New Year’s Eve Gift Ideas

What do you like to do for New Year’s Eve? I know there are some people who bah humbug the entire holiday season and can’t wait for January 1st to arrive so it can all be over! These people are happiest when they can go to bed early on New Year’s Eve and let the revelers revel on without them. But I believe most of us think New Year’s is a fun time of year. It’s a celebration of new beginnings.

Whether you gravitate to the gleeful commotion of a big party or prefer a small, quiet, more intimate affair, you’ll want to think about what kind of food and beverages to bring or serve at the festivities. Sending a gift to a loved one near or far is also a wonderful gesture that will end the year on a high note and set the tone for 2018.

As we have been developing our wine collection this year, we have been paying particular attention to our New Year’s gift baskets that we pair with champagnes and sparkling wines.

 

ROMANTIC GIFT BASKETS FOR NEW YEAR’S EVE

 

Caviar & Champagne

Nothing says New Year’s Eve like caviar and champagne! This is such a classic combination. At Manhattan Fruitier, we keep this gift simple but sophisticated while providing everything you need in one basket (except for the champagne glasses). We pair Osetra caviar (sustainably farmed) with crème fraiche, mini blinis and a horn serving spoon, and add a delightful Champagne by Paul Clouet, one of the finest smaller batch producers in France. This New Year’s gift basket is the perfect idea for a quiet romantic evening for two at home.  Send it to friends or family, or treat yourself!

 

NYE gift ideas - caviar

Caviar Chests with Champagne for New Year’s Eve

The Epicurean

You could spend the time researching and gathering all of these sweet and savory luxury treats from around the world, or you could simply order one of our Epicurean Hampers with Champagne to be delivered to your doorstep or to the home of friends or family. This tasting menu paired with the Paul Clouet Champagne is ideal for a small gathering where people can nibble on their favorite delectables (be it Scottish smoked salmon or Valrhona chocolate bonbons). The Epicurean would also make a complete picnic for two in the living room (or the bedroom).

 

NYE gift ides - hamper

Epicurean Hampers: Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Style and Good Taste

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Maybe your New Year’s Eve celebration involves dinner out or going to a party, but you like to return home to share an amorous dessert. Nothing seems to epitomize the sensuous more than luscious fresh strawberries dipped in good chocolate. Be sure to look for the smaller strawberries that use real chocolate for the best flavor when thinking about this as a Happy New Year gift idea.

 

GIFT BASKETS TO BRING TO A PARTY

Stilton and Pear Basket with Port

We based this New Year’s Eve gift idea on a classic English holiday tradition: eating Stilton cheese! We import the blue Stilton in a wheel from the tiny Colston-Bassett Dairy in England that has been making traditional Stilton cheese for over a hundred years. We hand cut the Stilton ourselves and pair it with the perfect time-honored accompaniments: pears and Port. Ours is a Tawny Port from Portugal – bold and rich enough to stand up to the pungent aromas and flavors of the blue Stilton.

 

NYE gift ideas - cheese and port wine

Stilton Cheese Paired with Pears and Tawny Port

Champagne, Craft Spirits, Special Cocktails

So much of the celebration of New Year’s Eve centers round drinking alcohol. Even if you don’t drink, the host of the party you will be attending would probably really appreciate a gift of alcohol. There are many ways for alcohol to make a festive New Year’s Eve gift. Champagne and other sparkling wines are an obvious choice since the bubbly personifies giggles and fun times. But also think about bringing a craft spirit. There are some amazing botanical hand crafted gins, or bourbons made with organically grown grains, for example.  Parties are also the perfect place to make specialty cocktails. Consider bringing your host the recipe and all the ingredients to make a cool cocktail — and then offer to help bartend.

 

GIFTS THAT HONOR NEW YEAR’S TRADITIONS

Watching the Ball Drop

Here in New York City, an estimated 2 million people will witness the ball drop in Times Square this year! Most of us will watch the iconic crystal ball descend from the comfort of our own living rooms. But if you are going to join the crowds, think about supplying your mates with some kitschy paraphernalia like party horns, plastic sparkly 2018 eyeglasses, or green foam Statue of Liberty crowns.

