Pictured: My stocking and Dad’s stocking with Mom’s substitute stocking in the middle (her traditional one is getting a tad delicate).
My stocking is the best stocking ever because my Mom sewed it around the time I was born. It’s also kind of obnoxiously large compared to my parents’. Dad has a small pharaoh-themed one because he spent a lot of time in Egypt in his twenties. Mom’s is old and scraggly and red with peeling glitter glue that spells her name. It’s quite lovely, really.
I decorated the whole tree today to surprise them when they get back from work, and also as some much-needed post fans therapy. It’s the worst thing about college finals. I don’t like Christmas nearly so much as I love the lead up and anticipation and carols and crowds and whole season. So now I’m going for full on immersion.
And don’t worry, I’m not neglecting my pleasure reading! I’ve already finished With Borges by Alberto Manguel today (recommended) and was inspired to add many similar books to my To Read list (currently an overstuffed 436).
But back to stockings! I remember when I was little there was always the wonderfulness of unearthing from my stocking handfuls of gelt, fruit, and delicious Hershey Kisses. One of the worst things about growing up, or at least the particular way in which I grew up, and my struggles with anorexia, was the loss of this happiness. We have to let go of a lot of things as we get older, because things change and sometimes because we change.
But thankfully there are still little treats that can make you smile. For someone like me, I think the following little odds and ends are nice ideas.
- Sjaak Organic Melk Chocolates: So I am learning to make room for some chocolate in my life- especially these little vegan bite-sized ones that are as sweet as milk chocolate and filled with things like almond butter, caramel, and hazelnut (I can’t do dark chocolate bitterness, much as I wish I could be a dark chocolate and red wine woman like my mother and grandmother before me 😛 ). The Mint Mills are also deliciously Christmas-y.
- LUSH Rose Jam Body Wash: All of my perfume friends love the rose jam scent from LUSH and I believe it’s only available over the holiday season. There are bubble bars, actual fragrance, and of course body wash, which I would opt for for a bit of a treat every day in the shower.
- Speaking of perfume… PERFUME!: Samples or otherwise. If it were me specifically that I were shopping for, I would get me some current (rectangular bottle) Jolie Madame and some Meharees from L’Erbolario (Wish I had known I would love it when I was in Venice two years ago- they sell it in pharmacies there!)
Alsooooo, if you’re interested in sustainably sourced and natural perfume, I would love to recommend the tiny independent brand, Saint d’Ici, which was created by a friend of mine and who asked me to design one of the perfumes in the range- Nomvikeli, a spicy clove and floral incense. Clove is lovely for Christmas you know. And so is incense. 😉
- Little Hair Accessories: I’m kind of wanting a clip in the shape of a… well, of a shape. I know it’s horribly instagram of me (and I’m not even on instagram) but I love these little circular or triangular gold barrettes.
- A small candle: SNL just cruelly torched the Christmas candle-giving tradition, but they can be lovely gifts when not regifted and covered in dust. It’s more of a big present than a stocking stuffer, but I get Mom a Cire Trudon candle every once in a blue moon. It’s harder now, because after having one she can’t live without them and buys them for herself. 🙂
I personally am tempted to try the Homesick line (Massachusetts is supposed to smell like apple cider doughnuts and Dunkin coffee- which actually smells like a certain night out I had with Gabriella).
Lily (my roommate) gave me a Thymes Frasier Fir candle which I essentially held to my nose while I studied so I could pretend I was studying at home under a giant tree like Clara in the Nutcracker. Pitiful.
- Animal Crackers: Wouldn’t say no to a small bag of Animal Crackers, to be honest. I miss them.
- SOCKS!: This is another thing about growing up. When you’re little socks seem like a Christmas fate worse than death and now, not only do I find myself in perpetual need of socks, but socks have a new allure and majesty to me. These houndstooth J. Crew ones are calling my name. But have you seen those fur-cuffed things showing up on fashion websites? They’re completely ridiculous little monstrosities, but also adorable. And I’m embarrassed to admit that I want some fishnet ankle socks. Whoops. (Also tan fishnet tights because I tore mine a year ago in a haunted house and life has been dire without them).
- Jewelry: Aside from the much-coveted by me Kenneth Jay Lane cuffs discussed yesterday, beautiful and sentimental jewelry does not have to be very expensive. I’m rather on the lookout for some nice subtle necklaces too. You can find some great and inexpensive pieces from all over the world on Etsy, but on the more expensive end of things: some spelling (a C for me!) and a bee.
- Stamps: I’m a big fan of handwritten notes so I have my own beautiful embossed stationery and have had it since I was WAY too young for such things, but I never have stamps (or at least I never have pretty or seasonally appropriate stamps and I always see cute stamps and never get them but wouldn’t it be lovely if I just HAD some?)
- Wrapping Paper: Let’s be clear- not many people would be pleased by this gift but I fucking love wrapping paper and we’re running out. It’s so pretty and festive. So functional. Pick me some pretty wrapping paper, tie a bow around it, and I promise I will love you.
- A Cute Wee Book: A fluffy little book can be a great Christmas gift. I don’t have any on my wish list at the moment, but maybe I’ll add a list at some time of fluffy books I’ve received for Christmas and loved.
- A Donation to a Meaningful Organization: In light of America’s current political climate, my parents are asking exclusively to donations to organizations like Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, NARAL, and NOW, American Friends Service Committee, Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations. My Uncle with vastly different political beliefs opted for a donation to ASPCA because Cat Lives Matter.
Jewelry (and scented candles and perfume etc.) are a pretty personal thing and if you’re as detail-oriented as I am the thought of someone inflicting a random one on you may make you panic a little.
But hey! Chocolate!
(I edited yesterday’s post to include the calendar I forgot that I asked for- but I promise I’m completely in love with it, my poor memory notwithstanding.)
You know what I would really like? Some organic figs or cherries. The Christmas season in New England is not conducive to exciting fruit variety.