Gift Guide: My Christmas Wishlist

Nov 16, 2023

As much as I love giving gifts (and I am excellent at it), I am also terrible to shop for.  If I wanted it, I probably bought it.  I usually research my purchases so I want this version, instead of that version.  As a result, if I don’t tell people what I want for a gift, I’m the woman opening a selection of candles, bath salts, and slippers on Christmas morning.

I used to hate picking my gifts, because it never feels quite as wonderful to open a gift you know is coming, but I’ve just accepted that I am not the person you can surprise.  The below items made the cut for the 2023 Christmas List, maybe they’ll also find their way onto yours.

Since Sloane was born, I’ve been hunting for a sweet locket to put her picture in. Of course, the Monica Rich Kosann necklace is the dream, but they’re spendy.  Even the bottom end of her line costs four-figures.  Beautiful, but not in the budget.

Instead, I spotted this Brook & York option.  I love the Y-chain.  The tiny oval option is also a lovely choice.  For something with more visual interest, this starburst locket from Rachel Jackson is lovely.  I also like this not-too-perfect hammered metal, engraveable option from Monica Vinader.

To spruce up an existing charm, pendant, or locket, try a longer chain necklace.  The long chain gives it a freshness.

Looking for chic loungewear that doesn’t cost a fortune?  Varley is the brand for you.  Get that cool girl style in a cozy package.  This fleece topper is so stylish in person.  I also love their camel-hued mock neck half zip.  Everything has a fabulous “I just came back from Aspen” vibe that I really like, but the pieces all run $100-$200, so they don’t have that ski-town pricing.

This has been a hard year. Every time I get on stable ground, something happens to shake it.  I feel like I’m walking through quicksand, and it’s impacting my ability to make plans and move forward.  This Manifestation notepad is meant to help you visualize bringing good things into your life.  And while I am the last person who indulges in “woo,” I do believe that consciously thinking about and planning for growth can lead to growth.  This weekly planner is just what I need to get re-started.

When I saw that these Loeffler Randall Gia Boots were back on sale, I texted Kyle, “Congratulations! I did my own Christmas shopping. Size 9. Safari. Buy now.”  And thus, they appeared (mostly because he looked at the selection of fabulous gifts he’s received over the years and knew better than to say no).

I love these boots. I can’t say enough good things about them.  Comfortable out of the box in the low heel, the Goldy is also fantastic if you want a higher heel.  And they come in a wonderful selection of neutrals.  They’re just a great shoe, and I will be wearing them for years.

If you want a similar boot in a lower price point, the J.Crew Sadie is the way to go.  And they’re currently 40% off.  For a wide-calf option, try this pair from Macy’s.

Two years ago, I bought a Calamondin Tree for my kitchen.  The fragrance of orange blossoms filled my home.  The little fruits grew every year and made my black thumb feel green.  Then, I went to Montana, and my husband promptly murdered my plant.  I’m still bruised over it.

Luckily, Via Citrus is now on Amazon.  You can order my orange tree.  A lemon tree.  A key lime tree.  Or a Yuzu tree.  I promise, putting one of these little trees in your home is a delightful way to feel like a great gardener.  I adored mine.  I can’t wait to own another.

I love pajamas.  This Nordstrom Moonlight set (also in plus) is my favorite, but I want to branch out into bolder prints and patterns.  Anthropologie has this really fun set with a flannel top and bottom.  I also own this floral set from Ann Taylor.  For a more affordable option, I like this polka dot pair from Nordstrom Rack.

Anyday cookware was developed by chefs to turn your microwave into magic.  A friend of mine owns these bowls and cooks with them every day.  She swears that the rice she reheats in them tastes as good and has the same texture as the rice she made fresh.  The full kit is about $160.  But she says that if you can only buy one, buy the big one for $49.  She has four kids, so if she says this has made cooking dinner easier, I believe her.

For a couple of years, the go-to way for Moms to carry their phone, wallet and chapstick has been the Lululemon belt bag.  I wish I was that person, I’m just not.  But I need my hands free, so when another influencer recommended the Bandolier, I promptly put it in my cart.  Now, I’m hoping someone reading this buys it for me for Christmas.  (Relatives, I know you’re out there.)

You can go with the Emma, which is a sleek option for just your phone.  For me, I’m looking at the Kimberley set, which has a small, detachable pouch for my card case and chapstick.  I also love the Charlie strap with a little purse built in. Either would make a great gift for a Mom, a college student, a frequent traveler, a concert goer, or the Auntie who is always losing her phone in her purse.

If you can’t think of anything else to buy a woman in her 40s, figure out what MedSpa or aesthetician she goes to and buy that.  The only thing I care about at 41 is taking care of my skin, and I bet most women my age feel the same.  I’m not trying to look younger, I’m just trying to look as good as I can for the age that I am.

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  1. meaghan says:

    Now this is a Christmas list. That Monica Rich Kosann locket is incredible.

  2. Ana says:

    I would buy several of these for myself. Thanks for sharing. Just picked up my dog at the groomer and I saw they have a kit to do a nose impression of your dog and make it into a necklace or keychain. I’m not the type that would wear the nose Impression as a necklace, but as a keychain, it seems fun. Especially since my pup is getting up there in age and I’m not sure how long he will be around. May go back and try that

  3. Sarah says:

    Yes to the medspa idea (or, for me, the derm’s office). And I would have bought an orange tree, but I live in a state they cannot ship to. That’s disappointing. Great list!

  4. kate says:

    What a great list. I like everything.

  5. Lauren says:

    Love this list! The trees are a great idea for my hard-to-shop-for parents and extended family.

    I’d love a list for parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles.

    Of course, always anticipating Kyle’s recommendations!

  6. Margaret says:

    Where are the boots on sale?

  7. Sara says:

    I think this post sets a new record for links I’ve been curious enough to click (basically all of them). Thanks for sharing your picks!

  8. Kathleen says:

    I am also the person receiving the candles and bath salts. Also chocolates. I hate being given candles. Candles aren’t something everyone wants/uses, unlike some of the other consumable items.

  9. Lauren says:

    The Anyday are great. For familys with small kids. For seniors. For people trying to eat healthier. My parents weren’t excited about them and then learned how to use them and now they use them every day.

  10. Nellie says:

    Dumb question. How will you get the picture in the locket? I have one from when I was little and presume my parents did it in the very low-tech old-fashioned way (got a print done of a certain size, cut out and glued in the pictures).

  11. Meghan says:

    I love the Via Citrus idea! Those plants are toxic to dogs though. As a dog owner, did you have any concerns about that? Where did you keep your tree? Trying to decide if I trust my pooch enough to bring one into the house…

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