Introducing Wine Gifts

We are delighted to introduce you to Manhattan Fruitier’s very own collection of wines! Wine is a natural extension of Manhattan Fruitier’s gift offerings. We hope you are as tantalized as we are by the possibilities. We are currently offering individual bottles of wine and wine gift baskets for delivery in New York State, including, of course, NYC.

Prosciutto & Parmigiano Basket with a Tuscan Chianti wine

Our Prosciutto & Parmigiano Basket with a Tuscan Chianti

We know that buying wine can often be intimidating. There are so many choices and so much to know about wines from around the world. I recently tasted delicious bottles from Sardinia and Lebanon. Wherever grapes will grow, good wine is likely being made. It’s hard for even a wine expert to keep up.

That’s why we put so much attention into creating a highly curated wine collection that won’t overwhelm you.  Instead of thousands of wines to choose from, we offer fewer than 100 wines that reflect the highest standards in grape growing and winemaking. It’s the ultimate indulgence to enjoy a bottle of high quality bottle of wine from a small producer half way around the globe. And delivered as a gift in New York City, it’ll be prized and remembered.

Whether you are purchasing an individual bottle of wine, or pairing wine with one of our gourmet food gifts, we will guide you like a sommelier in a restaurant. In fact, our wine selection is curated by sommelier Ryan Burkett, who trained as a sommelier in fine restaurants in Charleston and New York City. Ryan has a passion for introducing people to the wines and producers he believes in.

Here’s the bottom line:  Any wine you buy from us will be exemplary. We want your experience of buying wine, whether for yourself or as a gift, to be stress-free and fun.  And we’ll deliver to your home or work anywhere in New York State.

The Wines

We offer wines of all tastes and styles with one very important thing in common: they are made by people who care. The wines we offer best express their creator’s intentions. We choose wines from grape growers and winemakers (often one in the same) who want to convey their sense of place, or terroir, to us through the grapes grown on their land.

Wine making is part art and part science. It involves working with an unstable product (fermenting grape juice) which has to be monitored and sometimes gently massaged to ensure that it stays on the path to become an enchanting libation. The best wine makers gently guide the fermentation process, without heavy handed interventions.

wine gift basket with red wine

Our Organic Cheese Basket with a bottle of organic red wine from the Loire Valley

We have a special affection for “natural wines,” namely, wines made from grapes that are grown organically or biodynamically, and made with no or very few additives. The idea is to let the grape speak to us through the wine. This is the magic of wine:  You can be mentally and emotionally transported to France, Italy, Spain, Australia, California, Sicily … while sipping wine in your NYC apartment.

We will be blogging regularly about wine so that you can travel to amazing places and share the stories of people with a passion for what they do.  Wine is geography, history, culture, language, and countless other facets of life.  But really, wine is about the pleasure of drinking it. Enjoy!

7 Great Rosh Hashanah Gift Ideas

It’s not obligatory to bring or send a gift for the Rosh Hashanah holiday, but it’s a thoughtful gesture that will certainly be appreciated. Food gift baskets are great Rosh Hashanah gifts to give, since the Jewish holiday is celebrated with particular foods. If you are going to give a gift of food for the holiday, make it classic. For example, during Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), eating honey and other sweet dishes symbolize the wish for a “sweet” New Year. It is also customary to eat fruits, such as apples and pomegranates. It’s a good idea to make your food gift Kosher, unless you know for sure that the family does not keep a kosher household.

Here are 7 great Rosh Hashanah gifts to give or send for the holiday celebration!

#1. Gift Baskets of Kosher Honey and Apples
Probably more than any other gift of food, honey and apples are the most popular for Rosh Hashanah because they are typically a focal point of the holiday meal. Dipping apples into honey is a Rosh Hashanah tradition. Apples are a plentiful fruit in the Fall when the Rosh Hashanah holiday is observed. Honey is significant not just for its sweetness, but also for the industry of the bees that made it and is a reminder to give of oneself in the coming year.

