Stockings, perhaps the most exciting part of Christmas cadeaux, are not typically part of Noêl festivities in France. I do however have a great friend who has a huge family — and fortunately an enormous fireplace — who has taken to the tradition with a passion to the delight of her children and now her grandchildren.
The stockings hung by the chimney with care. . . have always been my very favorite part of the holidays. I like them because, in a way, it takes more thought to fill them with charming offerings. Each one is theoretically strategically conceived to reflect the recipient’s personality, all of which made me think about that most difficult of challenges: The Woman Who Has Everything.
I imagine all of us have one or more friends in that category and they tend to create a cadeau conundrum when we’re confronted with those “what in the world can we give her?” occasions. Clearly, we’re not in competition to “keep up” with her budget possibilities and as for my friends, they would never expect excess because they are kind, thoughtful, generous and mostly blithely unaware that we would even think it could be difficult to find perfect presents for them.
So, mes amis, that was the task I set for myself: Fill a Christmas stocking for the woman who has everything with gifts that never surpass $50 and sometimes ring in at less than $10. I’m not suggesting we would be responsible from toe to top, simply one (maybe two) special items that could be tucked within to give joy and show our affection.
Here then, is Part I of my two-part series:
3.) Clarins’ three point eyeliner pen. It’s slightly complicated to use the first time — instructions are inside the box — and requires a tiny bit of practice, but once you’ve learned the technique there is no turning back. The concept is so ingenious that it redefines, literally, everything we have ever thought about the process.
4.) Poudre Universelle Libre, Réverie, by Chanel. What could be more festive than a dusting of light reflecting gold and silver powder?
5.) Pate a tartiner Pietra by Pierre Hermé — it’s sort of like an intensely chic version of Nutella from one of the world’s most talented chocolate makers and, many contend, the king of macaroons.
6.) “Le Premeur” a calendar of fruits and vegetables which tells us what produce is grown in which season and therefore leads us to the best quality choices. It saves us from eating raspberries in December that taste like the carton in which they were so enticingly displayed for example.
9.) One or two shooting star hair combs, brass with a wash of gold something-or-other. Take my word for it, they’re glamorous.
10.) Guerlain’s beyond chic lipstick with its built-in mirror. It has heft, style and the magic “click” that tells a woman, “this is pure luxury.”
A demain for the second installment.