When Mr. Magpie and I were first married, we had a small bag of cast-off ornaments we’d inherited from our parents. We went out and supplemented with red and metallic ornament sets from Martha Stewart (she still makes great starter sets), and have gifted one another meaningful ornaments every year since. It’s become a lovely tradition, and we use it to commemorate trips, culinary adventures, inside jokes, and the like. Two of my favorite recent ornaments we’ve added to the collection: this set of beautiful carrots (long, delicate, dramatic, and slightly sparkly), to celebrate Mr. Magpie’s inaugural vegetable harvest in our new suburban home, and this felt NYC subway ornament, to commemorate our final Christmas in New York City. This year, I am eyeing this set of the 12 Days of Christmas ornaments. My daughter loves that carol and the pieces are so fun and detailed! Or maybe this mushroom, as my husband recently found “his own forager” — I kid you not. My husband, as you may have gathered, is a precise and exacting cook and goes to great lengths to find the best sources for all his provisions, including, most recently, mushrooms! He now has a forager he works with for specific occasions, like the paella dinner we recently threw, which involved locally-foraged chanterelles.
Ornaments make such beautiful gifts and are typically at a reasonable price point, too. I am contemplating giving special ones out to some of the recipients on my list this year in lieu of another Secret Santa-caliber (under $30) gift — something to use every year!
01. FLUFFY OWL SET
09. ARCADIA HOME COCKER SPANIEL (OTHER BREEDS AVAILABLE)
11. BIRD — I HAVE A SOFT SPOT FOR BIRD ORNAMENTS…LOVE THEM NESTLED ON THE BRANCHES!
17. ACRYLIC DOVES
20. SANTA FACE
For tree skirts, I like these ones from Julia Amory, this woven plaid from Target, this botanical one from Parterre, this channeled velvet (what we have!!!), this scalloped toile, and the woven tree collars from Target and Crate and Barrel.
P.S. How I handle criticism.
P.P.S. I just love Nora Ephron. Year-round, but especially at the holidays. I treasure “You’ve Got Mail” in late fall, “Sleepless in Seattle” around Christmas, and “When Harry Met Sally” on NYE (always).
P.P.P.S. The concept of the “realistic preview.”