1. A fluffy kitten — admit it. Get her from Connie, who fosters in Maine (a lovely drive from the Boston area) and blogs at Tails from the Foster Kittens. She's fostered 376 kittens and counting, including our purring, biscuit-making Lion. Her kittens turn out friendly and sweet; she has a great recipe. Currently she has two longhaired sisters just about ready for adoption. They arrived terrified and in awful shape but are now friendly and flourishing. Do us all a favor and keep these two together; they are very bonded. Hurry!
You can also adopt from Kitten Associates, in Connecticut (a less lovely drive but the reward will be great). They make fabulous kittens, too, including Harris. Check out Ivy, Wallace, and Fernando. And if you really think your life is so darn rich and full that you don't have room for a kitten, then celebrate your prosperity by sending them a donation!
2. You want Christmas socks, like these Japanese handmade ones by Anonymous Ism, or maybe woolly ones with snowflakes. ($39.50 and $16.50 at J. Crew). Sure, they'll look silly with your chic, mostly black winter wardrobe, but these need never leave the house. Wear them on the sofa when you're watching Downton Abbey (returning on January 5) and Scandal (January 29), not to mention binge-watching House of Cards (February 27). For you boys out there, J. Crew carries red snowflake wool socks for you, too.
3. You want seasonal candy, specifically something in the peppermint bark line-up, which is out of control this year. You want this even though the stuff is everywhere and you're worried that you might just be succumbing to the hype. But no — just as the pumpkin is the autumn vegetable, the candy cane is the winter vegetable, and foodies always say we should eat whatever's in season. If you need more convincing, check out the always-profane and high-energy 2014 Hater's Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog, and note that the author failed to summon enough hostility to completely reject the peppermint-chocolate offerings.
4. You want something cool and monogrammed. That means heading over to Mark & Graham, where you can even choose monogrammed soaps in three different shapes. But you'd be happier with the versatile, unisex Everyday Leather Zip Pouch ($79) in one of nine colors (green is lovely; red is classic). Then add your initials in Didot, and you will be elegant. Even in your Christmas socks.
5. You want moisture. Lip balm, hand cream, and body lotion are necessities during New England winters, and if you're still using Vaseline or drugstore basics, it's time you woke up and smelled the Neroli & Grapefruit Body Cream from REN Skincare ($29). It's a tall bottle of very pure, light cream that contains jojoba, shea butter, and grapeseed oil. REN uses only 100% plant- and mineral-derived ingredients and no synthetics, including mineral oil, silicones, petroleum-based ingredients, etc. I have a bottle, so I'm certain you will want one.
6. The scent of Christmas. Pop into Blue Mercury (160 Newbury St) to smell the Birchwood Pine Room Spray from NEST Fragrances ($28). Unlike Ebeneezer Scrooge, you may have a little trouble honoring Christmas in your heart and trying to keep it all the year... but you'll be able to smell it whenever you want.