Kosher-Honey-Hamper for Rosh HashanahWe offer two classic kosher Rosh Hashanah gifts that will be sure to please any gathering. Our Kosher Bees Knees gift includes the delectable combination of seasonal apples, kosher honey from the Catskills and Kosher peanut butter. Our Kosher Honey and Nougat Hamper contains the classic ingredients of seasonal fresh fruit and kosher honey for dipping, as well as kosher honey almond nougat – a chewy delight!

#2. Gift Baskets of Fresh Fruit
Fruits other than apples are also traditional at Rosh Hashanah. Pomegranates are frequently included on the Rosh Hashanah dinner table because the abundance of seeds represents the many good deeds that will be done in the New Year. Fruit is naturally kosher, so giving a fresh fruit Rosh Hashanah gift basket will always be a safe bet! Manhattan Fruitier’s fresh fruit gifts for Rosh Hashanah always include pomegranates and apples.

#3. Gift Baskets with Kosher Sweets
Kosher Basket with BabkaSweet foods are a main feature of a Rosh Hashanah celebration in the home. A Rosh Hashanah gift idea that combines fresh fruit with kosher sweets, such as chocolate babka (a traditional treat at a Shabbot dinner), cocoa-dusted almonds, and chocolate-dipped pomegranate seeds, hits all the central themes of the holiday.

#4. Traditional Rosh Hashanah Food Dishes
If you like to cook, there are several time-honored dishes served at a Rosh Hashanah meal that you could make. However, if you do not keep a kosher kitchen yourself, you should probably choose to buy something already made and certified Kosher. Your host may encourage a pot-luck approach to filling out the Rosh Hashanah table, particularly if the party attending is large. Tayglach (a honey and nut pastry), and honey cake are two great Rosh Hashanah gifts to bring, whether homemade or not.

#5. Kosher Wine
The blessing of the wine is always part of a Jewish Sabbath or Jewish holiday so bringing a kosher wine is a perfect gift for Rosh Hashanah. There are many really great kosher wines available these days, far elevated above the classic Manischewitz! You can’t go wrong if you bring wine to a Rosh Hashanah celebration. If it’s not consumed during the holiday, it will be on hand for the next occasion.

#6. Exotic Fruits
It is customary to eat something “new” on Rosh Hashanah because it symbolizes the newness of the coming year. One common “new” food brought to the Rosh Hashanah dinner table is an exotic fruit – something that has never been tried. You can have fun shopping the import markets in your city. Asian markets specifically tend to carry lots of unusual and tropical fruits. Rambutans, originally from Malaysia and Indonesia, are curious looking fruit with a delicious, sweet white flesh. They taste and look like lychees on the inside, but the outside looks very different with green spines like spiky hairs that stick out of the outside shell.

Champagne grapes are tiny, sweet, seedless, delicate cousins of the more familiar grapes. Because their season is short and they are so fragile, many produce stores do not carry them and so they may be considered quite exotic for most people. Champagne grapes will look all the more beautiful when arranged on a flat dish and placed in the center of the dining table.

Bringing an exotic fruit to try for the Jewish New Year is a great gift idea and will definitely get you noticed for your contribution!

#7. Send A Thoughtful Note
It is customary to remind your loved ones how much you care and how grateful you are to have them in your life. Bringing a classic “Shana Tovah” (“Good Year”) card with your personal sentiments to the hosts of the Rosh Hashanah dinner makes a fitting and poignant gesture. Consider adding the card to your Rosh Hashanah gift basket!

If you can’t be with your family on Rosh Hashanah or you are invited to join in a family Rosh Hashanah celebration and can’t attend, sending a gift in your stead will make your presence warmly felt. Remember that Rosh Hashanah begins on Wednesday, September 20th and lasts for two days ending at nightfall on Friday, September 22th, 2017. “L’shanah tovah!”

Reflections on Manhattan Fruitier’s 30th Anniversary

Thirty years ago, on the afternoon of Sept 5th 1987, I got married to Lauren on the rolling green lawns of the old Inn on Lake Waramaug in beautiful western Connecticut. Forty-five of our closest friends and family were with us, as well as the Inn’s old pony named Chester who was fitted with a large lace collar for the occasion! After a three-day long celebration over the Labor Day weekend, Lauren and I left for Martha’s Vineyard for a brief but delightful honeymoon. On September 15, the day after we returned to Manhattan, the doors of Manhattan Fruitier were opened!

