ateliers you can find exotic blends of organic teas and botanicals from around the world like this organic High Mountain Oolong Green Tea from Bellocq.

Espresso bars aren’t just serving coffee anymore, they are blending and brewing the coffee beans they carefully source with the precision of science and the magic of art. If your local espresso bar doesn’t offer an organic option, there are plenty of companies you can find online that are happy to ship. A lovely organic gift idea for coffee aficionados.

Organic Cheeses
There are several mass market organic cheese brands that are readily recognizable in your supermarket cheese case, but finding certified organic cheeses made by small farmsteads are harder to come by. Small batch cheese-makers pride themselves on producing the tastiest cheeses while adhering to the strict criteria required to be labeled organic.

Organic Cheese Basket

This organic cheese basket is the complete organic food lovers gift with one of our favorites, Tarentaise.

It is an expensive, time-consuming process that takes at least three years and is difficult to maintain, and many small farms simply don’t have the resources to get through the process.

One of our favorite organic cheeses is the grassy, nutty-flavored Tarentaise from Thistle Hill Farm in Vermont. We pair it with organic fruit and other assorted organic treats for a totally organic experience!

Organic Wines
While not as ubiquitous as organic fruits, or organic coffee and teas, organic and biodynamic wines are becoming easier to find and this makes a thoughtful organic food gift for the oenophile who wants to drink pesticide-free. Have you noticed that more and more restaurants are adding a few organic selections to their wine lists?

That’s because more and more people are requesting it. Organic wine produced in the United States does not contain added sulfites typically used in the winemaking process, and taste may be sacrificed as a result. Some wines labeled as organic and produced outside of the United States do contain sulfites. They may taste better, but the additives may not meet the definition of “organic”.

Think about pairing a farmstead organic cheese gift with an organic wine for the best organic food gift imaginable!

Organic Make-Up, Skin, & Hair Products
Not all of our best gift ideas for organic lovers are food-related. If you are giving a gift to someone who likes living organic, consider organic products for skin, hair, and make-up. Just stroll down the Beauty, Bath, & Body aisle of your neighborhood health food store or natural apothecary and you will see that there are so many products that we use every day that can now be found in organic versions.

Think soaps, shampoos and conditioners, facial cleansers, massage oils, bath gels and bubbles, moisturizers, lipsticks and mascaras just to name a few. Organic lovers usually like putting organic food into their bodies and organic products onto their bodies!

Organic Clothing
Certified organic cotton is made from cotton plants that grow with no pesticides, herbicides or non-natural fertilizers for at least three years and use no chemical dyes or fabric “finishings” that may negatively affect the environment or irritate your skin.

Organic cotton bathrobes and tee shirts are easy to fit a variety of body types and are always welcomed gifts. An especially thoughtful gift for organic lovers who are new parents are baby clothes and soft toys made from organic cotton. You aren’t limited to cotton in your organic clothing gift choices. You can also find clothing in organic silk, knits, wool and cashmere.

Organic Sheets, Towels, & Decorative Pillows
If your gift recipient loves organic food and organic fabric, then they will love receiving a set of organic fabric sheets and/or towels – even accent cushions for the bed or sofa. Consider environmentally friendly organic bamboo or luxurious organic silk. Organic fabrics cost more, but your gift will show that you acknowledge their preferences. Make sure the labels say Certified Organic.

Sustainably Sourced Wood Products
It’s quite heartening to see that there are companies making beautifully hand-crafted wooden products for the home using reclaimed wood or wood from trees grown and harvested in sustainable forests. Wooden cutting boards, bowls, serving spoons, salad sets, and even photo frames (if anyone actually prints out photographs anymore — I think I’m one of the last hold-outs!) are great gifts for anyone who loves organic products.

Products come with tags that fully detail the source of the wood used. Organic lovers will definitely appreciate that.

There is an organic movement going on! To learn more about the organic certification process and other topics interesting to the organic lover, check out www.organic.org.

7 Essential Items to Include in Your Mother’s Day Gift Basket

Mother’s Day only comes once a year so it’s important to make your Mom’s gift extra special. We make it easy by offering a selection of gifts that combine many of what we believe to be the key ingredients to a spectacular Mother’s Day gift basket. Here’s our list of the top 7 essential components to a perfect Mother’s Day gift basket.

