Last holiday season we kept things very simple and stuck to a single gift policy, which worked well. Tim's still regularly wearing his re-soled bean boots and the earrings he surprised me with are still a favorite pair. This year we gave each other a little more leeway on the limits of last year's one-gift policy, which resulted into a handful of meaningful surprises. The following were some of our favorites from the season:
1. I already poured my heart out over the most sentimental of gifts Tim gave me this holiday season — my very own matching family Christmas stocking. While we've put the stockings away with the other Christmas decor this year, I'm already looking forward to pulling all 4 of them out to display again next year.
2. I was so excited to receive this pair of Shani Jacobi earrings since I've been eyeing her Etsy collection for quite some time now. Shani's a jewelry designer and mom based in Tel-Aviv and I'm so thrilled to finally own one of her designs.
3. The Full Flower Herbs Elderberry Elixir has been a religious part of our winter routine this season. It's made by our herbalist friend, Lindsay, who you might remember from a mushroom foraging trip we went on a couple summer's back. Needless to day, the elixir found its way into the stockings this year!
4. Dry and cracked winter skin is no joke around here. We're always looking for new lotions and balms and this year the small batch skin soothing and calming balm from Etta + Billie is doing the trick!
5. Made by independent shop UK owner, Sim Bradley, these sleek little wooden iPhone keyring stands have come in handy more than we would have thought — so good for travel.
6. My wallet's been on its last leg for over a year, so this magnetic folding Latico wallet was a welcome surprise. We love the story behind Latico, a "little big" leather company out of New Jersey that has had a cult following from fans like the Grateful Dead back in the day.
7. Tim's always on the go and into trying the latest tech trends, so I thought a wearable fitness band might be right up his alley. Luckily, he's barely taken it off since opening it on Christmas and it's already motivated us to push our daily walks with Basil a few blocks further.
8. There's a new barbershop in town, High Point Barbershop & Shave Parlor. It's a cool space and in the neighborhood — something Tim's been looking for! I got him a gift certificate for a basic cut and shave to check it out.
9. This Swedish Dream sea salt soap has become an ongoing favorite and stocking staple at Christmastime here.
10. Sean Brock's latest book, Heritage, has been on Tim's mind since he heard rumors there'd be a new one coming out. Brock has Virginia roots but is best known for his Charleston, South Carolina restaurant, Husk. We fell in love with his food style watching him on season 2 of the PBS show, Mind of a Chef.
11. A girl can never have enough pairs of shoes, right?
As you can see, it was quite the Christmas morning! In addition to the above gifts, there were some other fun ones — Stephanie got me a 3-month subscription to Birchbox, the kids got Tim a bottle of the blueberry barbecue sauce featured on one of his favorite shows, Mind of a Chef, we got Brandon a Chance The Rapper poster he'd been eyeing on Etsy and Tim and I both exchanged lotto tickets for the big New Year's Eve raffle. It's kind-of a silly ritual, but one we look forward to — and no, we didn't win it big with the lotto this year, but are certainly feeling happy, full and inspired for the year ahead.