cataloguing the holidays: fred flare, garnet hill, fishs eddy


Okay, the holiday stress is getting to me, so I’m spending even more time online wondering, “Would my mom like that? Would my father-in-law use this?” I am a subscriber to “It’s the thought that counts,” so I try to get gifts that really fit a personality or are things that I remember that person talking about liking. Fred Flare has some fun stuff that isn’t bank-breaking, great for small gifts or to round out a mail-home package — most of these are listed as top sellers for good reason.

A log pillow is a perennial favorite that looks cute at Christmas or year-round, depending on how woodsy or how hip your gift recipient may be. If you know someone with a fireplace that’s inoperable, how cool would two log pillows look in there? Just $18.

My sister-in-law received Wreck This Journal from her family one year, and it was a huge hit. We helped her “wreck it” with some scribbles and comments on certain pages, so it became both a fun party game and a souvenir of the night. Fun gift from kids to parents or vice versa!

Now on to Garnet Hill, where I scored big points one year by purchasing oh-so-soft flannel sheets, $30-120, for my mom who is always cold! She still loves them.

For some useful charm, I love the shape and colors of this Bauer pottery, $13-88.

And that pottery got me thinking about Fishs Eddy, where the first thing to catch my eye was this four-glass “In Crowd” set of glasses, $16, with illustrations by cartoonist Roz Chast. If you have a friend with a New Yorker subscription, she would recognize these dopey folks in a heartbeat. And looky here: there’s an entire section devoted to Roz Chast’s work!

For the colorful modernist, how about some glassware with fish illustrations by Charley Harper? This Little Fish bowl is awfully cute, and just under $9.


Really stumped? How about something small, odd, and memorable from the Tchotchkes? Come on, this Chrysler Building lantern is amazing — but also pricey at $65. So how about a whole array of Lady Figurines, about $5 each? Instant collection that would look pretty on a bathroom windowsill. — Mary T.

Journal image via Destructive Therapy.

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