Procrastinators unite! You are not alone, my friends! Waiting until the last minute is a time-honored tradition in the Owens household: My dad started shopping for my mom on Christmas Eve. Every year we piled into the car and headed out for a day of frantic shopping. Looking back on it, this “shopping while under duress” does explain some of dad’s infamous misfires on Christmas morning. I still remember The Year of the Microwave. Yes, it was the 80s and it was (literally) a big deal to have a microwave. But, for Christmas? I will never forget my mother’s response as she unwrapped a not-so-small appliance on Christmas morning: Well, at least it’s not a vacuum. My mom’s ability to see the silver lining in any situation was unparalleled.
Word to the wise, gents: If you’re buying your wife a present and you think to yourself “this will really help her clean,” stop right there. Put that vacuum back on the shelf and KEEP READING.
If you are looking at your calendar, counting down the days to Christmas Eve with increasing anxiety and need for Christmas Cheer, fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy . . . and a last-minute gift guide.
I know, I know. I should be adding in lots of photos and GIFs and links to R. Eric Thomas, but time is of the essence here and, honestly, I have presents left to buy, Peanut Butter Balls to make, and a dog to dress up like a snowman before I pick up my husband at the airport. So, bear with me, put on this Baby, It’s Cold Outside playlist, and get in the Christmas spirit! ??????????
Gifts for the Men In Your Life
For the guys on your list, start with Townscout’s Gift Guide for Gents. If nothing on there suits your fancy, you can’t go wrong with cashmere socks (trust me) or, this (NSFW) t-shirt for the Sturgill Simpson fans on your list.
Gifts for the Women in Your Life
My definition of a good gift is something you really want, but would never buy for yourself. A few years ago, my mother-in-law gave me the most amazing pair of shearling slippers. I would never buy them for myself–shearling! so fancy!–but I LOVE them. I even look forward to the first cold day so I can wear them around the house. In other words, they are the perfect gift.
Let’s start with Mom–she should always be at the top of the list:) How about a cozy wrap to keep her warm all winter long? I found two that I love. This beyond soft cardigan from Barefoot Dreams Bamboo ($96) is so cozy I want to wear it 24-7. If your mom is anything like mine, she would never spend $96 on a wrap to wear around the house, but she doesn’t have to know how much it costs. That’s what Christmas is for! PS: Oprah loves it too, so that pretty much seals the deal. Hint: If you live in Charleston, you can find these wraps at Gwynn’s and they’ll even do the wrapping for you!
If your mom wants a bit more style, this Rag & Bone double-faced wrap in port dresses things up, and the color goes with everything. $425 at Hampden.
Moving right along because we don’t have a ton of time . . .
Every girls loves a little jewelry, and in Charleston we are lucky to have a jewel box right on King Street. Croghan’s has been owned by the same family for over 100 years, and they have beautiful things for truly every taste and every budget.
I love a simple gold bangle. Make it special with an engraving–words of love or encouragement, a favorite quote, whatever suits your fancy. If your motto is Go Big or Go Home, then you may be in the market for Croghan’s famous double-rope bracelet.
For a bit of whimsy and a nod to our hometown, pick up a Gold Bug. Crohan’s own Mini Hay designs all of the pieces in this collection, and I’d take home any of them. The Love Train cuff is a fave, as are these deceptively simple studs. From afar they looks so shiny and pretty; up close . . . they’re just so fun. $160 and $60, respectively, at Croghan’s.
Last but not least, you can always find something truly unique in Croghan’s estate collection. Like this little guy.
For Your Stylish, Smart & 20-ish Daughters
In case you weren’t aware, the 90s are back. Sex in the City is a thing again, as are chokers and awkwardly fitting jeans. [Small diversion courtesy of my daughters: The “Which SITC character are you?” Quiz] I won’t be giving anyone a pair of Blahniks for Christmas, but I do love everything from Neely & Chloe. Their bags are classic and stylish–perfect for my daughter in NYC or pretty much anyone. I’m particularly fond of this blue suede shoulder bag. The photo doesn’t do it justice–in person, it is gorgeous.
And their smoking slippers are adorable. In velvet, suede, and patent leather, stitched with fun designs they make a great every day walking around shoe.
Best of all: you can order from the website TODAY and still get it there by Christmas!!
Other things your daughters might like: a pair of Goldbug earrings; classic Charleston Rice Beads from Candy Shop Vintage (they’re in every color–something for everyone!); and these fun shades from Le Spec.
Gifts for the Rest of Your List
Alright, we’re getting there people. Hold on!!
Who doesn’t love a good book?
Some of the best gifts I’ve received are cookbooks. My picks for the cook on your list: Anthony Bourdain’s newest, Appetites; Jerusalem by Yotam Ottalenghi, and anything written by the entertaining-in-every-way (and Charleston’s own) Lee Brothers.
If you have an entrepreneur or business type on your list, check out The 16 Best Business Books of 2016. I’ve been wanting to read half of the titles on this list and I just picked up a few as gifts (for others!! I promise!).
Want to inspire your daughters? Or anyone else? Give them In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney, the founder of Design Sponge. In the Company of Women is a collection of interviews with over 100 women entrepreneurs, artists, and creatives. I keep this on the table in our den to pick up when I need a little kick in my own pants. It put a smile on my face to find my daughter (just home from college) reading it the other day. It’s hard to put down, and it’s beautiful.
Looking for a great hostess gift? I love giving flowers–they smell great and they last. Another favorite: any of the gift baskets from Caviar & Bananas. They do baskets for Townscout clients all the time and they’re always beautiful. Added bonus: they’re the only place in Charleston that sells my favorite coffee, La Colombe. A good friend sends down pounds of La Colombe from Philly at random times throughout the year–Christmas year round! But I digress . . . Get a C&B gift basket. They’ve already assembled the perfect assortment; you don’t have to think at all (who has time for that?). Note: TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO ORDER FOR CHRISTMAS SO GET ON IT!!
Miss the C&B deadline? Have a party tonight? You can’t go wrong with a nice bottle of wine. You can make it a little different by tying on a Goldbug ornament from Croghan’s ($30) or pairing the wine with a pretty, teak S’well bottle (for when your hostess wants to travel with a chilled bottle of her favorite drink).
Last, but not least . . . don’t forget your furry friends!! Get your favorite four-legged family member a cozy blanket from our good friends at Blankets from Emma. For every five blankets sold, they donate a blanket to a pet rescue organization or shelter. Check out their adorable website–it’ll put a smile on your face. Just like this girl.
Alright everyone, get out there!!! You got this!!