#1. Flowers
Nothing says “Mother’s Day” like a beautiful bouquet of flowers in the hues of spring. Pastels are de rigueur: think baby pink, peachy yellow, pale orange, or dusty rose. For our Mother’s Day gifts this year, we selected three varieties of gorgeous pastel peach colored roses: Big Fun, a real performer with bi-color peach hues and a splash of pink inside the petals, and two types of garden roses: Old Peach Garden in the most delicate shade of cantaloupe, and Peach Campunulla, the same tone as Old Peach Garden but with ruffling on the petals. All grown for the purpose of making Mom smile with delight!

Mothers Day Gift Baskets_Instant Happy

#2. Chocolate
Moms expect to be indulged on Mother’s Day, so chocolates are always a key element to a Mother’s Day gift basket. So many decadent ways to make her feel that she is special!
Hand-made chocolates filled with exquisitely flavored cream ganaches, delicate salted caramel chocolates, and chocolate-dipped toffees. Our exquisite Jewel Box Bon Bons by “Stick With Me” are extra special for Mom because each delectable piece looks like a little gem! If you can’t buy her a real ruby or sapphire, these bon bons are an affordable and delicious alternative.

Jewel Box Bon Bons

#3. Tea & Scones
There is nothing like a gift of brewed tea and fresh scones to make a Mom feel cosseted. And that’s the point, isn’t it? Join her if you can and share a proper English afternoon tea on Mother’s Day. You can provide all the ingredients to prepare a beloved English tradition with our Proper Tea & Scones gift. Start with a most deliciously fragrant loose leaf tea blended with rose and lavender by Bellocq Tea in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. This tea is aptly named “The Queen’s Guard”, to celebrate regal Moms across the country! To complement the flowery aromas and flavors of the tea, we chose apricot ginger pistachio scones made by our favorite local bakery, Sweetleaf, here in Long Island City. These generously sized scones are rich and buttery with a perfect balance of spicy and sweet. With a jar of delicate wildflower honey collected from the Catskill Mountains by Catskill Provisions, a lovely little antique brass tea strainer and tea filters, Mom will be ready to enjoy teatime.Proper Team & Scones for Mother's Day

#4. Cookies
Delicate and flaky cookies are another essential component to your Mother’s Day gift basket. Remind Mom that she is un-mistakenly the BEST with these hand-iced Best Mom cookies made by Duane Park Patisserie. The sweet trio spells out M-O-M in big letters that express your largesse. Include them in a gift basket of fresh fruit or with flowers and chocolate. These cookies speak the sentiment!

Best Mom Cookies

#5. Petit Fours
We can’t resist petit-fours for Mother’s Day gift baskets — they are so pretty and refined — and your Mom won’t be able to resist the charm of these little cakes either. Hand-layered and iced in a pastel Spring palette by the wizard bakers at Duane Park Patisserie. Gently arranged like flowers in a window box, these delectable treats will make your Mom feel as elegant as they look.

Petit Fours Mothers Day

#6. Chocolate Fondue
We’ve already cited chocolate as one of our top 7 essential items to include in your Mother’s Day gift basket, but hey, chocolate deserves to be mentioned twice! Chocolate comes in many forms, and fondue is a really fun and social way to enjoy the dark and creamy sweetness of chocolate. We could probably all agree that chocolate tastes great on just about anything — but especially yummy on fresh fruit and dried fruit, plain biscotti and crystallized ginger. Our chocolate fondue gifts are like a party in a basket! Surprise Mom on Mother’s Day by presenting her with a new way to enjoy chocolate!

Chocolate Fondue Gift Basket

#7. Something Personal
The last essential item to include in the perfect Mother’s Day gift basket is perhaps the most important. Put something of yourself in the gift. It can be as simple as a really personal note to your Mom. Open your heart and find the words to tell her how much she means to you the whole year through. Remind her of a memorable day you spent together in the past. Write about a time when she made you laugh or a time when she dried your tears. Or spend some time looking through old photographs and find a good one of the two of you to frame for her.

Mother’s Day is all about making your Mom feel spoiled, pampered, special, loved, appreciated, and indulged. Mother’s Day gift baskets should include ingredients that will make her feel just that way! Whatever you do for you Mom, be sure to make a fuss.

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5 Reasons Why Gift Baskets Make the Perfect Mother’s Day Present

How do you thank your mom for all that she does? How do you acknowledge all the love she has for you and show her all the love you have for her? Hopefully, you can find ways to show your appreciation the whole year through. But on Mother’s Day, we try to communicate all of those feelings in one perfect gift and on a single day. Not a simple task.

Traditionally, people send flowers to their mothers. This makes sense as Mother’s Day is during the springtime! There are many colorful and fragrant flowers to choose from that mark the beginning of the season such as hyacinths, daffodils, tulips, and lilacs. Roses are always suitable, especially in hues of pink, yellow, or orange. But how do you make it special? Be sure you send her favorite flowers. And add a heartfelt note that tells her how much she means to you.

