We are as much a sucker for a new gadget as the next person, but we are drawn much more to the gifts and acts of kindness that can - with luck - set this season apart from any other.
Gifts are an opportunity to draw together, not stand apart: to draw together with family and friends as well as with one's own self and one's own home. And less is definitely more. One good thing or act is better than all the tea in China. Therefore our picks are beautiful, simple, healthy and/or perishable.
This is just a start. Tell us your own. Happy Holidays, MGR
Your favorite cookbook and an offer to come over and cook dinner in January
A case of wine from Jeff Hock at Winesby.com on Jones Street & Bacchus and Me: Adventures in the Wine Cellar by Jay McInerney
Wild herb soaps, incense and teas, wild berry jams, and wreaths from Juniper Ridge
A paint brush, stack of paint chips and an offer to come over and help paint one room
Fleur de Sel Sea Salt in a beautiful little bowl with a beautiful little spoon from Global Table on Sullivan Street
An offer to come over, clean out closets and take the offal to charity that same day
An amaryllis bulb in a glass forcing vase (they have nice ones at Smith & Hawken)
A super cleaning kit from Caldrea
A gift certificate for a facial or massage
An M & Co wallclock
A pillow from John Robshaw
Original artwork that you have made (a good frame makes a difference. We like MTS frames from Pearl Paint).
A very nice bottle of champage with a big bow
A personal letter or note that coveys your feelings eloquently and honestly
A pin-hole camera photograph from the neat fellow who takes and sells them at the Farmer's Market at Union Square