Notes From the Field: Stocking Stuffers

December 19, 2011

By Cheryl Katz

I adore my sister Leslie. We are as close as two sisters can be.

“My girls are like peas in a pod,†our mother would say whenever a friend asked how we got along. Which we do, brilliantly…except when it comes to shopping. There’s almost nothing Leslie dislikes more than trudging to the store, trawling through piles of stuff to uncover that one perfect item. On the other hand, there’s almost nothing that I love more.

Leslie much prefers staying home and reading–she’s a librarian, after all. Leslie attacks the latest books with the same fervor that I do when devouring a 1stdibs post.

Given that the holidays are synonymous with gift giving, which is pretty much synonymous with multiple trips to multiple stores, it’s safe to say that this is not my sister’s favorite time of the year.

I don’t mean to portray my sister as a scrooge. Not in the least. Leslie is generous and loves celebrating with friends and family as much as the next person. In fact, as I write this she is probably making cookies for the annual neighborhood swap or has a big pot of chili ready for the next holiday party. But hope springs eternal that she will, some day, enjoy the thrill of the hunt as much as I do. It also helps explain why I’m writing this post in the form of a recipe. Leslie, try it, it’s delicious.

Charming Stocking Stuffers

Take three idiosyncratic shops.

Add six frantic shopping days ’til Christmas.

Sprinkle with a generous amount of whimsy.

Combine with a liberal dose of red–the color of the season.

Wrap in paper.

Tie with string.

Give with love.

(Serves nine.)

From Pod, Brookline Village, Massachusetts:
Porcelain vase, $18
French soaps, $7 each
Italian wool travel pillow, with lavender and buckwheat fill, $78
Faux Bois cocktail napkins,  $7.50 for a package of 20
Red bird candle, $14

From Joanne Rossman, Roslindale, Massachusetts:
Cocktail forks, $20 for a set of five
John Derian tray
Cookbook bookmark, $24

From Black Ink, Boston and Cambridge:
Baker’s string, $18