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The holidays are officially here! This time of year feels so magical: the tree, the eggnog, the snow. Cozying by the fire.

But it can also be a little paralyzing. Every December, I rack my brain trying to figure out what to buy for each person on my list. So this year, I want to help you by sharing my favorites: a list of things I’m asking for and/or giving to friends and family. 

Anthropologie’s latte platter. What I really want for myself this holiday is a festive platter. By festive I don’t mean holiday festive, but bright and cheery. I tend to have the same circle of friends over for dinner, so it’s nice to be able to change things up, give them a new experience, and have them say “wow” when I serve a dish. My favorite place to go for dishware that makes a statement is Anthropologie, but I wouldn’t dare ask for something full price on the site. Luckily, this time of year they have a robust sale inventory. I really have my eye on the latte platter, which is only $20 on sale right now.  

Pottery Barn throw blankets. There’s nothing like spending a wintry evening cuddled up on your couch under your favorite blanket. My main requirement is that they are at least 5 feet by 5 feet, so I can really enrobe myself and have extra blanket to share. I’ve been disappointed with throws from Target and West Elm in the past, but never from Pottery Barn, so I picked up a couple of these for my designers. 

Tinyprints photo ornaments. When I was single, I bought all of my ornaments at Michael’s or Macy’s. But now that I have a family, I want something a little more sentimental. So each year, I get every member of my family a personalized ornament, featuring a picture of them and their friends or us as a family. It’s a lovely way to grow our collection, and trimming the tree becomes a walk down memory lane. The photo ornaments at are great, because they’re flat and lightweight, perfect for sprinkling all over the tree. These can feature up to 5 photos and cost under $30. Don’t forget to add one of the many promo codes available now for an even better deal.   

Pink Olive’s hot chocolate soy candle. The ladies of The Struggle Bus, one of my favorite podcasts, were raving about Pink Olive’s hot chocolate soy candle, which apparently smells just like the Swiss Miss Cocoa we used to drink as kids. And I couldn’t have been happier to hear it, because the owner of Pink Olive is one of my friends from my small business group for women. I happen to know she makes all of the candles using all natural ingredients right out of her apartment in Manhattan. A mini is just $10, and the large candle is $24. But be sure to check out the whole site, because they have amazing gift ideas, and you’ll be supporting a female entrepreneur in NYC.  

URPower aromatherapy essential oil diffuser with color LED light. I’m a firm believer in aromatherapy for helping you achieve whatever you want in your life. When I’m tackling big projects, I need to be alert and focused, so I’ve been rubbing peppermint oil on my hands and inhaling it whenever I need a little boost. And my daughter hasn’t been sleeping lately, so I’ve been putting a touch of organic lavender oil on her wrists and feet. This diffuser makes getting in your aromatherapy so much simpler. You put in water and organic essential oils, and it creates a fine mist that not only spreads the natural scents throughout your space, but hydrates the air at the same time. It’s only $34 on Amazon, and with the LED light, it can double as a nightlight!

CB2 prisma copper picture frame. Moms, mothers-in-law, step-mothers-in-law, grandmas —  the women in our lives can be difficult to shop for!  But I know they’ll always appreciate a picture of their grandkids. I like to frame the photo we take for our holiday card each year and give it to them as part of their gift. I stick with 4×6 or 5×7, so they’re not overwhelming, and I always try to envision where they would put it so I can try to match their décor. This year, I’m loving CB2’s prisma frame in copper, which has a unique design without being too bulky and fits right in with my step-mother-in-law’s modern aesthetic. Plus it’s only $14! Pier1 is my go-to for more transitional picture frames, which suit my mom’s home, and for my husband’s mother, whose taste is very traditional, I hit up Pottery Barn, Grandin Road, or even Kirkland’s when I want a real steal.

Make My Notebook. If you have a list maker in your life (and don’t we all?), you cannot go wrong giving them one of the many options at They have hundreds of designs, which start at just $10, or you can create a custom notebook for much more than that. I like their lightweight feel, spiral spines, and durable covers, but I truly adore the tooth of the paper — it’s thick enough so the ink won’t bleed through the page, but not so thick that you need to press really hard when you write. My roller ball pen just glides over it, and I barely need to move my hand.

Himalayan rock salt lamps. I have a chiropractor friend who’s into holistic medicine, and she has these all over her house and office. I always thought they were hokey, but she explained how they clean the toxins from the air and boost your mood, and I’ve seen so many articles lately backing that up. It’s even been likened to the fresh air at the top of a mountain. There are tons of vendors on Etsy and many options under $25, so it’s definitely worth a try. 

West Elm’s agate coasters. In my top trends for 2016, I proclaimed the end of agate, but when I saw these West Elm coasters at a client’s house, I had to rethink my position. They are truly showstoppers! They’re $59 for a set of 4, and they come in bright, vibrant jewel toned colors. I could imagine giving them to a good girl friend, sister, or even neighbor.

Have anything you would add to the list? Let me know in the comments below!

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