Mothers Day Gift Basket

The best gift is always time with YOU. Taking Mom to a champagne brunch on this special day is a time-honored custom. Deliver your gift in person if you can. The point is to spend time with your mom. It will be memorable for her, and you’ll be happy you did!

We at Manhattan Fruitier are proponents of the Mother’s Day gift basket and are sharing the five reasons why we think this is the best gift idea for Mom this year:

#1. You can give Mom more of her favorite things

Sometimes it’s hard to decide what to give your mom for Mother’s Day. You know she likes daffodils and milk chocolate and green tea and Red Sox tickets. If you send a gourmet gift basket, you don’t have to choose because you can send them all! Nothing is more special than giving your mom her favorite things. It shows her how much you understand her. And the more of her favorite treats you can include, the more you can enhance her delight.

#2, You can give Mom a wide variety of goodies

Flowers, chocolate, and brunch at a nice restaurant may be traditional, but when you give a gift basket, you don’t need to be limited. In a Mother’s Day gift basket, you can include a variety of items – related or not related at all. The number and type of goodies only depends on your imagination (and the size of the gift basket).

You may want to include something sweet to eat, something for her to wear, something for her to read, something for her to use, something for her to do, something for her to look at, something for her to listen to on her special day.

Example gift basket idea: chocolate-covered strawberries, her favorite perfume, the latest best selling biography, a Starbucks gift card, a coupon for a massage, flowers, and a link to a new podcast. Indulge all of her senses!

#3. You can create the perfect gift around a theme just for Mom

Some Mother’s Day gift baskets work best when the items are all connected around a central theme. Maybe your mom has a garden she loves to tend. Consider getting a garden caddy and fill it with some new tools or new garden gloves or seeds for flowers or vegetables she likes.

Perhaps she loves short stories. You can go to your local bookstore and find the best new short story collections and a few of the classics. Different components in a gift basket round out the pleasure! Your Mom will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

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#4. You can make the gift more personal

Last year, my daughter gave me a purple Fjallraven Kanken mini knapsack for the gym and inside she put some pink and black weight-lifting gloves for me. I had mentioned that my gym bag was old and ripped and that the palms of my hands sometimes tingled while working with weights.

That unique Mother’s Day gift was obviously very specific to me and it made me feel special. We also went to brunch at our favorite local restaurant and spent the afternoon together so I got both the expected and the unexpected!! Personal gifts convey the time and effort that goes into them and show that you took the extra step.

#5. You can make your celebration of Mom last longer

Flowers wilt and brunches only last a few hours, but a gift basket filled with her favorite treats or some new items for her to try will make a lasting impression. It will take Mom a while to get through it all so she will remember your thoughtfulness and that will extend the sweet sentiment of Mother’s Day.

We hope your mom enjoys her unique Mother’s Day Gift. Happy Mother’s Day to all the great moms out there!

15 Creative Ways to Say ‘Thank You’

Saying “Thank You” is not only a polite gesture, but it is really the basis of our civility. When you combine the words “Thank You” with a gift, then you are really communicating your appreciation and sincerity. It’s taking the extra step that will make the recipient feel extra special.

Creative Thank You Gifts

Whether you want to thank a neighbor: “Thank you for watering my plants while I was away,” or an employee: “Thank you for helping out with the sales presentation”, or a friend: “I couldn’t have gotten through my break up without you!”, or a business partner: “Thank you for landing the biggest account we’ve ever had!!”, a thank you gift will carry a satisfaction that the words alone can’t convey.

Match the Gift to the Reason

The type of thank you gift you send should be in balance with the reason: does the accomplishment deserve a HUGE thank you? Or would a small one be more appropriate to the occasion? Gifts that say ‘Thank You’ in a big way are usually more expensive. They can also be an “event” or “experience” instead of an object. If the person is a friend, consider sharing an experience together!

Conversely, gifts that say ‘Thank You’ in a small way are usually less expensive. But even a token gift imbues the sentiment with more meaning than a note alone. It shows that you made an extra effort. Not to mention that small gifts are often very charming and unique.

The point is that you want to try to keep the gesture in line with the favor: neither too small for a big deed, nor too big for a small act.

Match the Gift to the Person

Thank you gifts are appropriate in both the personal and business context. After deciding whether the gift should be petite or grand, the next decision relates to who the gift is going to.

No matter the particulars, we believe that the secret to sending a great Thank You gift is to try to match the gift to the person you are thanking. The more you know about the interests and tastes of your gift recipient, the more spot on your creative thank you gift will be.