It was a whirlwind summer with side-by-side preparations for our wedding and the new business. I couldn’t have been happier!

1987 – Manhattan Fruitier Opens Our Doors

I met Lee Grimsbo at a small dinner party in early 1987. Lee was a friend of my sister’s and was the Fruit and Produce Manager at Dean & Deluca, when it first opened on Prince and Broadway. Lee had made a few fruit baskets for customers that he designed using Flemish still life paintings as his inspiration, and he wondered if it could grow into a business. I thought it could and we became partners in G & G (Gold & Grimsbo) Manhattan Fruitier!

Founding Members of Manhattan Fruitier

Jehv, Lee and cat Kato

Our first little shop was down on 6th Street near the Bowery. And in 1987, the Bowery wasn’t at all hip. Our first employee was Drew Pleak, a colleague of Lee’s from Dean & Deluca. (Thank you, Dean & Deluca, for hiring and training such talented people — we have employed quite a few other alumni/alumnae over the years as well). Drew is still with us and his design sense and creativity infuse all of our gifts.

After the first year, we took over the basement, and after the second year we rented additional space to handle our holiday business. In those early holidays, we worked around the clock making baskets and organizing deliveries. Lauren was in graduate school at the time, but helped out when she could, especially at the holiday time.

In December 1990, in between doing research on her dissertation, Lauren (also 8 months pregnant with our daughter) would tie netting over the baskets to keep the fruit secure and wrap a simple grosgrain ribbon around the basket and tie it with a bow. I remember we had to rig a little adaptation for her so that she could get her body close enough to the counter where the baskets were lined up ready to net.

We were a real curiosity. People would stop on the sidewalk, day and night, and watch us work through the glass in the door. “Oh, look at Santa’s elves at work!” they would exclaim.

After a couple of years, Lee left Manhattan Fruitier to pursue his love of all things related to gold leaf. He found a great gig at New York Central Art Supply that lasted almost 25 years. He has always championed the growth and continued success of Manhattan Fruitier and we remain friends.

Expanding Outside of New York City

Initially, we only hand delivered our gifts in and around the NYC area. At the urging of a travel agent who was promoting vacations to the Caribbean, we sent tropical fruit gifts in wooden crates across the country. The success of that project led us to develop our shippable hampers and expand our gift line. This was one of our first lessons in listening to the good suggestions of our customers.

 

Manhattan Fruitier Store Front on 29th Street at Park Avenue

Store Front on 29th Street at Park Avenue

After five years, in 1992, we moved Manhattan Fruitier uptown to Park Avenue and 29th Street. We had a beautiful old store front (which we didn’t mess with, though we needed to replace the broken glass). We spent 20 years in that location and watched the neighborhood change around us. By-the-hour hotels and “street walking” business women were slowly replaced by high end hotels, wine bars, yoga studios and condos.

In 2005, we opened a location in Los Angeles to serve our bi-coastal customers which included a few movies and TV shows (see some of our highlights below). As a result of the recession, we decided to close this location in 2009.

By 2012, it was time for us to move again. We had very much outgrown that space and were maintaining separate facilities in Queens and Brooklyn across the years. Our next stop would be Long Island City, where we could consolidate and where we currently operate the business.

Signing Manhattan Fruitier Long Island City lease

Jehv & Massimo Signing Lease For Our First Space in Long Island City

The Manhattan Fruitier Family – Our Incredible Team

The vast majority of our current staff have been with us for 10-20 years which means they like what they do and the environment they work in, and that makes me feel really good. We’ve celebrated milestone birthdays together and watched our children grow up. Like all work places, employees meet and sometimes have romantic relationships, which can lead to marriage and children. By our best reckoning, there have been three marriages and seven children so far.

Over the years we have also lost some good people to their career dreams. For instance, Joe R. a ridiculously smart and funny guy, cut his satirical teeth at Manhattan Fruitier and later became the editor of the Onion satirical media outlet. A group of talented Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) graduates (Adam, Mahoney, and Jason) worked at Manhattan Fruitier in the early years and then went on to form Urban Folk Arts where they pushed each other creatively producing provocative art. Michael M. and Georgia H. both went on to get PhD’s in psychology. Matt J., our intrepid literature enthusiast, was just accepted to the Applied Quantitative Research program at NYU.

Manhattan Fruitier Centerpieces for Explorers Club

Lauren Arranging Centerpieces For a Party at The Explorers Club

We are also so fortunate to have talented people return year-after-year to help us with our holiday business: Tunde I., Haydn L., Jai S., Roushka V., Jillian D., Martha R., Kritzia P., Terry G., Riley S., and Jari J. for example.

And while we have suffered a few losses in the Manhattan Fruitier family over the years I am reminded to value each person, not only for their contribution to Manhattan Fruitier, but for their specialness in the larger world.

We’d love to tell you who our customers are, and who some of their recipients were, but we pride ourselves in being discreet.

Highlights from the last 30 years:

    • Featured for the first time in the New York Times. (1987)
    • Candace Bergen (my actress crush) calling to place an order. I happened to take that order. I just had to share that! (1988).
    • Featured in the New Yorker Magazine: “Run, don’t walk, to the phone and call Manhattan Fruitier.” (1988)
    • Our fruit basket appears in Mike Nichols’ movie “Working Girls” as a gift to Sigourney Weaver’s character when she is in the hospital with a broken leg. (1988)
  •  Martha Stewart & Drew on set
  •  Martha Stewart & Drew On Set
    • Martha Stewart doing a “field trip” to Manhattan Fruitier to record a segment for her TV show. (1997)
    • Our fruit basket was presented as a retirement gift to Kevin Kline’s character in The Emperor’s Club. (2002)
    • Our fruit basket makes a cameo in the Woody Allen film “Hollywood Ending”. (2002)
    • Lauren got to take a call from Renee Fleming in 2003, one of her all-time favorite opera singers. She was as gracious on the phone as she appears on the stage.
    • Our fruit basket appears in a final episode of “Sex and the City” in Carrie and Misha’s Paris motel room. (2004)
    • On Boardwalk Empire the character Lathrop gets one of our fruit baskets with a note that says “Thanks, you’re a peach.” (2011)
    • Liz Lemon snags a cookie from a Manhattan Fruitier fruit basket in an episode of 30 Rock. (2013)
    • A gift hamper was in the Academy Award winning movie Birdman. Hint: The gun was hidden behind our hamper on the top shelf in Riggan’s (Michael Keaton’s) dressing room. (2014)
    • In HBO’s Girls, Hannah delivered a fruit basket to Adam and Jessa as a way to make peace with them and herself after ex-boyfriend and best friend started dating. During a Moth-like open mic performance, Hannah says something like, “I even gave them a fruit basket, and a not-too cheap one at that.” (2016)

Being in business for 30 years, we’ve been buffeted by many forces outside of our control, and survived. There was 9/11 and all the anxiety and disruption around it. There was the subway strike on December 19, 2005 that paralyzed NYC during our busiest week of the year (our intrepid employees came to work by foot, bicycle and roller blade). And, we experienced the hopefully once-in-a-lifetime great recession of 2008 (never good for gift giving). In 2012, there was Hurricane Sandy, and its impact on NYC’s infrastructure. Overall, we’ve tried to be patient, taken a long term perspective, and proven ourselves to be resilient.

7 Gifts Ideas for Diabetics

Diabetes has become an epidemic in this country, particularly Type 2 diabetes which tends to arise in middle age. That sad fact means that any one of us is likely to know someone who has diabetes: a parent, a family member, a friend, a co-worker.

So how do you find a good gift for a diabetic? Well, the best diabetic gift ideas will be all about health and healing. We found seven gifts appropriate for people with diabetes. Before we get into the specific gift ideas, we’d like to say a few words about the reasoning behind our healthy choices. If you want to learn more specifics about the physiology of diabetes, check out one of the many easily accessible medical websites.

