This gift list comes courtesy of our much-loved, contributing author, J. J is the one who found Maura Daniel's amazing nursery lighting, and Avalisa's modern nursery art. J, a self-confessed fuzzy croc wearer, is also someone I turn to for inspiration. She's never fancy or frou-frou...but I can always count on J to help focus my attention on something fabulous, yet often over-looked. So I knew that J's Christmas list would be filled with simple picks that beautifully celebrate the season. And it is. Cozy and chic - just like J.
Men -- If you have trouble shopping for your wife because she is just SO DARN PRACTICAL...this is your gift guide. All of J's picks are useful, but gorgeous enough to make her feel just a little bit spoiled.
1. Something Cozy-Chic to Wear
Frye's Harness 12R boots, $238 from Frye.com, is a beautiful but practical choice. These boots are made from perfectly distressed leather that will get softer with wear, and have that so-hard-to-find heel: low and sturdy enough to be able to walk everywhere, but without any orthopedic overtones.
The North Face's Metropolitan Parka, $279, packs 600 fill down insulation into a chic little package. I love the sleek cut and the gorgeous metallic color (tanzania tan). This is not your average puffer jacket.
2. Afternoon Tea (or High Tea)
A gift certificate out to enjoy Afternoon Tea (or High Tea) is a fun little splurge. Afternoon teas are long, luxurious affairs complete with scones, finger sandwiches, clotted cream, and petit fours. Perfect for hours of girl chat...so actually, buy a gift certificate for her AND a BFF! If you live in Denver, a gift certificate to the Brown Palace is the best option, but for ideas, you can Google "afternoon tea in X" (insert your city name for X). I know the Ritz-Carlton also serves a fantastic tea. Afternoon teas usually run anywhere from $30 - $60 per person.
Or, if money is really an issue, hand the kiddos over to some friends for a couple of hours and treat her to a luxurious afternoon tea at home. Brenda Coulter has an amazing online guide to Preparing and Serving a Proper Afternoon Tea.
3. Cozy-Chic Your Bed
J has me drooling over West Elm's Vintage Butterfly Duvet and Shams. I'd pair this with a set of 6oz Supima Flannel Sheets from Land's End in mahogany, a rich, chocolate brown. Mmmmmm....cozy...but in a wildly beautiful way. The Vintage Butterfly Duvet is $139 and the shams are $29 or $34 (standard and euro, respectively). The Land's End flannel sheets are currently on sale, ranging from $82 - $130.
4. Cozy-Chic Her Workspace
Whether a working or stay-at-home mom, all moms love a stylish yet warm space to work. J has been talking about a new desk for quite some time, so I wasn't surprised to see Scandinavian Designs' Study Desk, $199, on her list. I love the clean, modern lines and affordable price. Also on her wish list: A soothing, mind-clearing piece of art by Norman Wyatt Jr. The "Someday" print, framed, retails for $150 at Z Gallerie.
5. A Spa Day
J's hubby (sweet man that he is) had already gifted her with a spa day last May, for Mother's Day. Clearly, it was a resounding success because a spa day is back on J's Christmas wish list! (NOTE - If you live in Denver, J recommends Aveda's Tallgrass Spa)
A spa day is a great gift. Call the nicest/fanciest spa in town, get the half-day or full-day package, book the day and clear your calendar. NOTE: This last part is important. If you don't book it, many moms will just get too busy to use it. Buy it, book it, take the kids and send her off.
Thanks J, for the amazing list!
SJ aka Jayme Ritchie was born and raised in New York. She has a law degree from the University of Denver and is one of the founders of Weecycle, a Colorado nonprofit that helps low income families by providing them with new or gently used baby gear free of charge. To learn more about Weecycle or to donate, please go to: http://www.weecyclecolorado.org. Lastly, Jayme is, of course, a mom to adorable and lively little Sophia.