Watching Fireworks

Watching fireworks at midnight is a popular tradition across the country. In NYC, fireworks at midnight is the official start to the 5K run in Central Park. It’s really fun to do. People wear crazy costumes and no one is seriously trying to win it. But the vibe is not unlike the marathon with people (a little drunken perhaps) cheering you on from the sidelines. It’s worth running in at least once. Jehv and I did it impulsively in 2012 when the weather was unseasonably mild. Think about organizing a group of friends to run a race one year as an alternative to other Happy New Year gift ideas.

Resolutions

Making New Year’s resolutions continues to be customary in our culture. Often New Year’s resolutions revolve around fitness and health. Why not set your friend or loved one off to a great start: gym memberships are popular New Year’s gift ideas. Fitbits, work out gear, a gift certificate to a running store or yoga shop, or perhaps a coupon for a spa day!

Miscellaneous

Eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s day is supposed to bring good luck. This is a Southern tradition that some of my Northern friends have adopted. Think about sending a good recipe for Hoppin’ John with all the ingredients or make the dish and bring it over to friends or family.

I recently learned about a tradition among some Latin cultures of wearing colorful underwear to set the tone for the kind of year one is going to have. I love this New Year’s gift idea! I guess “black” underwear would not be a happy portent! Think about giving some colorful underwear to your family, friends and partners. Practical and fun too!

No matter how you choose to celebrate New Year’s this year, we hope we have given you some good New Year’s Eve gift ideas to enhance your enjoyment of this exuberant holiday! For friends and family who live in New York City or New York State, we are able to deliver or ship Champagne and wine, separately or paired with a fine food gift basket.

Holiday Gift Ideas for Employees

It’s that time of year again when the lights are strung across the office cubicles and Christmas carols are the background music when customers call. Everyone is buzzing with excitement for the annual holiday party. After a year of hard work, there is no better way to show appreciation than by giving a gift during the holiday season. We understand how stressful it is trying to find great holiday gifts for employees so that is why we’ve created a simple Do’s and Don’ts guide for Christmas gift ideas for employees.

 

The Do’s

1. Capture the spirit of the season

Giving a gift of a gourmet food basket is always appropriate no matter what the occasion! But when it’s the holiday time, you’ll want to look for something that really captures the spirit of the season. At Manhattan Fruitier, we have designed several new gifts with the 2017 holidays in mind. A lovely holiday gift to your employees would be our “Buone Feste da Milano”, pictured below. The focus of this gift is a panettone — a traditional holiday cake in Italy. Our panettone is a moist, rich cake filled with whole Amarena cherries made fresh by Cova Pasticceria, a Milan bakery founded in 1817. We pair this gift with six pieces of seasonal fruit for color and health.

employee gifting dos and donts

Panettone: traditional Italian holiday cake in our Buone Feste da Milano holiday gift

Another great holiday gift idea for employees is cookies! Cookie baking this time of year is a time-honored custom in many kitchens across many cultures. Our set of 31 delicate tea cookies evoke that handmade feeling. With eight different varieties of cookies, it’s like a little tasting menu in a red and silver festive box!

employee gift ideas dos and donts

Tea Cookies in festive red box

We also offer a set of three handmade cookies with the words “Thank You”, “Grazie” and “Merci” hand-piped on the top. It’s a nice and simple way to express your gratitude to your employees, after a year of dedicated work for your company. In the month of December, we top our gifts with a sprig of evergreen — specifically juniper, noble fir and incense cedar — which make each and every gift look like a celebration of the holiday season!

2. Know your recipient

Alcohol is great Christmas gift idea for employees who like wine and spirits. It’s something special and different to accompany a holiday cocktail party or Christmas dinner. However, it behoves you to know whether your employees drink alcohol. If they don’t, then a gift of wine or spirits, no matter how expensive, will be inappropriate and make your employee feel less than acknowledged. This defeats the whole point of the holiday gift in the first place!

Similarly, you want to be careful when considering tickets to sporting events which are a popular gift to give to employees at the holiday time. While many employees might love to see their team play live, others may not follow sports and therefore have little interest. We recommend that if you want to give alcohol or tickets, be sure to choose for individual employees based on their preferences.

