part from slobbery kisses and big bear hugs, gift-giving is one of our most animalistic and tangible ways to show our love, like and gratitude. Not everyone is great with words. Think about penguins who give their penguin-people pebbles to secure their forever partnerships, dogs who bring their owners beloved chew toys or cats who drag hunting trophies into the house.
One of my favorite sentences in the history of ever is J.D. Salinger’s acknowledgement page in Franny and Zooey:
“As nearly as possible in the spirit of Matthew Salinger, age one, urging a luncheon companion to accept a cool lima bean, I urge my editor, mentor and (heaven help him) closest friend, William Shawn…to accept this pretty skimpy-looking book.”
I love it for a million reasons, but largely for the way it highlights an innocent kindness — a one-year-old’s desire to give. I think it’s in our nature to want to offer up something we made or bought or did for someone else and let them know, “It’s for you.” There’s a whole psychology to gift-giving, but I like to think it makes us feel less alone to share something with someone special. Even if it’s just a cool lima bean.
When a gift is really done right — when you give something that took thought; when your entire heart is behind a gesture; or when that gesture required every iota of your courage (a first “I love you”) — a memory is created deep in the cozy part of your brain and the recipient’s that, when remembered even years later, feels like home.
Home, in all its many forms, ended up being the underlying theme of our 2017 Gift Guide. So call me Dorothy if you want (I want) and journey with me below into the land of holiday Oz, where you just might run into Glinda, the Lion, and so much more…
The Yellow Brick Road Runs Straight Through this Room
Welcome to Munchklinland! In it you’ll find two pairs of Dorothy’s ruby red slippers, a pretty pouch for you from the Lullaby League, a clutch from the hands of the Lollipop Guild, a handbag made of straw (in the name of foreshadowing), plus plenty of gold trinkets for loved ones. You know what’s great to give when you’re really stumped on gifts for even the fussiest receiver? Items to make her bathroom fancier.
A One Bed-Room in Emerald City: It’s the New Brooklyn!
The fancy bathroom trend continues in this room, too. For the friend who likes to make her bedroom sanctuary, the Figuier candle will do the trick and secure a forever-spot on her shared Netflix account list. Or you could get her a dish to dump her end-of-the-workday pockets in before getting comfy. As for you…you’re looking like you could use emerald nail polish. Or a pair of wicked shoes.
Glinda the Good Witch’s Room of Millennial Pink Delights
This year, give the gift of the color of the inside of a rabbit’s year: sparkly sock boots, leather high fives, a rose quartz roller if you’re feeling fancy (but can’t spend fancy). Speaking of fancy, more things to suit your’s: house slippers to wear out, bathroom treats and treasures, Jello-jewels, makeup wands, sparkly earrings and to lounge in: underwear.
The Lion, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man’s Room
Because you already have a heart, a brain and you’re mighty brave, give the gift of all three. To your brainy friend, the Proust Questionnaire. To your loved one, heart hoop earrings or, alternatively, a cherry-red kiss. To your friend who needs a little courage, three charms (a lion, a tiger, and a bear — oh yes) to remind them they they’re not scared of anything. For someone looking to work on her gallery wall, a print from Framebridge might be nice.
And since you might feel to do a little splurging on yourself, too: a pair of glittery (Glinda and Wicked Witch-approved) boots for you to click your heels together and repeat those five sing-song words:
There’s no place like home.
MR’s Visual Manager Emily Zirimis pitched The Wizard of Oz as this year’s inspiration and creative-directed the shoot. Photo Assistant Louisiana Mei Gelpi shot and prop styled this production. Leandra, Harling, Elizabeth and I did the gift-hunting.