1. A tart pan because I have a newfound love for tarts. (More on this in the next two posts.)
2. Now that I'm a grown-up, I need grown-up coasters. Surely someone you know does too.
3. A friend of mine started a seriously beautiful gift-wrapping service. If you're in the Los Angeles area, you may want to contact her as soon as possible.
4. Artists Kat Hutter and Roger Lee have teamed up to create some really amazing hand-painted ceramics. Here's where you can find their work.
5. This bath scrub is making this week of cold, rainy days quite lovely. Highly recommend.
6. Writing classes! I'm teaching a fiction-writing class and a food-writing seminar this winter. Sign up! There will be snacks!
7. My Berlin Kitchen. Here's a perfect gift for anyone who likes food, great writing, and/or a love story.
8. My family is coming to stay with us for the holidays, and I'll be damned if Christmas Eve dinner doesn't have a festive flower arrangement in the center of the table.
9. I've already given one copy of this book to a friend and purchased two more to give as holiday gifts. I can't remember the last time a short story collection won me over so completely.
10. Sunday-only subscription to The New York Times. This is truly the gift that keeps on giving.
11. Matt and I eat a lot of pasta dinners. This gorgeous cookbook is single-handedly inspiring me to mix it up.
12. Kathleen Whitaker's earrings make me want to go to The Piercing Pagoda at the mall and get another ear piercing or two so I can wear 'em all at once!
13. A million thanks to Mary Anne for this book recommendation. If you've ever wondered what might happen if you somehow ended up with a celebrity's cell phone and then everyone started treating you like that celebrity, this book is for you. (Or for someone you know. I keep forgetting this is a gift guide.)
14. Found My Animal dog collar. U.S.-made with reclaimed and recycled materials. Or in other words, only the best for the best!
15. This stunning image is borrowed from Beyonce's blog, and while I'm not recommending that you give someone Beyonce-and-Jay-Z-themed press-on nails, I am recommending that you give someone a gift certificate to get a manicure and pedicure. Getting a manicure is the best, yet it's always the most expendable item on my to-do list. If only someone got me a gift certificate to get one...
16. Matt's pick! Hi, guys! Matt here. It's a question we all have deal with in December. What do I get that knife-obsessed sweetie on my list? Look no further than an Opinel! On our trip to Paris, I picked up a handful of Opinel #8s and gave them out like candy. They're cheap, beautiful, and useful.
To give you a brief provenance and sell you on this little penknife: the Opinel was originally sold as a simple working man's knife in the late 1890s and has become an iconic symbol of French culture and lifestyle. Fun facts from Wikipedia include: Pablo Picasso used an Opinel to carve his scultures; Roger Frison-Roche, the Savoyard alpine guide and mountaineer, never made an ascent without carrying an Opinel along; Éric Tabarly, the long-distance solo sailor and yachtsman, swore by the Opinel, which he always carried aboard his sailing yacht, the Pen Duick. The Larousse dictionary entered the word Opinel as a registered trademark in 1989, and is known as the French knife in the United States.The word Opinel has come to mean any wood handled pocket or penknife. In 1985 the Victoria and Albert Museum in London selected the Opinel as part of an exhibit celebrating the “100 most beautiful products in the world." The Opinel was also selected as one of the 999 best designs in Phaidon Design Classics, and has been exhibited by the New York's Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) as a design masterpiece.
I recommend getting yours on ebay. (You want the ones made in France!)
17. Send a card! And if you're going to send a card, send one of these cards.