3. Cash gifts and gifts of time

While employers may think of a monetary gift as a “cop-out” due to it being impersonal in nature, we have found that it is often what employees want most. Research shows that many employees say that cash in the form of raise or a bonus is one of the best gifts their employer can give them. It is a very tangible way to recognize their work throughout the year. A gift of cash can be one of the best Christmas gift ideas for your employees because it gives them the freedom to purchase something they definitely want.

Aanother thoughtful holiday gift idea for employees is paid time off. Some companies close up shop for the week between Christmas and New Years and this is greatly appreciated by employees who don’t have to use up their vacation time. You might also consider a few extra paid days off during the year that your employees can use at their discretion. Time is as precious and appreciated as cash in hand!

 

The Don’ts 

1. Non-consumable gifts

The first thing to avoid when giving gifts this holiday season is items that can’t be consumed or otherwise used. While an item might be beautiful, if it serves no purpose other than to be admired, it’ll often be placed in a closet or on a shelf and forgotten. These days when people are focused on winnowing their non-consumable or non-functional possessions to things that one “loves to look at” or that “brings one joy”, it doesn’t make sense to give a gift that is just going to add more stuff to your employees home.

2. Company memorabilia

Don’t make the mistake of giving products with the company logo on them as a holiday gift for your employees. No matter how great the company, this often looks as though you’ve gone to the nearest supply closet and raided the items that would ordinarily be sent to customers! Who wants a gift that reminds them of work? It’s totally lame and last minute and that’s not going to make your staff feel appreciated. Take a little time and spend a little money to come up with a thoughtful Christmas gift idea for your employees.

3. Gift cards that miss the mark

Gift cards can be hit or miss as holiday gifts to employees. The first thing you want to avoid is giving a gift that requires the giftee to spend money in order to receive the gift. That’s no gift at all! Moreover, a $50 gift card to a fancy restaurant won’t cover the cost of the entire meal. While you don’t need to calculate in the cost of extras such as alcohol, be sure the amount of your gift card will cover a main course and either appetizer or dessert, at a minimum. Speak to the maitre d’ before you purchase a gift certificate. Another thing to look at when considering a gift card is whether the employee will actually use it. Many of us have a drawer full of gift cards to places we never go to, or to companies we do not shop with. We recommend gift cards to major online distributors such as Amazon. This allows them to pick their own gift and has the best chance of being used and then remembered.

In Conclusion

We hope this go-to guide will help you decide on some great holiday gift ideas for employees. Remember, if it’s thoughtful, even a small gesture can mean so much for the people who support you all the year through. Don’t forget to show them how much you appreciate their hard work for you and your company.

 

7 Tips for Buying Wine

wine glasses and bottles

Pretty much everyone will admit to discomfort, and perhaps even anxiety, when purchasing wine. And why not? There’s so much to know … so many varietals, so many wine regions, so many makers, and so many so-called experts. The important thing about wine is enjoying it! And there are many levels of enjoyment.

For most people, it’s about liking what you drink. Knowing more about the wine may enhance your pleasure, but it’s not necessary. My advice is to enjoy it first and learn more about it if you think it will add to your pleasure. Fortunately, you have a lot of resources for good and great wine here in New York State, and particularly in NYC. Whether it involves eating out at a restaurant or having wine delivered to your New York or NYC home or work, there is no shortage of opportunity to sample and enjoy wine.

1. In a Restaurant, Talk to the Sommelier
Talking about wine in a restaurant setting can be nerve wracking. In front of a date, family, friends, or colleagues it can be intimidating choosing a wine that will not only please everyone but will also be within your budget. The sommelier or server knows the wine list best and wants to please you. Remember, you pay the same for the wine whether you get a recommendation or not, so why not take full advantage of the in-house expertise?

One additional benefit to choosing wine in a restaurant with the help of a sommelier is that you can often sample a couple of bottle selections if they are also offered by the glass. Even if you taste only one or two wines, your feedback will really help the sommelier recommend something you’d like or even love.

