Tuesday, December 29, 2009

thanks, but...

you survived the holidays with the in-laws, outlaws and everyone in between, but your real survival instincts will kick in when you have to fight the crowds at your local electronics superstore to return to the kindle that your mom thought was sooooo you (sorry, but a true bookworm would never abandon the old-fashioned hardback). in keeping with the spirit of the season, we offer you three tips to exchanging gifts graciously:

1. when you find yourself in double trouble (i.e. the gift you just opened has a twin already living at your house), tell the giver he/she is so thoughtful and knows you a little too well since you just bought one for yourself last month. flattery opens the door for a simple exchange.

2. when the shoe (or dress, or top...) doesn't fit or the style is just way off, smile pleasantly and concoct a little white lie about how you can't wait to wear it to such and such an event. you can always exchange clothing for something you would actually wear...or just hide it in the back of the closet until your next big purging season.

3. when all else fails, remember that one's trash is always someone else's treasure. we are not opposed to re-gifting as long as you tell the recipient up-front that it was a gift given to you that you just can't use yourself. never try to pass off a re-gift as your own, and make sure the one you pass it to has no affiliation with the original giver.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

what: lizzie fortunato "on the road" necklace, $160
who: your teenage daughter. because she hates everything you pick out. because she's an individual. because you secretly want to make her smile (and mean it!) this christmas. lizzie fortunato's grown-up take on the old school "friendship bracelet" has blossomed into a sold-out collection that had fashion editors drooling last fall. lucky for you poole shop just received lizzie fortunato's spring collection, which now includes a necklace (left) accented in bright, spring hues. At a price that won't have you dipping into her college fund, you may have stumbled upon this year's perfect gift.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

wrap yourself in a christmas package

what: epice circus scarf, $245
who: your best friend. she's the veritable "girl who has everything," and this time of year always stirs up a friendly rivalry as you try to outdo one another in the gifting department. last year she won by trumping your diptyque candle (weren't we in a recession?) with her funky christopher kane cashmere gloves. get her back this year with the quirky circus scarf from epice. with a unique and colorful motif, this scarf is the perfect accessory and a conversation-starter all on its own. wrap it up, and go ahead and take a victory lap.

Monday, December 14, 2009

five golden rings

what: matina amanita topaz flora ring, $488
who: your mother-in-law. you don't have the same taste in clothes or music or food, but she did give birth to your husband, so make it a good one this year. the flashy flora ring from matina amanita has just the right amount of spunk and sizzle to fit her harried lifestyle. give her the sky blue topaz that is universally flattering, and you can be sure this year she won't be shaking her head telling herself "it's the thought that counts."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

it's christmas eve and these shoes are just her size

what: repetto ballet flats, $141
who: your sister. she's laid back, casual and doesn't know the difference between tory burch and tori spelling. you finally rid her closet of merrell's and dansko's, so it's your job to find the right fit for her this holiday season. enter: repetto flats. the perfect little shoe for moms or students or anyone looking for a little comfort and a break from the whacked-out platform concoctions that have been styling shelves the past few seasons. with perky color choices such as kelly green and navy blue, repetto flats are the perfect accent for daytime garb.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

a candle in the window

what: calypso mimosa candle, $38
who: your co-worker. candles are a great gift because they can be equally bestowed upon a great friend or someone you see everyday yet know virtually nothing about (except that she likes cats as is evident by the wall calender plastered on her cubby). scents can be tricky, so stick with something classic and fresh like mimosa from calypso. it's perfect for the bathroom or a guest room and is light enough to please any palette.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

visions of sugarplums...

what: organica deluxe fleur de sel caramels, $26
who: your son's 4th grade teacher. nothing says "thank you" for putting up with your son on his good days and the bad like a mouth-watering box of chocolates. this year bypass the mini godiva boxes at the barnes & noble checkout in favor of the salty, sweet, and bitter dark chocolate flavors that spew forth from the organica deluxe fleur de sel carmels. if you haven't tried these yourself by now, be sure to grab a box for yourself. guaranteed to bring a smile to anyone's face even on the most hectic of days, you're son will soon be teacher's pet.

Monday, December 7, 2009

two little candy canes winked at me

what: t by wang striped baggy tank, $89
who: your niece. you're the "fashionista" of the family, so inevitably it's your job to find the niece's gift. she's 12; she likes miley cyrus and selena gomez but also covets the louboutin's she uncovered in your closet. while you don't want to spoil her with a prada bag all her own this year, you can give her a little piece of fashion with this adorable nautical tank from t by wang. she'll know exactly how to layer it and may even teach you a thing or two about so-called "fashion."

Thursday, December 3, 2009

...in a one horse open sleigh

what: wendi reed dancing horse cardigan, $450
who: your mother. you have to admire her unwavering dedication to all things holiday, but if you see one more santa-themed sweater complete with tinsel and fuzzy balls, you might lose it. sure, the grand kids love a dancing snowman, but the adults would rather have a preschool-free christmas. this year show your mom you respect her holiday spirit with a quirky sweater that has just enough whimsy for the kids (dancing horses!) but is grownup enough to last throughout the winter. on christmas morning this wendi reed cardigan is nothing short of festive, but in the middle of february it's just downright cute. the added bonus: you won't be sick of seeing it next year...and the year after...and the year after...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

'tis the season to be merry

what: leather wine log from organica deluxe, $25
who: your husband's boss. every year you try to distinguish yourself from all the clark griswolds out there by coming up with a truly unique gift for the head honcho. you know he fancies himself a wine connoisseur who is prone to ordering pinotage from south africa by the caseload (and rumor has it he's experimenting with a burgeoning "winery" on his farm). while a bottle of screaming eagle could turn your husband into quite the suck-up, a thoughtful little wine log will do the trick in showing you have his best interests at heart.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

rockin' around the christmas tree

what: meredith wendell "rockstar" clutch, $295
who: your brother's girlfriend. she may not officially be part of the family yet, but you've become accustomed to seeing her face at family gatherings over the past eight years. she's cute, fun and has a great sense of style (what exactly she sees in your brother, on the other hand, remains a question). you always strive to get her something cutting-edge so she'll someday think of you as her "cool" sister-in-law. this year you'll hit the mark by choosing meredith wendell's iridescent leather clutch with hologram tiffany glass.