it’s that time again. The Philly Thanksgiving Day Parade is parading across my family’s television, I’ve got a puppy curled up at my feet (admittedly, he’s about 108 lbs… Great Danes don’t stay babies for long), and folks have been lining up at Best Buy since like… Halloween. It’s no surprise, then, that I’ve started thinking about gifts for this holiday season. I’ve always prided myself on my gift-giving skills. I spend what some might call an “unreasonable” amount of time thinking of gifts to give. It’s no surprise, then, that I’ve been brainstorming this year’s presents since…. well, maybe since last year. I can’t unload ALL my brilliant ideas, heaven forbid one of the recipients checks out the blog… But I figure for those of you who aren’t constantly thinking about what you should get your loved ones, I’d help out a bit. Let’s just stick with the theme of the blog, while we’re at it. Food, sweat, and beers.
COOK is a Philly Bucket List experience for me, and a gift certificate would make a KILLER gift. Featuring cooking classes from Philadelphia chefs, cook book authors, and the general foodie elite, these Rittenhouse Square based classes range anywhere from $70-250 and, in addition to sipping on fancy wine and noshing on tastiness, you get some serious ambiance and, according to folks that have tried it, a pretty world-rocking experience. The classes fill up fast, but they’re always scheduling more. If you’re looking for a date night with a food-lover, look no further.
It’s no surprise that Reading Terminal Market, a mecca for food lovers in Philly, is one of my favorite places. And it would be easy enough to get and gift a gift certificate to this spot. BUT if you are willing to work a little bit, why not put together a “Best of” basket full of your favorite goodies? Cheese from Salumeria, a pint of ice cream from Bassetts (the literal best ice cream), preserves and nut butters from Kauffman’s. There’s so many options, let your palate be your guide. OR your recipient’s palate. Yes, definitely that.
For the non-perishable food fanatic, I’m all about repping this city with what you wear. Here are some of my favorites.
Two Paper Dolls, based out of Wayne, PA, has a pretty fantastic cheesesteak shirt I’ve been ogling… (Don’t worry, they have them in baby sizes.) Their Philly/Phillies Pretzel shirt is AMAZING!
And if you like your fried chicken served with a side of donuts, we’ve got the Federal Donuts apparel.
Let’s get into some SWEAT
We’ll start off with the very sweatiest…. BIKRAM YOGA! I got a two month unlimited last year and just sweat my FACE off. They’ve got a pretty fantastic Introductory Month deal for $30 unlimited for a month. I would totally recommend as a gift OR a personal present/escape from the frozen Philly tundra.
Now I’m no runner, but as a friend with a plethora of speed demons and road warriors, I know few things are tougher than running in the winter. If you’re looking for gifts for these men and women to keep em going during the chilly months, hit up Philadelphia Runner for some of the sage running wisdom from the folks that eat, sleep, and breathe running. I just scooped up a pair of waterproof sneakers from Brooks because they were touted as “better than boots”. Admittedly, I got these bad boys because…. well, because I won them. BUT folks who know better than me can give you more tips on running gloves (Be Well Philly).
This last one isn’t Philly specific, and it’s not out until March yet, but if the advertising is telling the truth, this could be my number one recommendation for your friends/daughters/sisters/mothers/cousins who live in the city and spend their time running outside, walking outside, biking, really anything.
The Cuff is supposed to work with your smartphone to help with your health, your safety, and your courtesy (i.e. it alerts you if your phone rings while it’s in your purse so you’re not constantly checking up on it at the table). The video on the website says more than I can, but the concept of being able to press a button if I was in danger and alert my friends and family of my location…. I’m all about this, and have ordered one of my own. Hope it delivers.
Last, but not least: Beers (or Booze in general)
The Philly spirits game is crushing it lately. So if you’re looking for something special for the boozehound who has everything, why not gift them some of Philadelphia Distlling’s own absinthe, Vieux Carre, or their award winning Bluecoat Gin? The bottles, whenever you’re finished, make beautiful decorations or vases.
Or, for a more complete gift, try a signature cocktail kit! Start with one of Art in the Age‘s fancy liquors like their Alcoholic Root Tea, ROOT. Toss in some Maple Porter (wanna stay local-ish? Try Sap Sucker Maple Porter from The Brewery at Hershey if you can get it! But I know Brooklyn has one, too. Regular porter works, so pick your [porter] poison), a mini maple syrup, and some bitters, add a mason jar, and VOILA! Cocktail Kit (click for official recipe)!!
Finally (and this is a gift I’ve given that was very well-received), hit up Duross and Langel in Midtown for some of their beer soaps (made with brews from locals Yards, Victory, and Dogfish Head) and a pint glass from the corresponding brewery for a perfect (flight-friendly if you’re traveling) gift! No need to check a bag.
We started off our Thanksgiving day with a HEARTY breakfast, so I’m off to Turkey Trot a little of this food fatigue off….
But HAPPY THANKSGIVING, Y’ALL! I’m always, always thankful that anyone thinks my words are interesting enough to read. So, ya know, thanks.