Fabulous Gifting for the Holidays

With the holiday season comes holiday gifting and to do it right, you need to get creative. No matter the budget, exchanging presents with friends and family can become an overwhelming task. The key is to use your imagination and find something meaningful, useful and expressive. Here are some of my go-to picks.

Photo by Romeo Balancourt

I first came across Djordje Varda’s exquisite work as a wedding florist, but I found out he’s also the mastermind behind the gorgeous florals at the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris. We’ve since collaborated and worked together but what I love the most—if he isn’t doing a huge installation for you—are his fragrant candles. They can be purchased online and shipped anywhere, and they make the most fabulous holiday gift. 65, djordjevarda.com

My favorite chocolate, without a doubt, is from chef Gabriel Kreuther’s Kreuther Chocolate. It’s handcrafted, delicious and makes such a great gift for the holiday season. Kreuther recently received two Michelin stars for his eponymous Midtown Manhattan restaurant, and everything that comes out of his kitchen is to die for. kreutherchocolate.com

Photo courtesy of Lalela

Lalela is an organization that serves underprivileged and at-risk children, providing them with art education. Lalela takes the children’s artwork and prints it onto scarves made out of silk, cotton and cashmere. The scarves themselves are beautiful and lavish. I have personally given these as gifts for the last several years, and I absolutely love that you can easily pack several of them in a very small space. They come in special packaging that packs nice and easy, so it’s both a practical and meaningful gift. From time to time they also have small clutches or handbags that coordinate with the scarves, so you have a variety of items to choose from and, of course, it’s for an amazing cause. Shrooms cashmere scarf, $60, lalela.myshopify.com

There’s nothing better than doing something personalized and engraved. I love silver frames, trays, bowls and goblets. Christofle does the best job of this, and they are able to beautifully engrave anything you request. christofle.com

Another creative gift idea is to give someone personalized stationery from my good friend Ceci Johnson of Ceci New York. I write thank you notes four or five times a week and think something handwritten always adds a special touch—it makes a great impression. Share that with your loved ones by giving them personalized stationery of their own. It’s thoughtful, practical and comes very much in handy during this time of year. Starts at $16, cecinewyork.com

Photo courtesy of Baccarat

Whenever I need to do something extravagant, something in a red box from Baccarat never fails to make a great impression. From votive candles to Champagne flutes, Baccarat gifts last a lifetime. Vega candlesticks, $410, baccarat.com

Finally if you really want to splurge, I have a friend in Paris named Lorenz Bäumer who is the jewelry prince of the Place Vendôme. He does the most extraordinary work and was the original jeweler who started the fine jewelry collection for Chanel. If you need a charm bracelet or even want to commission something for a particular gift, he is the most inventive man in the business. Some of the best gifts I’ve both given and received in my life have come from him. lorenzbaumer.com

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