The Gift List 2008

I am not a procrastinator. If there were a antonym for the word, you’d see my face next to it in the dictionary. I tend to panic when I have too much to do, and my natural response is to do it all. Immediately. This tendency, which generally impresses bosses and annoys laid-back husbands, is particularly handy when it comes to Christmas shopping. Per usual, I wrapped mine up about a week ago (No, I am not one of those people who shops for sweaters and Santa figurines in July, when they’re 80 percent off. That is another illness altogether.). If you fall into the camp that hates to shop, doesn’t have time to shop, or whose idea of shopping is curling up on the couch with a See’s Candies catalog (grandma, you had better save me a Scotchmallow), then consider this list my gift to you.

The Daily Candy Lexicon: Words that Don’t Exist but Should  ($10 at
Since it launched in 2000, has been the virtual trend-spotter for women everywhere. Every day, the website churns out bright and witty tidbits about what’s new and stylish in the world—and we eat it up. This year, the editors at Daily Candy compiled the definitions of words they’ve invented to express themselves. Here are a few of my favorite hilars (I just made that up):
Drimming – Drunk instant-messaging
Organic Panic The sudden need to shop at farmers markets/carry reusable shopping bags/create a compost heap in your apartment.
Shoppings – Product ammased from a day out at the shops.

I Get Around (from $11 at
My four-year-old niece, Emily, is always on the go. I have never met a child with so much energy and interest in the world around her. Minneapolis-based Deb Miner’s collection of books, journals, and stickers about an exuberant dog, Rover, who loves to explore his little world, really remind me of Emily. I can just picture her toting her favorite things around the house, to the store with Mom, in this play+go case.

Paper Source 2009 Letterpress Desk Calender
($18.50 at
There are three things I need to have at my desk at all times: tea, hand lotion, and this calendar. It’s so pretty, whimsical, and modern, that I’m sad to see each month go. Note: these sell out fast so don’t wait until January when no, they won’t be 50 percent off, according to a rather unfriendly sales associate at the store (she clearly needs a calendar at her register). 

Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual  ($32 at
For any woman who is fascinated by makeup, or eternally clueless about how to wear it—this is for her. The queen of classic, dewy beauty has created this reference guide on skincare basics, essential tools, and step-by-step makeup lessons. I particulary love the Ten-Step Guide to Perfect Makeup, which anyone—including a product junkie like me—can glean a thing or two from. This is the sort of coffee table (or bathroom, in this case) book that so few of us would buy for ourselves, and so it’s all the more delicious to recieve.

The Breville Ikon Panini Press
($150 at Williams Sonoma)
This is not just a panini-maker (And no, it’s not a Foreman Grill. That would look much less stylish on my kitchen counter)—it quickly grills vegetables, meat, fish, and anything else that you’d rather not attend to at 7 o’clock on a Monday night when you’re starving and Gossip Girl is on. I almost bought this for my parents. I almost bought it for my husband. But when I realized that what I really wanted was to buy it for myself, I did. Merry Christmas to me.

Candles, especially the Himalayn Glow from Aveda
($32 at
You might be thinking: boring. Or, you might be thinking: $32 for a candles?!? But I am thinking: There is no simpler, more satisfying luxury than an intoxicating, candle-lit room. It can set the tone for a party, make reading a book in bed extra indulgent, or, in a pinch, stand in for a much-needed day at the spa. The soy-wax Himalayan Glow smells like the holidays—clove, cinnamon, vanilla—and is packaged in gift-ready Nepalese-made paper box, too. It’s part of Aveda’s ongoing partnership with communities in Nepal, from which the company purchases a whopping 82 percent of its paper. When you purchase this candle, you support the development of a sustainable business and the preservation of native forests.

For more gift ideas, pick up the December issue of Minnesota Monthly.