Just so you know, even wine experts ask for wine recommendations when they go out to eat. The surest way to have a new and exciting wine experience is to ask the resident expert. For example, the owners of Manhattan Fruitier excitedly told me about a sommelier’s recommendation at NYC’s Boulud Sud of a bottle of 2015 Schäfer-Fröhlich Blanc de Noir Trocken, a lively, lightly fruited white wine made from Pinot Noir grapes. They were surprised and delighted by this unusual wine!

A final note about ordering a bottle of wine in a restaurant: there’s a bit of psychology at play when wine lists are constructed. Diners don’t like to order the least expensive bottle on a wine list, so we tend to order the bottles in the tier just above the least expensive wine. Restaurants know this and often slot higher margin, low surprise wines in this group. If you can increase your budget slightly to get above this tier of wines, and then ask for a recommendation, you’ll likely be in for a nice surprise.

2. In a Wine Shop, Don’t be Shy – Tell the Merchant About What You Like
Wine shops can also be intimating, and/or extremely hard to fathom. There are so many selections, even of the same varietal. How does one make sense of all the choices of unknown producers, unfamiliar grape varieties, and difficult to decipher labels? And the task is made no easier by the fact that Old World wines often have labels that do not indicate the grape variety.

Tips for Buying Wine
Don’t be drawn to fancy labels, alone

You’ll be missing out on some truly enjoyable wines if you choose only bottles that have eye catching labels. This is why you want to ask for a recommendation. There are incredibly knowledgeable people in wine shops across the country who love what they do and want to share bottles they think are delicious with you. And, they are just waiting for you to ask. It’s as easy as saying, “I’d really like to explore some new wines.” This will lead to a conversation about what you drink now and what you like and don’t like.

The experience for a wine expert shopping in a wine shop is admittedly a little different. I’m like a kid at a candy stand when browsing the wine store. Even so, I’ll narrow it down to a couple of things I find interesting and then ask for advice. I almost always refuse assistance from a sales person while shopping for anything else, but with wine I always accept!

Once you discover a few wines you like, it’s easy to stop in your wine store, in NYC or elsewhere, and order a case to be delivered to your home.

3. Share Your Price Point
I think the easiest way to start the conversation is to first set a price point and then talk about styles and characteristics that might interest you. The price point is important because it narrows the options the sommelier will consider, both on the high end and low end depending on your budget. Wine shops offer much gentler markups than restaurants, which is all the more reason to be more adventurous in your choices in a wine shop.

You shouldn’t be embarrassed to request less expensive wines. In a wine shop, bottles starting at $10 to $12 can show a wine’s typicity (the degree to which a wine reflects the signature characteristics of the grape from which it was produced, i.e., how much a wine made with Syrah grapes reflects signature Syrah characteristics). At this price point, you are also beginning to see wines made from grapes grown in a specific area (i.e. the wine is made from grapes that all come from Monterey County, not simply California), and it is labeled as such.

Red wines can be more expensive than white wines for the simple fact that red wines may spend a little more time in the cellar before bottling. Also, red wines may be aged in expensive oak barrels. For this reason, it’s more likely to find a white wine from a lesser known region that’s able to convey a sense of place than a red wine within the $10-$15 range.

The $15-$20 range opens up many more doors. Eric Asimov, Wine Critic for the New York Times, thinks that $15 to $20 a bottle is the sweet spot for great wine values. You’ll find more than a few options from almost any region you can think of. Also at this price point, you’ll find producers who are consciously farming or sourcing grapes and making their wines with very minimal interventions in the cellar, allowing the grapes to show some terroir (or “sense of place,” encompassing the unique geology, topography, climate, plant and animal life as well as history and culture of people in the region).

Wines over $20 should display even more of what a vineyard and producer can do. These wines should come from producers who have proven they make good wines consistently vintage after vintage. Scarcity also affects price, and smaller productions and more hand crafted wines will always be slightly more expensive.

At Manhattan Fruitier, we offer wines ranging from the $20s on up. This is because we want to be sure that the wine a customer sends as a gift, either individually or as part of a wine gift basket in NYC, is exceptional.

