*That song was in fact, Belinda tells us, written by Nick Lowe. Elvis got me through the rocky parts of my 20s, so gotta keep him on the card.
My friends, we have come to the final installment of the gift guides you requested for this Christmas season. I hope that if you celebrate the holiday your preparations are going smoothly, accompanied by humor and grace from your comrades in crime.
Here are some affordable presents I myself would like – now that we’re talking me we’ll use the High WASP term, “presents” – ranging from reasonable-ish, to full-on, can’t-do-much-better frugality. I hope you find some ideas for your dear ones.
Unless you’re finished shopping already, in which case you’ll find me in the corner, bowing deeply in your direction.
For Someone Who Wants To Spruce Up, Update, Or Otherwise “Up” Their House
We don’t often think to give foundational home furnishings, but if you know your recipient well, voilà use as well as delight.
- Embroidered Dots Shade • PBteen • $39.00 (New lampshades, in an unexpected color, change everything)
- Anthropologie Darby Lampshade • Anthropologie • $39.95–49.95
- 100% Natural Cotton Reversible Blanket & Throw – Soft as Cashmere, Imported, Camel/Ivory Twin size • $92.50 (My old throw has holes in it, the cashmere one my daughter bought sheds, but who doesn’t want a blanket on their sofa for blog writing and a general snuggle?)
- Marquis Greenland Home Barcelona Accessory Throw Blanket • Marquis • $52.99
- Office Star Mesh Task Chair – Pink • $52.99 (As part of my house update, one of the kids’ rooms is getting made into an office. I just might want to work in a bright pink chair. You never know.)
- Deluxe Armless Wood Banker’s Desk Chair with Wood Seat in Fruitwood • Bed Bath & Beyond • $124.99
- Willow and Seagrass Baskets • Cost Plus World Market • $4.99–7.99 (Right now my beloved garden tools sit by the front door in a white plastic painter’s bucket. Surely they deserve better. Baskets are such simple art.)
- Beachcomber Extra-Large Round Basket • Pottery Barn • $129.00
A Few Simple Ways To Polish The Tomboy Wardrobe
(And don’t forget the joys of meaningful jewelry)
- “Vintage” cotton tee in multiple colors via J. Crew
- Sheep slippers via Zappos
- Blue star belt via L.L.Bean
- Uggs slippers via Nordstrom
- Embroidered belt via the Sundance Catalogue
- Crystal earrings via Kohls
- Little pearls via Steven Alan
- Striped tee via Jigsaw
- Pale scarf via Nordstrom
- Vivid scarf via Nordstrom
Books I Have Liked Or Expect I Will
(And, don’t forget, The Widening by my high school friend, Carol Moldaw)
I’ve read and enjoyed all of these, except the Madhur Jaffrey cookbook. That one is highly recommended for someone who wants to start learning Indian cooking. Which I do.
And, In Closing, Gifts Of Experiences
My first choice of experience presents would always be an airplane ticket. But those show up in the “budget” category once in a blue moon. So here are a couple of alternatives.
- A joint project. For example, I’m fixated on finding a planter with gold embellishment for the purple Feng Shui garden in my back yard. Hard to come by, but easy to make. One terracotta pot plus some gold leaf from a craft store plus, let’s say, a fuchsia, along with an offer to spend an hour laughing over handyman incompetency together? Perfect.
- New skills. If you want to give someone a present of experience, teach. If you have a skill, share, along with a few tools. Or, how about an online course? The field is booming. I’m trying to learn simple coding of HTML and CSS, and am enjoying courses at Udemy. They offer all kinds of subjects for extremely reasonable prices. I’m also trying to teach myself graphic design, over at the Canva site. That’s where I made the (navy blue) Christmas card up top, using one of their templates. Canva supports design-your-own from the ground up, and sells little graphic components for $1.00 apiece. I bet you could set up an account and populate it with $10 towards backgrounds.
Commence the ringing of bells, from high steeples, to doorbell ding-dongs, to the Salvation Army chorus on cold city streets.
Affiliate links may produce commissions. Planters image via The Hunted Interior.