Creative Ways to Say Thank You to Employees or Business Associates

You may not know much about the personal tastes of your employees or business associates. So sending a gift that would be suitable for most people is probably the best bet in this circumstance. You don’t want to try to guess what will please someone whose tastes you don’t know!

Creative Ways to Say Thank You to Friends

Giving a thank you gift to a friend is easier in some ways because you know more about the particular tastes and preferences of a friend. What foods do they like? What do they like to do? What might be missing from their home? Is there something they’ve been talking about trying or buying?

Here are 15 unique gift ideas to say “Thank You”.

#1. Local Honey

Local Honey Thank YouThe idea of sending a jar of honey is not only sweet, but it’s downright cool. There are beehives and beekeepers everywhere these days, commercial and private, and in cities too! There are even several successful beehive businesses here in Manhattan.
If you want to see them, you’ll have to look up – hives are usually set up and tended on rooftops. Bees are making honey from local flowers so each area will produce a distinct flavor, even between different neighborhoods! This thoughtful gift doesn’t have to be expensive (at least not for a single jar), but is still interesting and should please most people.

If you want to go bigger, you can also choose to create “flights” where you can combine honey made from different areas into a single gift. A creative way to say ‘Thank You’ to both friends and employees or business associates. Some of our favorite local NYC apiaries that sell online include, Andrew’s Honey, Bee Raw, Let It Be Honey, and Catskill Provisions.

#2. Thank You Fruit Basket
A fresh fruit basket, especially when it is high-quality and beautifully presented, is always a welcome thank you gift. After all, everyone likes seasonal fruits! This particular gift also features a set of three hand iced “Thank You” cookies that say “Grazie”, “Merci” & “Thank You” so your sentiment is emphasized.Manhattan Fruitier Thank You Gift Basket

A healthy gift with a little sweet should please anyone. And with three sizes to choose from this gift basket would be appropriate for saying Thank You for small and large favors alike.

#3. Terrarium
Terrariums have had a big resurgence in popularity in the last several years. These unique gifts are the perfect way to say thank you to a friend or a colleague. Terrariums come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Oftentimes you can design your own when you order online so you can best match the gift to your recipient. Another fun idea is to take a class in terrarium making — a perfect activity to do with a friend you want to thank.

We love all the build-it-yourself choices available at Sprout Home, based in Brooklyn and Chicago. And while Greenery NYC (a botanical design firm) doesn’t make terrariums per se, we thought their gift offerings for desktop plants were unusual and elegant, making this a great way to say thank you to an employee or business associate.

#4. Candles
Like terrariums, candles have experienced a similar wave of revitalization. A candle is a creative thank you gift, particularly for a personal thank you. There are so many different kinds of candles that you can really get inspired about matching the candle to your gift recipient. There are candles that celebrate the forest, ocean, flowers, spices . . . you name it! There are also beautiful unscented candles. You can have fun choosing a unique candle for an “enlightened” thank you.

Take a look at the Paris-based Diptyque where you can select your own personal trio of small candles. Kobo’s pure soy candles has an enormous and inventive collection to select from including such original scents as Mandarin Breeze, Cashmere Valley, Fresh Cut Grass and D’Anjou Lychee.

Andrej Urem Candle

Our very favorite candles are made by hand by Andrej Urem (as shown). He makes the most luxurious, unscented, sculptural candles we have ever seen.

#5. Ice Cream
What is more fun than receiving ice cream at your doorstep?! This gift is such an unexpected treat that your recipient is sure to feel extra special. In large or small packages, ice cream is a truly entertaining way to say ‘thank you’ to employees, business colleagues, or friends. When delivered to the workplace, it provides a perfect excuse to take a break and scoop out some cool pleasure all around. Your thank you gift (and you!) will be remembered.

We are especially fond of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream and have never tried a flavor we didn’t like. You can choose from exotic flavors such as brambleberry crisp, juniper & lemon curd, and wildberry lavender to classic flavors such as milk chocolate, vanilla bean and sweet cream. Jeni’s also offers a seasonal subscription plan when you want to say ‘thank you’ again, and again and again!

#6. Photography Books
Coffee table books always a make an elegant presentation, whether for the home or for the office. If you know the person very well, you can find the picture book perfectly suited to their likes, from Classic Cars from Around the World to Classic Vogue Magazine Covers.

