(Family Features) - While the hustle of the holiday shopping season builds, people are looking for practical gifts that represent a good value for their money. Topping the list this year for the perfect holiday gift is food.
Food is practical, yet fun, and a growing interest in gourmet, natural, organic and other specialty foods is making food gifts very popular. While fruitcakes were once the mainstay of holiday food gifting, today's foodie offerings range from steak packages and fruit assortments to candy, nuts and cookie selections, ensuring that there is something to please everyone.
And, it's not just value and practicality that keep food at the heart of holiday gift giving year after year. For generations, the gift of food has prompted celebrations with family and friends, making it the ideal choice.
Omaha Steaks is among many companies that offer tasteful gift assortments to suit any budget. One example is "Omaha Steaks Ideal Gift," a package that includes filet mignons, top sirloins, stuffed sole, burgers, and twice baked potatoes topped off with a chocolate lover's cake. Shopping online or by phone makes it easy to order and the gifts are delivered directly to recipient. For more information, visit www.OmahaSteaks.com or call (800) 960-8400.
At www.wine.com, you can find a wine for any taste. Wine of the Month clubs, gift sets and wine accessories are just some of the offerings on the site. For the environmentally conscious wine lover, consider giving the Eco Wine Trio, an offering of fine wines in PET bottles. PET bottles are lightweight alternatives to glass bottles and have a 50 percent lower carbon footprint. Additionally, 10 percent of the retail prices goes to the EarthEar Renewable Energy Trust, where every penny is used to build renewable energy facilities in the United States.
Penzey's Spices has more than 250 herbs, seasonings and spices to delight cooks and bakers. You can order individual items or gift sets that range from an eight-jar Indian curry selection, to a 4-jar international salt-free set or a 20-item baker's gift crate that includes three types of vanilla. Visit www.penzeys.com for more.
For gourmet gift ideas, check out www.igourmet.com. There are cheeses from all over the United States and the world, oils and vinegars, regional cuisine offerings and create-your-own gift basket options. Monthly clubs offer three-, six- or twelve month subscriptions for international cheeses, coffee, tea, oils, salsa and more.