A note about very inexpensive wines: the wine industry, like the food industry, is basically divided between producers who make vast quantities of drinkable wines for cheap prices and those who make smaller amounts of wine with the intention of delivering wines that reflect the grape and their craftsmanship. Predictability and homogeneity in the cheaper wines is often achieved by mixing grapes from different vineyards, industrial farming of grapes, and the use of additives to eliminate variation from year to year. While there are sound wines below $10 per bottle, by paying a few more dollars a bottle, you’ll likely be rescued from boring wines and instead experience wines that are surprising and delightful.

4. Color or Type of Wine
First, the good news: telling a wine expert the color or type of wine (red/white/rose/sparkling), price point and one or two characteristics that you like in a wine such as grape varietal (e.g. Chardonnay, Merlot or Pinot Noir) or taste descriptors (such as light or full-bodied, sweet or dry, oaky or no oak, or level of tannin) should be more than enough for her to give you something fun and delicious that she’s excited about. If not, you might be in the wrong store or restaurant.

Because taste is always subjective, it’s helpful to share a common language to communicate your preferences helps. Your wine vocabulary will only get better with the more wines you taste and the more you talk about them with experienced tasters. Just knowing a few distinguishing characteristics of the wines you really like can help tremendously with making a good recommendation.

5. Build on Your Preferences
The other easy way to ask for suggestions is to tell the wine steward about a specific wine you’ve enjoyed. If you tend to frequent the same wine shop or restaurant, feel free to share your impressions of wines they have previously recommended to you. For instance, “That Chardonnay you recommended last time was too fruity or too smoky.” Don’t write off Chardonnay just because you had a bottle you didn’t enjoy. There’s plenty of variation within wines made from the same grape varietals.

Take pictures of wines you like (or don’t like) with your cell phone. Then the next time you’re shopping for wine you can remember what you liked and even show the label to the expert. You can do the same for wines you don’t like since this is also a good guide for what not to recommend.

A quick note: You might be shocked by how much you paid for a wine in a restaurant, particularly more expensive NYC restaurants, compared to a retail wine store. Remember, there’s a lot that goes into serving a bottle of wine in a restaurant, and it’s no secret the wine and alcohol sales are critical to the financial success of many restaurants.

6. Keep an Open Mind
Keep an open mind and be willing to try wines from different varietals and from different areas of the world. For instance, many non-experts have the opinion that German Rieslings are sweet because that’s all they’ve tasted. Well, there are some amazing dry Rieslings that may have you opening this wine again and again. Also, great wines are being made in unexpected places around the world: Sicily, Sardinia, Jura (France), Moravia (Czech Republic), Burgenland (Austria), and Corsica, just to name a few.

7. Free Wine. Why Not?
Many wine shops have weekly wine tastings where you can discover something new. Free wine with the possibility of discovering a new favorite sounds like a good deal to me!

And then there’s Manhattan Fruitier
I’ve assembled a highly curated selection of natural wines at Manhattan Fruitier. With fewer than 100 wines, you can be assured that any wine you choose will be exemplary and reflect the varietal, wine region and unique skills of a particular small wine maker.

Tips for Buying Wine
Manhattan Fruitier Farmhouse Cheese Basket with biodynamic Chablis

In addition to individual bottles, I have also paired Manhattan Fruitier’s artisanal food gift baskets with complementary wines so that the experience of both the food and the wine are enhanced. For example, I’ve paired the Farmhouse Cheese Basket with Brocard Chablis Sainte Claire 2015, a fine biodynamic white wine from Northern France, because it is an intense, mineral driven wine built to cut through the creamy cheeses while also having enough ripe lemon and green apple to stand up to the sweeter cheeses.

Fortunately, our wines and wine gift baskets are available for delivery throughout New York State, including NYC.

Health & Fitness Gift Ideas for Men and Women

Healthy gift giving has never been more popular! As more and more people are embracing healthy living themselves, we are finding more people looking for health and fitness gift baskets to give as presents. Similarly, the thoughtful gift-giver is also more aware of the dietary restrictions and eating choices of their friends and family, and so they search for gifts that include heart healthy foods; foods for special diets such a vegan, gluten free and Mediterranean; and gifts that promote physical fitness.

