2010 Holiday Gift Guide

Local Luxuries
Print up an instant email gift certificate for a Sugar Plum Hydrating Treatment or Ultimate Body Polish at Rituals Spa in Guilford. Buy an Eagle Watch or Winter Wonderland Cruise on the Connecticut River from Riverquest. Offer up an email GC to locally-owned Smashing Darling, an online trove of over 700 indie designers. The A-Team will detail a car, clean the gutters or provide a handyman for anything that needs fixing around the house. The ULTIMATE luxury? Hire a driver for a day: I just discovered Alan Mariani, who operates a car service in the tradition of Driving Miss Daisy. He’ll schlep you to the airport and train station or take you and your girlfriends to NY for a day of theater or shopping. Oh, and he’s delightful, charming AND funny. Get me a gift certificate: 860.575.5157.
necklace by Rutigliano Design at Smashing Darling


Learn Something
Gift a cooking class at Homeworks in Old Saybrook (fun and delicious) or check out Rouxbe.com for access to hundreds of instructional cooking videos. Learn how to handle a Landrover (or your Subaru) in the snow with driving classes from Overland Experts in East Haddam. Give culture: a museum membership to the Florence Griswold or Lyman Allyn Museum. For the techie wannabe, email an instant gift certificate to Lynda.com, online software training for  everything from Photoshop and iPhoto to WordPress and Excel.


Instant Gift
For the persnickety on your list, these specialty e-tailers will email a gift certificate on the spot or within 24 hours:
For the hyper-organized: seejanework.com. For the crafter: curiosityshoppe.com. For teens: modcloth.com and threadless.com. For the quirky: shoptwine.com. For the fleamarket fanatic: threepotatofour.com. For the design addicted: aplusrstore.com. For the treehugger: terrapass.com (an e-card for carbon offsets). The following online giants offer an almost instant e-giftcard: llbean.comfaoschwarz.comsephora.comnet-a-porter.combergdorfgoodman.comwilliamssonoma.com and zappos.com.