HELOISE Gift ideas express condolences in lieu of flowers

Dear Heloise: A while back, you had an article about a funeral basket. Instead of sending flowers, the person said to make up a basket of thank-you cards and some other things. I can't seem to find that article. Laura W., Via E-mail
The idea is that instead of sending more flowers or food, make a personalized gift basket by purchasing useful items and putting them in a pretty basket. For instance, a floral condolences basket can be made by filling it with floral stationery, envelopes, thank-you cards, a pretty pen/pencil set, stamps, a notepad, a gift certificate for a local grocer or deli for a food tray, etc.
Really, any theme you think of or additional items will make the basket more special. Heloise
Dear Heloise: I have three young children who love to play in the bathtub. I save lids from hair spray, hair mousse, shaving cream, etc., and they use them as bath toys. The lids are perfect for their little hands. Amy Kott, Edwards, Ill.
Dear Heloise: I have some great uses for old socks. Socks with holes or stretched-out elastic make fantastic shoeshine rags. Use the toe portion to spread the polish, then turn the sock inside out to buff.
Also, old socks make great shoe covers. Simply slide over the shoe, beginning at the toe. Shoes nestled together don't scratch each other. Liz W., Los Angeles
Dear Heloise: I read in one of your columns that plastic bags are not good for storing clothes, and that using sheets is recommended. I have an easier solution. Use an old pillowcase. Cut a hole about 1 inch wide in the top seam, put the item on a hanger, insert the top of the hanger through the slit in the pillowcase, then pull it down over the garment. This allows the item to breathe and keeps dust off. V. Henry, Via E-mail
Dear Heloise: As a working woman, I wear jewelry every day. I like necklaces and earrings that match, but finding the mates every morning is a problem.
I fixed this by buying a pegboard-type utility holder at our local home-improvement store. It has 10 "arms" about an inch and a half long. I screwed it securely into the wall and now hang all necklaces with earrings attached on the arms. Everything is right there, and it looks neat as well. Susan, Via E-mail
Dear Heloise: Here's one more use for an empty cube tissue box: Leave the plastic in place, and it's perfect for upending a nearly empty lotion or shampoo bottle that has a rounded or oddly shaped cap. I like to get every bit -- it's what I paid for. Rebecca Plunkett, San Antonio
XSend a great hint to: Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, Fax: (210) HELOISE or E-mail: Heloise@Heloise.com.
King Features Syndicate

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