One of my friends is so organized that she’s already giving her Christmas presents — and am I lucky to be on her list! I’m so impressed with the way she did her gifting that I’m going to steal share some of her ideas. First, she knows that gift bags/baskets are always fun to receive — who doesn’t like reaching in and pulling out all sorts of goodies? Second, she went with a theme — always a good idea. Having a theme provides some structure and consistency for gift buying, which is especially good for somebody like me who sort of buys little things here-and-there without any overriding goal and then ends up with five coffee mugs and three calendars and a bottle of balsamic vinegar. Plus, having a theme leads to point No. 3 — buying “in bulk.” My friend knows that we all love food, love cooking, love eating and love New Orleans, so she brought New Orleans to us here in landlocked northwest Alabama with iconic Central Grocery bags filled with such Cajun classics as hot sauce, Creole mustard and olive salad for authentic muffulettas. And, finally, she personalized our bags by adding the latest issue of magazines she knew we liked but didn’t subscribe to. I think she had as much fun putting these together as we did opening them up — the mark of successful gift giving!