For health, our blood sugar (glucose) should remain relatively stable over the course of a day. It’s obvious, but worth the reminder, that we get sugar directly from the foods we eat. Certain food, like simple carbohydrates (starches) and refined sugars are known to immediately convert sugar into glucose and cause a spike in blood levels. These foods are considered to be “high” on the Glycemic Index (GI). The hormone insulin works to lower blood sugar. In people who are developing Type 2 diabetes, the body’s sensitivity to insulin begins to decrease. Insulin starts to be retained as fat (particularly around the abdomen) and causes weight gain. When insulin is no longer able to control the glucose levels in the blood, Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed.

The best gifts for diabetics will be ones that 1) promote eating healthy foods that do not cause blood glucose surges, and 2) encourage weight loss and physical exercise, which help to increase the effectiveness of insulin. If you need to send a gift to a person who has diabetes, you will not go wrong if you choose one of these!

#1. Gift Basket Filled with Low Glycemic Treats
Fresh fruits are considered a healthy dietary choice for people with diabetes. However, some fresh fruits are higher on the GI than others. At Manhattan Fruitier, we have designed gifts for people with diabetes that include fresh and dried fruit known to be low on the Glycemic Index (GI) so they help keep blood glucose levels steady. Fresh fruits are considered a healthy dietary choice for people with diabetes. However, some fresh fruits are higher on the GI than others.

At Manhattan Fruitier, we have designed gifts for people with diabetes that include fresh and dried fruit known to be low on the Glycemic Index (GI) so they help keep blood glucose levels steady. In fact, we named our Diabetic gift baskets collection, “Even Keel”! To that we add other low GI snacks and treats including nutritious low carb chickpea snacks, jumbo roasted peanuts in the shell and stevia sweetened chocolate. Stevia is a natural plant-based sugar that has no carbs and no calories and doesn’t affect insulin levels or blood glucose. This is one of our favorite Even Keel gift baskets with delicious low GI treats:

Even Keel_Diabetic Gift Basket
#2. Cookbook
A cookbook for people with diabetes is a great gift, especially for someone who is pre-diabetic or recently diagnosed. It can be confusing at first to know what foods are better to eat than others, and it can be hard to adjust a familiar diet to make new and healthier substitutions. A cookbook with enticing photographs of meals focusing on fresh vegetables and whole grains can be inspiring! There are so many options available. Look for a cookbook with simple, easy to prepare meals if the gift is for a diabetic who isn’t facile in the kitchen. Your gift will be much more successful if the recipes aren’t intimidating. Conversely, you can find a gourmet cookbook written specifically for people with diabetes in mind, and still please the foodie who likes to cook. Also consider a cookbook with healthy recipes for smoothies and juices! A yummy way to get low GI fruits and vegetables.

#3. Blender or Juicer
And why not combine a recipe book for smoothies and juices with a blender or juicer? There are a variety of types at a variety of price points to fit any budget. A blender or juice is a great gift idea to promote healthy eating because they make it so easy! Whether it’s a fruit and yogurt morning shake or an afternoon veggie juice pick-me-up, you will be helping someone you care about to maintain a healthy diet and keep their diabetes under control.

#4. Exercise Gear & Apparel
Next to managing their diet, people with diabetes are encouraged to get into a steady exercise program. Recent research has shown that losing even a few pounds can have an impact on blood sugar levels. For someone who will be starting an exercise program for the first time, the best diabetic gift idea to encourage exercise is gear for walking.

A Fitbit would be a great way to introduce the concept of walking for health. Fitbits are ubiquitous among those of us who already know the benefits of walking. But for someone who is just getting off the couch, it can be a real eye-opener. Daily step/mile requirements set a concrete goal and watching as that goal gets closer and closer can make the challenge more fun! And that’s the purpose of a good gift for a diabetic: to help them establish a new healthy routine.

If they are already a walker or exerciser, there are other thoughtful and inexpensive gift ideas for exercise gear. There are some really practical and attractive waistbands for walkers or runners with discrete pockets to conveniently hold cell phones, house keys, tissues, and even healthy snacks. Another pragmatic gift for a diabetic for walking or running is an easy to hold water bottle: some have special hand holds, others attach to the wrist and some even attach to waistbands for hands-free exercise.