When not sure of your recipient’s tastes, we recommend sending a photography book as a creative way to say ‘thank you’. Nature photography is interesting to everyone. We love National Geographic’s Visions of Earth – Beauty Majesty Wonder which you can find on Amazon. We are especially enamored of the contemplative work of Diane Cook and Len Jenshel. Their book Hotspots on the American Volcanic Landscape, Aquarium, and their most recent book (which you can pre-order) Wise Trees can all be found on Amazon.com.

#7. Polaroid Camera
Staying on the theme of photography, another creative way to say ‘thank you’ for helping is to send a gift of a retro instant Polaroid camera! This gift will bring a smile and hours of amusement to anyone you need to thank. The Polaroid Instant Snap Touch Digital Camera comes in a variety of playful colors!

#8. Cooking Classes/Demonstrations with Celebrity Chefs
If you need to send a big thank you, or have a large group of people you want to thank, a fun idea is to arrange for a private cooking class or cooking demonstration that usually precedes a fabulous meal together!

These events can be pricey, but can often be just the perfect thank you gift. The Institute of Culinary Education, the James Beard Foundation, Sur La Table, and My Cooking Party in NYC offer private and corporate events and demonstrations. Check out your area for local culinary events.

#9. Mortar and Pestle
Even if your recipient isn’t a big cook, the gift of a beautiful but simple and useful mortar and pestle is a lovely way to say thank you. You can buy them in a variety of materials including, classic marble, copper, modern stainless steel, and wood.

Add makings for guacamole (avocados, limes, garlic, tomatoes, etc) if you can hand deliver your thank you gift for an extra touch.

#10. Water Carafe and Glass
A lovely bedside water carafe is another unique way to say thank you to a friend. Few people have this convenience and it makes a very thoughtful gift. We like the very simple and classic nightstand carafe by Birch Lane. CB2 offers a very inexpensive line of attractive carafe and glass sets, as well as a collection of colorful carafes and tumblers

#11. Decanters
Similar to the bedside water carafe, but more cosmopolitan, is a wine or spirits decanter. Ideally suited for a corporate thank you since it can be used for any type of libation, as well as for a friend, this gift can range from the affordable to the extravagant to match the reason for the thank you.

I found this website really helpful when deciding what shape and what size decanter to get.

Reidel has a good selection of handmade decanters (more expensive for big thank you gifts) from the simple to the elaborate. My favorite decanter is simple, elegant and totally affordable from Uncommon Goods. Check out Crate & Barrel for decanters for spirits in a range of prices.

#12. “Cool” Ice Cubes
These are not your mother’s ice cubes! With renewed excitement about creating classic cocktails, the humble ice cube has gained new status.

Re-usable ice cubes are great for drinks when you want the chill, but not the extra water. Use for iced tea and iced coffee, white wine or whiskey.

Brookstone offers very cool re-usable stainless steel ice cubes. You can even get them personalized at Etsy! Black reusable ice cubes are very sleek and modern. Teroforma has black soapstone “whiskey” stones. If you don’t like the idea of re-usable ice cubes, look for trays that make ice cubes in fun shapes such as shells, fish, flowers and hearts. We like the stars from Lekue.

#13. Bluetooth portable speakers
Portable speakers make a thoughtful Thank You gift for friends, employees or business associates alike. Everyone likes music of some sort! There are many social occasions where ear buds are just not appropriate. Bluetooth portable speakers are easy to carry around with you. Share your music at a party, in the office, or at the beach. You can find a range of shapes and sizes and colors and price points based on power.

#14. Finds from a Fancy Stationary Store

Notepads and note cards do not have to be a cliché token gift. There are many elegant iterations that are classic or unique, but all of which will say ‘Thank You’ in a beautiful and remembered way.

Sesame LetterPress uses old-fashioned hand operated letterpress machines to make whimsical designs on note cards, note pads, notebooks, calendars and coasters. We especially love their sweet little calendars that you pin to a corkboard.

Dempsey + Carroll have been creating bespoke engraved stationary since 1878. You can design personalized note cards, pads or stationary, or you can peruse their delightful Spring collection of stationary desk sets with as many different options as there are personalities — perfect for a business thank you gift when you want to spend a little money.

#15. Cheese & Savory Gift Baskets

Food, and cheese in particular, is a gift that everyone loves. High-quality farmstead cheeses make an extra special thank you gift for friends or employees. When combined with sweet and savory accoutrements, cheese baskets make the perfect gift!

Pair fig paste, spicy plum chutney, fresh fruit, and nuts to compliment the sharp, nutty, buttery, grassy, or earthy flavors of sheep, cow or goat cheese. You can even add a bottle of wine for the finishing touch.

Here’s a final secret about thank you gifts: sending a unique, creative thank you gift can make you, the sender, feel good too!