Home for the Holidays

One of my favorite winter traditions - a personalized gingerbread house. A lot of fun to decorate, and it can be a great gift for someone with a sweet-tooth on your list!

Each year it seems that the eternal question of the holidays is how to get just the right gift for everyone on your list? We all have to shop for so many – parents, children, friends, extended family, co-workers…there’s no shortage of people to shop for, but sometimes we all have a shortage of ideas! I’ve avoided giving gifts that send the recipients to the after-Christmas returns line by following some simple advice – you should give what you would most want to receive.  For me, that means giving gifts that will make homes cozier, warmer and happier places – a perfect chance to spread my philosophy of turning home into haven.  So here are some of my gift ideas for the holidays – great gifts I think for anyone on your list! And remember – hand-made gifts can sometimes be the most memorable – especially in these times of belt-tightening!

  • Candles – I think everyone should have a ready stock of all shapes and sizes – whether to add mood lighting to a table at dinner, to safely place under glass in entryways, or, of course, for those nights when the power goes out! I love giving hand-dipped tapers, multi-hued beeswax sticks, thick pillar candles of different heights, and even fun shapes like imitation logs.
  • Fresh flowers – have a beautiful bouquet delivered.  It’s a perfect way to boost someone’s spirits and to let them know you’re thinking of them.  You could even do a flower of the month delivery for someone special on your list.
  • A throw – it doesn’t have to be cashmere, but it does have to be soft, warm and stylish.  A comfortable throw on a chair or sofa is like an invitation to sit down and curl up with a good book or a movie and a cup of hot chocolate.  And we all need that reminder to relax!
  • Fluffy towels –  pair them with some special soaps, body wash or bath salts to complete the bathing experience.  We use towels every day so there’s no such thing as having too many!
  • Delectable Treats – Hearing the song ‘Let it Snow’ and realizing that the cupboards are bare is enough to send anyone into a panic.  So giving a basket of goodies – crackers, cheeses, olives, pastas, wines, or even all the ingredients for a fondue party is a great way to thank your holiday host, or prepare someone for the cold and snowy days ahead.
  • A journal – whether it’s simple and leather or bound in vintage fabric, I love the look and feel of a great journal – and the possibilities of the blank pages inside.
  • -A donation to Habitat for Humanity, one of my favorite charities – helping give the gift of home to someone is the best of all possible gifts. Another that I especially remember at this time of year is Doctors Without Borders (www.doctorswithoutborders.org)

Enjoy your holidays, and enjoy the gift-buying process! I’ll be back after the New Year!

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