If interested in starting yoga, or already a devotee, yoga clothes are easy to find and always appreciated. Yoga pants and tops can be found in lots of fun patterns and colors, both lightweight for warm weather months and heavier weight for the cold.

#5. Exercise Equipment
Depending on your budget, think about giving a gift of a gym membership or a pack of yoga classes at a local studio. These would make excellent birthday gifts for diabetics! There is no better way to encourage exercise than in the group setting of a health club or yoga studio. If your recipient is already a gym member, consider hiring a personal trainer for 5 to 10 sessions. A trainer can breathe new life into a tired routine and help a person with diabetes keep motivated to continue their exercise program and even move to the next level. (While you’re gifting them, why not purchase yourself some workout classes and take the classes together).

Yoga Gift BasketAn organic yoga gift basket (like the one above) with an environmentally friendly water bottle, yoga belt, eye pillow and organic snacks of fresh and dried fruit and nuts is a great diabetic friendly gift idea for the yoga lover. Workout equipment for home or travel use is another thoughtful gift. A set of hand weights, exercise bands, travel yoga mat or block will help keep a person with diabetes engaged in their exercise regime even when they can’t get to the club or to group practice. (We also love these fun gift ideas for any yogi in your life.)

#6. Medical Supply Bag or Case
Besides adjusting to a new diet and weight loss program, a person with diabetes also has to find a way to carry around all their diabetic paraphernalia. Medical supplies such as blood glucose meters and monitors, lancet devices, glucose test strips, insulin bottles and needles need to be carried wherever the person with diabetes goes. A very considerate diabetic gift idea is a medical supply bag that can carry all the testing gear in as compact and attractive way as possible. Many diabetes websites have examples to choose from so you can find one that matches their style.

#7. Diabetic Reference Material
Especially for the newly diagnosed, a comprehensive medical reference book that explains everything you’d want to know about diabetes is a necessity. This gift may not be something that is immediately thought of as essential, but it’s guaranteed to be used again and again. A subscription to a monthly diabetic publication is another gift for people with diabetes that they might not think they need, but can be very informative. Publications range from medical and scientific, to lifestyle so you can choose the best match.

When thinking about what gift to get for a person who has diabetes, the most important criterion is to keep it healthy and healing!

Gifts For New Parents That They’ll Actually Enjoy

Close friends of ours just had a baby! A shout out to beautiful cupid-cheeked baby Uma! Like most new parents these days, our friends signed up for a baby registry which made it easy for us to give them a newborn baby gift that we knew they wanted.But don’t hesitate to send a baby gift not on the registry, especially if it’s an item that you may have discovered by trial and error as a parent yourself: share that one toy that would infallibly sooth your cranky newborn, or that one mobile that magically mesmerized her. “Welcome New Baby” gifting solved. But what about the parents? New parents are desperate for sleep, nutritious food and adult conversation. But mostly they are short on time: time to take care of anything that isn’t directly related to their new baby. Here are 8 great gift ideas for new parents that will really be appreciated.

#1. Food
Eating becomes a “catch it as you catch can” endeavor when you have a new baby at home. One of the nicest and most thoughtful gifts for new parents is a good meal. Bring over some healthy home-made dishes that are divided into meals and can be frozen and defrosted as needed. Replenish! Or if you aren’t into cooking yourself, consider signing the new parents up for a food delivery service. Some services send fully prepared meals that only require heating; others send a simple recipe with all the ingredients to make the meal, which at least saves shopping for groceries.

#2. Gift Baskets – For Moms, New Parents, & The Baby
If you don’t live close enough to bring homemade food to the new parents, and you don’t want to commit to a subscription meal service, then a food gift basket for the new parents is just the ticket! Finding time to sleep can be hard enough, let alone finding time to cook. How about a breakfast hamper such as our Early Bird Breakfast Basket with artisanal bread, jam, granola, and Clementine juice, or our hearty Bagel Brunch Baskets with delectable smoked salmon, bagels, cream cheese, capers and organic blood orange juice? These gifts are sure to please new parents who likely eat breakfast any time of the day or night!
 