As the holiday gifting season approaches, we know that you may be starting to think about what health conscious gift options might be available. So we are looking ahead to the winter months (which are really not very far off!) and sharing some health and fitness gift ideas specific to the winter time and appropriate for both the men and women in your life.

Outdoor Winter Activities

We all know that one of the best ways to stay healthy and fit is to engage in physical exercise.  Most runners and bikers tend to head inside during the winter months, and understandably so! Not only is the cold weather a deterrent, but ice and snow can make it a dangerous surface for running shoes and bicycle tires. If you can’t exercise out of doors, it makes for a long, dark, cold winter while you wait for the better weather of spring.

  1. Snowshoeing

Introducing friends and family to some fun outdoor winter activities is a wonderful way to find a healthy gift for men and for women.  Snowshoeing doesn’t take any more skill than walking so it makes a great gift for promoting health and fitness in people who are new to exercise. Walking in the snow (even when wearing snowshoes) does exert more energy than walking on other surfaces and you can get a great work-out.  Giving a gift of snowshoes to already physically fit friends and family can prompt a whole new way to enjoy the out-of-doors in the wintertime and be a fun gift that is also suited to healthy men and healthy women alike.

health fitness gift ideas

We recently re-discovered the joys of snowshoeing and it has brought variety into our exercise routines and really helped us to find the joys of the winter season. Our first snowshoe experience was when we were 25 years old on some trails in the Sierra Nevada’s near Lake Tahoe. It was a glorious warm morning in early Spring with rays of sunshine glistening off the deep snow. After walking for a few hours, we lunched on a boulder that looked into a valley shaped like a bowl. From that vantage point, we made the fateful decision to walk back on the other side of the hill instead of re-tracing our footsteps. The problem was that we couldn’t find the trail and then found that it was getting too late to circle back. So we had to make our way down the steep side of the hill in order to get to the valley more quickly before the sun went down. Somehow we made it to the road in the dark and hitched a ride to our car. It was a hair-raising experience, especially afterward when we realized that we were walking in an avalanche zone!  We didn’t snowshoe again until about 4 years ago when we borrowed snowshoes and trekked around in the New Hampshire woods with friends. It was then that we decided that snowshoeing could be our new favorite winter outdoor activity.

During our first snow shoe excursion to Central Park in Manhattan after the East Coast blizzard of January 2016, we learned the hard way that we also needed to buy some good waterproof pants and jackets to keep us dry: the backs of the snow shoes were kicking up snow behind us as we walked hitting our thighs, butts and lower backs. We were rather soaked through on that first trip but came home happy and exhilarated! Our peak snowshoe experience was in the woods in Litchfield County, CT. We were alone and walking on snow that no one else had walked on. It was meditatively quiet and then it began to snow. Somehow the snow brought an even greater silence to the woods and we felt we were literally in a winter wonderland.

  1. Skiing and Snowboarding

We have lots of friends who look forward to downhill skiing every winter. If you have friends or family who like to ski or snowboard, there are a variety of options you have to promote their healthy lifestyle. Ski gear such as boots, poles, gators, gloves and ski pants can be just the right health and fitness gift idea. Gear for outdoor winter sports can get expensive, so a gift certificate to a ski shop in an amount you can afford can go a long way to help defray some of the cost while still giving a gift of fitness.

If you have a thicker wallet, you might want to consider springing for a weekend at a ski resort, with transportation, breakfast and ski lift tickets included. This gift is perfect for a group: plenty of opportunities to go off on your own and meet up later at the lodge for drinks in front of the fireplace. Ski resorts always offer lessons, to both kiddies and old folk, and can be a safe way to encourage someone to try a new winter sport, or to help hone the skiing skills of someone with experience.  Ski resorts also offer cross-country skiing trails for those of us who have never downhill skied and aren’t especially attracted to heights and speed. Like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing offers a superb aerobic work-out with all the pleasures of being outside in the snow.

  1. Ice Skating

If you live in the temperate zone, you are likely to have frozen bodies of water in the winter time or at least outdoor ice skating rinks. Skating is definitely an acquired skill and does require practice to minimize falls and feel confident moving across a slippery surface on pieces of skinny metal! But like snowshoeing and skiing, ice skating is another fun outdoor winter activity for health and fitness.

