Doing my part to help the economy: All I want for Christmas!

I've always had a practical approach to gifts, both giving and receiving, and there are few things that stress me out more than a useless gift, especially well-intentioned.  I appreciate the thought, but I literally don't know what to do with it.  

I hope I don't sound terribly crass and ungrateful; I'm not trying to be.  I just prefer to receive things that I will use (better yet if it is functional AND beautiful), or receive nothing material at all.  Of course, quality time, friendly notes and other immaterials are always welcomed.

That said, my definition of 'use' is pretty liberal.  Reading, listening, watching, or hanging something on my wall are all good uses in my opinion.  And so, here are some things I might buy myself or ask for this holiday season:
  • Kitchen stuff: A food processor, 7-9 cup that can handle dough, and two 12-cup madeleine baking pans
  • Music: Lisa Hannigan's debut, Sea Sew and Explosions in the Sky, The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place
  • Two types of slow cooker cookbooks, one 'gourmet', and one that will teach me how to use the new slow-cooker I got.
  • Clothes: A pair of rockin' leather boots, rain boots (no, I never did buy them!), an exotic animal-skin accessory like the lizard card case or wide cuff below, a decent watch (haven't worn one for years b/c the $8 ones I bought on Canal St. in NYC kept breaking and/or getting lost), a unique coat I can wear every day, more modern/organic-looking gold jewelry
  • Things to keep me warm like the scarflette below, a pair of fingerless arm warmers, or a skirt in tartan plaid.
  • A Rosenthal 'Magic Flute' sugar bowl. I encountered one of these during our trip to French Laundry.  I am usually indifferent to china, but this was one of the most exquisite pieces I've ever held in my hands--it was inspiring.
  • Books: Cupid & Psyche by KY Craft (my favorite myth retold by a favorite illustrator), The Sacred Heart: An Atlas of the Body Seen Through Invasive Surgery by Max Aguilera-Hellweg, and the catalog of works by Tim Hawkinson, the contemporary artist whose exhibit at LACMA a couple years ago changed my life.
  • MoviesPenelope, Anne of Green Gables series, A Little PrincessGossip Girl: Season 1Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre
  • A complete/basic and modern how-to book on sewing.
  • A trip to someplace warm and interesting.

One of my best friends and I have a very unromantic but effective gift-giving process--either just asking each other what the other wants, or finding each other's Amazon, eBay or etsy wish lists and buying off those.  One year I literally got her a hair dryer (a damned-good ionic one!). 

My early Christmas present to Garry?  A kickass Zojirushi rice cooker that makes perfect rice every time!  Unromantic you say?  What's not romantic about the fact that he uses it every day to make delicious food we can share together?

10 responses
the new KitchenAid processor will make my 3-cup look "pooty" haha. I think you can save money on slow cooking books by reading food blog. one of my fav. food blog is they have just featured an article on the differences between braising and stewing. read up on that and they also have other links regarding to slow cooking tagged onto the article.The website provides great basic cooking skills and recipes. you can definitely save the money for maybe buying a nice heavy pot. good luck Steph!
Have you seen that Vita-Mix thing at Costco. It is like a commercial grade blender they use at Jamba Juice, but you can make soups and stuff as well. $400.
To your "Things to keep me warm" section, you should add, anything from That way you can do your part to help the economy in a socially conscious way. Yak down is probably the most exotic warm and soft fabric on the market these days, so check it out!
@reggie Thanks for the tip!  I'm familiar w/ the cuz it's by the same ppl as apartment therapy.  I'll def. go check that out.
@perry $400!  good lord man that's like two pairs of the best boots I can buy!
@daybee the site is really beautiful, as are their handwarmers, but $60 is a bit steep for me, esp for something so easily losable!

what happened to your advent conspiracy? ;)
Here is a great site for crockpot recipes:
@steve haha, well, is it ok if I buy a couple of the more useful things on my list for myself, and then set aside a good bit for donating? =)

@suzanne thanks for the link! I checked it out and the recipes look tempting.

haha... i was just ribbing you.  ;) 
lol theo and i just bought an exciting new fuzzy logic rice cooker too :P isn't it thrilling?
have you checked out for the fingerless arm warmers?
i like waiting christmas:)