Thursday, December 19, 2013

Your Christmas List

All I want for Christmas is a fresh hairball with 7" of gold cord wrapped safely within it. But you may have other desires. Let me tell you what they are. (Most of these are for women; I find men tough to shop for unless I'm in the Apple Store and feeling loaded. Which never happens.)

1. Cashmere Security Blanket. Garnet Hill calls this an "Easy Care Cashmere Wrap." They say it is "gently protected to resist spills." So we all know it's just a big, luxe blankie to keep you warm as you drink chocolate milk, eat sugar cookies, and binge-watch "House of Cards" (and then "Scandal" if you really have insomnia). You can wear it to holiday parties hosted by friends who keep their thermostat too low, or wrap up in it at the movies. And unlike me, you don't have moths, so you'll be able to keep it until it's a pathetic rag, like your previous blankie.

2. Cozy Flannel Shirt. A few months ago, I began shopping at Madewell, a J. Crew company that's a bit rougher around the edges. They make perfect skinny jeans, which to me means they are flattering, comfortable, and they stay put. I hate yanking up the waistband of my jeans every few minutes; I've done it a million times. These run big so you need a ridiculously small size, which is lovely even if it's a lie. Madewell often has free shipping and sales (never pay full price; wait). But you don't want jeans for Christmas; you have to try them on. Instead you want a tastefully subdued flannel shirt that you will live in, under your cashmere blanket. Men can find good flannel shirts at L.L. Bean and other places, but women's flannels are often baggy, too short, or icky pastel plaids. This one is cut a little longer in the back, and note the cheery, contrasting facing. You can turn up the cuffs to show it off.

3. A Tiara. If you're going to walk around wrapped in a cashmere blanket, why not wear a tiara while you're at it? You know you love them. Just don't pick one that looks like the Miss Universe crown and you'll be fine. For most of us, opals and amethysts are more versatile for everyday wear than diamonds, so why not convert this Antique Hair Ornament to a tiara? (This one sold at Skinner on the 10th for about three times the estimated value, so somebody else really wanted it. But keep looking):

4. Italian Boots. Frye boots are made in China and they cut down eight beautiful trees for no good reason when they opened their store on Newbury Street. So the heck with them. You'd rather have elegant riding boots made in Italy, of Italian leather. These come in other colors. No zippers, no doodads, just clean, classic lines you can wear forever.

5. Hello Chocolate from Lindt. Specifically, some of these Carmel Brownie bars, although the other flavors are nothing to sneeze at. You can safely get crumbs all over your "gently protected" blanket as you sit mesmerized by Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, so it might as well be from a gooey chocolate bar. I think "Hello" is a dumb name for this line; I keep imagining it said in a snarky tone of voice, as in: "HELLO? Why aren't you eating these????" But I do keep imagining it so it's not going to stop me from buying some very soon.

6. This Little Guy. Yes, he's still living with his foster mom, Connie, and you can read about him or tell her you want him at her blog, Tails from the Foster Kittens. I still haven't given up hope that we'll head up to Maine and take him home, but the odds are about as good as Santa bringing me a $3,000 opal tiara.

7. Next Best Thing. But hardly the same. I know you'd rather have a kitten in your lap, but if you just can't, you might find some comfort in The French Cat, a photography book by Rachael Hale. It will inspire you to either go to France or take more creative shots of your local subjects. (There's The French Dog, too.)

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