Summer brings many occasions — birthdays, parties, new babies, college and travel — that are key times to show that you care with a memorable gift. Author Robyn Spizman, one of the country’s leading gift-giving experts, was invited on the “Today” show to suggest a few.
Goodbye gift, college dorm, or welcome for the graduate or new baby Campus T-shirt quiltFor the graduate on their way to college or to welcome a new baby, turn your old T-shirts into a quilt. Include college tees, high school sports jerseys, and more. It's one of the best gifts we’ve ever seen. Campus Quilts also makes pillows and wee quilts from treasured baby clothing.www.campusquilt.com, 502-968-2850; $15 a square, varies with each quiltLeave-behind gift for the house-sitter, baby-sitter or pet-sitterMagic wallet with personalization
The magic wallet design originated in France in the 1920s to help waiters secure money and receipts on the go. Now it's back in style! Tuck a bill into this full-grain leather wallet with topstitch detailing, open and, as if by magic, it's strapped away. Cool gift for a sitter, just leave the tip inside! Wallet measures 2-1/2 inches x 4 inches and holds four cards. Choose rust, chocolate, black or blue, and debossing in silver foil with up to three initials. Personalization requires an additional five business days. www.redenvelope.com, 877-733-3683; $25.00, $5 for monogramFor the queen or king of the housePet collars with personalized sterling-silver tagsLet your pets strut their stuff in style with these matching personalized collars and leads crafted of leather and canvas. Leads are four feet long and available in "beach stripe," "pool party" or "pink/green." And, to ensure that little Fifi and Fido always return home safely, personalize a sterling-silver tag with a name on the front and your phone number on the back. www.horchow.com, 877.944.9888; also at Neiman Marcus; $22 to $60 with personalization“Good Dog” Dog Collar
Deck out your doggies in style! Collar is available in "Good Dog," or specify name up to 11 characters. Colors include poppy, sky, kiwi, red or royal blue. From Mad Jack, and U.S. made. Allow three to four weeks for delivery. www.horchow.com, 877.944.9888; also at Neiman Marcus; $50Pamper your camper!
Sealed with a Kiss Super Camp Care Packages
Leave it to SWAK to do the choosing! SWAK creates terrific assortments — all age and gender appropriate — by selecting six to seven items ($28), nine to 10 items ($38), or 12 to 13 items ($45) from different categories. SWAK includes items to enjoy indoors and outdoors with other campers (interactive) or solo. It chooses from the trendiest games, brain teasers, outdoor activities, challenging puzzles, card games, magic, activity books, juggling, autograph items, boxers, plush animals, polishes, lotions and so much more. For girls, packages include an autograph item for their bunkmates to sign, at no additional cost. SWAK never duplicates. Each package is totally different no matter how many packages you send, week after week, and year after year. Thousands of items to choose from, including the Teen Spa Party for ten ($28) Free heavy-duty carry bag and “thank you” postcard enclosed in every package! www.eswak.com, 800-888-7925; $28 to $45
Hostess with the mostess (or hostess who takes the cake)
Personalized Cake or Brownie PanFor your favorite hostess, give a personalized cake or brownie pan with your name on it! Bring the cake or brownies, and leave the personalized container! These all-aluminum, 9 x 9 x 3 covered baking pans are made in the United States by Nordicware. The snap-on, domed lid has a high-gloss, baked-on enamel finish and beautiful full-color imprinted images. Dishwasher safe. Choose from an assortment of one-of-a-kind designs, and add whatever personalization you would like. Choose from: "From the kitchen of ...," "Something special from ...'s kitchen," "Homemade from the kitchen of ...," "Fresh from the kitchen of ...," and "Burnt offerings from ..." www.simply-sublime.com; $28.95
Thanks for being so sweet! Heidi’s Heavenly CookiesGive your most heavenly hostess a gift of Heidi’s Heavenly Cookies, available in such delectable flavors as Toffee Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin and the sinfully satisfying Chocolate Eclipse. Order cookies by the dozen or a package of “bites,” and don’t forget Heidi’s tempting English Toffee! www.heidisheavenlycookies.com, 770-753-8832; $15 to $25Let’s get this party started!Party Snack TraysShake the party up with these Party Snack Dishes! There are five dishes in this set, each dish in the shape of the letters P-A-R-T-Y. How much more do you need to get the party started? www.wrapables.com, 877-411-9600; $39.95
Everybody in the pool! Pool ToysBeat the heat with pool toys from Brookstone.Radio-controlled submarine, $40This remote-controlled diving sub can dive down to four feet and is fully functional underwater. Motorized Inflateable Water Scooter, $150Ride around in the pool with this inflatable motorized scooter that moves at a speed of 2 mph.www.brookstone.com, 877-411-9600; ranges from $40 to $150