Some things on my list are tangible — some never were.

Vintage Santa pin from TeePublic. Pleated face mask also available.
  1. A gift card. But again from a local business, to help keep it afloat– maybe Howell, which stocks a French-inspired brand of oversized, hand-spun linen dish towels ($30) in cheery ginghams* that make pot-scrubbing less of a drudge, and Irish cashmere and wool blankets and throws. Or Vesta Chocolate, for handcrafted lattes, pure roasted cacao nibs to top my yogurt or a mod ceramic (at-home, not travel) cup. Then there’s Moss & More, a fairy-tale garden shop that now incorporates the elegant Studio Nectar, with a stem bar. (Amy Gofton, the flower maven, left a splashy, colorful career at Kate Spade.)
  2. Something Tory Burch, if Dan has money burning a hole in his pocket and there’s a sale on the TB site. I’m eyeing wide-leg track pants in snow white and red — new suit for Ms. Santa? I’ve long loved that Tory offers my real-life sizes: XL for most styles, 11 for shoes. I’m at an advantage when Dan waits until the last minute to shop. Online ordering is simple.
  3. Peace on earth, or at least in our little breakfast nook for a few 6 p.m. family dinners. Don’t ask.
  4. A moment in time. The chance to travel back to the fresh, bracing minutes on Christmas Eve in the late 1960s/early 1970s, darkness just falling, Dad and I climbing into the car for our VIP task — driving to the lot outside Two Guys store in Hackensack to get our tree. My parents watched their budget, and by December 24, the trees were marked down. (Dad always talked about being lucky to get an orange as a kid on Christmas.) That was a toasty coat of honor on the shoulders of a hardworking husband/father of four and his youngest child — an honor we gladly accepted. We may have been ordinary by day, but rose up merrily to greet Santa Claus and Baby Jesus in all their glory with the most pivotal family purchase of the year. I felt 10 feet tall in my scrappy hand-me-down blue jeans from my brother Will, the ones lined with wintry red plaid flannel. When Dad and I headed home, we were bursting with pride and joy.

Magazine maven, craft coffee lover, legal guardian. Passionate about fashion and lipstick — though it may not look that way when I dash to the supermarket.

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