There’s nothing as kind as giving a gift for no reason. But during the Christmas and holiday season, the ante is upped: Our cherished traditions propel us into giddy gift-buying and overt displays of affection. I love it, because it creates precisely the mood necessary for reveling in luxury and sharing some of the finer things in life with those you love.
I so enjoy this time of year because you have an excuse to be over-the-top and truly indulge in all the luxuries Christmas time provides. Here are just a few of my favorite finds for bringing cheer to your holiday season.
When I spotted this Foxhall Manor Dollhouse Kit, I knew it would find its foundation under some lucky child’s Christmas tree. Handmade in Vermont, the Federal-style home is rich in architectural details, including a Palladian dormer window, two curved staircases and a grand center hall. If I were a doll, I would change my address and move here, posthaste. $1,149 at Real Good Toys (www.realgoodtoys.com).The “Star Wars” franchise is the gift that keeps on giving. This year, it is making fiction a reality with the X-34 Landspeeder, a tiny replica of the hovercraft flown by Luke Skywalker in the 1977 film “Star Wars.” Radio Flyer, a firm more known for making red wagons than vehicles for a multi-planet society, is the maker of this vehicle, which will likely thrill parents as much as their children. That’s a total win-win. $250 at www.toysrus.com.
We all have that BFF who savors the written word. Her stationary is her wardrobe. She records her thoughts in longhand. And, it is rumored, she keeps a custom die for engraving her stationary at Cartier’s 5th Avenue flagship. She needs Mrs. John L. Strong Gossip Box Tablets with a keepsake crate. The covers are engraved with cute sayings, including “Off the Record,” “Shhh…” and “Heard Through the Grapevine,” which are printed in various colors and include a hand-engraved motif stamped in gold ink. $98 at Bergdorf Goodman (www.bergdorfgoodman.com).
Even if that man in your life is a visionary, his eyes peering clearly into the future, he could still use the occasional blast from the past. The straight razor is one of these – and it makes for a chic Christmas gift. I am enamored of this razor that was handcrafted by Thiers-Issard, a respected French razor maker that has been in business since 1884. It is the 188 Olivewood Spartacus F-Nose and, while I never thought I’d call a razor “gorgeous,” I am surprised to say this one is indeed just that; it is gorgeous. $285 at www.smallflower.com.
Some parents, yours and mine I am sure, simply have artisanal tastes. They’re the ones following the latest creameries and researching which geographical areas fared best during grape season. When I learned about the 12-month Best of Goldbelysubscription, I knew I had hit a foodie’s delight for the parents who have everything. This subscription includes American favorites, including lobster rolls from Maine’s Hancock Lobster Company, a selection of ice cream from San Francisco’s Humphry Slocombe, a Jack Stack barbecue box from Kansas City, and more. $749 at www.goldbely.com.
Now, thinking of those we may not know well but who live and love just as we do, tens of millions of families cannot afford books for their homes, which puts their children at a significant disadvantage. I love the idea of gifting a child who may need a special gift in his or her life a gorgeous set of books, such as the Puffin in Bloom collection. These classics carry the cover art of Anna Bond, the principal artists behind the stationery brand Rifle Paper Co.In a variation on that theme, I encourage people to get involved with nonprofits that support reading. Milk+Bookies is an inventive one. It provides tools, resources and support in instructing children to host their own Milk+Bookies “book-raiser” parties, during which they can choose, inscribe and donate books to other children who lack reading materials at home.
As we all ready our final purchases and plans, we give thanks to all who have brought us blessings this year. Part of this special season is gifting with the joy of knowing we have provided a little luxury to our friends and family and perhaps to someone in need.
Clearly, the holidays give us carte blanche to be decadent, as if pie has no calories and budgets are an urban legend, so use this season as your reason to revel in luxury and help those you adore do the same.