A gift basket designed just for new or expecting moms, filled with all of the essential vitamins.

Nutrition is critically important for new mothers, especially if they are breast-feeding. It’s hard to make sure to get enough healthy food when you don’t have the time to put into shopping and food preparation. We have designed the Mother’s Nature collection, a line of healthy gift baskets specifically to address the nutritional needs of pregnant and nursing women. In three different sizes, we include fresh and dried fruit that contain many of the most essential vitamins and minerals necessary for good maternal nutrition, and a variety of healthy, easy to eat snacks filled with protein for energy.

You can also add a little present for the new baby to a gift basket for new parents! Our customers tend to include baby booties, and/or baby blankets in pink, blue or a neutral shade, or a soft and cuddly teddy bear to acknowledge the new arrival.

#3. Laundry Service
The diaper service has been engaged, but what about the rest of the family laundry? Find a laundry service that will pick up dirty clothes, sheets and towels, and deliver them back all cleaned, folded and pressed, and you have a good gift idea for new parents!

#4. Doula or Housekeeper
Doulas are breast-feeding specialists, but their expertise can extend into other areas of newborn child care and maternal health and well-being. Doulas are companions as well as mentors. They also typically will do light grocery shopping, prepare simple meals, and tidy up. Sometimes Grandma or Grandpa can fill this role, but often grandparents don’t live near-by or new parents don’t want the complications of a relative taking on these responsibilities. Doulas can live-in or visit daily for as long as needed. For more heavy lifting in maintaining a clean and tidy household, think about engaging a housekeeper for the new parents. Scrubbing a bathroom or scouring a stove top aren’t high priorities for parents of a new baby.

#5. Run Some Errands
Any chore that involves leaving the house can be a challenge for a brand new parent. Offer to do grocery store or pharmacy shopping, drop off dry cleaning, pick up older kids from day care/school, or walk the dog. If you want to visit the home, offer to do some chores, such as ironing or washing dishes, while you are there.

#6. Pet Care
Taking care of pets that need special attention, such as an elderly dog, a young dog that needs lots of outdoor running, or a cat that needs twice daily glucose injections, for example, can be an extra burden when all the focus is on the new baby. Offering to take a pet for a few weeks may be a great gift for new parents. Even if a pet doesn’t require additional care, they may suffer a bit from their owner’s distraction. You can also benefit from all the good energy a pet can bring to your own household!

#7 Short Story Books
Reading a book is almost impossible when you can only get through one or two pages at a single sitting. Short story books can be the perfect solution for new parents who love to read. There are lots of classic selections such as the short story collections of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Alice Munro, or Mark Twain, or you can chose the current year’s “The Best American Short Stories” which are consistently excellent. Another great option is the “Letters of Note” volumes, which print correspondence written in the near and distant past from famous people and average citizens, and in ordinary or extraordinary circumstances. Each letter is about a page and fascinating enough to hold your attention, at least for the time you have to devote to it!

#8. Parent Pampering
One of the best gift ideas for new parents is some pampering. The very last thing new parents are thinking about (even lower on the list than laundry) is taking care of themselves. Give a gift certificate to a nice restaurant near-by home and take care of the baby so the new parents have the chance to freshen up and share a few hours together out as a couple. It’s easy to forget the importance of your relationship with your partner when you become a family. Another good gift for new parents is a spa treatment! Send them a gift card to the local nail salon. And don’t worry: manicures and pedicures aren’t just for women any more. Men are going to nail salons in increasing numbers these days for care of their feet and hands. Facials or massages are also good options.

The point is to give a gift that reminds the new parents of what they used to enjoy before baby came into the picture. The needs and wants of the new parents are often forgotten in the flurry of attention that the new baby draws. Giving a gift specifically for new parents will be a delightful surprise and greatly appreciated. If you can, don’t just offer one homemade meal, one week of laundry or housekeeping service, or one day of errands or pet care. A personalized gift that keeps on giving over 3 to 6 months is the best gift you can give new parents.