Now that the holidays are over, I can tell you (without spoiling the surprise) about some great gifts I discovered in Lehigh Valley to give this year.

Once again, I found some great unique items at Christkindlmarkt in Bethlehem. A new vendor, Art Klocks, was a lady from Tennessee who makes really clever themed clocks, complete with matching swinging pendulums. I bought three of them! My sister Kathy liked hers so much she went online and bought another for a friend. I'm guessing Art Klocks will be back again next year.

At Christkindlmarkt's wrought iron stand, I picked up a frog-themed outdoor dinner bell for Don, which now hangs in our screen room across from his frog fan. I also picked up one of those historical marker plaques as a 50th birthday present to myself!

Other holiday shopping included a copy of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" by Julia Child. After seeing the movie "Julie and Julia" at Rave Theatre at the Promenade, Don and I realized neither one of us had a copy of this classic cookbook. I thought it should be in our collection.

Anther gold mine of gifts was found at Christine's Secret Garden, which recently opened in Easton. I've told you how much I love her teas, but now that she has her own storefront, the selection of not-break-the-bank gifts has expanded. I even found gifts for our cats! (Yes, they are that spoiled.)

With all the great boutique shops we have here in the Valley, I'm sure I'll find lots of great gifts throughout the year ... some of which I'll even give away!

What were your favorite gifts you gave or received this year?