Most of us skated at least occasionally as kids: some of us quite seriously. In Canada and the most northern parts of North America, ice hockey is a serious sport and no longer just for boys: there are now many girls on school ice hockey teams.

health gift ideas: ice skating

Venturing onto a skating rink as an adult can be a little daunting. If you want to encourage friends or family to ice skate with you, give them the gift of a day at a rink including skate rental and some lessons. Try to find a rink that is not overcrowded. Sometimes small town rinks are the best. We have a tradition of skating on New Year’s Day in Newport, RI — no tourists, just locals. Even though we aren’t very skilled skaters, the smiles on our faces show that we feel like kids again! Perhaps the best part of ice skating is getting a hot chocolate at the concession stand and watching the other skaters as you warm up and rest your weary ankles.

Indoor Winter Activities

Nothing is nicer than coming in from the cold and warming yourself at a fireplace, or with food and drink. If you are looking for holiday gift basket ideas for healthy men and healthy women, think sustenance: cooking, eating, and drinking.

  1. Cooking and Eating the Mediterranean Way

We tend to want to eat more hearty food in the wintertime. We do expend more energy in the cold as our bodies work to keep us warm. But eating hearty doesn’t have to mean eating un-healthy. The Mediterranean Diet has received unprecedented press in recent years as the best guide for eating healthy. Our Mediterranean Diet gift collection offers a selection of gift basket ideas for health and fitness. You can give a gift of a healthy pantry and fill it with fine artisanal olive oils, vinegars, canned fish, olives and nuts. Or you can send a gift, such as our Santorini healthy gift basket, featuring all of the finest ingredients you need for making an exceptional Mediterranean meal.

healthy gift basket

Our Santorini gift basket is a generous and healthy gift for men or women.

  1. Drinking Natural, Organic, and Bio-Dynamic Wines

As we become more aware of the importance of making healthy life choices, more of us are looking to natural and organic ingredients in the foods we eat, and natural and organic processes in the way our wines are made. A very thoughtful gift for health- and fitness-minded men and women is a gift of natural, organic or bio-dynamic wines. These kinds of wines may be harder to find, but there are some specialty wine stores out there that focus on more natural wines. Natural wines are made with as few additives as possible, but generally have a small amount of sulfites as a preservative, especially the Old World wines. Organic wines may either be sulfite-free or may contain sulfites if they occur naturally, although in much smaller quantities than most wines. Bio-dynamic wines are made from grapes grown in organic soil supplemented with natural additives believed to improve the condition of the soil. These practices produce grapes that reflect the terroir, or the sense of place where the grapes are grown. Planting and reaping schedules can be very strict and may need to align with a particular phase of the moon, for example. Consider a wine gift club: having a new wine to try that arrives at your doorstep monthly or quarterly makes a memorable gift.

If you are a health conscious person, you can find a healthy gift that will make you feel good about supporting the health and fitness of your friends and family. Our healthy gift ideas for winter activities can be appropriate for children or teens (except the wine, of course!), young adults, senior citizens, or a man or a woman! We hope we have made it easy for you. Remember, healthy gifting is always in style!

 

Holiday Corporate Gift Giving Ideas

At Manhattan Fruitier, our customers tell us about the joy their recipients experience when they receive a beautiful and delicious gift basket on their doorsteps. Business people and corporate executives can follow that lead and offer that same joy to their clients – and their employees – as a show of goodwill and appreciation for their efforts and their positive contributions to the company. Knowing your clients and employees well can make building a beautiful gift basket an easy task. We have a few corporate gift ideas that might assist in creating that special joy.

Organic Fruit & Cheese Basket 

What would a beautiful gift basket be without the sweetest combination of organic fruits, savory cheeses, nuts and dried fruit?

Our Organic Cheese Basket is both healthy and delicious!

Our organic cheese basket makes a perfect corporate gift, especially when you are looking for a gift basket that’s more suited to the colder months. When the temperature drops, cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Healthy and elegant are simpatico in this delightful holiday gift basket.

Add Your Corporate Logo to Your Gift

It’s great to have a few small items representing your company on hand that can be added to a gift basket to promote your company. There are many companies online that will engrave your company logo on a small product, whether it be a baseball cap, t-shirt, thumb drive, mug, pen, frame, can koozie, wristband, or water bottle. Save this corporate gift idea for when you have a bunch of gifts you are sending to launch a new product.

For something a little different in that vein, a couple fun items that can be branded with a logo are cupcakes and cookies with photo transfers of your brand. Chocolate bars and wine bottles can also be engraved with your company insignia. Get your brand in your client’s hands in an unexpected way!

Gift Certificate to a Local Restaurant or Party Space

Nothing engenders more good spirit than a party or a good meal to show your appreciation for their business. A really fun gift to include in your corporate gift basket would be a gift certificate to a local restaurant or party space. This tells the recipients that you know it’s not just about work — quality of life is important, too. A nice dinner hosted by your company is an incredibly thoughtful and appreciative gift.

Break Room Treats

Elevate lunch hour options with lots of gourmet treats in a basket for the employees’ break room.  It’s a real treat to have some new and different artisanal treats on hand. Items like coffee, tea, k-cups and mugs with your company logo can combine with gourmet popcorn, chocolate bars, granola for their morning yogurt, etc. Here is our take on a great corporate gift basket perfect for the break room.

Our Healthy Pop Up Party gift basket has something for everyone!

 

Ice Cream!

It’s easy these days to ship ice cream anywhere, and ice cream is a favorite treat no matter the time of year. Imagine receiving a box of hard-packed ice cream pints in delectable flavors, perhaps from a local ice cream company in your client’s area or a new, interesting indie vendor in another state. Make sure to also send along some sugar cones, sprinkles, nuts, and chocolate or caramel sauce for a make-your-own sundae party.

A New Year’s Inspiration

Membership or free passes to gyms, yoga centers, and spin classes are very popular items and will inspire wellness. Those items in your gift basket might just spark a renewed interest in getting back on the track, no pun intended. A gift certificate for a FitBit or an Apple watch to help monitor progress and incentivize activity in this age of health, nutrition, and wellness could be just the thing to jumpstart a successful, healthful 2018.

Green Gift

If your company is looking for a “green” holiday gift, look for one that may include a plant for your client’s office. Peace Lilies and Ivy plants are very popular for offices as they require moderate watering and light, and are known for filtering toxins out of the air. Also, Tillandsias, or “air plants,” are great for the office since they don’t require any soil or pots. They are a no muss, no fuss way to add beauty to a business setting.

Fun and Games

If you are sending in December, Christmas Gift Baskets are always a hit when they include something fun for the group. How about including the fun word game Bananagrams or a jigsaw puzzle that can be shared with friends and coworkers in the break room?  Don’t make it too challenging, however, or you may have to add some cocktail mixers to sharpen those competitive types.  Speaking of which…

 

Wine and Spirits

Prosciutto, Parmegiano and Chianti Gift Basket

 Beverages of all kinds are welcome additions to gift baskets and wine and spirits are always appreciated. With so many types to choose from, it may seem like an overwhelming task to put and wine and food gift together. But Manhattan Fruitier has done the work for you. We have lots of Christmas gift baskets for your corporate clients that elegantly pair fresh fruit and fine food with wines and champagnes that please many different palates. If you aren’t sure about sending an alcoholic beverage, choose instead a bottle of our Italian Organic Blood Orange Juice that delightfully pairs with any gift basket in our collection.

Artisanal Sweets and Treats

Cookies, brownies, whoopie pies and always-popular cupcakes are a welcome addition to any gift basket. But during the holidays an office lunchroom tends to fill with gaudy, preservative-packed, run-of-the-mill chocolates, cookies and frightful fruit cakes. Make your holiday gift basket stand out from the crowd with real and natural ingredient goodies, like homemade craft foods from artisanal bakers who choose quality ingredients over a 2-year shelf life.

 

Our High Hat Cupcakes wear little cookie “hats” to protect them during shipping!

It’s always the right season to bring that smile and joy we all need to our closest and valued clients.