By Jennifer Broadwater
11:25 PM EST, November 25, 2011
If your office is your second home, you're bound to clock a lot of time there with your co-workers. Show them you appreciate them with a thoughtful gift this holiday season.
The traffic jams of your rush hour commute are transformed into a colorful and challenging desktop puzzle in the aptly named Rush Hour Game. Set up the game board based on pictures of traffic jams then plot your escape by sliding cars and trucks out of the way. It's more challenging than it appears -- and is said to exercise your concentration, spatial awareness and sequencing abilities. It's a best-seller at Marbles: The Brain Store at the Columbia mall. $20 at marblesthebrainstore.com.
If coffee helps fuel your office, give your co-workers the gift of artisan roasted coffees. Three 12 ounce bags are delivered each month, with three-, six- and 12-month memberships. Available in whole bean and ground varieties. The Explorer's Club offers beans from exotic locales like Hawaii, Peru, Ethiopia, Bolivia, Costa Rica and Nicaragua, while the The Tastes of Temptation Club offers flavored coffees like pumpkin spice, cinnamon hazelnut, orange, creme brulee, chocolate cranberry and chocolate cherry. $89-$349. The Fresh Market in Towson and Baltimore. thefreshmarket.com
Dress up a bottle of wine or sparkling cider with an edible chocolate shell. To create the chocolate-dipped wine bottle, confectioners wrap the bottle in plastic then dip it in your choice of milk, dark or white chocolate and decorate it according to your order. The chocolate shell is easily cracked off with the help of a string. 24 hours notice required. $15 for chocolate dipping (customer supplies bottle of wine) at Sweet Cascades on Main Street in Historic Ellicott City.
A bonsai plant can make for a beautiful desk decoration. Design by Nature at Savage Mill carries several varieties, including a fruited pomegranate bonsai. From $15-$450. designbynaturemd.com
With proper care, butterflies should flock to this zinnia container garden, which is housed in a recycled steel pail. Easy instructions show how to plant heirloom mixed zinnia seeds in organic soil with organic coconut husks for drainage. The flowers also will grow indoors in any season -- although without the butterflies. Gardening gloves included. $35 at Smithsonian Store. smithsonianstore.com
Give the gift of relaxation with 21 Drops, a new all-natural line of aromatherapy oils. These essential oils are blended to help tackle 21 of the most common concerns, from headaches to helping spark creativity to de-stressing. $29 for one oil, $75 for a set of three. 21drops.com
The office is a great place to share ideas -- not germs! Check out these antibacterial hand sanitizers in yummy scents like pink grapefruit, mango, strawberry, satsuma and coconut. $4. The Body Shop at Towson Town Center, Columbia mall and Harborplace in Baltimore. thebodyshop-usa.com
Have the weather report at your fingertips at home, the office or while traveling with the conveniently small Wireless 3-Day Forecaster and Alarm Clock from Brookstone. Wireless updates from AccuWeather.com are sent every 15 minutes for current and forecasted weather conditions for 152 cities. $30. Brookstone at Columbia mall and Towson Town Center. brookstone.com
Your co-workers will get a chuckle -- and perhaps some use -- out of the To Do, To Ponder, To File folder notes. They are printed with checkboxes such as To Do: In the Near Future, When I Feel Like It, Against My Will, By Somebody Else and Never. $7 at Pier 1 Imports in Catonsville, Columbia, Baltimore and Laurel. www.pier1.com
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun