Sometimes the holidays can be a little overwhelming and you may be running short on gift ideas. The ones that can be so challenging are Secret Santa gifts, teachers’ gifts and those gift exchanges where you can’t spend more than $10. Your local commissary can be a one stop shop for all these gifts and you can get your grocery shopping done at the same time. That’s a win in my book. Here are a few gift ideas:
- Make Your Own Charcuterie. Do you know a wine lover but don’t quite have the knowledge to select the perfect wine? A Make Your Own Charcuterie Board is the perfect gift. Hit the deli section of the commissary and head to the cheese section. Pick out one or two cheeses. Usually in baskets around the deli are a variety of hard salamis so pick a couple out. On a shelf near the deli are Delallo products which are a good addition to the basket. Jars of roasted peppers, bruschetta’s, tapenades and a box of breadsticks add variety. Make sure to grab a jar of fig jam and some fancy crackers and you have a great gift.
- Pasta Basket. Again, visit the Delallo products and grab a few fancy pasta sauces and some of their authentic Italian Pasta and gnocchi. A box of breadsticks makes a good addition and splurge for a good hunk of parmesan cheese. If you can’t find what you need by the deli, hit the international food section which also has some good pasta ideas.
- International Candy Basket. The commissary has such a great selection of candy from all over the world during the holidays so stock up. My civilian friends love the alcohol filled candies as they can’t always find them. The German Ritter-Sport candy is so tasty. The commissary has that year-round and it always makes a good gift. Put selections in a basket or gift bag. Keep some on stock for last minute gifts. You can always through leftovers in Christmas stockings (not the alcoholic ones).
- Oktoberfest Basket – Visit the international section of the commissary and pick up some German products. Get some of the instant sauces in the small packets, some spätzle, potato dumplings, and potato pancakes. You can also add some of the sauces like curry ketchup and pickles. There is also usually a nice selection of German cookies.
- Beauty items – The commissary carries nice gift boxes for both men and women with things like shampoo, body wash, shaving supplies etc. It makes nice stocking stuffers.
The best time to shop at the commissary is first thing in the morning. Insider Tip: Plan to shop during the early bird shopping. Check out is limited to 15 items but if you are planning a big trip just arrive early and shop the while the store is nearly empty. By the time you are done shopping it should be open for regular hours and you will be able to check out. So next time you are suffering gift-block, visit the commissary for some great ideas.
Marguerite Cleveland is a freelance writer who specializes in human interest and travel stories. She is a military brat, a veteran and now a military spouse. Her military experience is vast as the daughter of a Navy man who served as an enlisted sailor and then Naval Officer. She served as an enlisted soldier in the reserves and on active duty, then as an Army Officer. She currently serves as a military spouse. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons. Visit her website www.PeggyWhereShouldIGo.com