You Need This... I Promise

This Year's Christmas List


Anyone who knows me knows that I am an eleventh-hour kind of girl. There was some financial bestseller years ago called Start Late Finish Rich. I didn’t read the book, but I got the title twisted in my head and for years I have been saying “start late finish first.” The real joke is that I do not ever finish first. Sid and I have a long history of wrapping until 2 or 3am. My girls are all grown up now but I still like the excitement of doing it all at the last minute.

But this is not a great year for the procrastinators, what with all the supply chain slowdowns. SO I am putting together this list a full eleven days before Christmas and sharing with you in case it sparks some inspiration. Some things I’m getting for others and a few things I want for myself. Luckily a lot of my gifts come from my own store across the bridge so I can keep some of the last-minute thrill.

1. I own a set of these Liberty Fabric placemats and LOVE them for a host or housewarming gift. I actually think it would be cute and kind of charming to mix two prints. Blue and blue? Or two versions of the same print?

2. ... and matching napkins, of course. Keep the mixing and matching going. I am giving a set of these to my daughter but they also make fantastic host gifts. Who couldn't use more napkins?

3. Cashball blanket: I am not sure how many couch potatoes are in your life, but I know a few people who really like to relax. This is like a down comforter but more petite, and you don’t have to borrow it from the bedroom. And it’s sized for just one person so no one has to share or hog the blanket. A personal down comforter. You could even fold it over and use it as a floor pouf if someone gets bumped off the couch.

4. For all your friends who are great with interiors: a leather tape measure! It makes a perfect Scotts Market accessory but I recommend keeping it in your bag or your pocket all the time. Sid’s always got one on him. You never know when you’re going to come across the perfect piece on the street and need to call someone at home to check if it will fit. I have found several great end tables at the bottom of driveways. Much cooler and lighter-weight than a free one from the hardware store.

5. Liberty Fabric cosmetic bags: I think I shared that these were on my list last year, because they are on my list every year. We have all new prints this time. Travel is getting wonky again but these look so pretty in your bathroom at home. It’s a pick-me-up.

6. I am addicted to the smell of the Two Rivers soap from Wonder Valley and use it every day. I will give it to my daughter #3 who, like me, enjoys smelling like a hippie but not like a patchouli hippie.

7. A cashmere blanket, not unlike a case of wine, is NEVER a bad gift and most people I know would clap their hands and say “thank you, it is exactly the right size.” Even if they have dozens, it’s always nice to have a fresh one. The gift that keeps giving.

8. For the aforementioned 3 couch potato daughters, these sheepskin slippers are so cute. And nonslip!

9. We bring back bags of Antonio Mattei biscotti every time we go to Italy and now we are finally offering them in the store. My favorite office snack. They make a really good house gift because they come in such a beautiful bag. Another nice alternative to a bottle of wine.

10. Sid is such a belt collector, but unbelievably, does not yet have one of these polo belts. It is so up his alley.

11. And the CHUP socks I got for him last year were such a hit that I'm going to do it again.

12. Tadahiro Baba Owl Bottle Opener: I love these Japanese bottle openers and for whatever reason, owls are Sid's thing. So I'm getting this one for him although personally I want the crow for me. These will inevitably get left out on the kitchen counter, but I won't care because they are so good-looking.

13. Nontron steak knives: Speaking of things I want for myself... I already have steak knives but they are boring and black and there are only 6 of them. These blue ones would be quite chic mixed in with those on a table. I will set them with the blue placemats and napkins and serve steak frites. And it is such a bonus to not have to wash them by hand! My kitchen is often quite crowded so anything that can be given to the dishwasher vs. dishwashers is good in my book.

14. Colorblock card holder: I am constantly looking for the right card. Perhaps some color coding would be good for me in the new year: pink for IDs, orange for credit cards, yellow for Ace Rewards cards.

15. How beautiful are these garden scissors? A lot of women my age seem to have taken up flower arranging and although I am not one of them, I can pretend.

13. Eau d'Italie scented soaps: When I don’t want to smell like a chic California hippie, I want to smell like an Italian aristocrat. These are the soaps they use at Le Sireneuse in Positano. Dreamy.

14. Cashmere fingerless gloves: If your hands are cold, the rest of you is cold. I have to confess that these always make me think of Oliver (as in Oliver!) and I kind of love the idea of looking like a Victorian ragamuffin.

15. Jean d'Aigle Eau de Cologne: I think of these as kind of the French equivalent of the Santa Maria Novella water, which we sold in the very, very early days of the store. The packaging is so beautiful. They all smell divine but I think my favorite is the Lavande which is kind of fresh and soapy.

That was a longer list than expected... I guess I'm farther along than I thought. Merry everything to you and yours. I'll be back in the New Year.

From Ann

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