Normally, I am not one to embrace the idea of giving the exact same gift to everyone on your list, be it a scarf, home-made kalua or an amazon gift card (all good gifts in their own right). I'd prefer to err on the side of not giving a gift at all, rather than giving something half-heartedly simply for the sake of checking another wrapped parcel off the list. The internet is filled with curated gift guides and helpful suggestions, but they all seem to rely heavily on holiday extravagance, which is simply not always in the cards for those of us with a set budget.
This year, I found a simple solution. And while it involves giving each of my girlfriends incredibly similar gifts, I am pleased with the usefulness of it. Screen-printed at a local graphics studio, these heavy canvas tote bags bear my own rough attempt at hand-lettering, and are sturdy enough to cart around just about anything.
For my fellow bibliophiles and literary friends, I tucked a book inside the totes before I mailed them out. For others, fancy chocolates and locally-roasted coffee beans were more appropriate. I'll be tucking a bottle of wine and a bouquet of flowers into one as a house-warming gift for my parents (who moved back to the country this very week). Come summer, I'll be using mine to tote bunches of fresh produce home from the local market (of course).
For my own part, I get a little giddy when holiday gifts manage to have the potential for flexibility and creativity. But most of all, usefulness. Here's to hoping that all those who open one of these tote bag gifts next week will be as pleased about them as I am.